How to Make a Chigiri-e Balloon Gift Tag

Recently, I have been introduced to a Japanese paper craft called Chigiri-e.  It is a beautiful art form that uses the technique of tearing and gluing Washi papers to create layered designs that resemble water color painting. To learn more about this technique, I took an online course on Japanese Creations. With their help, I was able to make this handmade Chigiri-e balloon gift tag for a friend’s birthday.

Time: 45 Minutes to 1 hour


  • Balloon Image
  • Carbon Paper (or Chaco Paper)
  • White Cardstock
  • Washi Papers
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Pencil
  • Starter Tool Kit


Print or design an image that you would like to use as your design. Layer the cardstock, tracing paper or Chaco Paper (rough side down), then image on top. Secure it with the paper clips provided in your Starter Tool Kit.  Trace the image onto the paper using a pencil.

Set the transferred image aside. Now it’s time to trace the design onto the washi paper. Layer the carbon paper (rough side up), washi paper, then your design on top. Trace the image you would like to tear from the washi. In this example, it shows that I traced the red balloon on the right side.  The image will transfer onto the back side of the washi. Next, tear off the image.  If you are using thick washi, the water pen that comes in your Tool Kit is very helpful.

Continue tracing and tearing the color layers of your image in respective washi paper to complete your design.

Next, you need to glue the torn pieces onto your cardstock. Make a small dollop of glue in a dish. Dilute the glue with two spoons of water.  Use a brush to mix the glue and the water together.  The dish, glue, spoon, and brush is included in your Tool Kit. Using the diluted mixture, glue the layers of torn washi to create your design.

For my design, I glued baker’s twine onto my tag for the balloon strings.  Lastly, I cut out the design as a gift tag with scissors and hole punch and tied it onto my gift bag.

To find out more about the Chigiri-e technique, visit Japanese Creations.  There you will find design kits, a complete Chigiri-e Starter Tool Kit, and information on the online instructional program.

I hope you liked it. I’m looking forward to making more craft projects using this technique to help fine tune my Chigiri-e skills!

Thank you to Japanese Creations for sponsoring this article. All opinions are 100% my own.

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