Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Silhouette Ornaments Tutorial

These silhouette ornaments of my family ended up being my favorite part of our tree this year. They really stand out on the tree, and I think they're such a cool personal touch. And they were very easy and inexpensive to make.

I'm going to post this tutorial in two steps: first, making the silhouette in Photoshop and second, assembling the actual ornament. If you don't have Photoshop, you can make your silhouette by hand. There is a great tutorial here at Crafty Texas Girls.

 Step 1: Make Your Silhouette

This is my self-invented easy, easy, easy method for making a silhouette in Photoshop (I have PSE 10, so that's the program I used for this tutorial). You need to start by taking a profile photo of your subject. You don't need to take the photo against a blank background- just make sure you can clearly see the profile. Here's my starting photo. Sweet Max has graciously volunteered to be our model:
1. Now, load your photo into Photoshop.

2. Next, choose the magnetic lasso tool. Very carefully go around the outline of your profile- you may need to zoom in a bit to get a clean outline. Click so that the line around the profile is blinking. (Yes, these are highly technical instructions!)

3. With the outline still blinking, go the Edit menu and click on Delete. Your photo should look like this:

4. Now (with the outline still blinking), choose the Paint Bucket tool (it's the little paint bucket icon on the left toolbar). Click to fill in the outline with black paint.

5. Next, go to the Select menu and choose Inverse. A blinking line will appear around the entire outside of your photo. Now, go to the Edit menu again and choose Delete. The part of your photo outside the silhouette should disappear and you're left with this:

6. Now you're almost done! Go to the Select menu again and click Deselect. Your blinking lines should go away and you're left with your finished silhouette. Go ahead and save your silhouette as a JPEG file. 

7. Last, you'll want to print your silhouette. Make sure to choose the correct size so that your silhouette will fit in the frame you're using. For mine, I printed the silhouettes as 3.5"x 5". I used a textured linen printer paper, which gave the silhouette a nicer look than just plain printer paper.


Step 2: Making Your Ornament

Now for the fun part that involves paint and two kinds of glue! To assemble the ornament, you'll need:

I got the wooden unpainted frame at Michael's for $1. The paper is scrapbook paper, but a piece of sheet music, old book page, or any other patterned paper would look amazing too.
1. Paint your frame. I used gray paint for mine.
2. Take out the piece of paper that's in the frame. Glue it to the back of your scrapbook paper, then cut out the paper to the correct size to fill in your frame. Cut out your silhouette and glue onto the scrapbook paper.
3. Cut a piece of ribbon and glue it to the back of your frame as a hanger.

4. Pop your silhouette in the frame and you're done!


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