Monday, October 26, 2009

Spooky Interactive Portraits

Here are some spooky interactive portraits I'm doing with Grade 6 this year.

Same picture just able to shift the eyes and mouth with pull tabs...similar to the mechanisms in pop-up books.

They are quite easy to do once you get the hang of the mechanism....once you've done one all of a sudden you see the possibilities for more.

Materials Required:

a created portrait
cardstock or wc paper
thin cardboard
paint or pencil crayons

Create a don't have to concentrate too much on the eyes. When finished cut out the eyes with scissors.

Cut a strip of cardstock that is as long as your portrait is wide and make sure the strip itself is wide enough to cover where the eyes are.

Take some thin cardboard like from a cereal box. You want a piece that is as wide as the portrait and at least the height of three of the eye strips.

Place the eye strip on the cardboard. In this case the eyes will only move to one side so I have the strip over by about 2 inches on one side. Trace around the strip.

Cut the traced section out.

Using a glue stick apply glue on the underside of the cardboard.

Stick on the back of your portrait.

Apply more glue to the back of the portrait everywhere but on the eye section (where the eye strip goes)

Apply a backing paper to seal in your cardboard to your portrait.

Insert eye strip in the non glued section.

It should look something like this from the front.

With a pencil draw in the iris.

Apply color to the can take the strip out to paint but make sure to put it back in from time to time to get an idea how it is looking.

That's it you now have a shifty eye portrait...this was the first one then my daughter said it would be better if the eyes moved to both sides....then my son wanted a moving back to the drawing board.

This time I cut out a skull shape which I glued to black construction paper.

I added some shading with paint.

I then cut out the eyes and the bottom half of the mouth.

I cut a eye strip that was wide enough to go past the sides of the portrait by about 2 inches on each side.
I then cut a mouth tab that was wider than the mouth cut out and extended about 3-4 inches above the mouth and 2 inches below the bottom of the portrait.

Something like this.

I cut some thin cardboard to go above the eyestrip....I then cut some to go on either side of the mouth....originally I thought the eye strip would hold the mouth tab in place at the top of the mouth but at the last minute decided to add a little piece of cardboard just in case.

Glue cardboard pieces in place.

This time I used tacky glue to apply the backing as the glue stick was not proving strong enough.

Apply backing and press down firmly.

Insert strips/tabs into openings.

With the mouth you want to trace opening onto the strip.

With the eyes mark where you want the iris and pupil.

Take tabs out. With the mouth extend your lines all the way to the top of the tab.

Add color to your drawings. For the eyes you want to add color quite away around the eye as the will shift from side to side and you will see this area.

For the mouth you want to have a bit of chin at the bottom..the lip..then the teeth...the tongue and then the rest of the inside of the mouth all
the way to the top of the can also add
extra color on the sides of the mouth as well just to be sure.

At the bottom of the mouth tab you can add directions.

And directions on side of the eye tab.

When done it will look something like this.

The kids had a great time playing with the portraits and making up stories to go with the facial expressions...and of corse they could not wait to make one of their own!

Give it a try...

Here is a peek at the Halloween Batiks Grade 5 did this year...this is just a sampling as we ended up with 69 panels (23 kids doing a 3 panel banner each)

That's it..I'll see you next time.


  1. Wow, what a really fun idea! Thanks for showing us how to do it, too. I may have to do something similar :D

  2. This project is so fun. I just might have to do this with my students.