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Framed Family Silhouettes

Extract from Mason Jar Crafts • By Lauren Elise Donaldson • Published by Ulysses Press


$ $ $ $ $
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Mason Jar Crafts
Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Most homes are adorned with all kinds of family portraits, these photographs being among some of our most cherished possessions. But if you’re looking for something new and crafty to spice up your walls, these framed silhouettes would be a fanciful detail that any DIY enthusiast will love. Each member of the family can shine on their own jar. Include grandparents, godparents, cousins, even pets—whichever members make your family special. And once you trace everyone’s silhouettes, save those files on your computer. You can use them repeatedly in the future for a variety of craft projects.

Posted by Ulysses Press Published See Ulysses Press's 78 projects » © 2022 Lauren Elise Donaldson / Ulysses Press · Reproduced with permission.
  • Step 1

    First make silhouettes of each of your family members. The easiest way to accomplish this is by taking a picture of each person in profile. Upload those pictures to your computer. Use photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop to trace around the outline of each person. In Photoshop, use the lasso tool to do this. After tracing, fill in the outlines with a solid color and then lay them out on separate pages for printing. Size each profile to about 2 x 2¾ inches. This size is ideal for half-pint Mason jars.

  • Step 2

    Print your silhouettes. Use an X-Acto knife with a sharp blade to carefully cut out each family member’s profile. Do your work on a cutting mat.

  • How to make silhouette art. Framed Family Silhouettes - Step 3
    Step 3

    Turn over your silhouettes and lay them out on butcher paper. Brush on a coat of decoupage glue with a paint brush.

  • Step 4

    Remove the metal bands and lids from the jars. Center each silhouette on a Mason jar. Firmly press the paper so that it adheres to the glass.

  • Step 5

    Space out the Mason jars on butcher paper. Use one or more colors of spray paint to coat the jars. Allow the paint to dry before proceeding.

  • How to make silhouette art. Framed Family Silhouettes - Step 6
    Step 6

    Use your X-Acto knife and craft tweezers to carefully pull up the paper silhouettes.

  • Step 7

    If any paint has seeped underneath the paper, you can scratch it away with an X-Acto knife to clean up the edges.

  • Step 8

    Cut a strip of ribbon for each jar. For this example, the ribbons were 10 inches in length, but this will vary based on your specific frame. Notch out a triangle from each end of the ribbon.

  • How to make silhouette art. Framed Family Silhouettes - Step 9
    Step 9

    Super-glue each end of the ribbon to opposite sides of the Mason jar. Hold the ribbon in place for a minute while the glue dries. Repeat this for each jar. Super glue can often take a full 24 hours to fully adhere.

  • Step 10

    Figure out placement of the jars within the length of the frame. With a pencil, mark the center point of each jar along the inner edge of the frame.

  • How to make silhouette art. Framed Family Silhouettes - Step 11
    Step 11

    Screw in a teacup hook at each center point.

  • How to make silhouette art. Framed Family Silhouettes - Step 12
    Step 12

    Hang the Mason jars from the teacup hooks. Prop up or hang the frame in your home.

    Extra Tips:
    This project would make a thoughtful gift for all kinds of people. Make a set for a recently married couple. Make up a jar of each grandchild to gift to grandparents. Even people with furry children could benefit from these family silhouette displays.

    If you don’t own Adobe Photoshop or something similar, try Pixlr’s free online photo editor ( Its basic functions are a lot like Photoshop’s. In this program, you can also use the lasso tool to trace your silhouettes.

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