Tuesday, January 18, 2011


In the crafting and decor blogosphere, the rage these days seems to be cut-out silhouettes.  You know, the vintage-looking solid-color profiles.  I've seen fabric silhouettes appliqued on pillows, silhouette Christmas ornaments, colorful silhouettes, silhouettes painted on canvas, and basic black and white framed ones.  For several months now I've been dying to create custom silhouettes of my family.

But how?  I remember in grade school sitting in a dark classroom with a light to the side of me, projecting my shadow on the wall where my teacher traced my profile on black construction paper.  I'm not sure that any of us would sit still long enough for me to do that.  My answer was Photoshop:  Paul uses Photoshop all the time.  He could do it for me.  All that we needed to do, I told him, was to take profile pictures of all of us and he could then do his magic in Photoshop.  And then we could send them to somewhere to print.  I would do it, but I don't know how to use Photoshop.  These would make a great Christmas gift, I told him.  Hint, hint.  To my dismay, my husband never got around to doing this project for me.

A friend shared a link to a silhouette tutorial using Photoshop and I decided to give it a shot.  At least if I screwed up, Paul might be inspired to finish what I started.  That blog author traced her silhouettes in Photoshop, then printed, cut out, traced on black cardstock, and then cut the silhouette out of cardstock.  I decided to use technology to my advantage and cut out a few of those steps.  I took profile pictures of the entire family, including myself which was extremely tricky.  I then traced our profiles in Photoshop, created a white background, and then colored our silhouettes black.  Paul came in after me and modified the proportions and tweaked some other things so that all was consistent.

I'll need to wait until Baby Losavio arrives to complete this project, but here's what we've got so far.  I created the collage below in Picnik and I'm really not sure why the background is teal.  I plan to have the individual 8 x 10 silhouettes printed on photo paper at Wal-mart because their photo processing is very reasonable.  If I'm not satisfied with the results we may have these printed on textured paper at Kinko's.   
Now we just need to rearrange some wall space so that we can showcase our DIY art!


  1. Very Cool! When I was a boy we used to do that.

  2. I have had this project on my "to do someday" list as well. Kudos for actually getting it done! They look great!



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