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How to Make a Leaf Silhouette Portrait
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Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

Forget photosynthesis. Leaves are for photo-projects-thesis!

Grab a photo and a leaf, and in few simple steps you can turn everyday foliage into a unique silhouette portrait of someone you love.

Simple and elegant, leaf silhouettes look great in a frame or on a book or a card.

So, as Biff would say, “make like a tree and get to work on a silhouette leaf portrait!”

How to Make Your Very Own Leaf Silhouette Portrait

INGREDIENT LIST

lpingredes

  • A photo of someone in profile
  • A big leaf
  • Wax paper
  • A stack of heavy books
  • One pen
  • X-acto knife

STEP ONE: PREP THE LEAF

lpstep1Once you’ve found the perfect leaf (we found your basic ivy to be a great size and thickness), store it between two sheets of wax paper near the bottom of a big stack of heavy books. This will keep your leaf from drying out all crinkly, rendering it useless for this project.

STEP TWO: OUTLINE YOUR SUBJECT

lpstep2Grab your profile photo and use a pen to draw a line around the figure you intend to cut out. This allows you to make imortant decisions about which fly-away hairs to include, or not, before you get to the tricky business of cutting…

STEP THREE: CUTTING OUT YOUR STENCIL

lpstep3Use an x-acto knife to cut out your subject, carefully following the line you just drew.

Word on the street is that some folks prefer to use the x-acto knife’s double-bladed cousin, Scissors, for this step. Just use what you’re most comfortable with.

STEP FOUR: TRACE ONTO THE LEAF

lpstep4Place your photo-stencil face down on the back of the leaf. Be sure to center the stem through the middle of your stencil. Take up your pen again, and trace around the stencil.

STEP FIVE: CUT IT OUT

lpstep5This is going to feel a lot like step three… Use an x-acto knife to cut out your subject, carefully following the line you just drew.

STEP SIX: PRESS THE LEAF

lpstep6Return your lovely leaf shilouette portrait to its place between wax paper at the bottom of a stack of books.

When it has finished drying out, it will be nice and flat. Voilá! Leafy silhouette portrait accomplished!

HERE IT IS:

lpcardbig

TAKE IT FURTHER

  • Frame a portrait of a friend and give it as a gift.
  • Make a family tree with leaf shillouette portraits of the whole family.
  • Write your contact info on a leaf silhouette self-portrait for a truly unique carte de’ visite.
  • Glue one to the front of a birthday/thank you/arbor-day card.
  • We got this idea from Jenny Lee Fowler’s etsy shop. If you’re short on time, click on through and she’ll make one for you!

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