Tuesday, August 27

How to: Make a Keepsake Silhouette Portrait

Here's a handmade and personalized gift for Grandparent's Day (the first Sunday after Labor Day -- for 2013, it's on September 8!), or you can save it for Mother's or Father's Day. Just snap a photo of your subject in profile, gather up the rest of the materials, and you can make and assemble this in minutes. Start a series by making a new image each year so you can see the growth of your child!

-photo frame
-photo of your subject in profile to fit your frame

(it doesn't need to be crisp or particularly high quality)
-artists tape
-craft knife and cutting mat

-black paper (tip: if you don't have any,
create and print out a sheet of black paper on your computer)
-decorative paper (for background--check out your
wrapping paper stash for good options)
-scrap paper (for banner--I found a colorful envelope
from a holiday card in the recycling bin)
-thin-tipped pen
Line up your photo on top of the black paper so the bottom edge aligns with one of the edges of the black paper. Tape both layers at the corners to the cutting mat.
Cutting through both layers, carefully trace the subject's profile (head and torso) with the blade of your craft knife. Exaggerate flyaway hairs for a playful flourish.
Gently separate the photo and the black silhouette beneath it from their respective backgrounds. Hold the black silhouette against different decorative background papers to see what works. Set aside the silhouette.
Carefully remove the glass from the frame and use it as a template to cut the decorative background paper to size.
Press the adhesive along the back of the silhouette, paying careful attention to the edges. (You can also use glue, but the dry adhesive roller is so tidy and contained!) Center and press it onto the background paper, aligning the bottom edges. 

Use the craft knife to cut a small banner from the scrap paper, and use the pen to write the child's name, initials, birthday, or the date or occasion of the photo. Press adhesive along the back of the banner and then place it at the bottom of the silhouette.
Reassemble the frame, placing your silhouette art in place of a photo. Timeless!

1 comment:

Steave@Storage and removal Somerset said...

This is nice and I am crazy about to buy the DIY portraits to get them hanged on the walls of my small apartment for the most natural and classical home decoration.

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