Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Make Your Own Silhouettes of Your Kids
I love those cut out silhouette profile pictures. There are some professionally done ones of my brother, my cousins, and me hanging at my Grandmother's house. Every time I walk past them I think about how I want some of Benjamin and Lyla. I was going to wait to make them until she was a little older and had grown into her little kid face more, but I love the way the baby one turned out.
These were really very easy. I did them during Lyla's morning nap. The whole project start to finish took less than an hour and only cost $3.99 total for the 2 Ikea frames. If you have a steady hand for tracing and cutting, you can do this yourself.
First, I took pictures of Benjamin and Lyla's profiles. I took a lot so that I would have some options. These pictures do not need to be especially good. What you really want is for your kid to be looking straight forward with a normal, un-posed expression. I took pictures of Benjamin (2 years old) while he was washing his hands (aka playing with the water in the sink). Lyla (9 months old) was more difficult. She did not want to sit still and she kept wanting to turn and look at the camera. In the end I had Grant hold her out in front of him looking out the window. This worked perfectly. She got very still, kept her gaze straight forward, plus the lighting was great. Getting a good picture was the hardest part for me.
Next, copy and paste your pictures into a Word document. I put both pictures side by side so I could make sure that they were proportionally the right sizes. I also set my zoom to 100%. This means that whatever is showing up on the screen is the exact same size that it will print. I then held my frame up in front of the computer, adjusting the sizes of the pictures, until they looked right.
Print the pictures. I just used regular printer paper, but in retrospect I think that card stock would have worked even better. If you want to add any details (I added a collar to Benjamin's shirt), draw those on the picture before you start cutting. Now carefully cut out the profile picture. Every little detail is very important. This cut out will become your stencil. (Save it for future projects!)
I used black construction paper for the silhouettes. I really like how it turned out, but you could use so many different kinds of paper. Very carefully trace the picture onto the paper and very carefully cut it out. Look back at the original picture as you go to make sure that all of the details are just right. (Scan these pictures onto your computer and you can use them again).
I was going to use newspaper as a background because I love the way it looks. However, I decided to make a newspaper-looking background using each of their full names. For this step I simply typed out (copy and pasted) their names over and over in a Word document, filling the page. I used CarbonType font (Check out this page for an easy tutorial on how to download free fonts) and made the background a light gray.
Cut out the background sheet, glue on the construction paper silhouette, (use a glue stick or double-sided tape to keep it from wrinkling) and frame. I added a little ribbon in Lyla's hair to the outside of the frame.