Lines Across: Make Your Own Silhouettes of Your Kids

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.


  1. Wow, Rachel! Good work! Although I've often thought of doing this, I've never attempted - your directions seem easy enough to follow, though. I think I may finally give it a try.

    I just hopped over from Too Cute Tuesday. Please come by if you get a minute:

  2. Love them. I love their names in the background and the bow in your daughter's hair is just so cute for words.

  3. WOW! Bookmarking and trying this project asap!!

    New follower from Get Wired Wednesday.
    Would love to have you follow back

  4. I ADORE this! What a beautiful way to preserve the sweet faces of your babies. I would love for you to share this @ Show & Share on Wednesday!

  5. What a nice idea...and a great tutorial! Must try it...thank you for the inspiration...i am pinning this.

  6. Woow, really great idea, I love it.. And even seems simple enough for me to make it!

  7. darling! what a great idea! i'm assuming you used cutters and not scissors? the silouhettes are perfect and beautiful

  8. This is my kind of project, and I LOVE how it turned out! And the bow, too cute!!!
    Tagged you in a post this morning. :)

  9. These are really sweet! Love the carbon type background and that yellow bow is just the BEST!

  10. At this time we are inviting VIP bloggers like you to join Mom Blog Society. After Joining you will be featured in one of three spots on or in our official blog. It will link directly to your site. We will also supply you a VIP badge you can only get by invitation.

    Please note: Mom Blog Society has not opened for public registration. We are registering members by invitation only. However, we will be open for public registration very soon.

    It's our hopes to get our VIP members settled and featured, posting and making groups before we open to public registration.

    If you are interested, please sign up free at Once you've filled out your profile and settled in, we will send you the "featured" information to your inbox.

    We hope you can join us,
    LaDonna Dennis

  11. Thanks for all of the sweet comments. I really like how the project turned out. I actually did just use regular scissors and they seemed to work well for me. Cutters would also be a good idea and might be a little easier.

  12. These are SOOOOO CUTE! And I really love the pony tail! :)

  13. Very cute! This was such a great idea!!


  14. Awesome, I love it and featured you today! Come check it out and grab a button.

  15. Thanks for linking to Things I've Done Thursday! Love your project!

    Come back on Thursday for more fun!! :)


  16. I love this! I was actually thinking of doing silhouettes with my boys, but I wasn't sure how to manage it. I was planning on stealing (um, I mean borrowing) an overhead projector from my MIL's elementary school classroom, but this way I could just do at my house. Thank you!

  17. What a great idea! I remember that my kindergarten teacher made silhouettes of everyone in the class by making a shadow of each of us on a piece of paper taped to the wall, then tracing the outline of the shadow. I'm not sure exactly how she did it because, after all, I was only 5 years old! She cut out all the silhouettes from black construction paper and we used them to make Christmas presents for our parents. They were a huge hit, but I suspect that it was a lot harder to do the old-fashioned way.

  18. Oh I love this! Would be cute as miniatures. I love small things, especially here where you are dealing with small people! Adorable and cool.


Thank you for your comments - they make my day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...