April 06, 2010

Silhouette Portraits

Here are my three silhouette portraits:

Now I hear you can make these pretty easy with photoshop, but for those of us who DON'T have photoshop (me), here is the I did it, and it really was SO easy!

Total Cost: About $4
mod podge
the silhouette print outs
white cardstock (or whatever color you prefer)
black paint (if you do it my way)
First, obviously, you need to take the silhouette pictures. I would take like 10 or so because it is hard to tell if you have exactly the right angle. Also, it is easiest to take them against a white wall or such for when you are cutting them out. Here are what my pictures looked like:

Now, you have a couple options next, depending on what size you want your portraits to be. (I wanted mine to fit in 5x7 frames). For my pictures, I messed around with the exposure, contract, saturation, all that stuff, until I felt the outline was really defined and they would be easy to cut out; however, it is not really necessary, you could totally just a) either print out the picture in whatever size you like and actually cut the photos, or b) print them out on computer paper.

Which is what I did. I cropped them into 4x4 inch squares, and printed them on computer paper and cut them out. I totally planned on tracing them onto nice black paper, but the cutting took a little time. I wanted to get all the fly aways in my baby's hair (which you would totally want to do, get loose hair ends, eyelashes, collars, anything cool for the silhouette) and it was a little tedious, that I decided once was enough, so here is what they looked like when I printed them out:
And after I cut them out:
After you cut them out, make SURE they fit into the frame you want, I guess really before you cut them out would be ideal. Sometimes you think they fit, but they need a little more room. I was originally planning on putting them in 4x4 inch square frames (hence why I cropped them to that size) but they looked so much better in the 5x7 frames with more white background.

Then I actually just painted the computer picture printouts with black paint and let dry. They will curl a little bit, but it's okay. If you want them on something sturdier, you can trace them, but you can't even tell they are on computer paper once they are done, so I wouldn't bother unless you really want to.
Then I bought some nice white cardstock paper at Michael's for $.69, (one sheet did all three of my 5x7, just FYI). I put a very smooth layer of mod podge on the white paper where the silhouette would be, then very carefully put the picture on, making sure to smooth it out and make sure it is all glued on. Then let it dry for a couple minutes and carefully mod podge all over. It will look like this until it dries:
When they are completely dry, (which really doesn't take long) frame them. I really liked the thick black frame with it. But really you could do anything.
I really wanted to find three really different antique looking frames to put them in, like below, but I also wanted to keep my budget, and I found my frames at the dollar store.

Linked to:


Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Life in the Pitts


Get your craft on Thurs.

Transformation Thursday


  1. thanks for showing how to do this, I'v been wanting to make these but wasn't sure how and didn't want to pay the $35 each that they charge in my town.

  2. These are so cute - I just love them!

  3. I am going to do these I love them and in my budget :) Thanks :)

  4. i am so going to do this!!!

  5. So pretty! And your kids are adorable :)

    Thank you for linking this to A Little Craft Therapy with Life in the Pitts

  6. Thanks for this tutorial - especially for those of us without Photoshop. I'll be back for more - I'm now following :)

  7. So cute! I made one of these for my son as well.. they are just so timeless !

    Great job.

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  9. This is fantastic! I've been wanting silhouettes forever! I couldn't figure out how to make it work. Thank you. Thank you.

  10. Very cute! I love how the hair sticks up on the littlest one! :)

  11. So cute! Thanks for sharing your tutorial!

    Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours Day!

  12. How sweet..

    Thanks for joining Get Your Craft on Thursday! Please join me next week for another great party!

  13. Hi All,
    I've never - EVER - posted before, but had to join in. I have done silhouettes of my 3 kids too, and I have a super easy secret: print your photos, use rubber cement to glue them down to nice black paper. THEN cut them out, peel the photo off, and mount them on white paper. Your silhouettes look gorgeous, but you worked too hard! ; )

  14. Oh, this is GENIUS! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Looks so good! I paid for Jackson to get his done at Disneyland at although it is super cute, it doesn't look as much like him as I'd like. Yours look so good! They look just like them!

  16. Oh so funny, I actually just recently made and posted on my blog silhouettes of my kids as well. I did them just like yours too. Except I printed them on card stock paper, so that when I painted them they were a little more sturdy and didnt curl up. I too wanted victorian frames, but couldnt find any that matched right or were in my budget, so I bought "silver" serving trays at the dollar tree and spray painted them gold, and gave them an antique look with black paint over the detail. I love how they turned out. :)

    Yours are beautiful! You have adorable children! :)

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