Make a self-portrait collage using soft materials

Kulila means to listen. The nine women artists come together to share their ‘everything stories’, talking about good and bad experiences, as well as things they hope for.


Sit together with your class and share your stories or goals for the future. In this case it is about the conversations that help to build the process, rather than emphasis on the product.


While talking and listening to others create a self-portrait collage using soft materials such as recycled textiles, wool or thread. In our example below we have used felt and contact, ideal for early years and primary or a one lesson activity for secondary students.


You may like to extend this task by using needle and thread, adding buttons, beads or recycled materials destined for landfill, as facial features. Turn your 2D face into 3D by adding a back and stuffing and hang your student portraits in your classroom. See examples below for more ideas.

Step 1

Cut an oval shape for the base of your portrait. You may want to draw the shape first to make sure you use as much of the felt/fabric area as possible.

Step 2

Use scrap fabric to cut out your features. Create layers for your features by using different sized shapes and colours.

Step 3

Once you are happy with your design, remove the backing of the contact and carefully place the contact on top of your felt face. Seal your portrait by folding the contact to cover the back. Trim around your face leaving 1cm edge all the way around your face. No glue required. If you make a mistake or your features move, you can take it apart and try again.

Step 4

Display the portraits in your classroom.