Wednesday, January 19, 2011

DIY Project: Old School Silhouette

Heya Nesters!  Alright well, enough with the chair business! There's more to life than velvet and tacking, right?  I wanted to show you guys today a little project that is close to my heart. As you may know. my brother, Joe, and sister-in-law, Molly, are expecting.  We are in the heat of baby shower planning and coordinating.  That combined with redecorating post-Christmas and my obsession with wanting to make a silhouette and I had a project calling my snowed-in name "Giiiiiinaaaaa... Get off your lazy, cold heiny and maaaaake meeeeeee."

So I did. 

You may have taken a verbal double-take on that if you read closely.  That's right.  They are still "expecting".  The little man isn't even here yet.  So how did I know what he looks like to make this pretty little silhouette?  .... I guessed!

No I'm just kidding.  I actually started off with an enlarged print out of an ultrasound they gave me.

I might have the cutest nephew on the planet.

So I grabbed my vellum, which is a translucent paper that makes tracing easy but its sturdier than tracing paper so you wont just tear right through it if you're hard on your pencil. 

I lightly traced the outline of his little head and down past his neck just a bit. Then I removed the ultrasound, flipped my vellum over and traced the other side with a very soft drawing pencil, allowing lots of graphite on the page.  Why? Trust me, it will make sense in a second.

 Now find whatever color paper you want your silhouette to be in.  I chose a brown craft paper. And flip your vellum back over to the original side you started on and put your craft paper underneath it, so that the heavy graphite line is face down on your craft paper.  Now trace back over the original line you drew the first time.  This will transfer the graphite the paper but only where you have traced.  Your craft paper should look something like this...

Look at that cutie little up-turned nose!!
Then cut it out carefully, making a clean, flattering line between the chest and back.

 My adhesive of choice was rubber cement.  I have a slight obsession with it.  I should probably own stocks in it.  

I gave it a good coat... in fact, a little too good because when I slapped it down on my green background color, it oozed... a lot. 

Normally that doesn't worry me one bit.  The beauty of rubber cement is that it rubs off.  But for some reason it left a stain this time.  Can you see it?  I am still deciding how I want to deal with it. I was thinking, cutting out about 1/4" around the silhouette and putting it on another background color.  That way the stain would be nearly impossible to see.  But in the meantime, I am letting it be, hoping that it will dry? 

I mounted it in a shadow box.  This is unusual for a silhouette, I feel.  I had it already at home, left over from an old collage of Matt and I that grew too big for this little frame.  I may change the frame down the line, but I like having the option of adding a couple nephew-related items to it. Like a newspaper headline clipping from the day he will be born or something along those lines.

He resides on the silver crafting dresser, looking like a proud little man.  Now, I just can't wait to meet him!  Are any of you asking yourself, "Why didn't she just Photoshop it like everyone else does? It's way easier"  Honestly, I ran out of printer ink and I haven't had a chance to pick any up {Anyone else appalled at how expensive ink is?! I'm secretly on a strike against buying it because I don't feel like its worth it.} and I had all these supplies at home! 

Craft paper: $0 Already had it!
Vellum: $0 Already had that too.
Pencil and Scissors: $0 Had 'em!
Shadow Box Picture Frame: $0 Check-er-unski!
Grand total: Zilch!

So there you have it, Nesters!   The old school, pre-Photoshop way to make a silhouette.  I hope some of you will give this method a shot!  And more importantly, does anyone else hold a grudge against ink companies and how they charge an arm and a leg for a liiiiittle teeeeny weeeny ink cartridge?! It infuriates me.  Which I think makes me the geekiest person ever.... hmm  Anyhoo, leave me a note! 


PS: My wonderful brother {the father to be} not only made my title header but also made me some buttons for you to grab!  I don't know how to code because despite growing up as a child of the internet, I never took a class on html.  So you can grab it as an image and just link to it.  If you'd like that is! <3


  1. Cute! I would have never thought to do a silhouette based on an ultrasound photo. It will be fun to see if as he grows he resembles the silhouette :)


Heya Nesters! I always love your feedback! So dish, because we all want to hear it! <3