Saturday, December 31, 2011

Easy Silhouettes

I love the look of silhouettes! They can go with just about any decor: traditional, modern, eclectic--you name it! They are a great way of preserving your child's image at a certain point in time, and they are also a great example of positive and negative space. 

A silhouette of my oldest guy--so handsome!

Positive space is the space an object occupies (in this case, the head of the person whose silhouette is being done). Negative space is the area around the object. I chose white paper to highlight the negative space around my silhouettes. Although this craft is simple, it may be best for older children or a grownup to do the actual cutting of the silhouette so that facial features stay intact. This is an inexpensive craft that would be perfect for a gift (think grandparents).

Supplies Needed:

  • Camera
  • Ultra fine point marker
  • Small, sharp scissors (I used embroidery scissors)
  • Black acrylic paint (I used flat paint in "lamp black")
  • Paint brush
  • 3 1/2" x 5" rectangle white paper (I used scrap booking card stock)
  • 5" x 7" rectangle colored paper, your choice of color (I used scrap booking card stock)
  • Black 5" x 7" frame (I bought mine at the dollar store)
  • Glue stick


1. Take a profile picture of the person whose silhouette you will be creating. Make sure they are looking straight ahead and that their hair is neat (girls with long hair can pull it to the side or have it fall down their backs).

2. Print out the picture onto plain white paper. Use the fine point marker to outline the features of the subject. Add a gradually sloping neckline. You may need to draw in the bottom edge of their hair if it went beyond the picture. I try to keep the bottom edge of the silhouette simple and neat, but I do have a little fun when I'm drawing in the ends of the hair. Just don't go too crazy--remember, you'll have to cut it all out!

3. Use a small, sharp pair of scissors to cut out the image.

4. Paint the cutout with a coat of black acrylic paint and let it dry for several hours or overnight. 

5. Glue the cutout to the white paper. Glue the white paper to the larger, colored, piece of card stock. Insert into the frame and you are done! These are so fast you may find that you'll want to do a whole series of silhouettes! ENJOY!

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