DIY Silhouette Art

I made this on the weekend: 

Silhouette.JPG

Ignore the dim lighting and the weird reflectiony line at the top. It's Grady's perfect little 2-year old silhouette and I love it. 

It took a long time to make. Almost two hours (my attention span is limited. Two hours is a really long time nowadays.) But I'm so glad I spent the time capturing the last remnants of baby Grady before he completely turns into Big Boy Grady who wrinkles his nose and furrows his brow and says, "hmmmmm, I don't fink so!" when I ask him if it's time for bed.

I saw this frame on the clearance table at Michael's last week and I'd seen DIY silhouette art tutorials floating around on the web so I figured I'd give it a go. First I took a picture of Grady's profile against a light background (while he was watching television so he'd be motionless.) I actually took about a dozen photos so I could chose one where his lips weren't pursed or his head wasn't tilted - you want a natural, relaxed profile. 

Next I opened the photo up in my photo editing software and jacked the contrast way up. Then I sized it to the frame and printed the picture on regular paper.  

I taped the picture onto a window and then taped regular ol' waxed paper on top of it (you could use tracing paper if you're feeling fancy.) Then I used a pencil to (carefully! Take your time!) trace the outline of Grady's profile onto the waxed paper. 

Next I taped the waxed paper onto a sheet of black cardstock (just the edges, though) and used the surgeon-y looking craft knife I also bought at Michael's to cut out the silhouette. This step took forever. I feel like maybe I bought the wrong kind of knife because I ended up just using scissors for most of it. My only advice for this step is: go slow. Make tiny cuts. You can always cut more away, you can't add it back if you cut too much. 

My final step was to paste the black silhouette on my beigey-grey cardstock and then slap the whole thing in the frame.  

This project wasn't easy but it wasn't difficult. It was mostly just time consuming and kind of annoying. It took a lot of patience (not something I have an abundance of right now) but like I said, I'm so glad I tackled this project.  I hung the picture on our bedroom wall and every time Grady sees it he says, "that's Grady! That's Grady!" It's perfect.