Make: Stuffed Paper Bag Acorn Portraits

These stuffed paper bag acorn portraits are an adorable fall art project for kids and a lovely autumn craft you can fill with seasonal surprises

One of our handmade stuffed paper bag acorn portrait kids crafts sitting in front of a white background

What a nut, right?! These silly acorns are STUFFED with personality (among other things) and make an adorable addition to the fall craft lineup or Thanksgiving/holiday kids’ table. You can use them as a standalone art project, or make them functional by filling them with little treats or trinkets.

Play the quick tutorial video below to watch the easy process!

You can add all sorts of details to make this 3D nutty buddy YOURS. Tuck yarn, dry grasses, or felt under the cap for wonderful hair. Add some decorative flair to their little chapeaux. Use wild colors, fun patterns, or stamped and sprayed textures.

Two of our handmade stuffed paper bag acorn portraits sitting on a porch

For more fall paper bag crafts, hop over to the DIY for our paper bag mushrooms or black cat luminaries.

To make your own paper bag acorn portraits you’ll need:

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains Woodpeckers Crafts, Etsy, Blick Art Materials, and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*


  • A Paper lunch bag or paper grocery bag
  • Tempera or acrylic paint and a paintbrush or foam brush
  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • A Glue stick
  • Twine
  • Stuffing (shredded paper, bags, dry leaves, etc.)
  • A Twig


  • Natural decorative supplies like dried grass, raffia, moss, twigs, pinecone petals, etc.
  • Decorative craft supplies like stickers, buttons, ribbon, etc.
  • Paint sticks or paint pens

How to Make Paper Bag Acorn Portraits – DIY Instructions:

  1. Paint or use paper scraps to make a face on a paper bag

    Use paints, scrap paper and a glue stick, or crayons and markers to make a face on the front of a paper bag. It can be a self-portrait, someone else’s face, or just a silly character you make up as you go.
    How to make stuffed paper bag acorn self portraits
    We’ll be folding the top half of the bag down to create a cap, so make sure your face fits on the bottom third. You can use the horizontal fold line as a good marker – stay underneath that and you’re good to go!

  2. Stuff

    Once you’ve finished making your face, stuff the bottom third of the bag with shredded paper, bags, dry leaves, polyfill, or anything else you can think of.
    How to make stuffed paper bag acorn self portraits
    The more tightly packed the stuffing, the more your face will fill out and hold its shape, so make sure you have enough material to be able to really pack it in!

  3. Tie-off with twine

    Gather the bag at the center and use a piece of twine, string, or ribbon to tie a knot around the bag after stuffed.
    How to make stuffed paper bag acorn self portraits

  4. Roll the top of the paper bag down to make an acorn cap

    Gently roll down the top of the bag and form into a rounded cap.
    How to make stuffed paper bag acorn self portraits

  5. Paint the acorn cap

    To make you cap stand out, paint the whole acorn cap with a base color.
    How to make stuffed paper bag acorn self portraits
    Next, paint or draw criss-crossing lines to create a typical acorn cap texture.

  6. Insert a twig to make the acorn stem

    Grab a good stick and pop it into the small whole in the middle of the cap. Yahoo! Your cut little acorn is ready to impress!
    How to make stuffed paper bag acorn self portraits

I mean, just ABSOLUTELY darling. The faces are so full of character, they really bring some welcome warmth to the chilly fall landscape!

One of our handmade paper bag acorn portrait kids crafts sitting in front of a white background

Brown paper lunch bags are a great size for little hands, but you can also go BIGGER by using grocery bags, or go for SERIOUS size with a leaf bag!

One of our handmade stuffed paper bag acorn portrait kids crafts sitting in the grass

For summer soft sculpture fun, Try making a puffy paper bag ice cream cone

*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Blick Art Materials, Amazon, Etsy, or Woodpeckers Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click through to make a purchase we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

Amanda Eldridge
Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help kids and families discover their creative potential through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. Amanda has a background in graphic design, environmental design, and art curation. When not playing with ideas and designs for barley & birch, she enjoys working in freelance design, art, and illustration.


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