Sunday, October 4, 2009


When Anna Jane was in Miss Jennifer's class, she brought home evidence of a typical February preschool activity: the silhouette. I've done this with my students around groundhog day, and Miss Jennifer and Miss Paula didn't shy away from this challenge: the often difficult to capture likeness of a squirmy, sticky, giggly-three-year old.

I have a professionally-cut silhouette hanging in an oval frame of myself at about four-years-old hanging in my bedroom. They are such classic pieces of art, and have become quite trendy these days. They adorn the headers of many blogs out there and there is an artist every year at the Festival of Trees who will cut them while you wait. At $20 per kid it is totally worth it. But still not in the budget.

So when Anna Jane brought her larger-than-life black-construction-paper sillouhette home, I decided it was beautiful enough to serve as art in our house. So I matted it on scrapbook paper, put it in a frame, and hung it on the wall in her room. Then I started counting down the days until the February of Wilson's third year, and then the same point in Henry's life. Well, I got tired of counting, so I decided to tackle the challenge without the help of Miss Paula and Miss Jennifer.

And I chickened out. The thought of the boys holding still long enough while I traced their profiles, illuminated by a flashlight, made me laugh out loud. There was no way.

Wait...there was a way!

I found a photo of each of the boys...


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and used these profiles as stand-ins for the real thing.

I cut their faces out and traced them onto white paper.


My original plan was to enlarge the traced silhouettes until their size was comparable to Anna Jane's silhouette. But I didn't think the copier would make copies that big. So I moved on to Plan B....the overhead projector.

I cut out the cute little heads and projected them onto a piece of black construction paper taped to a door...


I cut them out and mounted them on scrapbooking paper that was a similar color green to the paper in the background behind Anna Jane.


The newest art collection in the household is hanging in the soon-to-be-fab-and-finally-transformed den. I haven't made the throw pillows for the couch yet, so if you're going to be judgy-judgy, keep it to yourself.


The kids were actually really excited about their likenesses on the wall. They could even tell who was who! These silhouettes might not be refined art, but at the hands of a couple of preschool teachers, they are as beautiful as the squirmy, sticky, giggly kids are!


  1. There are enough of us in the family to keep the pregnancy trend going without your help. Let's see. Emily and Katie next year and then maybe I'll work on it.

    I LOVE the silhouettes! I might start hiring you to spruce up my house since you have so much time on your hands. ;)

  2. You are a genius!

    I've been on the prowl for ideas to make good silhouettes and here they are! Thanks a ton!

    Would love to send you pics of stuff i make.