Sunday, February 13, 2011

Art You Can Make: Floral Silhouette Tutorial

Yesterday I shared the inspiration for the floral silhouettes I'm working on for the girls' room. Here's the how-to.

There are actually thee version with slightly different instructions.

The flowers in a pot are both a straight-up silhouette. I wrote about making these (the traditional ones, of people) on my other blog, here, but I'll give you the rundown. My strategy came from design sponge.

First, trace or freehand the shape that you want on tracing paper.

Next, staple the tracing paper to acid free cardstock. Black is traditional, but if you want to shake things up, go for it. Orange might be nice, but you know me and orange.

Following the lines of the tracing paper drawing, cut through both layers of paper.

Voila. Why bother with tracing paper, you ask? To avoid telltale signs of graphite from the pencil, which WILL show up on cardstock. You could always flip to the other side of the cardstock after cutting it out, but I always find images look a little weird in reverse.

Now go ahead and spray-mount your cut flowers to the background paper of your choice. (Michael's has a HUGE supply of scrapbooking paper that you can buy by the sheet. They come 12" x 12" and cost from $.19 to $.99 depending on the fanciness.)

Looking good!

Now, what if you want a not-quite solid silhouette? I thought the block-print inspired version felt a little heavy and, well, blocky, in full silhouette. So, before cutting the outside line, which would have detached the whole thing from the staples and therefore separated the two layers of paper, I cut a scalloped line inside the larger "flower."

Then I cut another sliver of paper along the same line, to give myself this little channel.

Next, I drew in pencil on the WRONG side of the resulting stem piece to make those three little stamen, and then again cut an extra sliver to make the channel. Voila. Can I say voila more than once in a single post? Well, I suppose I just did.

The third version requires the most work and special tools. Well, one special tool, an exacto knife, though one of those exacto-knife cutting boards would have made my life way easier than cardboard. But hey, if you shop online or at costco, you've got cardboard lying around the house for free.

For this one, I traced the pattern of a leaf and flower from the curtain fabric.

Then, as above, I proceeded to staple it to card stock, and then started to cut out the outline.

Whoa, hold up there! If you cut out the whole outline, how on earth are you going to cut all the bits and pieces from the pattern inside? Good save.

I got out my exacto knife and cut the vein patterns. A tip: when cutting this type of pattern, cut the middle vein first, then cut the branching veins from the edge down into the center vein. Your tracing paper will crumple less.

Also, with some of this delicate work I found it necessary to flip the card stock over and finish the cuts from the back. The results were cleanest this way.

Isn't it pretty?

Then spray mount, frame, and, if you want to accomplish a whole wall like the inspiration shots, repeat.

Total cost of this project, including the Ikea Ribba frame, was less than $22 (with the frame costing $19.99)

Time spent: maybe 2 hours, but that includes experimenting with 4 versions.

Happy crafting!

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