I saw a similar idea a while ago (probably on pinterest…) and decided to make sets of framed silhouettes for my mom and mother in law for Mother’s Day this year! I wanted to show you how I made mine, so you can make your own! They look way more difficult to make than they actually are, and make the sweetest décor for your own home or to give as a gift. Also, I have to mention that they’re super cheap. Depending on how many frames you buy and how much paper/fabric you have on hand, they could seriously be less than $5 total, unless you’re making a million! I made 11 total, and I spent $2 on printing the pictures, $1 each for the frames, and $0 on materials. Score!
Here are the materials you’ll need:
Paper (for silhouettes)
Paper or Fabric (for backgrounds)
Glue of choice (a glue stick worked great for me!)
Profiles (printed on your own or ordered online – Walmart is very cheap)
Frames (or a collage frame!)
Optional: Paper slicer if you’re using paper as your backdrop
1. Take your frame apart, and either remove the insert from the frame, or cut a piece of cardstock to the size of the frames you’re using. I used the insert of my frames, and fabric. So if you’re using paper, just substitute your materials for mine! (Also, my first picture was taken a couple of days before I actually got around to starting the project, and I changed my mind about the fabric and paper I wanted to use! sorry about that!)
2. Trace the insert on your background fabric, leaving about 1/2 inch around all edges. I cut out all the rectangles I needed at once.
3. Glue the insert to the center of the fabric, paying special attention to the corners and middle. It helps to pull the fabric at the edges and smooth it down, to get rid of any wrinkles. The edges will be pretty well secured later on.
4. Trim the corners at an angle so they’ll fold flat.
5. Glue the excess to the back of the insert, making sure to pull them taut so the front is a nice, smooth surface.
6. Repeat the gluing for all frames (or all sections of your collage frame)
7. Take one of the pictures and line it up where you want to cut on the paper. You could tape down the edges of the picture – I didn’t have any tape on hand (yay moving, nothing is easily accessible!), so I just held the paper and picture together firmly in one hand and cut with the other.
Also, note: before I printed all my profiles, I cropped each picture to be the right size and proportion for the frames I was using. So, I made each picture 4x6, and lined up the faces to each take up about the same amount of space. This ensures that all your silhouettes will look uniform and won’t be totally different sizes!
8. Cut carefully around the edge of each noggin. I stayed pretty true to the outlines, besides not following every strand of hair. I just smoothed out the outline present, while keeping the same shape.
9. Remove tape if you’re using it, and you’ve got yourself a silhouette! Now make the rest of them!
10. My mother in law has 3 children, and I wanted her to be able to hang these frames as a collage instead of a straight line, so I made a “silhouette” of a heart to fill out the rectangle of frames. I made a template with a scrap of paper, and then traced it on the same paper as the silhouettes. This way you aren’t making a crease in the finished heart by folding it!
11. Use your trusty glue stick and glue each silhouette, centered, on one of your lovely backgrounds. (Make sure they’re all facing the same direction, unless you want them more sporadic, or have two and want them to face each other!)
12. Put each insert in a frame and marvel at your accomplishment! I think they look so precious, even with adult silhouettes!
It’s as easy as that! You can make these look as modern or as classic as you want, depending on your fabric/paper choices, and your frames. You can make silhouettes of couples, children, grandchildren, entire families…I think they would look awesome in any set up! I can’t wait for my moms to open them, I hope they’ll love them as much as I do.
...and now to clean up the craft drivel.
Well, let me know what you think, or if you have any questions!
Hey there! My name is Kirstie. I'm here to jot down what it's like for us to make our way in the world - having fun on a budget, refashioning and DIY-ing our hearts out, pursuing business ventures, and raising a sweet babe in this crazy world. Join me for a slightly haphazard journaling of my little family and our pursuits and adventures!