By: Beth Wickwire
Age: 5 and up
At a recent town fair, I had one of those life-comes-full-circle moments: Amid the apple pies and cotton candy, my daughters and I watched an artist expertly cutting silhouettes. I remembered seeing these during grade-school tours of historic homes and thinking, boring.
But now that I had my own kids, I realized I'd love to see Sylvie and Lila captured this way. So I created my own silhouette technique that will, I hope, stand the test of time.
What you'll need:
- Ceramic or glass dinner plate (10- to 12-inch diameter) or salad plate (7- to 8-inch diameter). Plastic won't work.
- Regular printer paper (photo quality not necessary)
- Scotch tape
- Card-stock paper (in whatever color goes with the plate)
- Sharp, thin scissors
- 2-inch foam paintbrush
- Mod Podge
- Permanent marker
How to make it:
- Take a photograph of your child in profile (be sure to choose his best side); his head should fill the frame.
- Lay the ruler across the plate to determine approximately how much of the surface you'd like the silhouette to cover. Print out or order the profile photo at the appropriate size: For a dinner plate, you'll probably want an 8-by-10; for a salad plate, a 5-by-7.
- Put a loop of tape on the back of the photo, then press the photo onto the card stock.
- Cut around the outline of your child's head through both layers of paper (it's easiest to turn the paper, not the scissors, as you cut).
- Remove the photo and tape from the card-stock profile and discard. Place the profile, back side up, on a sheet of paper. Use the brush to paint the profile with a thin layer of Mod Podge all the way to the edge.
- Put the silhouette, sticky side down, on the center of the plate and gently smooth with your fingers to get out any air bubbles.
- Cover the silhouette with another thin layer of Mod Podge, brushing it out slightly past edges, and let dry completely, 20 minutes.
- Use a permanent marker to write your child's name and the date on the back of the plate. He may want to eat off the plate, but don't let him. (While Mod Podge is nontoxic, it is water-based, and food can damage it.) Instead, display it on a shelf or hang it with a plate hanger.
Originally published in Wondertime magazine