Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I had to do something tonight, or I was going to get seriously irritated. This project looked do-able, was really pretty easy, and I'm excited to share it with my friends with little ones, who love the kid silhouettes as much as I do.
This project literally took like 15 minutes, and probably half of those was trying to decide what color background I wanted to use!

When I was a kid, in grade school, one year one of my Teachers did silhouettes of the kids for a...Christmas? Mother's Day?...card.

(That was back when kids still had Recess everyday and was able to play and run off excess energy, rather than being labeled ADHD and drugged into lethargy.)

My kids never had them done at school, nor did I ever do them at home. Not sure why I didn't, maybe couldn't get them to sit still long enough to try, or I didn't remember how to do it, or didn't know I could do it with a lamp, rather than an overhead projector?
Whatever the reason, I didn't.

While surfing Pinterest lately, I came across a tutorial for creating Silhouettes a whole new and different and a lot easier way.

All you have to do is take a side view photo of your kid. Preferably in front of a plain, darker-than-white colored wall.
Ryan kindly volunteered to be my test subject tonight.

I didn't think to turn the camera up sideways, so I cropped the front and back part off the picture, turning just his head part into an 8x10 size portrait orientation, and printed it out.
I used a photo paper to print it on because it makes a more sturdy template than thin, regular paper.

(My printer is sickly, is why the print looks so bad. It doesn't really matter how it looks, though, as long as you can see the picture.)

The directions say to cut the picture out using a sharp X-acto knife, but I broke mine, so I just used scissors. (Which, as you can see, didn't do that great of a cutting job. Or I didn't, whichever.)

Then you turn it over onto a black piece of cardstock/scrapbook paper, and trace it with a light colored pencil.  I didn't have a white pencil, so I used Lavender and it showed up just fine. A regular lead pencil would probably work in a pinch.

Again, it's best if you can use a sharp X-acto knife to cut it out, but I used scissors. You can see from the original picture to the silhouette I lost some of his true features and made the back of his neck/head look weird.

If you want your silhouette to face the other way, you need to Mirror Image the photo before you print it.

Then stick your silhouette on a light colored background. I couldn't decide between blue and brown, so I used both.

(The colors look better IRL. The light in my bedroom where I did the work and took the picture isn't very good.)


Trina said...

I love yours, but always hated mine when I was a kid. You might want to think about using Fadeless paper if you keep them displayed. Great idea, as always. :)

Melissa said...

Fadeless paper! I didn't even know there was such a thing. Great idea!

Although, I don't plan on displaying mine. Somehow, the silhouette of a 21 yo. just doesn't exude the same level of cuteness as a 6 yo, lol.

Besides, Ryan said it was "creepy" and he'd probably steal it and hide it.

Hmm, I don't remember if I loved mine as a kid, back in ancient times, but I'm sure my Mom loved it (?). :)

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