How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps

How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.
I can remember having my silhouette made when I was a kid. You know, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth? (as my son would say) My teacher would turn the lights out and shine a bright light at the wall. We would have to stand really still while she traced our shadow onto construction paper with a piece of chalk. After she cut out each profile, we got to glue our head to a piece of colored paper. I think I gave mine to my mom. She probably still has it.



Not a bad strategy, really. Except for one thing...
What on EARTH were the rest of the students doing while she was busily tracing each student's head?
How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.
Maybe it's just me, but I need a faster way.
So, I've up with a more "techy-type" DIY hack.
And it's super simple!
I think it honestly took me all of 10 minutes to make one - beginning to end - seriously.

Step #1: Take some quick pictures
Use your phone, iPad, or other digital camera to snap a profile picture of each student on your class. The quality of the image isn't too important. I like to take the pictures in front of one of the cabinet doors in my classroom. It just makes life simpler later to have an uncluttered background.
How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.
Step #2: Adjusting the size
Insert the photos into a blank document and resize them for your specific needs. You can see in the picture that this would work even if you want to let students pose in silly ways instead of just the classic profile shot.
How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.
Step #3: Printing the images
Use a cheap-o black and white printer to print out each picture. Again, the quality doesn't matter too much here.
How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.
Step #4: Cutting the silhouette
Lay the printed picture on top of black construction paper and cut through both layers of paper. I actually used a piece of bulletin board paper instead - it's just what I had laying around the room.
How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.
One of the best parts of this is that you can kind of "adjust" the student's profile while you are cutting. For example, in this picture, her bangs covered her cute button nose so I cut along the line of her nose instead of her hair.
How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.
Step #5: The finishing touches
When you've cut the profile picture from black paper, you can simply mount it to a piece of colored paper using liquid glue (just like my teacher had us do all those years ago).
How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.

Most recently I created this bulletin board for the entryway of our school to celebrate Read Across America Week.
How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.
I found images online of different Dr. Seuss characters and made silhouettes of each of them. When it was finished, I had a great interactive board. I'm planning to have students try to guess which book each character belongs to.

And I added a fun twist.
Check out number 12...
How to make a silhouette in 5 easy steps: Elementary teachers need to learn this DIY hack for creating simple, meaningful keepsakes for mothers, fathers, grandparents, and more. Includes extra ideas for teacher gifts, student activities, and holiday projects.
If you're struggling to figure out which book these four are from, don't worry. They aren't Dr. Seuss characters at all. I took a group picture of my fifth grade team and added clip art hats to make us appear "Seuss-like". Nope, I didn't have to scour the stores in town for matching hats. Just a quick Google search. 

I've done lots of other projects with silhouettes. (I just love the idea of giving these as keepsakes for parents or grandparents.) I recently pinned a whole bunch of ideas to my Great Gifting Ideas board on Pinterest. Check them out. Seriously, the ideas are endless!


5 comments

  1. I made silhouettes like this for parent Christmas gifts. They were adorable!
    Joni
    HTTP://kinderkidsfun.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. Like I said, I think my mom still has mine from first grade!

      Delete
  2. This is a great idea. It would make a great Mother's Day present too! Thanks for sharing!
    Jamie
    Teaching Tidbits and More with Jamie

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