Easy Self-Portraits for Kids



Didn’t these turn out awesome!?  It’s an easy and rewarding self-portrait project for students!

Graphite paper is the key to allowing younger students to obtain a good likeness of themselves. I found some good graphite paper at Hobby Lobby, next to the pencils in the art supply section.

My  young artists ranged from 2nd – 4th grade and we did this as an end-of-the-year project on our last day of school.


1. You will need photos of each student printed out on 8.5 x 11 paper. I took pics on my phone the week before and got them printed at Office Max. They don’t need to be in color.

2. Teach the students to use graphite paper to transfer their likeness onto white cardstock.

*Eyes, irises and pupils, eyebrows, bottom line of nose, lips, face outline and outline of hair and clothing.

Make a Graphite Sandwich:

*White cardstock on the bottom

*Graphite paper on top (shiny side down)

*Their photo on the top

*Use masking tape to tape your graphite “sandwich” to the table so the photo doesn’t shift when they trace their features. We used pencils to trace features.

3.Go over traced lines with black Sharpie.

4. Divide hair into sections. Odd numbers look best.

5. Add lines, curved and moving along the lines of the head and face. They can be creative and add any patterns they like.

6. Color with markers.

*It’s best not to trace the teeth. It looks weird.

Here are process photos for the sample I made for them to look at. I also made a second one using different colors.  There are so many fun ways to color and add patterns to your pop-art self portrait! Have fun!


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Instruct students NOT to trace the teeth. I left them out on the second sample and I like it much better!DSCF2466
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pop art 3

Be sure and like my FB page to see all my artistic adventures this summer!



  1. Hi Scarlett – what a great idea for the kids .. brilliant – opens all sorts of doors for them to explore – you are so clever with these ideas. The kids will learn much from you … cheers Hilary

  2. Hi,
    Thank you so much for this idea, and for sharing your heartbreaking story.
    I will be using this wonderful self portrait idea for some kids whose family has undergone trauma for two years now, and my own kids, to allow them to experience a nice success as young artists and also to remind them of their own unique beauty in their wonderful faces. As a teacher I hope to use this idea as well in a classroom some day.
    Thanks again for your inspiration,

  3. Pingback: Art Docent Program – Self Portraits, 4/20/2017 | MakerBlock

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