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Father's Day Craft 2020

by Jessi Cherrico -

A portrait is a fun way for children to express themselves, and in particular a self-portrait. It allows them to freely express how they see themselves and how they would like for others to see them.

For this self-portrait project, it is an act of love for that father, uncle, big brother or grandpa who holds that special place in the heart. Children will enjoy selecting materials to represent what they like to do, how they think they look and generally what appeals to them. When completed, the children will present their portraits to that awesome guy. Every time he looks at this original creation he will be reminded of that boy or girl who cares about him.

While children often have the opportunity to draw or create a picture inspired by someone they love, this will be a moment where they can give something that is unique to their own personalities and sense of style. Children love to look at digital or printed photos of themselves. This self-portrait collage allows them to create something original and artistic that will be a special keepsake.

Self-Portrait Collage Instructions

There is a LOT of freedom and flexibility in how to interpret this project. There truly is no wrong way to approach this. If you have lots a scrap paper, pieces of yarn, random buttons, etc, this will help use those mismatched supplies.


  • Light-colored construction paper, 9x12 (1 sheet per child)
  • Old books or newspaper (1 sheet per child)
    • Good Will has loads of old books. Pictured is a page from an old Webster’s Dictionary, purchased for $2.79
  • Glue sticks (1 per child)
  • Scissors (1 pair per child)
    • Construction or decorative paper scraps (If you only have paper and markers, you have the needed supplies. The following list is a suggestion for additional possibilities.)​​​​
      • Markers
      • Buttons
      • Imagines of eyes, ears, noses cut out from magazines or from a printer
      • Buttons
      • Yarn
      • Animal fur to look like hair (pictured)
      • Chenille stems (use liquid glue for these, otherwise they don’t stick well with glue sticks)
      • Ribbon
      • Foam Sheets
      • Stickers
      • Crayons
      • Fabric pieces
      • Felt
      • Googely eyes

Prep (Adults): 

  • Remove several sheets of paper from the old book.
  • Draw an oval (that looks a little like an upside-down egg) on a piece of construction paper or cardstock. This will be the head for the self-portait. If using a 9x12 sheet of paper for the background, the head should be about 10 inches long.
  • For younger children, the ovals can be traced and cut out of the book pages or newspaper.
    • For older children, they can trace ovals on the book pages or newspaper, using the template cut from construction paper or cardstock.
  • Cut out a rectangle for the neck about 2 inches x 3 inches on construction paper or cardstock.
    • For younger children, the rectangles can be traced and cut out on the book pages or newspaper.
    • For older children, they can trace rectangles on the book pages or newspaper, using the template cut from construction paper or cardstock.
  • Cut out facial features for younger children who would not be able to use scissors. 

Create (Kids):

  1. Glue the oval in the middle of the background paper. Make sure to go around the outer edge of the head with glue.
  2. Gently lift the chin up, while the glue is still wet, and attach the neck.
  3. Find the middle of the oval and attach the eyes.
    • Eye Options:
      • Cut out from magazines 
      • Cut out two large football shapes from white paper. Cut out two colored circles and glue in the middle of the footballs. Cut out two small, black circles and glue in the middle of the colored circles. For eyelids, cut out one football shape (the same size as the white part of the eyes). Cut the football shape in half and glue over the top part of the eyes.
      • Glue googley eyes on white football shapes.
      • Draw or cut out some eyebrows to go over the eyes.
      • Draw eyelashes on the eyelids.
  4. Find the middle between the eyes and the chin, then attach the nose.
    • Nose Options:
      • Cut out from magazines.
      • Noses come in a variety of shapes (ovals, circles). Decide on a shape and style and cut out a nose. Make sure it’s not too small. It should be a little larger than a quarter.
  5. Find the middle between the nose and the chin, then attach the mouth.
    • Mouth Options:
      • Cut out from magazines.
      • A mouth can be silly, happy, opened or closed. Cut two small strips for the mouth.
  6. Decide on a hairstyle.
    • Hair Options:
      • Cut out from magazines.
      • Hair can be short, long, wavy or straight. Anything can be hair (yarn, faux animal fur, foam sheets). If using yarn, make sure each piece gets securely glued.
  7. Choose a shirt.
    • Shirt options:
      • Cut out from magazines.
      • The shirt is glued right under the neck. Any material will work as a shirt (decorative paper, fabric).
  8. Optional: Once a child has assembled all of the basic parts of their portrait (eyes, nose, mouth, hair, shirt), they can add any additional embellishments:
    • Baseball Hat/Football Helmet or bow in the hair.
    • Pink circles for rosy cheeks.
    • Background drawings.
    • Father’s Day Message.

Parents and caregivers enjoy receiving something created especially for them. It adds to the experience when the recipient understands the process or inspiration used to make the gift. The following can be copied, printed and accompany the self-portrait:

This is a self-portrait that your child created. Special time and effort was put forth to choose just the right materials for this one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

He/she wanted you to put this portrait in a place of importance. Each time you see it, may you always be reminded that the person who created it loves you very much.

Happy Father’s Day
June 21, 2020