How to Make a Framed Child's Silhouette

A framed silhouette is a classic keepsake and makes a thoughtful Christmas, birthday or Mother's Day gift. A digital camera, computer and printer make this centuries-old craft a snap.

Oval Frames With Black and White Silhouettes

Framed Child's Silhouette

Two homemade silhouettes of children have been framed in dark wood oval frames and placed next to several antiques including an old shoe insert and several old books.

Materials Needed:

  • digital camera
  • computer
  • printer
  • printer paper
  • black card stock
  • cream mat board
  • frame
  • craft knife
  • scissors
  • cutting mat
  • craft glue
  • black permanent marker or paint pen
  • ruler

Take Photo

Use a digital camera to take a profile photo of child; have the subject stand in front of a window or other light source to create a strong, clearly defined profile.

Print Photo

Upload image file to your computer and print photo onto standard printer paper to appropriate size for frame. Example: For a 5" x 7" frame, print a 5" x 7" photo or print a 4" x 6" photo if you'd prefer a slightly smaller scale silhouette. Tip: The smaller the image, the harder it will be to cut around facial features.

Preparing the Image for Printing

Print Photo for Child's Silhouette Project

Upload image file to your computer and print photo onto standard printer paper to appropriate size for frame. Example: For a 5" x 7" frame, print a 5" x 7" photo or print a 4" x 6" photo if you'd prefer a slightly smaller scale silhouette. Tip: The smaller the image, the harder it will be to cut around facial features.

Cut Out Silhouette

Place printed photo over black card stock and cut away background from printed image leaving only the subject's silhouette (Images 1 and 2).

Cut Mat

Use a craft knife to cut cream mat board to fit frame. Tip: Use cardboard backing included with frame as a template.

Cutting Mat With X-Acto Knife for Frame

Cream Mat Board for Framed Child's Silhouette

Use a craft knife to cut cream mat board to fit frame. Tip: Use cardboard backing included with frame as a template.

Glue Silhouette

Using a ruler, determine the center of mat and mark center. Apply craft glue to back side of silhouette (Image 1). Center silhouette, then gently press down and hold in place while glue adheres (Image 2). Tip: Keep glue away from silhouette's edges to prevent excess from squeezing out.

Label Silhouette

Use a fine-tipped permanent marker or paint pen to label and date the silhouette. Allow ink and glue to fully dry before placing in frame. Tip: Silhouettes don't have to be black; consider using colorful or patterned paper for a modern and playful interpretation.

Using a Marker to Put Name and Date on the Silhouette

Label Child's Silhouette

Use a fine-tipped permanent marker or paint pen to label and date the silhouette. Allow ink and glue to fully dry before placing in frame. Tip: Silhouettes don't have to be black; consider using colorful or patterned paper for a modern and playful interpretation.

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