Frame these silhouettes for homemade art—or give them as gifts.
If you’re still looking for fun activities you can do during quarantine–especially ones that get the whole family involved (and don’t include Netflix)—add making silhouette drawings to your list. According to the DIY pros at Le Papier Studio, a shop for silhouette art, jewelry, and more, learning how to make silhouette drawings of your kids, spouse, or friends is easier than you might think. Starting with a profile photograph of your child or loved one, follow the steps below from the book Silhouette Art (Chronicle Books) by Vana Chupp, the founder and creative director of Le Paper Studio. Once you have your finished silhouette drawings, frame them to create a family gallery wall or give them as special presents for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or upcoming birthdays.
Gather Your Supplies:
- Thin marker
- Profile photograph (see tips below)
- Scissors (or a craft knife)
- Black or any color construction paper
How to Make a Silhouette Drawing:
1. Outline the photograph: use the marker to trace the outline of your child in the photograph, creating an outline you intend to cut out. As you draw the outline, include any details such as eyelashes, flyaway hairs, bows, etc.
2. Cut out your pattern: Use scissors or a craft knife (parents only!) to cut out the shape by carefully following the outline. Once you’ve created this outline, you can use it on other projects.
3. Trace onto construction paper: Place the pattern onto the construction paper. Holding the pattern steady with one hand, trace around the outline.
4. Cut out the silhouette: Using scissors or a craft knife, again carefully cut out the silhouette. Et voila! You can create your own silhouette that you can frame as art or use in other projects.
Photo Tips for Making Perfect Silhouettes:
- Take the photo against a well-lit background, with the subject facing either left or right.
- Only one side of the face must show, and the entire head should be in the photo.
- A relaxed face helps to show features (like eyelashes, nose, and lips).
- You can take photos with a phone camera. Just make sure to take photos in good lighting, during daytime if possible.
- For multiple kids, take individual photos.
- Take photos at eye level, standing about two to four feet away.
- If child has long hair (past shoulders), consider putting it up. Ponytails, braids, and messy buns make cute silhouettes and add character to the finished project.
- When photographing babies, try taking the picture when they are asleep. Hold the camera steady above their head, with only one side of their face showing.