• Photos of Family
  • Frame
  • Foam Core
  • 1 Ping-Pong Ball
  • Washers
  • Black Marker
  • Utility Knife
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Hot Glue


  1. Start with a frame. It can be any ornate, or exaggerated frame. You can find them at craft stores, garage sales, or even from cheesy wall art found at discount big box stores.
  2. We've taken images of our Family Member and photoshopped them to suit our project. You can play with sepia tones, over-lay costumes, or even superimpose props like hatchets, pumpkins, etc…
  3. After you are finished playing with your photos, re-size them to the frame's dimensions. Just make sure when you size your photos you don't make the eyes larger than the circumference of the Ping-Pong ball halves, or else they might fall through the portrait. *Helpful Hint: If you don't have a giant printer or time to get the photos made into a poster, just print the photos out in 8.5" x 11" sections.
  4. The beauty about these photos is that they don't have to be perfectly photographed, or expertly printed! For our purposes, they just have to be fun!
  5. You then trim and spray glued the photos to foam core, matching up the seams. *Bonus: If you want to add an old world, varnished look, give the photos a couple of coats of yellow tinted white glue. If you have printed out the photos in 8.5" x 11" this will also help the seams slightly disappear.
  6. Use a utility knife to cut the eyes out of the portrait. Just like when we re-sized the photo to fit the frame, make sure the eyeholes aren't larger than the Ping-Pong "eyeballs," so they don't fall through the front of the portrait.
  7. While cutting, hold the utility knife in a downward angle, going from the front to the back of the foam core. This will help with the effect by opening the eyes up more.
  8. Blacken the cut lines of the eyeholes. This will cover the white of the foam core that might reveal the illusion.
  9. Next, cut the Ping-Pong ball into two halves. To cut it in half, pierce the Ping-Pong ball with the utility knife and saw your way around until the two halves are separated.
  10. Color the washers with black marker. Glue one washer at the center inside each of the Ping-Pong ball halves, making sure they are centered where pupils would be. If the pupils are off center, the illusion will not work.
  11. With a hot glue gun, affix the Ping-Pong ball halves behind the eyeholes, so that when we look at the portrait we are looking into the concaved inside of the Pin-Pong ball.
  12. You will need to readjust the picture wire so that is attached lower than normal. This will make the top of the portrait hang away from the wall a bit, giving space for the protruding ping pong balls on back. Plus it angles the portrait nicely to look down upon you. *Bonus: Here's a neat trick! Tape a glow stick either above or below the eyes, and your eyes will glow! When the glow stick runs out, simply replace it with a new one!

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