I know that I kind of whined recently about how much I had to do to finish a huge Christmas craft project. I couldn't tell you at the time what that project was, because I still had to give it.
Well, this weekend and last weekend, I was able to give these gifts--to my mother-in-law, and to my mom. I gave them both framed silhouettes of their grandkids. I sure hope you don't think I'm tooting my own horn, because when you see the finished product...well, you'll see they are certainly not perfect! But, every tiny little cut with my scissors was done with love. And I'm proud of them!
So--you wanna see them?
I. Can't. Hear. Youuuuu!!
Seriously? Just show the dang silhouettes, already.
Okay, okay, simmer down. Here they are.
Please ooh and aah. I know it's shameless to ask...
Want to know how I made them? Well, I sure hope so--cause I'm showing you either way!! And, I am pretty positive, in much greater detail and chattiness than you need. But, who wants a bland tutorial when you can have a CHATTY! one? You do? Well, see ya later, grumpy person. For all you nice people, here is how I made them, step by step.
(OR...Click Here to read what I learned about mothering, by cutting silhouettes!)
Step 1 - Take a picture of your cutie pie(s). Have him/her stand sideways in a well lit area in front of a wall, chin parallel to the floor, with closed-mouth slight smile. (Open-mouth smiles look funny when cut out...in my experience.) Make sure his/her head takes up almost 50% of the viewfinder frame. Helpful hint: I realized when I started cutting out the silhouettes, that the neck was easier to cut out when the cutie pie was wearing a t-shirt, and not a collared shirt/sweater.
Step 2 - Download photo onto computer, and print out onto card stock. I printed both black and white and color...both worked fine for me. You may need to re-size the photos a bit--especially if you are doing more than 1. You'll want your silhouettes to be similar size.
Step 3 - Using very small scissors, carefully cut out card stock photos. I actually bought a new pair at Michael's to do my project. Small, sharp scissors are KEY to achieving a crisp edge on your silhouette. At this point, you will determine if there are any details you want to include--stray hairs you want cut out, or eyelashes to include...
Step 4 - Place cut-out card stock onto black card stock, and carefully trace with a sharpened pencil. You'll want to decide which direction you want the silhouette to face before tracing. Finished side is the back-side of your tracing.
Step 5 - Using very small scissors, carefully cut out black silhouette. Cut exactly on the pencil line. Make very tiny adjustments, if needed.
Step 7 - Cut white card stock to fit the desired frame, and paste black silhouette in the middle. I used a double-sided scrapbook tape around entire perimeter of my silhouettes, to ensure a uniform seal.
Step 8 - For added whimsy, I had my daughters and their cousins sign below their silhouettes (Actually, I had them sign the faint rulered-pencil line first, and then I pasted down the silhouette. This ain't my first rodeo, ya know!)
Step 9 - Frame it, baby! Didn't they turn out?! I have to say, I am a little proud. I have wanted to try my hand at silhouettes for so long, and to have them turn out was verysatisfying. I will admit that they were tedious work. But, certainly achievable--especially if I took my time!
Step 10 - Hang those puppies, er, silhouettes on the wall! Helpful hint: Please do not attempt if you and your mom and sister are exhausted from a busy weekend. Your brain will not be able to figure out the math measurements for fitting 7 frames into a wall space. And, please, dear soul, do not attempt to hang them in a straight row. Nearly impossible for human perfectionists. Instead, stagger them. Staggering is a beautiful attribute in the world of framing. Can I get an amen?
These are hanging in the Kids' Room at my parent's house. I didn't get a picture at my mother-in-law's house--sorry!! Already, the cousins have enjoyed spotting each other, comparing signatures and upper lips. (It's a family thing.)
I am SURE there are silhouette pros out there that are cringing at my efforts--and my tutorial. For you silhouette smarties--are there helpful hints I am forgetting? I am definitely a Trial and Error Girl, and this project was no exception! C'mon--any helpful hinters out there? Have you ever tried silhouettes?
And while you're at the helpful hinting, I might as well ask... My next big project with silhouettes is to enlarge them (our 2 daughters') at least 200% and put them on 16"x 20" canvases over our Master bedroom bed. Remember, a looooong time ago (nearly a year) I was lamenting over what to hang over the bed? Well, welcome to MarytheKay World: Where many projects sit unfinished, for lack of decisiveness.
So, suggestions? Do I have them printed at at copy shop onto black card stock (colored card stock??)....or onto vinyl at a sign shop? And then, do I Modge Podge onto the canvas? Brush some color onto the canvas, or leave it white?
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