This is one of the best presents I ever made for my parents:
I know, you’re shocked I actually did something crafty. Every now and then, I get a wild hair and bust out something cool.
With Father’s Day in a couple weeks, I wanted to share how I made this. It’s really easy, and it is sure to be a hit (especially for grandpas, who love old-timey stuff).
For this project, you need a frame (I used a 5×7), a photo of your child in profile, heavy white paper (something like card stock, at least 67lb weight, I used HP Brochure paper), black craft paper, scissors, tape, and glue.
First, take profile shots of your kids. Annabel had to practically be restrained, but I finally got a shot.
Next, if you are using a 5×7 frame, print out the picture on 4×6 photo paper. This ensures the silhouette will fit in the frame.
(I had to bump up the exposure so I could see the back of her hair)
Once your picture is printed, cut along the outline of the profile. If your kid has curly hair like my kids, I suggest cutting “waves” around the hair to illustrate the curls.
Tape the cut-out of the picture to black paper. I found that taping it picture-side down (so the white is up) made it easier to see the edges. Tape around the entire picture – this is important because as you cut, you need the picture to stay in place.
Now, cut along the outline of the profile again. Take care around those delicate features!
On a piece of heavier white paper, print the name you want to appear below the silhouette. You can do this on any word processing program, just make sure that when you write out the name it fits within the constraints of your 5×7 frame.
Mount the silhouette above the name using a glue stick or double sided tape.
Finally, frame it!
Yay, you’re done! Prepare for grandfatherly types to exclaim things like, “Aw shucks!” and “Golly gee willikers!” And then they’ll talk about walking home uphill in snow.
If you have a daughter with long hair, I think putting her hair in a ponytail before you take her picture would look adorable in profile. If your kid wears ball caps a lot, that would also look cute in a silhouette – basically, whatever is the essence of your children.
Do you have other Father’s Day DIY ideas? Share them below, I would LOVE to get more ideas.
My awesome photo partners HP have more Father’s Day gift ideas here. You can also print out Father’s Day cards with their free Creative Studio.
Great minds think alike, Heather! I did something very similar to this, and I wanted to make a suggestion. When cutting out the silhouette, use an X-acto knife, rather than scissors. They’re great for all those little curves and details. Just make sure you don’t do it directly on the table/counter/desk. Put some cardboard, newspaper or an old magazine/catalog beneath your work!
That’s a good idea! I will try that next time!
Wow, that’s a great idea. I may have to try to get a picture of my niece and do this for my brother!!!
Wow, that is a really neat idea! I’m not crafty at all but this looks like something I could manage. Thanks!
Emily G says:
I’ve been wanting to do this, but didn’t know how! Thanks for the step by step tutorial. Will make a wonderful gift.
I love the way you made Maddie’s eyelashes stand out! So pretty!
Me too! That is definitely Maddie’s profile!
Brilliant idea. Your girls silhouette are very easily recognizable. So cute!
Love the way yours turned out. The way I did it was to just print the picture out (I actually had it printed out at Wal—Greens because I hate printing pictures and wasting ink at home). Then I cut it out (I used my hair cutting shears around the fine parts because they’re super sharp, but it’s TERRIBLE for scissors!). Then, I just spray painted right over the picture with black spray paint. Then I only had to cut it out once. Just thought I’d share, your way is great but I guess I’m a little lazy!
WOW!!! I’m impressed!!! I bet your parents loved them!! You should hang them up in your new home. They ‘re beautiful!!!
Those are amazing. I truly love them but I think I might save them for Christmas presents.
Barefeet In The Kitchen says:
This is great!! I’m thinking about doing this for my mom’s Christmas. Thanks for the idea!
Such an awesome and unique gift.
And I love that in both your girls’ profiles that you can see their similar “pouts.” Too sweet.
I always wanted to know how to do this. I have tons of side profile pics of my girls. I know what I’ll be doing for me mother in law’s birthday next month.
Amanda M. says:
That’s cheating! You’re supposed to project their shadow onto a paper on the wall and try and trace it. And yell at them to hold still and be all frustrated because WHY WON’T YOU HOLD STILL.
Or at least that’s how my mom did it. Ha
Dawn @What's Around the Next Bend? says:
Ha! THAT’S how my mom did it too!!
Adorable. Once your dad has Annabelle’s, it would be great to see a photo of the two silhouettes side by side! They will be facing each other, which is nice. Also, did you make one for yourself?
I remember this project. However it was a very LONG TIME AGO. I was in third grade and I think it was for Christmas. I was done the old fashioned way, with a light bulb and black art paper. Teachers did all of work. I think we may have cut the silhouette, though, because ours was large enough for an 8 x 10 or 11 x 14 frame. We had large heads in 3rd grade. I much prefer your personalization
Thanks for the fond memory.
I had this done at school when I was in kindergarten! Except I sat on a stool with a spotlight hitting me in profile while someone traced my shadow onto paper. Obviously this gave a much larger image than the ones you made…and is not an option for toddlers! But my dad loved how it looked so much he made one of my little brother and had them professionally matted and framed (the frames are HUGE, like 18″x24″). They are still hanging in the dining room at my mom’s house Definitely a lovely gift.
this is super cool! i’m going to try to make one of my son in his fedora. he loves that thing.
Ooooh…I love this!!!
I did this for the families I babysit for as a Christmas gift and they loved it! It was a great (and cheap) way to give something unique and personal. I love that you’re passing this idea on to other people!
It’s also a great way to see similarities in siblings that you can’t see in regular photos.
Madi G. says:
I too have been doing this for years….one of my favorites!
I too echo the recommendation for an x-acto knife. Makes life WAY easier!
Also, make sure the image is a *true profile*, taken exactly from the side.
In Annie’s, you took the photo while standing slightly behind her. This distorts the final silhouette image (in this case, Annie’s facial features look slightly smaller than they really are.)
It wasn’t a big deal in Annie’s case, but in other kids, it makes a HUGE difference in the end result.
(Actually, while I was able to instantly recognize Maddie’s profile, I didn’t get the same recognition with Annie’s. Perhaps the slight “off” angle is the reason?? Or perhaps I’ve just not seen enough profile shots of Annie, so it’s just not recognizable to me yet?)
I love these craft-type posts and the hair styles. Fun!
I love this! Thank you! I’m making one for my Mom for her birthday next month & then going to make another for their other grandmother for Christmas. Such a great idea & so easy. Thanks again!
Love this so much! I’ve always wanted to do one of these, but just assumed it would be out of my reach. Not so! I love how recognizable both girls are – especially Maddie’s lush lashes, and Annie’s apple cheeks! These are lovely.
Beautiful job! I want to do silhouettes of my cousins for my uncle, but I only see them when he’s there and I’m worried he’ll get suspicious of me asking them to stand still for profile shots…
LOVE this!!! thanks for sharing!!!
But the lingering question is…….what is the name of the FONT you used?
It’s a font called “Zapfino.” I love it!
Last year for Christmas, I took three photos of my two kids. I took one of each individually holding the letter “D”, and one of them together holding the letter “A”. I then went to Hobby Lobby and bought a frame with three picture “holes”, and loaded the photos to where the letters spelled out DAD. (The oldest son with his letter D first, the one with the A next, and last our youngest with his letter D)
At first I only bought one wooden letter D, but later went back and bought the second and now they sit on top of the frame hanging on the wall.
I redid the photos for Father’s Day last year. When my husband opened the gift, he cried, SUCCESS!!! lol
Bean Bell says:
I used your tutorial today for my blog to make a kitten silhouette
I make an animal craft every day and you inspired me to try something cute.
Love this idea! Thanks Heather! Went out to Hobby Lobby last evening and bought my supplies!!