Monday, February 21, 2011

silhouette art tutorial

This year my Mom sent out an email to the fam saying that she didn't want any presents, just chocolate and flowers. Well that's all fine and dandy but being in the crafty phase I'm in, I couldn't just settle with "chocolate and flowers". So I started thinking and browsing online for some ideas.
And I came up with one that I thought would be simple, easy and yet very classy. Oh and it didn't cost too much, either (that always helps).
I'm not sure how it all came together but I had this memory flashback of my Mom giving framed silhouettes of all us kids to my Geda (it's what we called my Mom's Dad) when I was maybe 11 or 12 for his birthday (which was February 14th, incidentally).
And then I found some really adorable silhouette crafts/gift ideas.
And then I came up with my own project;
the family silhouette.
supplies needed:
digital camera
black paper (I used scrapbook paper that I had from my scrapbooking days which is acid free)
a frame (I purchased a relatively inexpensive frame meant for posters from Walmart - 16x20 I think)
a pen
adhesive (I used scrapbooking acid-free double sided tape)
white paper (I bought white poster board since my frame was larger than any paper I had at home)

So while back in the day, my Mom taped a piece of paper to the wall, made me stand in front it and shone a light on me while she traced the shadow of my silhouette onto the paper, I just made my family stand in front of me and face sideways so I could snap a picture of their profile with my handy dandy digital camera. I got Jamie to take mine.
Now you don't need to be standing in a back lit situation (as all of us are except for Jude because I realized later that he was looking slightly down and didn't get a good angle of his chin so I re-took one a couple days later) but I found it helpful (especially compared to getting a clear profile of Jude).

Once you've got your pictures, you can print them out. All of the pictures were fine in relation to one another except Jude's which I had to scale down a bit so he wasn't larger than Noah. It took several tries, but I eventually got it the way I wanted it to look.
Then cut out the silhouettes.

Make sure to include as many details as possible like hair sticking up, mustache hair (only for men, please), certain nose details as this really defines the silhouette of that particular person.
If you turn them over so you see the non-picture side you'll get a better idea of if the silhouette looks fine/accurate/etc.
Once you you're satisfied with the silhouette, trace the outline of it onto your black paper, including any and all details from the picture.
Cut out all silhouettes from the black paper.
Now make sure your white paper is the correct size for your frame and make any adjustments that you might need to.
Position your silhouettes on your white paper and then use your adhesive to fasten them securely to the white paper in whatever position you'd like. You could even use several frames with one silhouette per frame. (I'd like to do this above my bed one day.)

Now you may have noticed that my pictures are all facing one way, but the silhouettes are all facing the other way. Well, that's because I just flipped over the black paper so that you wouldn't be able to see any pen marks left over from when I was tracing the pictures. I know, pretty tricky right?

Now put the white paper into the frame, secure, turn it over and you're done!

Stand back and admire your classy handiwork.

This is a very easy, but also personal gift or piece of art you can hang in your house (I kinda wanted to keep mine!) or give as a gift.


  1. i love it! you are awesome, Vaness. nuff said.

  2. what an awesome idea! I'm definitely going to try it :)

  3. It turned out amazing!! I really love the details each silhouette has. I for sure will be using this gift idea... How about for Mother's Day coming up?

    Thanks for sharing!!


  4. Awesome! It turned out so good. Being a big paper crafter I must try this out. Thanks for sharing such an awesome idea!

  5. Revisited your blog about this (silhouette's are really HOT right now ;) ) and will be doing this soon. Will post pictures when I'm done.


I love hearing from you!
If you're commenting as "Anonymous" please make sure to sign your name under your comment so I know who you are!
Happy day to you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...