Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mixed Media Face

Grade 1 is studying the five senses.  Here is a face project that at least tackles 4 of them.  You could always add a hand coming off the side (traced on poster board) to make it 5.

I wanted to emphasize the 3D component.  The fact that you can touch the pieces also addresses the missing tactile sense.


- substrate, we used foam board, you could also use cardboard or primed canvas
- flesh coloured and pink paint, liquid tempera or acrylic
- pieces of corrugated cardboard
- cardboard egg carton
- paper towels cut in strips
- recycled container
- white glue, water
- wax paper
- black paper
- large glass gems
- small piece of rope or clothesline
- coloured burlap cut into strips
- sharpie, crayon, coloured pencils


Cut your substrate into a square.  Mine is 10" x 10" or around 25 x 25cm.

Cut a piece of cardboard for the base of the eye. Place the gem on top to measure.

Cut out one of the cups from the egg carton for the nose.
Cut a piece of cardboard for the base of the nose and one for the mouth.  Cut an ear shape out of another piece of cardboard.

Take your recycled container.  Mix glue and water together at about a 1 to 1 ratio.    You will be working on wax paper.  Have your strips on hand.

Place the egg carton piece on your cardboard base.  Start papier mache.  You want to cover the cup as well as the cardboard.  Pinch it in as you work creating a nose shape.

When the nose is done start on the ear.

I added a roll of paper towel for the ridge on outside of the ear and a bump on the bottom for the lobe.

Set both nose and ear aside in a warm place to dry.

Paint entire front with flesh coloured paint.  At school I mix up a big batch.  I also reserve a bit so I can alter the colour if needed.

The substrate may warp a bit.  I tried both liquid tempera and acrylic and had equal warping.  If you have enough paint you could always paint the other side to help with this.

When the papier mache has dried (about 24 hrs) paint with the flesh tone.  Also paint the mouth and eye base.

Take the large glass gem.  On a piece of white paper trace around the gem. That circle shape will be the eyeball.

Do 2.

Draw in the iris and pupil.  Add the shape of the eye as well to one of the eyeballs.

Colour in the iris with crayon or coloured pencil.  Outline with black sharpie.

Cut them out.

 Attach the eyeball to the gem with mod podge .  Do not use glue as it tends to dry cloudy.

Podge dries fully clear.

Set aside to dry.

Cut the black paper to the same size at the substrate.

On that paper sketch out a face shape.

Cut it out taking care to save the outside area (negative space) not the inside.

Put some glue on that frame.

Stick on your substrate creating a face shape.

On the eye base trace around the eye shape that you drew for the other eye with sharpie.

Podge into place.

Take the small piece of rope/ string/clothesline and paint it with the pink acrylic paint.  You can add some pink to the inside of the ear and on the nose where the nostrils are.  When the string is dry glue into place on the mouth cardboard base.

Start to glue the pieces into place.  Add eyelashes to the eyes.

Glue in the ear and mouth and then finally the nose.

Make sure to add a neck line.

Add some hair using the strips of burlap.

Now you can add text to identify the senses.

You can also add shading with crayons or pencil crayon if you want.

Add a ribbon at the top for hanging and it's done.


  1. Hi Gail, love the "3D-ness" of this! It would make such a good addition to any classroom wall : )

  2. Ahh these are amazing Gail, I love how it's related to our grade one science curriculum. Thanks for the inspiration!

    First Grade Fun with Mrs. Dunn

  3. I just love all your projects. You do amazing work.

  4. Que buena idea! Felicitaciones!
    te invito a visitar mi blog,
    Un saludo desde Argentina, Ana