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DIYdiy projects

diy project: custom paper silhouettes

by Grace Bonney


today’s final diy project comes from stu and janet at three potato four. we got a sneak peek into their reston, virginia home last month and several of you asked about the beautiful silhouettes by their staircase. when i spoke with stu and janet they kindly offered to share their instructions for creating your own custom diy paper silhouettes. this would be a wonderful project for the weekend, or a fun way to create an easy customized birthday gift or housewarming present. i wonder if i can make these for my cats…click here for the full instructions or just click “read more” below. [thanks to stu and janet for sharing!]




Custom Paper Silhouettes

What you’ll need:

– Good side profile photo
– Scissors or Xacto Knife
– Tracing Paper
– Glue Stick or Spray Mount
– Stapler
– Black Acid-Free Cardstock Paper
– Plain or Patterned Paper for Mounting
– Frame of Your Choice

What to do:

1. First you will need to start with a good side profile of the person. Make sure there is some contrast with the background so you can get the details of their profile and catch some detail in their hair. Print out the photo in the desired size you would like the end silhouette to be.

2. Next, placing your tracing paper over the photo, carefully trace around the profile of your person. It’s good to incorporate any cowlicks or wisps of hair in bangs or ponytails. These little details make the silhouette more unique and interesting. Don’t worry, sometimes it takes a couple rounds of tracing the face to get just the right one.

3. When you are happy with your tracing, staple the tracing paper to you black acid-free paper. Staple around the traced silhouette. This keeps it in place as you cut your silhouette out.

4. Carefully and slowly cut your silhouette out, using either a good pair of scissors or an Xacto knife (whichever you are more comfortable with using). The tracing paper should be stapled securely to your black acid free paper, but just make sure you are cutting through both as you go.

5. Then take your finished black paper silhouette and mount it to the paper of your choice. I used a patterned paper but you can mount it on plain white background or even use a fun floating frame like shown in the photo above. Use glue stick or spray mount to secure your silhouette.

6. Place in your frame of choice and enjoy! These make great gifts and are a great personal memento for any home.

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