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Tutorial Tuesday – Design Icons Silhouettes


Eames Molded Plywood Dining Chair Family Silhouettes

Do you like my new family portraits?! My husband and I love the Eames family of molded plywood dining chairs – so much so that I created and hung their portraits. Here’s how…

1. Select your silhouette subject and your frame. I knew I was going to use the Eames chairs and frames I picked up two weeks ago for pocket change.

If you plan to alter your frame at all you may want to do this first (so you don’t have to wait to pop your finished silhouette into the frame.) I spray painted my frames black.

Tacky Gold Frames

Tacky Gold Frames Sprayed Black

2. Get to work on your silhouette. Scan a picture or take a picture of your object. In this case, I scanned images from a Design Within Reach catalog. (Use a high resolution when photographing or scanning your object so that you are sure it will be big enough for your project.) If you are taking a picture, try to set-up your shot in front of a blank background that contrasts with your subject.

3. Open the image in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Also open a blank file in Photoshop, setting the canvas size to match your frame opening. Copy your scan or photo and paste it into your new file. You may need to adjust the size of your subject.

Then use the threshold command to create a high-contrast black and white representation of your image. Use the slider below the histogram to adjust the image so that the subject is primarily black and the background is white.

4. If you need to clean-up the image you can use a paintbrush to add black and the eraser to clean up the edges.

Make a Silhouette in Photoshop.JPG

5. Print out your image. I used a high quality paper so that the black is very rich.

Silhoutte Printout

6. Using small, sharp scissors, cut out your silhouette.

Carefully Cut Out the Silhouette

7. Use a fine black Sharpie to fill in any white spots.

Touch-Up Printout With a Sharpie

8. Using a gluestick, paste the silhouette cut-out to the background. I chose a gold cardstock.

Go Gluestick Crazy

Carefully Adhere Your Cut-Out to a Background

9. Place your silhouette in your frame and hang it with pride!

Eames Molded Plywood Dining Chair Family Silhouettes

I would like to thank my husband for taking the “action shots” for this tutorial. Didn’t he do a lovely job?!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 10.21.2008 10:20 am

    FUN! I am going to try this some time. šŸ™‚

  2. 10.21.2008 2:26 pm

    I didn’t know you had a blog! Love the silhouettes.

  3. 10.22.2008 8:53 pm

    I love these! — they have such style! Many thanks for the super tutorial.


  4. 10.23.2008 10:26 pm

    What a neat idea – thanks!

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