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Cereal Box Self-Portrait Craft for Kids

Cereal Box Self-Portraits - Happy Hooligans

This Cereal Box Self Portrait Craft is a great way to re-purpose empty cereal boxes. It’s a fun and easy art activity for kids to make for craft camp, art class or a rainy day at home.  

The hooligans have discovered the joy of making self-portrait art this year. Did you see the self-portraits we made with paper plates last month. That project was a huge hit with the kids.

These cereal box self portraits and our cardboard paddle puppets are the easiest self-portrait activities we’ve done yet.

Cereal Box Self-Portraits - Happy Hooligans

The other night, I organized the kitchen cupboards and had several almost empty cereal boxes that I was going to put in the recycle bin. I decided to save them instead, because they always come in handy for crafting.

Later that evening, these Cheerios self portraits by The Chaos and The Clutter happened to pop up in my Pinterest feed, and that’s when the idea hit me: cereal box self-portraits.

The big kids would be with me the next day, for the last P.A. Day before summer break, and they love to start their day off with a craft, so I primed the cereal boxes with a coat of white paint so they’d be ready to decorate when the kids arrived.

3 ceral box self portraits3 ceral box self portraits

Feel free to add extras like yarn, fabric scraps, pom poms and craft jewels to add texture and dimension to your project. This fun cereal box project by Meri Cherry may inspire you.

To make our cereal box self-portrait craft, we used:

  • cereal boxes
  • white primer and a small roller
  • hair dryer (to dry the paint)
  • acrylic craft paint
  • paint brushes

Prep your cereal boxes:

To prepare the cereal boxes, I rolled on 2 coats of white paint. This covered up the labels enough that they wouldn’t show through when the kids painted them. I dried them quickly with a hairdryer.

Priming cereal boxPriming cereal box

When the hooligans arrived, they were very curious about what they’d be making with the white boxes, and quite happy when I told them about the self-portrait idea.

Kids crafting at dining tableKids crafting at dining table

They filled their paint pallets with the colours they wanted to use, and they got to work, covering the front of their cereal boxes with a coat of flesh-coloured paint.

Kids painting cereal boxxesKids painting cereal boxxes

They all started with their eyes. It’s interesting to see how they’ve learned from each self-portrait craft that they’ve done. In the past, I’ve heard comments like “Oh, I made my eyes too round”, or “my eyes shouldn’t be this close together”, and often, they’ve painted the entire eye in one colour, but this time, I didn’t hear any comments about shape or spacing, and I noticed that each child painted the inside of their eyes white, and then added an irises and/or pupils.

Tips for dealing with a stye on my one year olds eyelid? He *hates* the moist, warm compresses...Tips for dealing with a stye on my one year olds eyelid? He *hates* the moist, warm compresses...

Then they added noses, mouths, eyebrows, and even painted ears on the sides of their cereal boxes.

Drying paint with hair dryerDrying paint with hair dryer

And of course, they used the hairdryer to dry their projects. This step isn’t necessary of course, but the kids love drying their art with the hairdryer, so if you have a spare dryer one tucked away somewhere, dig it out, and keep it in the craft room.  It comes in handy when you need to dry paint or glue quickly, and the kids will love using it.

cereal box self portraits outsidecereal box self portraits outside

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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.