Some recent artwork . . .


It’s been a while since I’ve posted any artwork.  My 8th graders are working on some fun self portraits.  They are building their portrait with chipboard and papier mache over a hanger.  I asked each student to take a self portrait with a point and shoot camera (some of the photos are incredible!).  I bought white t-shirts for everyone in the class.  We will take their digital self-portrait, manipulate it in Photoshop and then print it on the t-shirt with an iron-on transfer.  Students will also use paint to extend portions of their digital self portrait onto their t-shirt.  Their “heads” with wear the t-shirt (on the hanger).  These are just a few in progress.  Students are just beginning the Photoshop portion of the assignment.  I should have some finished products within the next week or two.  I’ll be sure and post some.

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February 24, 2007 - 2:19 pm

mama - Wow I wish I could say that you learned it all from me – but that would be far far from the truth. You have such great projects. I wish I were in your class, and I really do!!!

February 25, 2007 - 5:53 pm

Kelly - These are really good Melissa! I wish I had a fun and creative art teacher like you when I was in school 🙂

February 26, 2007 - 9:52 pm

Matt - So awesome…can we do that when we go camping:)


February 27, 2007 - 3:02 pm

rebeccalomax - Good idea Kris! You know I’m the t-shirt transfer queen!

February 27, 2007 - 3:03 pm

Melissa - oops, it’s melissa not rebecca!

February 27, 2007 - 9:24 pm

Barb - I like the idea of doing this for the 4th of July camping trip. I think it would be so cool!

January 13, 2012 - 4:45 pm
May 21, 2012 - 12:22 pm

Kate Obukowicz - Hi,
I am an art teacher and absolutely love this project. Could you tell me more about how you taught this project? I would love to try it in my classroom.

May 25, 2012 - 10:35 am

Melissa - I’ll email you Kate!

June 9, 2012 - 11:46 pm

Alycia - Me as well, please!

June 12, 2012 - 4:11 pm

Marianne Galyk - Hi,
I’m an art teacher and would also like more specifics about the process for this project. Love it!!

February 19, 2013 - 11:32 am

Rachel - Hi,
Could you also share with me the specifics? I would love to try this in my class!

March 23, 2013 - 5:09 pm

Lorraine - I am a new art teacher and I love this lesson idea, could you mail me the steps. Would be greatly appreciated.:)

March 26, 2013 - 6:34 pm

Marcia - these are the coolest! If you don’t mind sharing could you include me as you email the specifics of this lesson?

April 3, 2013 - 11:01 am

Melissa - The t-shirt project was awesome. I actually did the project two different ways with different grade levels. My fav was having the students use chipboard (pressed cardboard) and papier mache to create their self-portraits (with a color scheme that matched their personality). For the t-shirts students had to take a self-portrait which included some kind of reflection. The photos were pretty amazing. They manipulated them in Photoshop and then printed them (in reverse) on an iron-on transfer. I also required them to paint something on the shirt as well. They built the self-portraits right on the hanger and added another wire to the top of the hanger so that a loop was exposed at the top of the head. One student, who had long black hair, cut black trash bags into strips leaving everything attached together at one end. It was gorgeous- long flowing hair that she glued directly to the chipboard. Hope that helps a little. Feel free to ask me anything. There are a million ways you could spin this project. If you do this with your students I’d LOVE to see the results!!

July 11, 2013 - 10:02 am

Jane Gardner - I wonder if I could make the portrait out of chipboard and paper mache with my 5th graders? I’d love more detailed directions just on the making of the face…Can you email me the specifics if you have time over the summer, Thanks!

July 22, 2013 - 5:54 pm

Kate Allred - Hi! What a wonderful website and amazing lessons! I see many art teachers have asked for more details about this lesson…would you mind letting me in on the fun too?!

August 23, 2013 - 12:11 pm

Sophia - Melissa, I love this project you have created for your students. I would love to learn more about these instructions for my High School Art Class. Please let me know as I find your projects very creative and fun! Thank you, Sophia

October 5, 2013 - 11:13 pm

jennifer - I would appreciate more information on the chipboard self-portraits . . . it looks like it is on the top part of a hanger . . . How do you instruct the students to make their self portrait with the chipboard and paper mache? Is it just one sided? Layered pieces of chipboard?

February 5, 2014 - 6:23 am

Beverley Keltie - I would love the directions for this artwork if possible.

Thank you..

March 26, 2014 - 10:52 am

Tara - Similarly, my students are working on drawing self portraits. Currently we are practicing the tedious task of drawing and shading facial features. This project would be a wonderful break away from drawing. As well as exposure to media I have not had the opportunity to approach yet. Could you please contact me with the lesson plan specifics and steps used to complete this assignment. I appreciate and am inspired by your talents.
All the best,

March 27, 2014 - 2:53 pm

Missy Cole - Beautiful!!! I would love to do this project with my 8th graders. Is there any way you could kindly send me the details?
Thanks and have a blessed day,
Missy Cole

April 9, 2014 - 3:03 pm

Justus - This project is so cool! Is there any way you could send me some more specifics so I can try it with my students?

April 13, 2014 - 9:41 pm

Lyn Marie - I am a Social Studies teacher that has been assigned 2 Exploration classes. I would love to give this lesson a try. Could you email me your steps?

May 22, 2014 - 3:11 pm

Melissa - Directions are in the comments:)

August 20, 2014 - 9:02 pm

Monica - Beautiful and Super Creative portrait project! I would love to do this with my students. Would you send details if u can?
Many thanks!!

August 25, 2014 - 10:42 pm

Carla - Would love specifics on materials and how to of this lesson. I appreciate it!!!


October 23, 2014 - 10:47 am

Hayley Nelson - HI, I run after school art enrichment programs and would really love some more information about these projects.

November 11, 2014 - 12:49 pm

Jill - Love the paper mâché heads. Would love to do this with my middle schoolers. Could you please send more info? Thanks!

November 12, 2014 - 12:31 am

Christina - Melissa,

These are gorgeous! Quick couple of questions as my 7/8 art classes will be attempting a similar version of this project. Are these two-sided? Did you make the head out of a piece of cardboard affixed to the hanger or are the heads also made out of bent wire with paper-mache added to it? Lastly, what kind of paper mache did you use to cover the structure?

The more details the better! Thanks for your help. Can’t wait to try it!

November 15, 2014 - 4:12 pm

Kim - These are amazing! I see that you supplied general instructions in April of 2013. If you supplied any other instructions after that, could you please email them to me?
Thank you for your time.

November 16, 2014 - 10:11 pm

Melissa - Christina,

The heads are-two sided. We rigged a wire from the hanger to the top of the head (you can see the loop we created). The heads are made of chipboard. We used Elmer’s Art Paste to cover the structures. Hope that helps!

February 27, 2015 - 11:58 am

Meru - Hello! These are adorable. I would love to make these with my four daughters. Is there a link to a tutorial? Or can you please email me instructions?

March 7, 2015 - 12:40 am

Lauren - I’m a first year middle school art teacher and I wanted to know if you could send me some details for this assignment as well. The more information the better! Thanks

April 9, 2015 - 12:14 pm

Paige Nester - These are so cool! Can you send me the specifics? My classes are doing an end of the year game called Survivor where I give them group and class challenges to complete. I want to use this project, except I am going to have them take pictures of the faculty instead of self portraits. Not sure if I’ll let them do a photo transfer onto the tshirt or just paint it with the person’s name. Can you send me a photo of what yours looked like complete? Thanks so much!!!

April 19, 2015 - 2:35 pm

Dawn Rossbach - Hi –

Great project! I have been doing self-portraits with my 8th graders for many, many years, but I want to change the format for the project. This is great. If you could would you send me the particulars, especially what you used for the iron on transfer and the process for that. I have mad skills with photoshop and can teach the kids that, but I’m not sure what I would need for printing onto shirts.

August 5, 2015 - 6:25 pm

Kath - Could you please send me the specifics on how to make the face and how you paper mache parts of it. Love this!

August 24, 2015 - 12:30 pm

Katie Voegel - I was hoping I could do this with my 7th and 8th graders this semester for sculpture class. I have tons of wire hangers that need used. Can you email me more specifics on this lesson? I appreciate it!

September 20, 2015 - 11:26 am

Jennifer - I love this project and I would love to do something similar with my eighth grade students. I would also appreciate it if you would send me a copy of your lesson.
Thank you

November 5, 2015 - 11:28 am

galit - Great project!
I’m an art teacher and would also like more specifics about the process for this project.
materials and how to do this lesson, the self-portraits.
Thank you.

March 1, 2016 - 6:17 pm

Cindy Migliaccio - I am a Middle School Art teacher. I love, love, love these portraits. I would love to have the details as to which steps you took with students to get these fabulous pieces.

Cindy Migliaccio

October 18, 2016 - 5:20 am

Shira - Hi,
I would love to know more about this project specifics and all. I would like to do this with a small group of students I am teaching in grade 5-6.


November 5, 2016 - 7:26 pm

Lisa Blanch - Hi Melissa, great project just wondering if you ever put together details about the original 3D self portraits. If you did I would love to read them.

May 21, 2017 - 8:35 pm

Michelle - How can we get instructions on how to do this?

February 12, 2018 - 3:08 pm

Nicola Ghersen - Could you email the lesson plan or directions for the chipboard papermache self portraits
I would like to try this with art camp students.
Thank you so much.

September 2, 2018 - 3:02 pm

Amy - Hi! I’d love some specifics about the sculptural portion of the project…would you mind emailing me? Thanks!

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