Christmas Victorian Silhouettes

I love Victorian Silhouettes. When I was little my mother had some made of my brother and I at Disneyland and my grandmother had one of my mother as a child. When I was younger I would just sit there and look at them, I loved the beauty of the black shadow image that looked like us.

I have been wanting to make these for a while now since the idea had popped into my head of my whole family in silhouette for Christmas.

My little kiddo made one last year at school when I was helping in her class. They shined a light on the kiddos and posted some paper on the wall and had me trace their shadow onto the paper. Worked out just fine for the kiddos to then cut out and frame.

This made me want to make a more fancy kind of silhouette. I kept this in the file of my brain for a whole year now and I thought what a better time than for Christmas.

 I thought it would make a nice decoration for my wall if I backed them in a sparkly red paper. I just love the way they turned out.

So here is how I made them & what to do:

1. First you will need to start with a nice profile picture. Make sure you take your photo against a neutral background so you can get good details of their profile and their hair. Print out the photo black and white in the desired end size you would like the silhouette to be.





 2. Carefully cut around the profile of your subject on the copy you printed out. try to add any wisps of hair in bangs, ponytails and at this time (if you don’t have a bow add one freehand by drawing it in before you cut it out). Most Victorian Silhouettes have bows and things to make the silhouette more interesting. SO use your imagination here it will really help out. I put my hair in a bun though it really was not and added a bow to the bottom.

2-A. Alternate thing you can use if you don’t want to cut out a picture 2x is buy white carbon paper (used in water color painting, so look in that isle in the craft store) You can take this white carbon type of paper and trace your lines onto the black paper by putting it under your photo copy and drawing on the outline, just remember to do this on the BACKSIDE of the black paper! If you do this way now skip to #4. below…

3. When you are happy with Cut out, take a sharp pencil trace it onto black acid-free paper. MAKE SURE you trace it onto the backside so your pencil lines wont show and you can add detail more if you want before you cut out the final one on the black paper. This helps if you want to add more hair detail or bows. I added the eyelash after the silhouette was cut out, that way I could cut out the nose much easier and smoother.

4. Carefully and slowly cut your silhouette out, using a good pair of scissors. I find if you use long cuts you wont get any furry edges, so use the entire blade and move the paper when cutting not the scissors. Also do not close the blade all the way to the tip, just until your blade is almost closed, that will make smoother cuts also. Just remember you still have your original copy you used to trace this so any mistake you can start over easily.

5. Then take your finished black paper silhouette and mount it to the paper of your choice. I used acid free glue to adhere it to my white paper. Then used a template to trace & cut it into an oval. I then mounted the oval onto a patterned paper and outlined that by mounting it on black. I strip pieced the expensive sparkly red paper as the final frame. The papers I used are all high quality and acid free from a Scrapbook store. Do this so you don’t get fading over the years. At this point you can frame them in a nice frame or not.


I love the end result I think it will make for a nice Christmas decoration or something you can leave up all year if you want to.

You can professionally frame it and use paper that will compliment your homes interior design. They would also make great gifts for Grandparents or for a new Mother of her baby.

Momma Says: With a little imagination and paper you can make a family keepsake that will bring memories for a lifetime.

Christmas Victorian Silhouettes

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3 Responses
  1. jewel says:

    What a great fun idea… wish I would have done it when may kids where young.

  2. Beau says:

    Oh my Julie this lunch is amazing! I am so jealous you are awesome!

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