Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thrift Store Silhouette Tutorial

Look at this!
Before I spray-painted this frame "ballet slipper pink", it was gold & dirty & cost my $1 at Goodwill. I bought it because the frame was ornate. You can find these all over thrift stores & antique shops, they're cheap - sometimes the frames are plastic and this print from "La Camargo Dancing" was just cardboard. So I didn't feel bad doing this:

With this "Valentinesy" scrapbook papers.
See the gold? And this was the clean, non-dusty side! Before painting the front, I cleaned it with warm soapy water & a toothbrush. A toothbrush I no longer use. :-)
Then I dismantled the back. This was simply a matter of tearing off the brown paper backing, and using pliers to bend those staples back.
Once popped out, I used the cardboard picture as a template against the background for my silhouette image.
Cut that out... {easy so far, right?}
Then I drew myself a silhouette on the backside of patterned paper {obviously facing the reverse direction}. I used my "Lark & Lola Girl", I've designed her myself and use her in my logo, so I'm not giving out a template here. But you can find silhouette tutorials everywhere if you can't draw your own. Just Google "silhouette tutorial" and pick one!

If you choose to draw one like myself, I find it helpful to sketch facial features a bit to get proportions right. {See that other frame? 25 cent thrift store frame!}
I cut her out, very carefully. Then I refined and perfected the edges.
Until she looked just right to me. I always do eyelashes for female silhouettes.
Using spray tack, I adhered my silhouette to the background. I love where the keys on this patterned paper fall!
After applying an acrylic spray coat for durability, I was able to place my silhouette image in the frame and use the original cardboard backing, and reinforced by bending those staples back.
SO easy and fun, no? I can't wait to redecorate my little girl's room, I think this will be just lovely in her space! So next time you see a tacky, dirty, yet ornate, frame in a thrift store - snatch it up. You can do great things with those fancy frames.

If you use this tutorial as inspiration for your own project, please share! I love to see what other crafters do with their own style.

Cheers!

9 comments:

  1. Cute Heather! I've done this for years (thrift store/ garage sale/ estate sale addict!!!), and have at least one silhouette in every room. I love them!

    PS, I am in Colorado too, and am looking for an excuse to get down to The Carriage Shops. Love your stuff! You inspired me to buy a set of (yet unopened) stamps.

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  2. I didn't know you were in CO! I love your blog, btw.

    Thanks for the comment. Do you have pics of your silhouettes on your blog? I'll have to go look...

    Cheers,
    Heather

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  3. oh i love this! is this for sale?

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  4. Gorgeous! I'm going to be on the lookout for frames now :)

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  5. Wow, that turned out fabulous!

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  6. None yet Heather, but I should take some pics and put them up! I will let you know!

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  7. @Kara - I'm planning on making more sometime but I don't know if I can part with this one. Hopefully I'll have some at the Paris Street shows this year, if I get in?

    Everyone - thanks so much for the lovely comments!

    Cheers,
    Heather

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  8. Love, LOVE, love this! I wish I lived near you, and then ran into you, and then became best friends with you, and then you would taking me under your wing, and share all your brilliant ideas with me...

    Wishful thinking, what can I say ;-)

    Love the post, looking forward to more!

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  9. Hi Heather,
    Just had a minute and I came over to visit your blog. Love all the little crafty ideas you have. I always need a little inspiration. Thanks for visiting my blog.
    BTW - I will be posting my Alice in Wonderland crown this week , check it out!
    I will be adding you to my favs!
    Amada

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