Festive Activity | Online

Festive Activity | Online

1 Dec - 25 Dec

Create a charcoal self portrait decoration

Our Learning Apprentice Harriet has created an online activity for you to complete at home, to create your own special Christmas tree decorations! You can follow the video above or the step-by-step instructions below. We hope you enjoy the activity!


You will need...

● Charcoal sticks
● Paper and scrap paper
● Card (this can be an old packaging box, cereal box or some plain card)
● A mirror or photo of yourself
● Scissors
● Glue
● Cotton buds for smudging
● Hairspray
● Hole punch
● String


● -A circle template to draw round.



video for inspiration on techniques and drawing
tips, they might need quite a bit of practice so I suggest scrap

2. Use a circle template or draw a bauble shape onto the paper.
Remember to add a tab at the top for the hole to go through.

3. Draw portrait onto the template - it might help to start off with
the larger shapes such as the oval shape for the face, add in the
shadows, and then put in more details after blending. I did the
very first outline very lightly with a normal HB pencil.

4. When the portraits are drawn, take outside to spray with
hairspray. This sets the charcoal and makes it less easily
smudged, although it will not set completely.

5. Cut out the bauble shape, and draw round this shape on the
card and cut this out too.

6. Glue the paper to the card, then use a hole punch to make a hole
for the string.

7. It might be nice to decorate the back of the bauble with some
festive colours or collage!



● Charcoal can be quite tricky to use, it’s not very precise when you’re starting out so try not
to get discouraged if your portraits aren’t perfect - mine certainly aren’t but I had a lot of
fun making them! It’s about the process, not the outcome.

● The artist we are inspired by, Daniel, probably used a charcoal pencil which is why his are
so detailed! They are also huge, and ours are tiny adding an extra challenge!

● Encourage children to draw what they see in the mirror/photo

● Willow charcoal is especially easy to smudge, it might be good to try putting a bit of scrap
paper or paper towel under the children’s hands so they don’t smudge as they go!

● Erasers do work a little with charcoal but it may not rub out as much as pencil