I'm no stranger to decoupaging tissue paper onto plastic containers. It's an excellent way to cover surfaces that aren't perfectly straight and that need to remain semi-flexible and sealed once finished. So when I had managed to accumulate three of these lovely little containers for Target's version of Crystal Light, I knew exactly how to cover them.
I grabbed my Mod Podge, a foam paintbrush, some coordinating tissue paper, and a scissors.
I used the container as a template for the tissue paper. Tissue paper is tough to cut straight, so if I'm using a scissors, I'll fold the paper to create a cut line. Another good way to cut tissue paper and keep it straight is with a rotary cutter and a ruler. I tend to cut it just a smidge bigger than I need, I'd rather have too much paper than not enough.
Then I spread a thin layer of mod podge onto the container with my foam brush. You don't need much, just enough to get a good seal between the container and the tissue paper. If you use too much, the paper will soak it up and become very fragile (and more likely to wrinkle or even tear).
Next, I gently smoothed the paper onto the glue. Be careful not to rub hard or use wet or sticky fingers with this step. If your fingers become sticky with glue, take a break and clean them so they don't stick to the fragile paper and tear holes in it. Solid colored paper tends to be a bit less sturdy than the stuff that has printed patterns on it, so be extra careful with the plain tissue paper.
Since these containers have a bit of a flair at the top, I couldn't wrap the paper around the container straight and smooth, I ended up having to tuck the excess at the corners. I tried to keep the top edge straight and just fold the extra over as neatly as possible.
After I was done gluing the paper on, I tipped the containers up and glued any excess paper from the bottom edge down. I find that this looks neater and cleaner than trying to cut it the exact right length and worrying about it being straight on the top and bottom. I let them all set and dry for a bit while I put away the tissue paper and scissors and washed and dried my hands. Since I was making three of these containers, that was enough time for me to start sealing the first container I had worked on without the paper being too wet to work with. A good 5-10 minute rest is recommended to keep the paper from tearing. Letting it dry completely is also totally fine, but I'm terribly impatient.
On the sides that had folded over edges or corners from the irregular shape of the container, I made sure to glue under the folded edge before I put a layer of glue over top to seal it. I try to apply enough glue that it sinks into the tissue paper and creates a thin layer over top. Be careful not to apply it too thickly that it won't dry clear (big globs may not dry all the way or may take a really long time to dry enough to turn clear, so give it a quick check for drips before you leave it to dry).
As the containers dry, some of the wrinkles will smooth out, but unless you were super careful when applying the tissue paper, some of the wrinkles will stick around. It's part of the charm of decoupaging tissue paper.
I took this photo right after they were dry to the touch, so they were still a bit wrinkly, but even if they don't smooth out, they'll make great containers for my office supplies. They'd also work great for cosmetics like storing eyeliner and brow pencils, hair ties, sample packets, etc... What would you store in these containers?