By Andrea DeHart Minding my manners often means continually sending out thank-you cards for gifts relating to birthdays, holidays, and new babies. I’ve been known to resort to the store-bought variety at times, or to create a craft sweatshop in which my kids literally scribble on blank cards to add a personal touch. In an effort to use the remaining blank cards from our son’s birth announcements, I was eager to find a way to make something unique. These custom silhouette cards are simple to make, and they can be used for any occasion. Simply run the pre-cut cards through your home printer for a cost-effective alternative.
Digital photograph Blank cards Computer with Photoshop and Illustrator software Printer
Step 1: Select a photograph that shows the best side profile of your subject. I recommend selecting an image where the hair is back and out of the face, the subject is sharply focused, and the resolution is high. Step 2: Open the file in Photoshop and create a new “path” in the Path box. Using the Pen tool in the Toolbox, carefully outline the face. To truly capture the details of your subject, it’s best to zoom in as close as possible. Simplify the neck and chest area as shown. Step 3: Once the path is created, bring it into Illustrator to lay out your design. Under the File menu, select Export > Paths to Illustrator. Here you can rename your file and it will now have the .ai appendage. Step 4: From Illustrator, open the exported path document. At first you’ll see only crop marks and no image. Under the Select menu, select All. The exported path will now be selected for you to fill with a solid color. Since the shape is still an active path, you can continue to rework the selection as needed. Step 5: Finish the design by adding additional flourishes and type. Silhouettes can be sized, colored, and flipped to work with your design. Step 6: Print the design onto your blank cards. Now enjoy your custom cards! About the Author: Andrea DeHart is a self-proclaimed craft-o-holic. She looks for every opportunity to use her crafty skills and wastes no supplies. With a toddler in tow and another on the way, she keeps herself busy behind the sewing machine. You can follow her crafty creations at craftybitch.com.