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Pillow Portraits - Suitable for 4th and 5th grades

Click to download instructions (PDF file)

Art Instructions:


• Muslin fabric
• Pencils
• Sharpies (thin)
• Watercolor pencils
• Needle and Thread (sewing or embroidery)
   or a Sewing Machine
• Light-weight coat hangers
• Stuffing

• Have students draw in pencil, a portrait of their choice (classmate, self- portrait, parent, etc.)
• Trace over the pencil lines with a Sharpie marker (thin)
• Color the portrait with watercolor pencils.
• Place another piece of muslin behind the portrait.
• Cut around the portrait with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

At this point you have several choices on how to approach the sewing.
1. Place right sides together (makes it look inside out)
Have students sew around the edge, then turn inside out to have the seam allowance tucked in on the inside.

2. With the portrait painting facing you and the back muslin matched up, have student whip stitch all the way around the portrait. This method will show the seam.

3. If you bring in a sewing machine, you can sew the portrait shapes for the children.

• Stuff the portrait

Building the wire stand:
• Untwist lightweight coat hangers
• Cut to a standard length
• Create a round base with a vertical wire tall enough to place the portrait onto.
• Twist the end at the bottom.
• Pop the portrait onto the vertical stand!