The inspiration for this project came from a whole wall of silhouettes. These are two silhouettes of ancestors. I think they are late 18th and early 19th century respectively. Before the invention of photography in 1836, the cheapest way for the burgeoning bourgeoisie to have a portrait done, was having a silhouette cut. If you look closely at the lady on the left, you will notice the fine detail and care that went into these "likenesses". This silhouette was not cut, though, but painted. The outline of the head was painted black and then the details such as the hair and the ear were added. They even included the eyelashes. Isn't this lady beautiful? (I am thinking Elizabeth Bennett, here...)
Here is another silhouette, which I believe is pre-19th century, just based on her hairstyle. Again, this is a painted silhouette. The fine details of hair and bows would have been impossible to cut. Both miniatures are about 3-4 cm in size (approx. 1 - 1.5 inches). - Isn't it wonderful to think that these likenesses are still around, long after the two ladies are gone? They certainly we held very preciously and are mounted in sweet little wooden frames with gilt edges...
I decided on a slightly more modern version of the silhouette by inverting the colours - light silhouette against a dark background. The paper I chose for the silhouette came from my stash of security envelopes. I haven't been able to stop collecting those ever since my ill-fated "Material of the Week"-adventures last year... (See some other projects with security envelope paper here: paper beads, a little garland, card decorations and mini-envelopes.)
Sorry, no photos of the individual steps, but it is pretty self-explanatory: I printed a photo of my own, regal head in profile onto the back of the security envelope paper. Then I cut it out with small scissors. (Brrrr, hate using flash - leaves very ugly shadows on the pics. Obviously, the frame is perfectly round, not oval...)
The idea for the frames came to me the other day when I was doing the recycling. While taking the lids off all the empty jars that were going into the glass recycling, it occurred to me that they make perfect little frames. So out came the blackboard spray (proper black spray paint would do much better, but I haven't got any), and I gave the two chosen lids a good spray. Make sure you choose lids that are not of the "twist off"-variety. Those have irregular rims and do look too much like lids...
Be patient until your spray paint has dried and then stick your silhouette into the lid. (
Lastly, I glued the lids onto the ribbon. Continuing with the tradition of keeping the ladies' likenesses, I also made a silhouette of my daughter. And here it is, my silhouette display - preliminarily hung above the shelf beside my desk.
So, there is a classy little project for you - that will cost you nothing, but is priceless!