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Silhouette February 19, 2012

Silhouette’s aren’t just for kindergarten anymore. They’re a fantastic gift idea. We have just a few (of the many) techniques to try.

You will need:

(The technique that you prefer will designate which items you will need to gather)

  • Camera
  • Card stock paper
  • Regular copy paper
  • Fine tipped black marker
  • Pencil
  • Black paper
  • Glue
  • Craft knife with sharp blade
  • Scissors
  • Tracing Paper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paper to use for your background
  • Frame
  • Photo editing software (if using Technique #3)

First, have your subject sit comfortably on a stool or chair with their profile towards you. If you want to get technical – try to have a plain white background (we didn’t). You can use white board or rolled paper propped up behind the subject or try using a white blanket or towel hung over a clothes line with subject sitting in front of it. We found that if the subject has a collared shirt, it looks a bit more formal.


Technique #1:

  1. Scale your photo to the size you want to work with. Print it out on card stock at home or at a copy center. Tip: The larger the image, the easier it is to cut the detail work.
  2. With the craft knife or scissors, cut out your silhouette – paying close attention to details, ie: wisps of hair. Be sure to add a swoop or arch at the bottom of the silhouette. Use this cut-out as your template.
  3. Lay the cut-out template onto a piece of black paper. Trace the template with a pencil and carefully cut out the silhouette.
  4. Glue onto a background paper and frame. Tip: For the background paper, it doesn’t necessarily have to be white – go crazy and get creative. Try using a decorative scrapbook paper, a brightly colored paper, wrapping paper, etc.

Technique #2

  1. Scale your photo to the size you want and print it out on regular paper.
  2. With painter’s tape, tape a piece of tracing paper on top of your print. Tape both pieces of paper onto a window and trace your silhouette. Daytime light works best for this technique because you’ll need light to shine through the paper so you can see the profile well.
  3. Cut out the tracing paper silhouette, this will be your template.
  4. Lay your tracing paper template onto a piece of black paper and trace with a pencil. Carefully cut out silhouette.
  5. Glue onto a background paper, frame.

Technique #3

  1. Use a photo editing software program. We used Adobe® Photoshop®.
  2. Print out and frame.

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