Paper Silhouettes With a Modern Twist

Ranked #7,527 in Arts & Design, #106,600 overall

Valentine’s day seems to bring out the Victorian romantic in even the most modern individual. Lace and ribbons, flowery prose and flowery designs combine to create a token of affection from one person to another. While most people pick up an appropriate card at the store some of use diehards still make Valentine cards by hand. It isn’t difficult to cut hearts, glue lace and thread ribbon to make the perfect Valentine but sometimes an additional touch is needed.

The silhouettes of the couple centered in the hearts add that special touch that would be perfect for Valentine’s day, save the dates or even anniversary invitations. While the profiles are traditionally created by cutting black paper today it is easy to achieve the look with a computer and a photo editing program.

The directions shown are with a free program found on the net but any editing program will work.


  • heavy text weight paper
  • card stock


  • computer
  • photo editing software (I used paint.NET that is the name of the program NOT the URL )
  • printer
Step 1

Take profile shots of the couple making sure the background is plain. In this case I have placed a baby doll against a plain wall. Nobody around here wanted to pose so the doll was drafted for the project.

Step 2

Us the magic wand to select the background (this program turns the selected area blue).

Step 3

Cut the background away. (In this program it is necessary to click 'edit' and then 'cut')

Step 4

Crop the picture so only the head and shoulders are left. (Here you need to use the selection tool and then click the crop icon.)

Step 5

To turn the photo to a silhouette us the brightness and contrast options so that the images has no contrast and no brightness. Some programs need this step done twice to make sure the image is black and not just dark gray. (Here click adjustments, brightness/contrast and then slide the bar down to -100 for the brightness and slide the bar up to 100 for contrast.)

Step 6

Clean up the image so that the silhouette is as you want it. You may wish to round off the neck/shoulder area as it is on the valentine at the top of the page. Print the page and cut out the silhouette. HINT Print on the paper you are going to use on the valentine so if you leave a bit around the edges it blend in. Use heavy text weight paper or light card stock for printing so the ink doesn't saturate the paper.

You may also like...


Share an idea or thought on Valentine’s day or card making.

  • Follow
    Share to:
    Alert message
  • Charito1962 Feb 15, 2014 @ 9:50 am
  • patgoltz Feb 15, 2014 @ 1:11 am
    Very nice lucid explanation, and an excellent design. Thank you for sharing!
  • Lewisgirl Feb 14, 2014 @ 10:26 pm
    This is really cool! Congrats on LOTD!
  • Steve_Kaye Feb 14, 2014 @ 9:44 pm
    Wonderful instructions. Congratulations on receiving the LOTD.
  • xinh-xinh-1800 Feb 14, 2014 @ 9:03 pm
    I like because it's delicious
  • Graceonline Feb 14, 2014 @ 4:59 pm
    I love this! What a great idea for Valentine's day. Easy to see why this lens was picked for today's very special LOTD. Congratulations.
  • lujj123 Feb 14, 2014 @ 4:29 pm
    nice don beati
  • georgepmoola Feb 14, 2014 @ 4:23 pm
    A lovely, old-fashioned concept with a very much up-to-date method.
  • JuliaJaf Feb 14, 2014 @ 4:12 pm
    Happy Valentine's Day!
  • Feb 14, 2014 @ 3:18 pm
    Nicely done. Congratulations on getting LotD!
  • partybuzz Feb 14, 2014 @ 1:51 pm
    Thanks for the tutorial! Congratulations on LotD! Happy Valentine's Day!
  • getmoreinfo Feb 14, 2014 @ 1:43 pm
    This is really cool, I like it.
  • Papier Feb 14, 2014 @ 1:25 pm
    Sweet and smart and oh so easy to do to really touch someone's heart.
  • Gloriousconfusion Feb 14, 2014 @ 1:17 pm
    You've made it look reasonably easy, so I shall Pin it - thanks
  • Brite-Ideas Feb 14, 2014 @ 1:16 pm
    Congratulations on LOTD, looks great!
  • ibidii Feb 14, 2014 @ 12:45 pm
    Back in the day they called this "Scherenschnitte". I have several of them one is my Grandmother and another is my Aunt. Awesome idea! Great lens! :D
  • RubyHRose Feb 14, 2014 @ 11:18 am
    Very cool and beautiful too. Congrats on LOTD!
  • craftycollector Feb 14, 2014 @ 10:23 am
    Have you tried the Crafting CDROM "Silhouette Sensations3 ? Not only are there thousands of Silhouettes on it, but it also has an amazing cameo maer that you can use to design silhouettes of people's heads. It's brilliant. You can make a likeness of anyone! It's on eCrater and
  • Merrci Feb 14, 2014 @ 9:59 am
    Congrats on LotD! Nicely done how-to! Love the heart background too.
  • smine27 Feb 14, 2014 @ 9:08 am
    Wow, now anyone can make paper silhouettes! I remember getting one done at Disneyland but it was by hand.
  • chrisilouhoo Feb 14, 2014 @ 9:04 am
    beautiful! thanks for the detailed walk-through.
  • TheCreative Feb 14, 2014 @ 8:53 am
    This looks like fun!!
  • VioletteRose Feb 14, 2014 @ 8:34 am
    That's really wonderful!
  • esmonaco Feb 14, 2014 @ 5:04 am
    Very creative and looks easy to do, great step-by-step instructions Thanks and Congratulations on LOTD!!
  • PriyabrataSingh Feb 14, 2014 @ 3:27 am
    Just wonderful...I most likely prefer to purchase a card for this events. But now it looks as some inspiration. Thanks for presenting such a great ideas on this lovely day. Many congratulation on getting the Lens Of The Day.
  • Feb 14, 2014 @ 3:25 am
    Such a unique idea and your step by step instructions are very clear and concise.
  • MSchindel Feb 11, 2014 @ 12:32 pm
    Very clever idea and easy to follow step-by-step instructions. Congratulations on being featured in the HQ post, :)
  • DaisyDixon Jan 23, 2014 @ 8:39 pm
    What a great idea!