Make Your Own Silhouettes

I am not really a big DIYer. I know it’s totally in right now, and I know that there are some things I can accomplish well, but I don’t go there unless I am SURE that I can make it turn out perfect-ish. (I know that is I’m too ridiculous on the perfectionist level I live to attain, but I’m just not into wasting my time and then not having a product worthy of my precious money & time! Especially when I could easily buy most items and be content.)

So when do I DIY?  When I can’t get an item, or when an item is so far out of my price range it is unattainable into eternity.  Or, in this specific instance: When I buy an item and hate it and know I could do a better job myself.

I had silhouettes done of the kids & I this past year and they turned out terrible!  The proportions to each other were off and I was smaller than Zara (and she didn’t even look like her).

There are endless tutorials on Silhouettes. I’m just throwing mine into the lot of them, because I do think I’ve done two things different that most others aren’t: Traditional Detail & Proportions (within a set). These two things will make your Silhouettes look “real”! I think these would make an adorable gift for Grandma or even to use on birthday invitations, Christmas cards, or make your own stationary!  I had everything I needed on hand, and I would think most people would too so this is really a low cost project.

What you need:

-Digital Camera.

-Area with good lighting and blank wall

-Photo Paper

-Tiny sharp scissors (I used nail scissors!)

-Black Paint

-Textured paper for background (I like the thick water color paper best)

-Fast drying glue

Before you start the process, and if you plan on doing a set of Silhouettes, you need to think about how to get all the proportions the same (with children, this isn’t as easy as you might think.)  There are two options: 1. Tape an “x” for the child to sit on and an “x” for you to stand on as you take the photo. And you still may want help from another adult to get them to sit/look in the right place while you don’t move an single inch!! OR 2. You can take the images and then size them in Photoshop (This was my route because I was working alone). This is one of the most important steps! If you realize that your silhouettes aren’t the same size, it’s better to fix it right away or start over because the finished product won’t look right if this isn’t done!

7 steps to your own Silhouettes:

1. Take profile photo of the subject in a well lit area.

2. Print out the image(s) on photo paper. (If you are doing a set, make sure they are proportioned properly at this point.)

3. Cut the profile out of the paper, but leaving a little room to create detail around the hair, eyes, and leaving lots of room around the chest area to create the fancy bottom.

4. Add detail! Eyelashes & hair details are what make them look authentic. Some of kids lashes were long enough to actually just cut them out, others weren’t and I faked it. Faking makes it looks more natural, so no one will know! Unless you tell them on your blog like I just did.

5. Cut out the chest area. Again, if you are doing a set, line them up with each other to make sure you get the chests the right widths & lengths in relation to each other. (You don’t want your 1 year old to be wider than your 5 year old.)

6. Paint your cutouts black. Depending on what paint you use, you may need a second coat. I prefer a semi-glossy look! (How do you like my professional painting area?)

7. Cut your background paper to fit in the frame size you are using, and glue the silhouette right in the middle



Above: Cruz & Zara

I hadn’t found the “perfect” spot to hang these yet, but now that we are planning on moving I have a million places I want to use them!

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