Art Lessons For Kids - Self Portrait Puppets

Fun with puppets!

Kids love to draw faces, especially when given the chance to represent their own face in artwork. This children's project is unique in that kids can explore their self portrait and then activate it to talk or perform. The last time I worked with a group of children who made their self portrait puppets, they went back to school and put on a puppet show with their teacher. They're quite effective, really fun to make and inexpensive.  I highly recommend this project for birthday parties, summer camp, a rainy day or even sleepovers.

Materials You'll Need For A Self Portrait Puppet:

  • A Paper Lunch Bag (brown paper)
  • Flesh color construction paper
  • Hair color construction paper (you may need a variety for classrooms or friends)
  • Crayons, Oil Pastels or Markers
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Glue Stick

How to Assemble Your Self Portrait Puppet:

  1. The face is in 3 parts, (a) The top of the head to the bottom of the UPPER lip, (b) The top of the bottom lip and teeth to the chin, (c) the ears - one right and one left ear.   Draw these parts out on the flesh colored paper using a pencil.  If the kids are old enough, they can look in a mirror and try to get more of a likeness to the shape of their face.
  2. Cut out these parts and begin to glue them onto the bag.  You are using the BACK side of the bag.  Starting with the "bottom" of the bag, where it folds over, glue the top of the head here.  Then where the the fold of the bottom of the bag ends, glue the chin part onto the bag.  Finally, glue the ears onto the top half of the face, on the edges.   See example below if you need a guide.
  3. Draw out the hairstyle you would like to have, cut it out and glue it so it overlaps the ears.
  4. Draw on the face, make sure the top part of the face ends at the fold of the bag.  Draw in the eyes, nose, lips (bottom lip on chin piece), chin.  Then draw in any hair information (hair ornaments or hair lines to show if hair is straight or curly).  And, draw in information on the ears.  If appropriate, you can draw earrings.
  5. Carefully lift up the top of the folded part of the bag and color in what the inside of the mouth looks like - teeth, tongue, darkness...
  6. Then draw the clothing in the bottom part of the bag

Tip: If you have time and materials, kids can add on arms and hands from behind the bag.


And, remember:  Art is a practice.  The more you practice, the better your work becomes!

These are materials that I recommend:

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Comments 6 comments

lakeerieartists profile image

lakeerieartists 7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

Great idea for summer project!


MyInfo411 profile image

MyInfo411 6 years ago

Nice hub! I'll have to try this the next time I volunteer with kids. Thanks for the detailed instructions and pictures.


Laura Spector profile image

Laura Spector 6 years ago from Chiang Mai, Thailand Author

Thanks Myinfo411, I hope you have fun doing this project with the kids you're working with. I also have a similar exercise listed in my hubs to make animals - they're really cool because the tail is in the back of the bag...making it appear a bit more 3D. Good luck!


alaisha 5 years ago

i love these booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooookkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss


Laura Spector profile image

Laura Spector 5 years ago from Chiang Mai, Thailand Author

Thanks Alaisha!


grace from easy peasy 2 years ago

thank you for the art crafts the kids love them

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