HomeArticlesRAK crafts: portrait shadow boxes

RAK crafts: portrait shadow boxes

Hello, artists! It’s that time of year again. Time to go back to school and get to know a
new set of teachers and classmates. It’s fun, busy, and exciting, but can also be a big
transition. Luckily, art can always be used to help build your new community. Here is
one of my favorite “Getting To Know You” activities to do with a friend, classmate,
parent, or by yourself!

What is a self-portrait? A self portrait is a way for you to document how you see
yourself, and how you want the world to see you. Self portraits don’t actually have to
look like you at all. We have cameras for that! Art is meant to be creative and
expressive. We all have different hands and brains, so our art is all going to look
different, even if we’re drawing the same thing. That’s what makes art so cool!


• Paint
• Brushes
• Mixing Tray
• 8 in x 10 in Black And White Photo Of Yourself
• Acetate Sheet (or other clear paper, i.e. cellophane, tracing paper, sheet protector,
clear contact paper)
• Permanent Markers, Dry Erase Markers, or Chalk Markers
• Recycled Box
• Scissors
• Pipe cleaner, rope, or string (if you would like to give your shadow box a handle to
hold or hang up on the wall)


1. Mix your own paint colors, so that you are using colors that are so uniquely YOU!
You can even name your paints after yourself, your favorite shows, places, toys, or
foods. Emoji Yellow, T-Rex Green, and Rainbow Unicorn were big hits at the studio.

2. After mixing your paint, take a good look at the black and white photo of yourself.
Find the different shapes in your face that make you special and unique. Tape your
paper down to the table or surface that you are working on so that it doesn’t move.
Then, tape the acetate or clear paper on top of your photo.

3. Start tracing the different shapes you see in your picture. Sometimes, it’s fun to
trace every detail. Other times, I’m in the mood to scribble scrabble all over.
Whatever you think fits your personality and portrait best! You can make it as
colorful or monotone as you’d like.

4. If you’d like to give your portrait a home, grab one of those Amazon boxes laying
by the door and have Mom or Dad cut a 9 in x 11 in rectangle out of one side to
create a shadow box.

5. Time to decorate your box! We loved channeling our inner Jackson Pollock and
splattered paint all over ours. You can use the paint you mixed and named after you
and your favorite things earlier. Mom and Dad will probably want you to do this part
outside. We laid down a tarp under our boxes.

6. Once your box is dry, tape your portrait inside. The black and white photo looks
extra neat against the colorful splatters on your box.

7. If you would like to add a handle to your shadowbox, poke two holes on the top.
Then, weave a short piece of rope or a pipe cleaner through. Tie a knot or tape the
ends underneath, so that your rope or pipe stays in place.

Want to keep those creative juices flowing? Come visit Rachel’s Young At Art Studio in
Scottsdale! To register your child and find out more information on classes, camps, and
birthday parties, visit our website https://rachelsyoungatart.com/




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