Last weekend we went to our next door neighbors daughters joint birthday party to celebrate their 1st and 3rd birthday. Of course, the highlight of the party was the huge bouncy house in the front yard- I don’t think we saw our children for 2 hours! What did kids do at birthday parties before bouncy houses?
Although the invite said “no gifts” I couldn’t resist making them a little something. Their mom had commented on the silhouettes I made of the boys this past Christmas so I knew a silhouette was something she would like. Today I am sharing my step-by-step DIY silhouette art tutorial on how I make these so you can make some too! This is definitely an easy project that a beginner crafter can tackle. The hardest part is that there are lots of little steps and you need to allow plenty of drying time between them. I did this over a couple of days 5 minutes here and there.
To remind you, here is the set I made of my Sweet P and Sweet B that I used in our Christmas decor. And no, I haven’t taken them down yet.
I also have a full size version of these silhouettes in the guest bedroom wall gallery using the same method I describe below but using frames instead of wooden plaques.
- Unfinished Oval Wooden Plaque (Tip: I got mine at Michael’s with 40% off coupon, did you know you can just pull it up right from your phone in the store)
- Camera/Printer for taking and printing the images
- Black paint
- Antique White paint
- Mod Podge
- Foam Paint Brush (several)
- Skinny Paint Brush
- First, you’ll need a profile picture of your “subject”. I just used my phone to get the boys little faces. Not gonna lie- I had to follow them around for 20 minutes to get a good shot of their profiles, so this is not really that easy of a step if you have littles. For the girls pictures, I got in cahoots with their babysitter and asked her to get their pictures so I could keep the little gift a surprise.
- Once I had a shot I thought would work, I emailed them to myself. I used Power Point to resize the images, or you could use Picmonkey as well. Since the plaque I got was 5×7, these images were resized to around 4×6.
- Once you have the images the right size, print them out and just use scissors to cut out the silhouette. When I did my boys, the hair was really easy. I must admit I struggled a little with the girls hair. I was having issues with the ponytail so before I cut I used a pencil to kind of sketch out a cuter/better flip before I started cutting. If you are doing a ponytail, I would try to take the picture at the exact angle of the ponytail you want because this was a little tricky to do it after. Also, you will want to sketch the bust area to get the right angle you want before you cut. TIP: Use a pencil to get the image exactly how you want before you start cutting!
- Once you have the silhouette cut out to your liking, use a foam paint brush to paint the cut out silhouette with black paint. I honestly don’t think there is a right or wrong to have the silhouettes face. I use a cheap foam brush because I don’t want brush strokes (and also because these are super cheap and I just toss when I am done).
- Paint the oval plaque. I used some paint I had on hand- using an off white for the back ground and black to trim it out. I also think this would be super cute using gold and hot pink or navy and kelly green- really the sky is the limit here! (those nails, yikes, looks like I better do a DIY mani!)
- Once the plaque is dry, use another foam brush to adhere the painted silhouette to the painted plaque. I used some stuff I got in my Haven Conference Swag Bag, but Mod Podge would work great too. Once the image is glued, I also just used a foam brush to give it a couple coats on top and seal the whole thing. I must admit there were quite a few bubbles/wrinkles with one of the girls. It REALLY bothered me but what can you do. I think I wasn’t careful enough when I glued it down, so be sure to take your time on that step.
- At the last minute, I decided to use some wrapping paper I had on hand to finish off the back side. If I had thought about it before, I would have picked up a couple cute pieces of horse scrapbook paper (they love horses) or something cute and hot pink. I think it just gave it a nice finishing touch. I also would write the names and ages on the back for future reference.
- For wrapping, I just put in a clear cellophane bag and tied with some ric-rac.
So, have you ever made a DIY silhouette? I’d love to hear your technique. I definitely just made this up as I went, but I think it’s a pretty easy way to make a cute little gift for someone.