Friday, July 22, 2011

Silhouette tutorial

I recently added silhouettes to our living room wall....and today I'm going to show how I did it. Here is what my living room wall looked like before...

There are a multitude of reasons why I like the white couch and mirror in their spots (you can read more about that here). I decided to add my silhouettes to fill in the space around the mirror.

This project was not hard at all...but it definitely did require some prep work. Before I actually assembled them, I had to do these things:
  1. Buy frames at IKEA. I actually had to make a second trip, since they were out of the ones I wanted the first time. Arghgh.
  2. Buy black paper and background paper at the craft store.
  3. Take profile pictures of all family members.
  4. And....get profile pics developed.
I was a little worn out on the project before I even started to assemble them. Luckily, the assembly went really fast. Otherwise, I may have thrown in the towel. ; )

The true-to-form way of making a silhouette would be to position the subject sideways against a bright light shining on a piece of paper on a wall. Does that make sense? Then you would trace the shadow...which would make your silhouette. (Note--I have no idea how they made the really tiny ones in the last few centuries) I decided to use 8x11" profile photos and cut them out.

First, I bought my four frames at IKEA. They were the Ribba frames, $10.99 each. I liked the clean look of the white frames with my mirror.

I had taken profile pics of the three family peeps and had my husband take my profile photo. I got these developed at Costco for about $1.30 apiece.

One of the trickiest parts was deciding what size to use for developing my photos so they would fit in the frame. My frame was 11x13" and the mat was roughly 8x11", so I decided to develop the photos at that size. I wanted to use the mat to beef up the look of the frames. Had I not done that, I would have developed the photos at the 11x13" size. would be possible to make 5x7" silhouettes, you need to just match the size of your frame/mat and the size of your photos.

I purchased scrapbook paper at the craft store for about $6. I chose black and a textured off-white.

This is where you could have a little fun...I considered choosing a patterned background and doing my silhouettes in a white or cream, but I decided to go for a traditional look. There are million different ways you could go with this and the possibilities are benefit I realized is that I could easily change out the background paper and also the color of the silhouette. You would simply recut the silhouettes out of the new paper. I kept my cut photos in case I ever want to change the silhouettes.

I really love scrapbook paper...I truly am not a scrapbooker (never got that craft gene, I guess) but the patterns and colors are great for all kinds of projects. Plus, the paper is really cheap! I've used it a lot as a mat for old photos/pictures.

Here is the textured paper I chose. I thought it would add a little texture to the whole look.

I positioned the photo in the corner of the black paper and affixed binder clips so the photo would not move while I cut. If it were to move, that would throw off your whole silhouette.

I cut around the edge of the profile. You have to be discerning when choosing to cut through a weird piece of hair sticking up or something. Once I was done, I fixed any small spots by trimming carefully. Here you can see the photo cut out next to the black silhouette piece.

Next, I disassembled the frames and cleaned the glass (one of my favorite parts of doing a frame project).

I added the mat and centered the silhouette in the center. You can see I added a piece of Scotch tape in the middle. I didn't do that at first and my silhouette was sliding around in there. I also added small piece of tape on the ends of the mat so the backing paper would stay in place as well.

I assembled the frame and added the wire that was included.

And...there is a finished silhouette. I did notice once I was done that my silhouette is a little smaller than the rest....I think this is because Freddie took that picture and was not as close to me as I was to all of them when I took the photos.

I also like the way the three whites/creams play together.

Now, the mirror, complete with the silhouettes.

I hung the upper right hand silhouette first, then positioned the one underneath. I then measured the distance from the mirror to the silhouette and hung the upper left. Admittedly, I did have to raise both of the lower ones (and covered the wayward hole in the process) so they would be even with the bottom of the mirror.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I like how the silhouettes add a personal feeling. Plus, they fill out that wall nicely!

I declare victory, since even my 5-year-old can ID whose silhouette is whose. ; )

Stuff and Nonsense

The DIY Show Off


Stuff and Nonsense said...

what a fun idea...i've actually done some silhouettes of my kidlets but haven't framed them up ikea...we have the ektorp sofa as well...are you in eastern oh? because i live right on the oh border in sw pa...thanks for linking up to fridays unfolded!


Coley said...

I LOVE how this looks on your wall. And the color is gorgeous :)

Becca {A Blonde's Logic} said...

Great tutorial! Might need to try it soon! :)


designchic said...

These look amazing...thanks for the tutorial. Happy Friday!!

Kelli@MoreBangforYourBucks said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing... I was wondering how to do these w/o an overhead projector. :)

Shelley said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I've been wanting to make some for my livingroom wall too, but wasn't sure how to attack it. Problem solved!


The mum of all trades said...

I really must try this. such a simple idea but so effective.thanks for sharing!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Love this- I would love to make some of these!! Thanks for sharing the tutorial and for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted said...

This is great! I was just thinking last night how I wanted to do something similiar to this in my home. I'm a big silloutte fan. Great job!

SeaGal said...

These are wonderful.. I like that you did a before image of the living room.. as in the after, the images look so great bordering the mirror..
Ziba Anne

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What an adorable DIY project! Thank you so much for sharing.

Happy Monday!

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

I'm so honored that you chose to join the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop. Thank you for adding this special masterpiece to rock my party :)

The DIY Show Off said...

I love silhouettes! You did an amazing job! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity in the DIY Project Parade! ;)