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Thursday, January 5, 2012


I, like I'm sure many of you LOVE Etsy. In fact my best friend an I have a company on there, AlittlePaintYarn, though most of our stuff is currently just listed on our AlittlePaint&Yarn facebook. Oops, off topic, ok my point...sometimes I go on Etsy an think, "SERIOUSLY?! Really they are charging how much? For that? I can make that!" Well, this is one of those cases. We are currently redoing our daughter's room, so I came across this awesome little item: Set of 4 Princess Silhouettes. Don't get me wrong, not trying to take money out of this person's pocket, but for less then half of what they are charging I made the whole thing, frames and all, plus an extra. Sorry, but in this economy every penny counts.

Here's how I did it:

You'll need: Masking/Painter's Tape, easy to remove from paper without tearing. Pencil, eraser, scissors, art knife (exacto), cutting mat, and glue. I prefer a glue stick, no paper bubbles or ripples, plus dries perfectly clear. White paper, printer paper is more then fine, just make sure it's thin. Thin helps the monitor shine through and it's much much easier to trace.Your choice of card stock, backing paper, and frames. In my case we went for the Ikea NYTTJA line of frames. Very inexpensive, simple and more important to us because they will be in a child's room, VERY LIGHT! No glass, just plexi.

Just to help you when you get your colors in mind, just make sure to get at least 2 colors in mind, 1 for the silhouettes them self and one for the backing. make sure the back will allow the silhouettes to pop. You want every tiny details to shine. When choosing a color scheme, your card stock (scrapbook paper) for silhouettes they don't necessarily have to be solid. You can chose a pattern that will complement the character/object or the room you are working with. I went with straight bright pink an white, just because everything else in her room is a mix match of colors so this 1 solid would really stand out. It's also kind of why the Etsy idea popped out to me. I knew it would match perfectly, but for this demo I'll work with red.

Just like I did for the Nightmare Before Christmas Party silhouettes, did some searching for just the right images and did the tracing right off my computer monitor. In this case I had to make sure they were extremely strong imagery, cause princesses can easily be mistaken. I went for the most iconic interesting poses I could find. This idea also works for doing traditional face profile silhouettes, just use a photo you have taken of the person's profile.

Once that is done, size your image on your monitor so it will fit your frame (or so you know you can find a frame size for it). Custom size on zoom in/out really helps, because sometimes those even choices just aren't quite right. Now bust out that tape (masking/painter's) along with the white paper.

Trace just the outside of the character/object of your choice. Now make sure to trace any spot that the background needs to be removed. This is what gives your object more personality then just a blob. Some characters are really easy an have a straight forward image, like Ariel (Little Mermaid) but ones like Rapunzel (Tangled) need those extra cut outs. *NOTE* This is where a art knife comes in handy. Don't stress if your lines aren't to smooth or you accidently trace something of no importance. 1 that's what erasers are for an 2 it's the smoothness of your cuts that matter. You are just making the guide. I tend to leave the image up while cutting so I always have something to go back an refer to anyhow. If you are happy gently remove your paper from the monitor.

I just use the same tape from monitor and retape my trace to the card stock. Sometimes you need to reposition a few pieces or add a little more so it lays flat and tight together. Time to cut. Make sure when cutting you hold the guide tight/flat to the card stock. I use my scissors for most. The art knife is my friend when the spot is on the interior of image or to precise to rely on scissors. When those times come make sure you placed your cutting mat under.

Done cutting? If so remove carefully the tape an the pieces of paper apart. Glue stick the back of your silhouette. Don't stress if extra glue gets on front, that's why you used a clear dry stick. If you fear there's too much on front just carefully scrape excess off with scrap paper. Be careful an don't over do it. It will dry clear, so a tiny bit won't kill your project. Glue to chosen background paper. Rub carefully together. Give it time to dry nice an flat.

Place in frame and hang!

BTW, my kid TOTALLY LOVES THEM :) Score one for Mommy! ;)

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1 comment:

  1. Cute, fun and economical idea. Thanks for sharing!