Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Handcrafted Christmas: Silhouettes

This idea was inspired from two places. I was first reminded about the art of silhouettes in an article I read in Country Home magazine shown here:

Then, I saw a link to this great tutorial on making your own! I will admit that I did not do as complex of a job as she did - but simplified this to just a few steps. And, I was quite pleased with my results.

First, I took photos of my cute subjects:


Then, I uploaded the pix to my computer and printed them out in black and white all on one page.

I trimmed around their faces and put a piece of black paper underneath and cut around the edge of their face with an x-acto knife.

At this point, I scanned them into the computer so I have the pattern forever! Next time, I can just print this out, and cut out.

Here are my silhouettes at this point:
I found these paper mache ornaments at Michael's for 0.99 each.
I painted them and let that dry:
Then, used ModPodge to decoupage silhouettes to ornaments (I wrote each name and year on the back):

Or, for the recipient who may not prefer ornaments ~ I made this paper mache box:
Or, for one who doesn't do a big tree, doesn't have room for the box, but might enjoy this year-round: make the ornaments into a garland:

With the scanned in silhouettes - how about some notecards:

Now, I want a set for myself! I love how all of these turned out! I love the simplicity of the silhouette and how it looks old fashioned and timeless. What a treasure these will be!

41 comments:

The Chambers Family said...

That's so cool! I love all of your ideas!

Katy said...

Love those Monica! :)

Jenn said...

Too cute! I think I see these in my future!

Wendi said...

Cute! I especially like the notecards.

Danielle said...

I love these too! I did this a few years ago and made pillows with the silhouette for my mom.

mama k said...

oh how sweet! I remember making these as a kid with a lamp and tracing it onto paper. WAY easier to take a picture and do it that way.

Grace said...

Love it! I see ornaments for the grandparents for Christmas. Thanks for the very simple and thrifty idea yet so very special!

Elise said...

What a great idea!! Love it!!
Elise

Tania said...

Cute!! I think I will do these too!

Paige said...

I love this, I will definately do something with this idea. I'll let you know what I come up with!
P~

Amy said...

I am so inspired by this project! I have been seeing a lot of silhouette projects lately so they seem to have made a comeback. I think that would be a lovely addition to any mantle.

I love the idea of saving these so I can use them over and over again! Great idea!!

La Familia Garcia said...

I love this!! The coolest thing! I bet Grandma will love it too!

Lee said...

Okay. I LOVE THESE! LOVE THEM!!!
Thanks Monica. I'll show you what I come up with too.
And, I didn't comment yesterday, but I love the warmth our home exudes, too. I almost hate to cover the windows at night for privacy because I love the way it looks when I walk outside and look in. I hope the world sees the Light of Jesus in our home, too!

Kim~"HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs" said...

How adorable!!!

Elizabeth said...

That is really cool. It's funny cause in my google reader I got your tutorial as well as this one on making silhouette shirts. http://photojojo.com/content/diy/photo-silhouette-shirts/

Thanks for all the great ideas you post!

Angela said...

I LOVE this, oh my goodness, I really really love this. This is going on my list to make for sure! My sister-i-law would love these for ornaments for her children and what a suprise they would be-do you think you could do pets?

Angela

debra said...

Monica,
That is such a great gift idea. Especially for the grandparents.
Thanks!
Debra

Sirena said...

These are beautiful! My great grandma did cut silhouettes. I never knew her and I don't know anything about her but I have one of her beautiful pieces and I will treasure it forever. You could also do a dove on the ornaments for those who may not enjoy someones face.. by the way.. it's so nice to see your baby. I kept asking myself "Didn't she have a baby?"

The Greek Chorus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carly said...

What a great project! The silhouettes are so sweet and memorable!

Annette said...

Those are so cute and a great idea. I like to read your blog you always have something neat to do. I love doing crafts.

thehomespunheart said...

Yes - I think you could do pets or anything that you can photograph from the side!

Ruth said...

Monica,
Those came out wonderful. You definitely need to make some for yourself. I know that everyone who gets those as gifts will be happy.
Blessings,
Ruth

Cheyenne said...

Oh fun! I think that might be our project for this afternoon!

Cheyenne said...

Oh fun! I think that might be our project for this afternoon!

Jean Marie Bibby said...

I found your blog today and I'm so glad I did. I've been sitting here much longer than I should, completely lost in your musings and workings.

I love this idea for silhouettes. I am already planning these projects for my mom for Christmas. Thank you.

If you ever get a free second (HA!), please stop by and visit. I just started a prayer challenge that I would love to invite you to be a part of.

AHighandNobleCalling said...

I have been LOOKING for this tutorial. I came across it last year and wanted to give it a try! Thank you!

Lorie said...

Very cute idea!!

Tamra said...

such a great idea Monica. I did something similar and put the silhouettes on my family photo wall. I love the idea of scanning them in to the computer though so they can easily be resized for different projects.

also, I've been reading all your archives over the past week. I'm having so much fun getting to "know" you. =)

Mary Ann said...

I love these! Maybe I can do something for the two little boys I care for. Their parents would love these for Christmas! I was thinking I might try the dog too...not sure that I'm up to that though!LOL!

When we were little, my mom traced our faces on black (complete with pigtails for my sister and I!)for a family scrapbook for my grandparents. They were Amish so they couldn't have traditional photographs. Grandma really enjoyed that and talked about how special it was for years.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou so much for sharing this idea! :)

Anna said...

This is a wonderful idea!!! You may have just inspired my Christmas project...

The Liberty Belle said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Chrisi said...

Those are beautiful!! Great ideas for using them too. Those will be so sweet to look back on in years to come too.

realmomma said...

Yay!! I've been trying to figure out how to get silhouettes of a two year old and a four month old.

Ms. Gardener said...

Hey, I've enjoyed your blog for awhile...quick question about the silhouettes...where did you get the materials for the paper mache box? How did you put it together? TIA! ;-)

Sherry said...

Very clever & cute. Of course, having such cuties of your own guarantees your outcome. ;-)

thehomespunheart said...

Ms. Gardener: I got the paper mache box at Michael's and painted it with inexpensive craft paint from Wal-Mart. I used Mod Podge glue to adhere the silhouettes and then just tied a fabric bow around it. I hope that helps! :)
Monica

Rachel said...

These are so neat! Great job!

Henley on the Horn said...

You are amazing!!! I don't know how to do any of that!! I am going to have to try. How did you get them to print in black like that? I have a Mac and am not sure of the way to do that. I love your blog & just found it from Money Saving Mom!

thehomespunheart said...

Hi Henley on the Horn! Welcome! Ok, here is what I did -

* Take sideways photos and upload to your computer.
* Print out in black/white.
* Cut out and then use as a pattern on black paper.
* Scan black silhouettes into your computer.
* Now, you can print out the black silhouettes.

I hope that helps!
Monica