Paper Tissue Crosses Inspired by Amor Y Locura

18/11/12 – How to Make you Own Paper Tissue Cross

While visiting a Day of the Dead store , Amor Y Locura on the corner of Gertrude street, I had noticed a bunch of colourful and decorative crosses made from tissue paper that were displayed on the front door. I decided to replicate the cross from black and white tissue paper for the altar within the Black Calavera exhibition. The crosses would be perfect for the Day of the Dead celebration and they do work well with altar like constructions. I have provided instructions below for anyone who is interested in making paper tissue crosses.

What you will Need…

At least two thin pieces of Wood, medium-sized. I would recommend buying the packets of wood that you use for constructing wooden aeroplanes, you can buy these packets at Bunnings or just visit your local hardware store. I you cannot find them, just cut the wood with a saw into at least two separate pieces.
PVA glue
Tissue  or crepe paper, I would recommend buying at least 3 – 4 packets. (You can choose any colour you like)
Stanley Knife
Cutting Board


1. If the wood you are using is quite thing then you can cut the wood in half with a cutting board and a stanley knife. If you have bought the wood used to create the model aeroplanes, then the wood will cut very easily with a sharp knife.

2. Make sure the horizontal cross-bar is smaller than the vertical piece of wood that you are using

3. Cut the tissue paper for both the horizontal and vertical planks of wood and use scissors to cut the edges in order to create a textural appearance

4. Attach the tissue paper to the front and the back of the wood and wait for the glue to dry

5. Attach the horizontal cross-bar to the vertical piece of wood with PVA glue and wait for the glue to dry

6. Rip pieces of tissue paper and scrunch them, they will begin to look like flowers

7. Attach the scrunched up pieces of tissue paper onto the cross with PVA glue and wait for the cross to dry for a couple of hours.

I decided to use black and white tissue paper for the crosses, although the absence of colour does remind me of Western / European understandings of death rather than Mexican. The black tissue paper that I had used for the flowers do appear similar to dead roses and the design reminds me of something you would see in a Tim Burton film. In a way the cross and the absence of colour reminds me of death compared to the colourful or vibrant creations within the Day of the Dead store in Melbourne.

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