Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Canvas Silhouette Updates


Remember those canvas silhouettes of my kids I made last year? The plan was to update them once a year to keep track of how the kids are changing. I love how Charlotte went from a little no-neck baldy to a wild-haired darlin' in just one year's time.




Here's a list of supplies you'll need:



Here's the step-by-step:

1. Paint the canvas white. 
2. Take photos of your subject(s) in profile. 
3. Use Photoshop or any photo-editing program to re-size the photos to fit the canvas.
4. Print the photos on regular paper
5. Trace a "cut-line" around the profile with a Sharpie.
6. Cut along the black line

Then I used the templates I made from the photos to trace onto the back of a vinyl sheet (see above & below). 



The extra step of tracing onto vinyl really saved me a lot of stress when it came to painting the profiles onto the canvas. Last year, I used a label sheet; but the label shifted around a bit when I started painting, and didn't leave the fine details as defined as I wanted them. The vinyl is the perfect solution. It stuck firmly to the canvas, didn't allow paint underneath, and removed cleanly when I was done painting.


Next, simply stick the vinyl cut-out to the center of the canvas. Paint over it with your desired paint color and a foam brush (or a foam roller, if you don't like brush-strokes). Two or three coats of paint may be necessary. After the paint dries, remove the vinyl and your silhouette is done!


Pardon all the smudges on my kids silhouettes. They found the finished products on the table one morning, and carried them around the house all day. Now I'm off to touch-up the dirty spots, and then these silhouettes will grace our entryway for the next year.

P.S. If you need a little more in-depth info, check out last year's tutorial.

Photobucket

38 comments:

km said...

I LOVE EM!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Cs hair makes me SMILE! :)

Emily Reese said...

They look so good. Your technique is much more advanced than mine, I will have to give it a try. Em

Jennie said...

Priceless! Charlotte's hair is the best.

Angela Noelle of SK said...

Your work always amazes me - you do everything that other people do well...better.

Fishy Face said...

These are so cool, I love them. I want to make them of my dogs. :) Nice work, you are awesome.

Nellene said...

I'm so loving this! I think I'm going to have a little fun with this and experiment with using "glow in the dark paint". Have you tried that before? If yes, any tips? Thanks!!

Kim said...

I love these ... my kids are older, but I still think it would be fun, especially because of the fun colors and spin you took on the traditional silhouette! Thanks for sharing the how-to!! We need to update our hallway and these just might be the art I have been waiting for! Thank you!

Mary at Front Porch Ideas said...

This is a fantastic idea for a grandparent to do, too. Being the grandma to 7 sweet grandchildren, I would love doing this project. Thank you so much for the instructions. I wonder if contact paper vinyl would work as well.

Aneta Hayne said...

I LOVE this idea, hoping to make it for Christmas as gift to grandparents :)

Debbie E said...

Can't you just use white canvas, instead of having to paint a canvas white?

Leslie said...

Do you think elements can do this? I am SO not crafty but I really really want to try this!!!

christina said...

Hi Debbie, Good point. You actually CAN leave the white part blank. I just prefer the painted look...so it's just a matter of personal preference. But leaving it unpainted would save lots of time.

Leslie, pretty sure you can use elements...just use the pen tool to create a path around the silhouette, fill it with white, create a solid color background and you're all set. Then send off your file to one of those canvas-printing places. Let me know how it goes!

Chris said...

How in the world did you get the pictures cut out so neatly? When I try it's all choppy and uneven. My round sections are NOT round like yours are. I would so love to make these of my grandchildren!

christina said...

Hey Chris, The secret is in using TINY scissors to go around the fine details and the curves. Works like a charm. Good luck!

Crystal said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have been struggling with making these though. I first tried contact paper. It didn't stick and lots of paint leaked under. I found the vinyl, tried it last night. Seemed like it stuck to the painted canvas well. I was very excited BUT this morning I peeled off the vinyl and paint all underneath. Any suggestions? I used acrylic paint and a foam roller. I am trying to make these as gifts for practically everyone in my family and it's just not working! I am giving it another try today thinking my roller may have been wet still. Any other tips would be great!
Thanks! Crystal

christina said...

Hi Crystal,
My best guess is that the paint wasn't completely dry before you put the vinyl on. I usually let the first layer of paint dry overnight (at least) or maybe for a few days before I put the vinyl on. Then I paint over it and let the entire thing sit overnight before I remove the vinyl at the very end. You could also try speeding up the drying process with a hairdryer if you don't have that much time to kill.

Good luck! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

NC Cassagne Family said...

Christina!

Thanks so much! It worked perfectly this time! Can't wait to make a bunch for the whole family!

Crystal

Sherry said...

These caught my eye on Pinterest so I immediately bought everything to make my own! Everything went great until I went to peel off the vinyl and it ended up sticking like old wallpaper would stick to your walls (it was left to dry overnight so maybe the type of Avery vinyl I bought was the wrong choice). Grrrr! Tons of sticky stuff remained on the canvas and had to be peeled off meticulously, HOWEVER, will all that happening, they still turned out adoreably, despite the scuffs and marks all over them.

Thanks for posting this and sharing a great craft to capture our little kiddos profiles!!

lauren @ West Furniture Revival said...

these are so great, i would love to feature them if that would be ok with you please let me know,
Lauren

Sparkle said...

Where do you get the vinyl paper?

Anonymous said...

Where can you find the vinyl and in what department?

christina said...

Hi! You can buy vinyl at most craft stores. It's usually with the Cricut supplies...in the paper crafting department. You can also order it by the sheet on Amazon, which works great if you only need a small amount for projects like this.

I usually order mine at sign warehouse.com by the roll, but I use it for other projects, too. Hope that helps!

Catherine Clare said...

I never mess around with photo editing, so I'm lost in that department. I went to Mpix.com and they have tons of sizes of prints to choose from so can you help me with that? I have 16x20 canvases to use. What size would you blow the photos up to? (I plan on having the profile take up most of the photo when I take it) Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

I used spray paint and it turned out great!!!! I did spray the canvas white and then put the Oracal on the canvas and used bronze metallic spray paint, It dried really fast and then I peeled off the Oracal. Thanks so much for the idea!!!!

christina said...

Hi Catherine Clare,

Great question! It mostly depends on how close-up your photos are. If you've got an inch or two of negative space around the profile in the photo, then you can blow them up to within just a couple inches of the canvas size. In your case, maybe as close to 14x18 as possible. If your image extends all the way to the edge of the photograph, then you may want to go a little bit smaller.

One other thing to try, that would be relatively inexpensive is to simply take your photos to a copy center and enlarge them on regular copy paper, black and white, until they look about right. Then you can use the photocopy in place of the photo. Good luck! Can't wait to see how they turn out.

Daniela said...

Love it! Can't wait to do it! And give it as a gift ideas to our nannies @aznannies

Stephanie P said...

I made these of my children for my mom for her birthday and LOVE them! So simple to do and they turned out so cute! I am having a hard time parting with them - may just have to make a couple more to keep for myself! Thanks for the great tutorial!

Time Flies said...

wow those are really amazing, would of never thought of something like this, so simple and neat

Anonymous said...

I want to do this for my daughter and her boyfriend who just moved in together. I could take a pic of them kissing/faces together.

rebekah @ justfordaisy said...

I've just done this for our Father's Day gifts this year! Thanks so much for sharing! I've linked to your blog in my post here :)

rebekah @ justfordaisy said...

Such a great idea! Love this! We did this for Father's day and I blogged about it here. Thanks again for sharing - I've linked back to your post! :)

Janet Trieschman said...

Love these, I shared a link to your post on Try it - Like it

http://tryit-likeit.com/entries/create/paint-a-silhouette

Judy Dendy said...

When I was a teacher I would put the kids sideways in front of chalkboard covered in black paper. Shine my overhead at them, trace their silhouettes on the black paper around their shadows and have them cut them out. We'd then glue them to poster board and hang them. parents would come in and try and find their kids and they never had trouble finding theirs. this was to teach the meaning of the vocabulary word silhouette, and they NEVER missed it on their tests. Like your idea of make photos and blowing them up.

sian gwilliam said...

hi. Such great idea, I love your blog, and your style and flair for writing. the project looks pretty simple to produce, would you be ok if I featured it on my site for kids in london, will link you up of course ? xo

www.thecreativebusstop.com

christina said...

Hi Sian,

Of course...I'd love for you to feature the project on your blog. Have a great day!

Elizabeth McKnight said...

This is a great idea....I may have to do it for my kiddos!!

www.pintresy.com/eamcknight1

Lindy said...

Do you think this would work with contact paper? I have a 7 pack of canvases that I bought at Joann (Kind of weird that they come in a 7 pack) and I have contact paper and acryllic paint. Before I try it I thought I would see if anyone else has tried it with contact paper.

daudlmaus said...

this is awesome :) Thank you so much!
Greetings from Germany,

Claudi