3D Family Portrait

If you find your family a little bland and typical, why not add a good dose of quirkiness and create a fictional world with your family members in the starring roles! If there are days when you think your brother comes from another planet, your sister from the Addam’s Family, or your parents have stopped making sense, you’ve probably got lots of material to work with already.


  • paper
  • markers
  • pencil and eraser
  • scissors
  • 3D dots (optional)
  • double-sided tape or scotch tape


1. Your first step is to choose a setting to place your family members in. Think of interests and hobbies you may have, movies you like, a book you enjoyed, etc. Do you love insects? Why not draw a bunch of them and give each one the face of a family member. Does your brother love rap? Draw a graffiti background and place each family member on a skateboard. Is your parent a teacher? Place your family in a school environment. Is your mother as mad as a hatter? Send them down the rabbit hole. Once you’ve decided, take a sheet of paper and prepare your background. This may involve drawing on it, creating some kind of texture, or simply choosing a colourful paper.

My daughter’s family portrait above is set in an alien world. The galaxy-like background was made by simply placing a sheet of paper on a carpet and stabbing it with a skewer. No damage was incurred and the stabbing action brought her great joy.

2. Next, you’ll need to draw your family members on another sheet of paper. You can also draw any other things that are part of your imaginary world. You may also want to add a title. These should all be cut out and positioned on your background sheet.

3. Once happy with the layout, you can either choose to add 3D Dots to attach your drawings to the background, or make your own version. This involves cutting thin strips of paper approximately 1/4″ wide and 6″ long. Take two strips, holding the top edge of one over the top edge of the other at a 90 degree angle (see photo below). Alternate folding one strip over the other until you’ve made your accordion shape about one inch long. Trim any excess paper and attach one end with tape to a drawing, and the other end to the area on the background where you want to place the drawing. Add your title and you’ve completed your 3D family portrait.

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