Today, my parents celebrate 40 years of marriage. FORTY YEARS! This is a huge milestone, and I really wanted to give them something special to commemorate this very special event.
When I started pinteresting (is that a verb?) 40th anniversary gift ideas, it was, pardon my French, all crap. There was no shortage on ruby colored jewelry and tacky cards. I ended up making my way to my mom’s Pinterest and came across this image. I loved the idea of silhouettes, but we have too many people in our family to do individual frames. I then thought about just doing individual frames of my mom and my dad, but that didn’t really seem like something they would appreciate. I ended up landing on this idea, a family tree done in profile silhouettes.
Here is how I did it!
STEP ONE: Gather pictures of everyone’s side profile. Special thanks to my family for quickly sending me pictures of your faces!
STEP TWO: Load all these pics onto your computer, so they can eventually make their way into photoshop.
STEP THREE: I would like to preface this next part by saying, I am not a graphic designer and I am 100% sure there is a much better way to do this. This is the way I did it, and for those of you new to photoshop, this may be an easier alternative!
First, open photoshop and create a new canvas. I made mine 8 x 10in. Bring your picture into photoshop by dragging it in.
Once you photo is in, you will need to rasterize the layer. You can do that by right clicking and hitting “rasterize layer” in the nifty little window that pops up.
Now the controversial part, I used the polygonal lasso tool to cut out my face from the picture. The better way to do this would be to use the pen tool, but as that requires more skill and patience (two things I lack in photoshop) I trusted my handy lasso. Here it is in the flesh.
Start by choosing a start point around the outline of our face. I started at my forehead, and then with small clicks every few mm, created a smooth line. I only went from my forehead to my nose, before clicking off my outline, connecting back to my start point which gives you a “circle” or “area” that you can delete. You will know that you’ve made a full connection when the line becomes a dashed line that magically starts moving.
Once you have the magic dashed line, hit delete which will take out the background, and then “command D” which will deselect that area.
So now you see, the background of the picture is gone behind my forehead. I resumed at the bridge of my nose, adding more points around the curves of my face, completed the loop, delete, and then so on and so forth.
You do this until your head is completely cut out, like so. Notice at the base of my neck I created a rounded edge–similar to traditional silhouettes. You can also give yourself a neck lift if you are feeling a little saggy.
Once face is completely cut out, its time to black it out! Simply double click your layer, select color overlay in the menu that pops up, and wallah! My menu was already selected to black, but you could choose any color you wish.
Once you have your faces cut out, you can make a new canvas/board in photoshop or illustrator. I went for an 14 x 11in. You can drag your faces in, resize and rearrange. Using your shape tool, you can make an oval for a border and also add text. I also played around with the pen tool to create some shapes. You can find free vector “banners” online that you could add text to. Possibilities are sooo endless.
STEP 4: Once you are happy with your final design, all you have to do is print it! Per my trusted graphic designer pal Venny who helped me lay all of this out, I went with a thicker glossy paper. I am sure FedEx office could help you out on the cheap.
STEP 5: Now the presentation. The great thing about doing a print at 11 x 14in, is that you have lots of options when it comes to pre-made frames. I picked this one up at Hobby Lobby, used my 40% off coupon and got it for a steal of a deal!
There you have it folks, a gift that will make your mom cry, and piece that I hope will stay in my parent’s home for another forty happy years.
Happy Anniversary Mama and Dad! I sure do love ya!
P.S. Huge thank you to Venny who helped lay this out for me and made it all look beautiful! You rock!