Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spooky Silhouettes

The haunting of Fort Guthrie continues in the dining room, where a set of spooky silhouettes expounds on this home’s history.


Attired in the fashion of the day, the Guthrie family’s likenesses are hung on the dining room wall.  The room is lit by two gothic black candle sconces and a few scattered tealights.  A solitary raven, perched atop the antique buffet, warns visitors to “beware” the spirits and wraiths that haunt the mansion’s many halls.  The scene is set for a ghostly gathering…



Now for the details.  To create the silhouettes I snapped a photo of each of my subjects in profile against a black background.  Using a photo editing program I increased the contrast until the background was solid black.  Then I selected the entire background, made it white, then inverted the selection and made the rest of the picture black.  (If I had considered this, I might have set up my subjects in front of a lighted white curtain instead to achieve the same result.)  I smoothed the edges of silhouettes and added in old-fashioned collars, neckwear and hairstyles.  And because I don’t trust my cutting skills (says the seamstress), I just printed the black images on white photo paper instead of cutting them out of black cardstock, as is customary. 

For the frames, I really wanted to do them in oval frames with white mats.  Uh, yeah, who wouldn’t?  But for party decor, I just couldn’t justify the cost of said frames.  I had about given up on finding any affordable oval frames, when I was browsing Michael’s one day and stumbled upon these routered wood blocks!  At $2 a piece, they were made for me!  I bought five of them and skipped merrily home, happy to spend $10 on a few pieces of pine that would take a normal person (read: my Papa) hours to cut and router into the intricate faceted oval shape. 

To create a framed look, I painted the edges with black semi-gloss paint.  Then I took the printed silhouettes and simply cut an oval to fit inside the wood frame.  Using Mod Podge I glued them onto the frame, and applied another layer of Mod Podge on top to seal the deal.  Add a sawtooth picture hanger on the back and voila, you are done!

Homemade Spooky Silhouettes.


Happy Haunting!

only a week to go…



Andrea said...

Those are really cool, Sarah! I can pick each one of you guys out in an instant! What fun! ;-)