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I love silhouettes and I’ve tried at least two different methods for making them. I think you’re gonna love Angel’s easy to follow tutorial —-I plan on making some very soon myself. Make sure you visit Angel’s blog and her etsy shop for some wonderful handmade goodies! It’s been a privilege to meet Angel and I’m thankful she’s agreed to teach us today!
Thank you Edie!
I live in gorgeous Minnesota where I married my crush from 7th grade. I feel so blessed to get to do life with him. Together we have 5 year old twin girls and a two year old baby boy. Though my passion is sewing custom boutique clothing for little girls with lots of hand embroidery, I also love to decorate my home. And now that my kids are getting older I can finally start putting decorative things back within their reach. So exciting, I know!
Now, about those tutorials…let’s get started!
I’ve always loved the classic look of silhouettes. Especially when they are of children, and even better yet, a baby. I knew I wanted these over our bed with the new black and yellow color scheme of our bedroom. So I finally got busy yesterday and cut them out.
I found oval 10″x12″ frames at JoAnn a while back. You can usually find them on sale for 50% off or buy one get one free. Or at the very least use a 40% off coupon (they accept competitors coupons too). I bought a new Exacto knife and 7 sheets of black scrapbook paper. I figured I’d make some mistakes and be thankful for the extra paper. I actually could have gotten away with just 2 sheets. For both the black and the white I bought paper with a mock linen texture to it.
I took pictures of the kiddos earlier, trying to get them all about the same distance away in the photo. Then I copied them into Word and printed them onto regular paper to use for my templates. I later had to print Emily’s a tad bigger to be in scale of Allison and Sam.
I determined that I wanted the final faces to all be looking to the left to I traced the back of the pint outs. I knew that later they would be traced to the back of the black paper so any ridges from cutting would end up on the backside. Drawing the outline on the backside also helped to be better able to see just the lines I wanted to cut on. Tape it to a window so you can see through from the front.
My initial first drawing. Lots to clean up and more details to add including eyelashes. You don’t really see eyelashes protruding from a sideview, but they add a lot to a silhouette.
Here is where I noticed that the scale of Emily’s face was a little smaller than Allison’s, so I went back to my Word doc and dragged it a little bigger until it seemed right.
Now to tweak the details. Allison originally had side buns, but I made it look more like one bun in the back and added the little flyaways under it. I also gave a better shape to their bows and to Emily’s ponytail. Sam got a bit more definition to his hair so he didn’t look so bald. And they all got retro looking collars, perhaps my favorite part of all.
Then I was ready to start tracing the lines with my knife (on top of my cutting mat of course). I didn’t tape anything down, I just held the template very tightly with my left hand. I did all of them while kneeling on the floor, which wasn’t fun, but it gave me good leverage.
On the right is the photo I cut out and the left is where the silhouette came out of. It was tough to get it to cut through the whole way around even though I pressed so hard my fingers ached (especially after cutting out all three). Just go back over those spots and when it’s all detached you’ll have a few rough spots to spruce up.
Next I double checked to make sure I liked the overall scale.
Here is all three cut out. It looks like I need to makes Sam’s nose a little more round, it’s pretty pointy here. And Emily’s upper lip got cut a little smaller than it should have. I need to redo hers for sure, but my fingers still ache so that will wait until tomorrow. I would suggest starting with the face so that if you make a mistake you haven’t wasted all your time and energy with the rest of the details. I learned that the hard way.
Close up of her mis-cut lip. Sorry Sweetie!
Next I used the glass from the frames to cut the white background paper out. I just swiped the Exacto knife all the way around the glass. That worked pretty slick. Of course you’ll have to wash the glass and get all the upc label residue off. Why do they always put stickers where they don’t belong?
I used archival double sided tape on the backs to secure them.
Then I laid them all in the frames to see what they would look like. I measured to make sure they were centered correctly. I thought I could eyeball them, but I did have to move one down and another over slightly, so I’m glad I measured.
Perfect, now they are ready for hanging!
I am so in love with these on my yellow walls.
You could really have fun with these and use a patterned paper for the background.
Or how fun to cut the images from a different color?
But I really love the classic look for this spot. They are just what this wall needed.
Do you think I hung them too high? I didn’t have the luxury of someone else to hold them up so I could see them from far away.