Collage Self-Portrait Art Project

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As an elementary Art Teacher I’ve noticed that young learners love to make self-portraits! The results are always unique and make super sweet keepsakes! Today we’re going to clean out that junk drawer and use loose parts, found objects, and reusable materials to make a one-of-a-kind collage self-portrait art project. Buttons can create adorable eyes, sandpaper can make spiky hair, and a pipe cleaner can form the perfect smile! How exciting it will be to see how each young artist sees him or herself! Let’s get creative!


Textures in Art

Focusing on different textures is a great way to easily engage and motivate students in the art-making process. Little fingers will feel and interact with rough sandpaper, smooth cardboard, bumpy beads, soft yarn, and hard buttons. Before making art, I recommend putting a variety of these items into a paper bag and having the artist touch each one and describe how they feel. 

Finished Self-Portrait Keepsake Gift for Moms and Dads

Art Supplies

  • Construction Paper
  • Fabric Squares
  • Roylco Face Pads
  • White Glue or Tacky Glue
  • Scissors

Recommended Loose Parts

  • Buttons
  • Beads
  • Pom Poms
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Pipe Cleaners

Recommended Reusable Materials

  • Cardboard
  • Bottlecaps
  • Newspaper
  • Cereal Boxes
  • Broken Crayons
  • Yarn Scraps
  • Marker Caps
Materials for Self-Portrait Collage for Kids

Art and Literacy

Before making the self-portraits, I recommend sharing the book Faces by Zoe Miller and David Goodman with young learners. The book is full of creative, whimsical, and imaginative portraits created with various found objects, recycled materials, and loose parts. Viewing the artwork is a great way to get into a creative mindset and away from the constraints of what a face must look like. It proves that just about anything can be used to make a face! 

Creative Self-Portrait Art Project Idea

Keepsake Collage Self-Portrait Art Project for Kids

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Find It!

Search your classroom closets at school or your junk drawer at home for random loose parts to be used to make your self-portrait. Leftover supplies from previous art projects work well such as buttons, yarn, fabric scraps, and more.

  1. Sort It!

Sort the items into categories according to the different parts of the face including the eyes, nose, and mouth. Also, remember to identify an item to be used for the hair, such as construction paper scraps, beads, or even sandpaper. Perhaps pick an item that matches your hair color. 

Skin Tone Options for Self-Portrait Art Projects
  1. Face It!

Pick a head shape from the Roylco Face Pad that is closest to your skin color and glue it in the center of a piece of blue construction paper. Set up the facial features. Before you glue them into place, move the items around and see what works best. Add the hair. 

Step 1-Self-Portrait Craft for Kids
  1. Frame It!

Glue down a variety of fabric square scraps to create a frame.

Step 2-Self-Portrait Art Project for Kindergarten Mother_s Day Gift
Easy Self-Portrait Craft for Kids

Additional Self-Portrait Art Activities 

Nature Self-Portraits

Create a face using things found in nature such as leaves, sticks, flowers, rocks, grass, and more.       

Step 1: Collect an array of items from nature.

Step 2: Identify parts of the face and sort the items into categories such as eyes, noses, mouths, hair, ears, and such.

Step 3: Create a self-portrait using the objects. Move the items around to see what works best! Enjoy this creative play experience!

Nature Self-Portraits

Plate Self-Portraits

Build a portrait with various objects you can find around the house!

Step 1: Pick a plate and collect an array of objects from your house including small toys, kitchen items, office supplies, and more!
Step 2: Identify parts of the face and sort the items into categories such as eyes, noses, mouths, hair, ears, and such.
Step 3: Create a portrait using the objects. Move the items around to see what works best!
Step 4: Return all items where they belong.

Plate Self-Portraits

Thank you for taking an artistic risk today and challenging yourself! We would love to see your self-portraits. Please tag @fantasticfunandlearning and @youngschoolartwithmr.g on Instagram. We can’t wait to see YOU!

Self-Portrait Loose Parts Art Project for Kindergarten


Learn more about Vin here on his author bio page. Follow along with him on Facebook at Young School Art with Mr. Giannetto and on Instagram @youngschoolartwithmr.g for art project ideas.



Capture your students’ fine motor development and special memories throughout the year with a self portrait journal. Create it as a stand alone journal, or combine pages with a year long memory book.


Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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