Cartoon Selfie Shadow Box

This activity asks you to imagine yourself as a cartoon character. What would your hair look like? What type of clothes would you wear? Which one of your features might you exaggerate or change? What would your character be known for? In other words, what makes you YOU? Once you've got all that worked out, have fun creating a scene for your cartoon self. Where would your character like to go? Where are you most at home? What do you like to do? Let your shadow box selfie tell a story!

Students will reflect on their physical characteristics, personality, and preferences in order to create a cartoon selfie.
Students will use 2D drawings to create a 3D shadow box.

Students will reference previous knowledge of the visual language of cartoons and comics in order to create their shadowbox selfie.

  • Medium sized box (5" x 7" or slightly larger)
  • Patterned craft paper or wall paper samples
  • White cardstock
  • Pencil/eraser
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Liquid white glue 
1. Glue decorative paper to the back and sides of your box.

2. Create your cartoon selfie on white cardstock, first in pencil and then with marker. Make sure to scale your drawing to fit into the box. Consider how much space you are going to want to devote to other elements of the scene. Cut out your figure, leaving an extra tab at the bottom to fold and glue to the box.

3. Create more features to set your scene. You can do this by drawing on the cardstock or by cutting out shapes or images from the decorative paper. Don't forget to include an extra tab to fold down and glue (see photo).
4. Play with how you arrange the various elements of your scene. Create a depth of field by placing some features behind others. Don't forget you can use the top and sides of the box as well as the bottom. You can also glue images to the background paper.

5. Once you are satisfied with the composition, glue each element of your scene down.