Silhouette Art

One of my favorite pieces of art in Brody’s room is the silhouette my husband and I made.  Brody was only 5 months old when we made this, but I still, one whole year later, love walking into his room and seeing it hang on the wall.  Some of my friends who are moms have asked me how we made it, so I thought I would share with all of you, so you can make your own, too!  It’s very simple!

Here is what you will need:

  • Black cardstock
  • Exacto-Knife
  • White colored pencil
  • Scissors
  • Picture Frame
  • Photo of your child
  • Photo Editing program (almost any program should work for what you will need to do).


To start, you will need to take a profile photo of your child.  You’ll most likely need help with this (unless your child is old enough to stand still while you snap away).   The best way to do this is to stand in front of a window.  We closed the white curtains in Brody’s room and stood in front of his window when the light was shining in.

For babies, I would suggest removing their clothing.  As you can see, we didn’t do this, and it ended up working ok, but the onesie he was wearing made it more difficult because it bunched up around his chubby neck and cheeks.  Next, just position yourself so that you are shooting a nice profile view of your child.  Don’t worry about the exposure because it won’t matter for this.

Next, upload your picture to your computer and use your photo editing software to adjust the photo.  You might need to crop it so it’s just the top of the shoulders and up.  Then de-saturate the photo until it’s black and white, and play with the contrast and brightness until it’s mostly just a silhouette.  Then you can resize it so it fits whatever frame you want to use.

Now you can print the photo and cut out the silhouette.  Some of the details, like the hair and eye-lashes, may need to be free-handed a bit.  Be sure to leave enough space at the bottom to trim out the shoulders for a more traditional silhouette  look.  Next, trace the cut-out onto black cardstock.  It helps to use a white colored pencil so you can see your lines better.  We used an exacto-knife when cutting the black cardstock because it made trimming all the details a bit easier.

That’s it!  Just frame the cardstock cut-out and you are finished.

We plan to do one every year for Brody, and we’ll just keep the old ones in his baby book.  I think I’ll always keep this first one in a frame though…just love seeing that little baby silhouette too much to take it off the wall just yet.  Has anyone else tried doing some silhouette art?  I know there are other ways to achieve this end result…any other tips?

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4 Responses to Silhouette Art

  1. Heather February 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    I LOVE this!!! What a great creative idea!!!! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Jackie February 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

      Thanks Heather!

  2. Marie February 22, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    I love your DIY project – something you will always treasure!

    • Jackie February 22, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

      Thanks Marie! I do definitely treasure it. 🙂

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