January Thrift Challenge REVEAL: DIY Silhouette

At the beginning of the month my friend Dina and I announced our monthly thrift challenge. Quick synopsis: We challenge each other with a photo of an outfit, DIY project, vignette, etc. and we need to re-create it using thrifted items.

I am so excited this day is finally here! Partly to share my project, but mostly because I'm dying to see how Dina recreated the outfit challenge I gave her! We'll head over to her blog together in a few minutes (if I can resist!) Until then, here's the map-covered silhouette project that Dina challenged me with.

Rather than doing a map-covered silhouette for this challenge, I changed it up a bit and went for a sports-themed silhouette instead. And rather than just one silhouette I'll be doing two! You see, Dan and I recently decided that we'll be moving N into C's room (Roomies!!) and the theme in that room is vintage sports. So we got 2 silhouettes and a sports theme. Let's do this thang! 

First stop -- thrift stores!

I picked up these slightly creepy "cup full o' kitty" 8x10 picture frames at the Streetsboro Goodwill. They were marked $4 each but were on sale for 50% off. So $4 total for the two of them. The original challenge photo wasn't framed, but if my silhouettes had any chance of lasting more than a few days they'd need to be protected by a layer of glass.

Next I picked up these sports books for 25 cents each at Value World in North Randall. Quick side note on Value World -- the name and logo had me thinking it was a dollar-store type place so I never went in there until a friend recommended it. It's pure thrifting goodness!

Lastly, these vintage 1940's Cleveland Press newspapers were something I already had on hand. I picked them up at an estate sale awhile back. You could also use a new newspaper either as is or by dying it with tea to give it a vintage look. 

And that's it for the main supplies. So far I've spent:

Two 8x10 White Frames: $4
Two Sports Books: $0.50
Vintage Newspapers: Already owned

Now it's time to wrangle the boys for some photos. To get the silhouettes, I placed each child (one willingly, the other not so much) in front of a window to get a defined photo of their profiles.

I opened the photos in Photoshop and followed this simple tutorial from Bower Power Blog. As you can see, C was in need of a haircut so I liberally chopped off some locks in Photoshop.

If you don't have Photoshop or good photo editing software, here are a few other tutorials on how to make a silhouette:

1: Terry at Eleven Magnolia Lane shows how you can print your photo on cardstock and cut it out by hand -- no photo editing software required!

2: Meg Duerksen shares how you can hand draw a silhouette by shining a flashlight on your subject while they sit in front of a piece of paper. Genius! This option would be best for older kids that can sit still for longer than 1 second.

3: If you're pretty savvy with photo editing software but dont have any, check out Randi from Dukes & Duchesses tutorial where she shows how to make a silhouette using the free online photo editor, Pixlr.com.

The ink in our printer needs to be replaced after like 6 prints so there was no way I was printing those huge blobs of black silhouettes. Using the paint bucket tool in Photoshop I turned my silhouette white and then added a thin black stroke along the border. Printer ink saved!! 

Let the crafting begin!! 

I had a hard time deciding between using the sports books or the old newspapers, so.... I ended up doing 2 different versions of the silhouettes and would decide at the end which I liked best. (I'll be interested in your opinion too!)

First, I used the Baseball America's 1990 Almanac book and cut out words, photos, scores, etc. to collage over the silhouettes. I was able to get enough clippings to cover the two silhouettes so I never needed to use the Joe Montana/Jerry Rice football book. 

I gathered my supplies -- mod podge, a foam brush and scissors and got down to biz-nass.

A 16 oz. bottle of Mod Podge costs about $7 at Wal Mart or you might be able to get it cheaper at a craft store if you use a 40% off coupon. I already had this bottle of gloss Mod Podge on hand so I used it, but for a project like this I'd recommend the matte version. 

After adding mod podge to the paper I layered on different clippings from the sports book, continuing to add mod podge and clippings until the entire silhouette was covered. Don't worry about going outside the lines because once it's dry you'll be cutting the silhouette out. The lines of the silhouette will be visible through the paper when you flip it over. 

I did the same thing with the newspaper clipping. It got a little wrinkly (see below, left side) so I would recommend being conservative with the amount of mod podge you spread on the paper, and consider using one of these roller tools (aka brayer) to evenly disperse the mod podge underneath the newspaper clipping. I did neither of these things so I got some serious wrinkles that were driving me bonkers to the point I ended up re-doing this one. I probably could have done this with spray glue instead of mod podge, but I didn't think of that until just now (of course!).

After letting the mod podge dry overnight, it's time to cut out the silhouette. Simply flip the entire piece of paper over and you can see the silhouette outline through the other side (see below, right side). 

Using scissors or an exacto knife, carefully cut around your silhouette. Flip it back over and the silhouette is complete! 

I placed both versions in my creepy kitty cat frames using cardstock as the background. Here are the results:

Which do you like best??

I am too indecisive to choose one so instead I'll be using both! The newspaper versions will go in their room once I thrift some more picture frames, and I hung the collage versions out in the hallway leading to their room.

I paired the silhouettes with a few other thrifted sports treasures that I've been collecting over the years like pennants, marquee letters, a sports plate, some Norman Rockwell illustrations, and a vintage baseball flash card. 

I made the bunting from scrap fabric and felt game pieces that I had thrifted from garage sales and estate sales. The yellow chevron fabric was purchased from Jo-Ann Fabrics for that pom pom stool I recovered at Upholstery Class last year. 

The grand total for creating these TWO framed silhouettes was $4.25 -- $4 for the frames and 25 cents for the baseball book! (If you need to purchase mod podge or spray glue it would be an additional $6 or $7.) I have four words for this project: Cheap, cute, creative and COMPLETE!

Ok, enough about the silhouettes. Let's head over to Dina's Days NOW too see how she did on her style challenge!! Here we come Dina...

February's Challenge will be announced on February 3rd. 

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  1. Wow, what a great idea! Nice job. :-) Theyre so creative and sentimental.

  2. Add this to the list of ideas that I am stealing from you! My parents had silhouettes of all of us kids growing up and I always loved it. You and Dina are really inspiring me to shop thrift. Her outfit was fantastic!

  3. Love these! I wish I lived closer so I could get thrifting tips....you've inspired me to look other places!

  4. شركة تسليك مجارى بالرياض افضل شركة تسليك مجارى فالشركة تعتمد على افضل الخدمات المميزة التى تساعد فى الوصول الى افضل النتائج المميزه التى تساعد فى اعمال التسليك من خلال افضل الطرق المميزة التى تساعد فى القيام باعمال التسليك والحصول على افضل النتائج المميزة فمن اهم ما تقوم بيه شركة تسليك مجاري بالرياضالسعى الى الانتهاء التام من اعمال التسليك المتكررة والانتهاء ايضا من اى شى غير مالوف وجوده فى المجارى فاذا اراد ان تقوم بكل ذلك فتاكد انك لم تجد افضل من شركة تسليك المجاري
    تعتمد شركة بسمة الرياض افضل شركة تسليك المجارى بالرياض على افضل الكودار البشرية المميزة المتواجده فى الاسواق والتى فى حاله تدريب ميتمر من قبل شركتنا لكى يتم التاكد ان العماله على وعى كبير بكيفيه القيام بالتسليك واختيار الانسب لنوع المجارى المتواجده حتى لا يتم عودتها مرة اخرى فاذا اراد ان تتخلص من اى شىء غير مالوف فعليك ان تتعاقد وتتعاون معنا الان فى القيام بكل ذلك فى اقل وقت ممكن وتخلص من مشاكل التسليك المتكررة .