{organizing ideas and decorating advice from my home to yours}

A Sharpie Silhouette

Posted: September 8th, 2009 | Author: Katie | Filed under: Simple Solutions |

When I see silhouettes, I think back to elementary school and standing sideways, in front of the projector, while my profile was traced - anyone here with me?

Sadly, I have always admired how clean and classic silhouettes look but I have been intimidated by the process of how to create them. I don’t really know how to use an exacto knife, I’m really bad at tracing, and I don’t own a projector - not like I would even have a chance for stillness with a toddler and an infant! So I have stored some fellow bloggers silhouette links gaga-ing over them and their tutorials until I came to the last one.  And when I found out ALL I needed was a profile picture, a pair of scissors and a SHARPIE…she had me at Sharpie.

Yes, you heard me correctly, a Sharpie.


Here is how my inspiration developed...

The Nester shared about a professional silhouetest (in my vocabulary that is a person who does silhouettes professionally)  Lena Bengtson  who can trace your child in person or through a picture for you. Beautiful work would be an understatement! 



Kari and Kijsa  held a silhouette class. If only I could have attended and brought diet cokes to share with the ladies. They could have taught me how to make mine look this amazing!




And then I admired these pictures on my friend Grace’s photography site:





Are they not stunning? I can’t choose my favorite so I included all of them!


But it was the cherry on top when I saw these in a Real Simple Magazine:


I just loved how the paper made it pop and added some whymsical touch to a timeless piece.



Then I read about the host herself of Frugal Fridays, Wendy, at The Shabby Nest  and her 5 minute silhouette. I was captivated. I could do this and yes, it is this easy!


The process is this:

Take a profile picture and print off, use scissors to cut out and a sharpie to fill in.

A few of my tips:

✄ Getting a good profile might take some preparation. I snapped my four year old while he was engrosed in a tv show, I held a remote in front of my 10 month old, and a dog treat in front of Lucy.

✄ I did take a couple pictures of each just incase one worked better than the others.

✄ I actually ended up using a 5×7 for my older son and then kept the 4×6 for my younger one.

✄ If you do scrapbooking or journaling, I even used an extra to stick in their journal.

I used an old frame and matte that I already had and bought a sheet of scrapbooking paper for .29¢ and yes that too was ironically 50% off at the wonderful Hobby Lobby! So .19¢ per photo and .15¢ for the paper. A whopping total of .55¢ for a Clean and Classic Silhouette that I will cherish forever!!






And I couldn’t forget the girl in the household…



♥ Katie


23 Comments on “A Sharpie Silhouette”

  1. 1 Andrea said at 7:14 pm on September 8th, 2009:

    Ahhh…I’ve been waiting for this! You told me something cool was coming up. You were right! I love the boys little round heads and cheeks! And Lucy…what a pretty girl. Very cool. I’ll have to try it out.

  2. 2 Infarrantly Creative said at 8:56 pm on September 8th, 2009:

    Those are so cute…I plan on doing those one day. Did you see Living With Lindsay’s glass etched one on a mirror. Oh my…gorgeous

  3. 3 maunsanteau said at 8:59 pm on September 8th, 2009:

    Great work! They turned out wonderful. I also want to try this kind of paper crafting.

  4. 4 Tamara said at 9:03 am on September 9th, 2009:

    Kamee wants to do something like this for MOPS this Christmas… I will make sure she reads this!!!

  5. 5 Wendy said at 10:15 am on September 9th, 2009:

    Katie, these are so special! I love this idea!!!

  6. 6 Cheri Peoples said at 2:43 pm on September 9th, 2009:

    How darling.
    My blog has just been growing like a crazy weed and I haven’t been able to get by for as many visits. I miss all my blog friends.
    Come for a visit and see both of my new parties for the week. They are up every week and I hope you will participate.

    Its So Very Cheri

  7. 7 Tamara said at 6:36 pm on September 9th, 2009:

    Shoot now I am obsessed with this Lena lady!!! Is it worth the money or is your version just as good!!…???.

  8. 8 Laurel said at 7:38 pm on September 9th, 2009:

    We are on the same page, I don’t know why it always surprises me! I just took the pictures last week to do this!

  9. 9 Kate said at 4:51 am on September 11th, 2009:

    Wow, they all really pop… certainly clean & classic. Fabulous job!

  10. 10 Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said at 5:12 am on September 11th, 2009:

    So glad I inspired you! Are these not the easiest silhouettes on the face of the planet? And I’m right there with you on remembering standing in front of a projector in elementary school while my teacher traced my silhouette…I think my mom still has them up in her house. :-)

  11. 11 Becky said at 5:22 am on September 11th, 2009:

    I seriously was just looking on blogs on how to do this. thank you for this simple, simple idea! im gonna attempt it this weekend.

  12. 12 Danica @ giffenfamily said at 5:50 am on September 11th, 2009:

    Thank you thank you, for this step by step and great pointers for capturing a tot on the go. This is now my NEXT project…and guess what the grandparents are getting for Christmas…awww yeah!

  13. 13 Cathy said at 5:57 am on September 11th, 2009:

    How cute! I will have to try this! I love them, but they are always so darn expensive.

  14. 14 Vanessa said at 7:11 am on September 11th, 2009:

    I have been wanting to do some of these of my kids. What a great, simple way to do it!! I want to do some larger ones, I wonder if I could do am 8×10 this way? I might need a few sharpies, huh? :)

  15. 15 Carri said at 7:17 am on September 11th, 2009:

    LOVE this! I’m doing it this weekend - I already even had a three-opening frame ready. What a great way to make something so refined be so simple!

  16. 16 2browneyebeauties said at 9:45 am on September 11th, 2009:

    Wow!! This is awsome! I am definitely going to try this with my 2yr old (during the Curious George Show) Thank you for passing on this great idea.

  17. 17 Kimmy @ my beautifully blessed life said at 12:10 pm on September 11th, 2009:

    I love this because it’s actually something I could do as well!! And I LOVE that you got one of your pooch!!

  18. 18 Lindsey O. said at 1:08 pm on September 11th, 2009:

    Hi there! I just stumbled upon your blog and OH my gosh! I have been wanting to do one of these for a while and couldn’t figure out how to! I just whipped one up of my dog in 10 minutes! Thanks for the tutorial!

  19. 19 Tiffany said at 5:41 am on September 12th, 2009:

    Oh, those look fabulous! I, too, have been wanting to make some silhouettes to frame of my kids but was scared to try. Thanks for the encouragement! I might just actually try it now. You did a great job!

  20. 20 Wendy said at 9:32 am on September 12th, 2009:

    They turned out great!! I am getting ready to try & make some.

  21. 21 Clean and Classic Interiors » Blog Archive » And the Winner is…. said at 7:11 pm on October 4th, 2009:

    [...] But they are hanging now and they are not only exactly what I first imagined, like Carrie’s Buffalo Check, but they also tie in beautifully with my sharpie silhouette frame: [...]

  22. 22 Heather said at 8:41 am on October 6th, 2009:

    This is such a great idea!! I’m gunna have to do these of my kids!! Thanks for sharing

  23. 23 Clean and Classic Interiors » Blog Archive » Lockets of Love said at 1:29 pm on January 12th, 2010:

    [...] I started playing with ideas. I used my silhouettes that I had from my sharpie silhouettes and sent them to a friend that did her magic. Yes, that is really all I can give you because other [...]

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