Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Silhouette Portraits--LOVE!

Seriously, I have been wanting to make these since my kids were BABIES!  I don't know why it took me so long or how it kept getting put on the back burner, but I guess now I need to just be happy that I finally made them. And I'm SO happy with how they turned out and they look exactly like each of my girls (that is the purpose, right?)  I read tons of blogs and things online on how to turn a photo into a silhouette, but most Photoshop tutorials were way beyond my expertise and knowledge. So I set out to figure it out myself.

I still operate Photoshop Elements 6.0-Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!  I'm sure the newer versions have all kinds of new doohickies, but I'm happy with this one.

I took a profile picture of each of my girls against a blank wall.  I then opened the photo in PSE and converted each to black & white. This made it much easier to accomplish what I was about to do.  I then selected the Paint Bucket tool and and used the dropper to match the background color and filled it in to cover any shadows I had.  Then I selected the Paint Bucket tool again and picked black as my main color and began filling in the profiles of my girls.  This definitely took some patience and time since it would sometimes fill in the background or areas I didn't want black so I had to undo it.  But this worked pretty well!
Now, print your photo out onto cardstock. Mine looked like this after I cut around the silhouette:
See? Don't they look like little people?? I'm in LOVE!
I then took those cuts and traced them onto actual black cardstock and cut them out with the smallest scissors I have to preserve every detail (hair, eyelashes, it's all there!)
I had picked up a couple frames on clearance at Michael's but wanted them to be black as well, so I took a can of spray paint to them. Ten minutes later, Whala!!
I adhered the black cardstock cuts onto another new sheet of white cardstock, placed them in their new frames and this is what I have:
I really am SO happy with them! My 3 yr old is on the right and even though I took their pictures in the exact same spot, exact same spacing, you can see how much chubbier her face is than my 4 1/2 yr old. These reflect them PERFECTLY and I'm so happy to have them done!
I hope I've been able to explain the Photoshop actions I used. I'm still learning myself but I'm amazed at its capabilities!
Now go take some profile pics of your little ones before another day passes and they change some more. Doesn't it go by way too fast? :-(

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Frayed Fabric Covered Flip Flops

I really hate that I'm not able to devote more time to my blog.  With a toddler and almost 5 yr old, I feel like I'm stretched to the limits.  I decided to do something to INCLUDE my kids this time so I could take pictures and craft at the same time. Win, win!  I've seen these for years now, and my oldest daughter is so into flip flops this year that I thought she would just love them.  Soooo, today we're going to make fabric covered flip flops.  I found cheap pink flip flops at Dollar Tree for $1 each so that was the easy part. I have a huge fabric collection so both girls were able to just pick out what they wanted to use from that so essentially this craft only cost me $2! :-)

Supplies Needed:
     Flip flops of your choice
     1 or more coordinating fabrics
     Ribbon if you choose to put a bow on top (I have ribbon pictured on each but only used one)

First I had to figure out what size I wanted my strips to be. I ended up decided on 1" wide strips. Take your fabric and make a 1-2" cut on the selvage edge to eliminate anything uneven. I've already used this fabric so I only had to remove a small strip. 
You can see that I marked out 1", 2", 3", etc on my fabric.  To be honest, I cut WAY too many strips to start with. I ended up with a huge pile of strips left at the end of this project.. (I'm going to just save them in case any fall off of their flip flops) By the 2nd pair, I realized I only needed to tear 2-1" strips the length of the fabric and had just enough. So, after you've marked your fabric, you're just going to grab hold of one end and tear a strip all the way down to the bottom.
 My 4 yr old was super thrilled that she was finally able to help do something (even though this was the ONLY step they could really help with)

  After we tore the strips I had to decide how much "fringe" I wanted. I played around with 4-5" and my oldest said she wanted "Lots" of "ruffles" so I ended up going with 5" pieces on hers. Cut your long strips into the size you want until you have this:
The rest is easy (though a little time consuming). Tie the strips into a knot around the strap of the flip flop until you've covered as much as you want of it.
I only tied each strip once, tightly, all across and scrunched them together until we had this:
I ended up cutting a few strips of the green ribbon and adding it into the flip flops on the right to add some more color.  I picked the color fabrics for my youngest daughter's and they remind me of watermelon (pink and green).  I also ended up only cutting her fabric into 4" strips so they weren't swallowing her feet! LOL
Now, both pairs took me about 2 hrs from start to finish. Not too bad. My oldest daughter can't get enough of her new shoes and wants to wear them with EVERYTHING! <3  My youngest? Says they hurt her feet and could care less about them. Yup, they're sisters and complete opposites!

Hope you've enjoyed my little summer craft. Now go make yourself a pair!