Thursday, January 06, 2011

Crafting a Silhouette Wreath of Your Child

photo from Kathryn of Orlando site
 Remember these? Do they still do it? Do you have a silhouette of your child from pre-school days that is languishing in storage? When I moved to NC, I found my daughters' old silhouettes in a box and wanted to just do something a little more with them than use the simple black 10x13 frame in my new home. I was looking for something to brighten up my bathroom wall (that wasn't fishy, bubbly, what-have-you) and let me see them, often (if you get my drift). I think you'll like the result! I love them and thought you might like to do the same with your old silhouettes -- or, if you don't have one, you can learn the easy steps here to make your own. 

Because I didn't want to hurt their feelings, I kept their silhouettes in the old frames that were now very old and definitely in need of a facelift. Having paid my mommy dues of keeping a present just short of eternity, I decided I could perk them up a touch. To prevent really screwing up the silhouette, I carefully steamed the back side of the backing paper while gently pulling the silhouette off as it loosened. Next, I layed the silhouettes over a layer of  four paper towels, put some tin foil over the top (to prevent sticking) of each, and covered them with 3 heavy books to smooth out any wrinkles and help keep it flat. 

Using the measurement from top to bottom of the silhouette, I found a straw wreath in my stack of craft supplies (Lordy! Do I ever have a stack of crafting supplies from a lifetime of keeping the devil away!) that had an opening large enough to display the full head. Then, the old crafting brain clicked into place and I knew I would share the instructions, so you will need the following items:
one 13"x13" piece of heavy-duty cardboard
one 15" circular wreath (your choice of straw, vines, etc.)
acrylic paint, your choice of color
scissors for cutting out silhouette
craft knife for cutting heavy cardboard
wallpaper paste/rubber cement/spray adhesive/glue (anything that won't lump!)
3" wide semi-transparent ribbon in same color as background, approx. 6 feet
1" wide deco ribbon in contrasting color, approx. 6 feet
sprigs of petite artificial flowers and leaves
flower horseshoe pins or hot glue
brown paper bag for covering back (optional)
picture wire/string
What to do:
  1. Place wreath on cardboard and use pencil to draw around inner opening and outside edge, angling pencil toward part of wreath that is, in fact, touching the cardboard.
  2. With craft knife, cut out wreath backing around outside edge, only. Do NOT cut out inside circle. As long as cardboard covers center hole and fits to outside edge without showing from front, you'll be fine. 
  3. Paint cardboard backing with color of your choice. Let dry.
  4. Using cut-outsilhouette, position on backing, using wreath as a guide for the most pleasing position. (3/4s of silhouette showing is a good rule of thumb) Lightly draw an outline around silhouette on backing for easy placement after applying glue.
  5. You're going to want to put glue on BOTH the back of silhouette and within the silhouette outline on backing. Apply glue all the way to the edge of the actual back of silhouette; try to stay within the lines on backing. According to directions on glue of your choice, wait appropriate time, then carefully lay silhouette onto backing cardboard. Gently press from center toward outside edges. Cover with tin foil and place heavy books on top during drying process. 
  6. Attach smaller ribbon to center of larger ribbon before winding around wreath. Use your glue choice, but try not to leave 'lumps.' Decide if you want to make the bows from the same length of ribbon or not. Proceed in one of two ways*
  7. Glue wreath to backing using silhouette as guide for placement. Let dry. Turn over and press flower pins at intervals into wreath. Add two more pins to opposite sides 3" from top to attach wire or string to hold picture. Be sure to drive these pins upwards into wreath for stability and strength. (If you want to be really classy, cover back with paper bag paper to hide pins, first. Then, add the pins for hanging.)
  8. Add bow. Hang on wall!
*A. SEPARATE BOW:  With flower pins, attach one end of ribbon at an angle on back of wreath and begin wrapping loosely around wreath until it meets beginning of ribbon. Tie down with flower pins. To prevent slippage, add flower pins at every wrap on BACK of wreath. Cut remaining ribbon. Complete Step 7. Make bow, and attach with flower pins.
B. BOW PART OF RIBBON: With flower pins, attach one end of ribbon at an angle on back of wreath and begin wrapping loosely around wreath until it meets beginning of ribbon. Tie down with flower pins. To prevent slippage, add flower pins at every wrap on BACK of wreath. Complete Step 7. With balance of ribbon, create loops (see my picture) and, when they please you, pin each in place with flower pin. 
Whenever I catch a glimpse of my two girls in their floral wreaths, it always makes me smile, remembering the joy in their faces when they proudly gave me their very first present! ("It's special because you didn't even know we were making them, Mommy!") I've read and re-read the instructions but these wreaths were made long before I ever thought of photographing the steps, so I apologize for anything I may have missed and will be more than happy to help you with any problems. Just let me know in the comments, below, so that others can see, too!

1 comment:

Magic of Spice said...

What a beautiful idea :)
Hey just wanted to let you know...
Not sure if it is my computer not loading your site properly, but I am not able to read the text?