"Self Portrait" Art Project

What You Need:

  • Camera
  • Thick paper (various colors) that can be used to mount the photographs
  • White glue or craft glue
  • Markers (various colors)
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon

What You Do:

  1. Before you begin, write out a “list of clues” for your child. The list of clues serves as the outline of your self-portrait. For example, she might have to take pictures of things that represent: something happy, a good taste, something pretty, something she doesn’t like, a wish, something comfy, a nice smell, something funny, a song she likes, a need, and a want.
  2. Grab the camera and have your child take one picture to represent each item on the list of clues.
  3. Print or develop the photos and have your child glue one picture on the front and back of each piece of thick paper. The paper is going to serve as the pages of the self-portrait album, so make sure that you don’t glue any on upside-down!
  4. Underneath each photo, have your child write a caption. For example, “I think freshly baked cookies smell delicious” would be a good caption if she took her “nice smell” picture of a sheet of cookies. She can also decorate the paper pages however she'd like with stickers, drawings, or additional words.
  5. Make a cover for the album using a current photo of your child, a piece of thick paper or cardboard, and markers to decorate. On the back of the cover, have her glue or write the list of clues that she used to make the album.
  6. Align the pages and use a hole punch to make holes on the left side in two separate places about equal distance from the top/bottom of the page. String ribbon through the holes and tie it securely, making sure there is enough slack in order to turn the pages. It should open up like a book with the ribbon as a binding.

Your child's self-portrait treasure hunt is complete! Talk to her about the things she chose to take pictures of and what it says about who she is as a person. It’s also a good idea to revisit the album after a few months or years have passed so she can see how her values have changed.

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