Saturday, November 19, 2011


The Girlhood Home Companion* is featuring a special Little Women Edition available just in time for Christmas!

In this most recent issue, our family has contributed a tutorial on silhouette making which we wanted to share with you!


Silhouette art has been popular since the 1800's and presently it's graphic simplicity is making a strong come back.  Before cameras were available, families often created silhouettes to capture their family member's image.  Silhouettes can be made to capture full body action or, most commonly, the profile.  Traditionally they are cut using black paper and mounted for display.  We'll show you some tips to make professional looking silhouettes for display in your home.  You'll be surprised at how easy it is!

Steps #1-#3--Take photo; print on white card stock; draw in details such as eye lashes and cut.

1.  Take a profile photo of your subject using a digital camera against a plain, contrasting background.  Have the face turned a little toward you so that you can just make out where the eyelash is on the other side of your subject's nose.  Take a few so that you can choose the one you like best.

2.   Using your own photo editing software, open the photo and print onto white card stock.  If you do not have photo editing software, you can download GIMP from the Internet at no charge for the Mac or PC.  Select the print size based on the size frame you are planning to use.  We used 8 X 10. 

3.  Cut your silhouette from the card stock.  Girlhood tip:  Professional silhouette artists add eyelashes and little details to give the image more interest.  Take a few moments to draw in the lashes and detail you wish to add before cutting.  Consider adding volume to the hair as well as a curve to finish off the bottom of the silhouette.  These little additions make a big difference. 

When you are finished cutting you will have a white card stock silhouette (see below left) on one side and your photo on the other. 

Steps #4-5-- Silhouettes cut- white card stock side up; scanned and color inverted.

4.  If you have a scanner available to you, plan to scan the white silhouettes at this point.  This will allow you a lot more opportunities to use these images again.  You can use them to make wonderful gifts-  Christmas ornaments, custom mailing labels and stationary, place mats, lockets, party invitations and so on.  The possibilities are endless!

5.  If you have scanned your image, invert the color (in GIMP select the color drop down menu and invert) to change the silhouette from white to classic black.  In your editing software you can also add the name of your subject and save.  You can reprint the black silhouette onto white card stock, again select the print size based on the size frame you are planning to use.  We used 8 X 10.

If you do not have access to a scanner, you can still make a black silhouette for display.  Using a foam brush, simply paint an even layer of black tempura paint onto the white side of your card stock cut out.  Transfer to a clean paper towel and allow to dry completely.  If you are choosing the painting option you will need to mount your image using an acid free adhesive to attach it to a piece of white card stock. 

And viola!  You are done.  Frame and enjoy your classic treasure.

May you be blessed!

P.S.  Oval frames can be difficult to find on a budget.  We chose to purchase only 2 and fill in the remainder with inexpensive rectangle frames.  The oval set was purchased online here and shipped at no charge via the ship to store option.  They even texted me when my order arrived- convenient. 


*More on the Girlhood Home Companion Magazine:  The Girlhood is a beautiful full color companion guide, magazine, and character study all rolled into one publication. that encourages young ladies (ages 10-18) to enjoy their precious girlhood years while walking closely with the Lord and developing a deeper relationship with Him. Each edition features encouraging articles and stories that center on one character quality per issue explored through editorials, articles, and stories that will minister to the heart of your daughter, while teaching her the practical skills of homemaking, cooking, crafts, sewing and other girlhood pastimes.

Wouldn't the Girlhood make a lovely Christmas gift for your older girl?


  1. What a great idea! I'll have to see about doing that with my kids :-) The Girlhood Companion is something I've wanted to get for my girls(well and even me). I'll have to look at their current prices.

    Hope you are having a great weekend!

  2. I just had silhouettes made of the boys! It was an auction item from their school. Hoping to find oval frames this week... I LOVE the picture of all five girls. Nice work! Going to catch up on your blog posts now. It has been awhile since I have been able to visit!! May you and your family have a joyous Thanksgiving :)

  3. Hi Sommer!

    Even if you can't make the time to do the whole silhouette project, you can always take the profile photos and tuck them away for later. :)

    But once they are made, other great homemade projects come to mind. I am thinking of homemade ornaments for myself and the grandmas next...

    Hi Gabi-

    How wonderful! I bought our oval frames from (link under my signature). They were very inexpensive and arrived quickly.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you dear!

  4. I've seen this and OFTEN wanted to do it, just have never gotten around to it. Thanks for spelling it out here :)

    amy in peru

  5. Thanks Amy in Peru. If you make one I'd love to see it!

  6. This is adorable! I have been wanting silhouette art of my girls but didn't realize I could make my own. Come to my house and help me soon? By the way, where did you find those black oval frames? Love them!