Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

How-to Make Canvas Tarps out of Kleenex

9 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    February, 2018
How-to Make Canvas Tarps out of Kleenex
Posted by milwaukeejohn on Sunday, October 07, 2018 9:56 PM

I want to make a realistic, folded canvas top for a 1/72 scale Opel Blitz truck.

I’ve seen several decent online tutorials on how to make realistic scale canvas using water, white glue, and Kleenex. However, I am not thrilled with the results I got, but I am not throwing in the towel just yet. 

Does anyone out there have any personal tips for me on how to best do this?  How about links to online videos and/or how-to articles or guides that best explain this?

As always, thank you for helping me!  I look forward to your replies.


  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Monday, October 08, 2018 12:36 AM

I've always tended to heed Shep Paine's advice when it comes to this sort of thing. In his books, he cautioned readers on the use of the term "tissue", noting that certain types of facial tissues (including Kleenex) tend to hold on to water content, where others (toilet tissues, for example) are designed to break down quickly once wet. He advised to add more glue than water and to work in the thinnest layers possible, adding more layers for bulk or detailing as needed only after the first layers had fully cured.

Shep also recommended the use of the fine "tissue paper" sheets commonly used to wrap gifts or delicate items. Stick and balsa modelers know the type because they use it to cover their planes. Lightly wetted, the stuff shrinks down tight over the ribs and stringers. Coat it in white glue and water and it hardens to form nicely, which is perfect for tarps and such. Plus, it cuts cleaner than a Kleenex and leaves sharper edges. It's just easier to work with overall.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Sydney, Australia
Posted by Phil_H on Monday, October 08, 2018 12:53 AM

Yep, gift wrapping tissue or similar. 

Also, when you buy running shoes, you can often find suitable tissue paper balled up inside the shoes to help them keep their shape in the box.

  • Member since
    October, 2009
Posted by Kentucky Colonel on Monday, October 08, 2018 10:12 AM

I've read that VMS has something new out that you can make any kind of "cloth" like tents, covers, etc, out of paper and it's better then just white glue. They also sell a paper for that too.

You can get them at Michigam Toy Solider co.


  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, October 08, 2018 11:18 AM

As has been mentioined, the main item is to use paper that doesn't dissolve in water. You can be sure that anything designed to go down the toilet will dissolve.

  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Monday, October 08, 2018 11:23 AM

Kentucky Colonel

I've read that VMS has something new out that you can make any kind of "cloth" like tents, covers, etc, out of paper and it's better then just white glue. They also sell a paper for that too.

You can get them at Michigam Toy Solider co.




I was going to mention that product as well. VMS has great products. I have their Flexy 5K CA glue for photo etch. It's far far better and stronger than any CA glues out there.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Monday, October 08, 2018 1:58 PM

I use toilet paper, separate the sheet and use only  one layer. Craft paint to tint mixed in with Elmer’s, water and a couple of drops of Dawn. Works every time at creating a very realistic rolled canvass.  For an opened or draped tarp I use wine bottle foil or toilet paper using the aforementioned method.




Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    July, 2003
Posted by disastermaster on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 1:23 AM


In addition to all of the above

         take a quick look at the website below.



  • Member since
    September, 2018
Posted by Point Alpha on Thursday, October 11, 2018 1:40 PM

I flattened out a folded piece of aluminium foil and turned it into a tarp shape, then painted it. I turned out well! it is probably the quickest and easiest method that i can think of


  • Member since
    February, 2017
Posted by ugamodels on Saturday, October 27, 2018 9:39 PM

My guess is that the solution is a type of non-sudsing detergen. Rather than Dawn try a laundry detergent for front load high efficiency machines that doesn't suds. 

I type on a tablet. Please excuse the terseness and the autocorrect. Not to mention the erors. 


Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.


By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.