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Photoshop Elements Silhouette {tutorial}

First off, I would just like to say that I am soooooooooooooo ready for Christmas. So ready that I am about to start my first Chirstmas project. Granted it will probably sit in a pile of all my other unfinished projects for a little bit because I have some problem with starting a million projects…I think I may be an impatient person! Then I can’t finish them all so I have a pile and…….. it is taking over my house! This is only part of my Christmas craft : ) So you’ll just have to come back soon to find the rest of it!
But today I am going to show you how to make a silhouette of your family using Photoshop Elements(which I LOVE)

First you will need to take a picture of your subject against a solid light background like so, and open it up in elements.

Then you will want to duplicate the layer.

In the layers window there is a drop down menu and it should have “normal” displayed in it. You will want to change that to “hard light” this makes your subject stick out and ultimately the next step a little easier!

Using your “magnetic lasso tool” you will trace around the subjects “silhouette” : ) If it isn’t tracing correctly you may need to erase anything that the lasso tool might be recognizing.

Before the next step, un check your original background layer so it is not visible

Once you have made it all the way around the dots will connect and start moving around your selection, leaving it selected hit the delete key and it will delete your subjects head… kinda weird : ) (it will be a white space)

Then, using your paint bucket choose the color you want and fill in the space, I chose black.

Your selection should still be there (the little dots/lines around your now colored silhouette) and you need to inverse your selection. This will select everything BUT your silhouette. You can either go to Select > Inverse or press “ctrl shift i” for the shortcut, and this is what it should look like.

At this point you can leave the background transparent or fill it in with a color and crop it to your liking.
Depending on what you are using this for you will probably want to re-size it for your project.

And now you have a wonderful silhouette. If you leave the background transparent you can print directly on fabric or colored paper without having to cut it out! Just depends what you’re doing ; )

Cherished Bliss - Digital Silhouette Tutorial

As always, if you ever have any questions or see a mistake I’ve made, please ask!

Can’t wait to show you my Christmas craft using silhouettes! : )

Check out these other posts using this digital silhouette:
Printing on Fabric
Christmas 2011 Mantel


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  1. Maury says

    First, this is awesome! What great gifts this would make! Second, you're killing me! I haven't even decorated for fall yet and you're already on to Christmas! It makes me feel SOOOOOO behind.

  2. Charisa says

    I've been wanting to do these for my kiddos. Thanks for breaking it down into such easy steps!

    I found you through Homemaker on a Dime and am now Following along with you!

  3. ~Tablescapes By Diane~ says

    Hi lovely lady.
    This is a great Idea!! Thanks so much for sharing with me.
    Also Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my new Tablescape for this week. I hope you have a great week.
    XXOO Diane

  4. Amanda Dale says

    Great post and great tutorial! I am Amanda from The Ivy Cottage Blog and our new Texas Bloggers group! Great to meet you and I am your newest follower.

  5. Johanson Family says

    Okay, you are very advanced lady!! I couldn't find my way through photoshop to save my life… might need to ping you for help one of these days! SUPER CUTE!!

  6. June Scott says

    Great tutorial, Ashley! Silhouettes make such fun, personal gifts and decorations! Thanks for sharing what you've learned!

  7. Chantelle @ Mommyx3=Insanity says

    Great idea!! I have been wondering how to do this digitally for a few weeks now as a craft has been percolating in the back of my mind using my kids silhouettes!! Thank you I think I am brave enough to try now!!

  8. Lindsay says

    This is SO cool! I must bookmark this page for the future. I really want to do this with my kids. Thank you for sharing this @ Show & Share! I hope you will visit again soon!

  9. Caitlyn says

    nicely done! I sometimes prefer to zoom in and trace – I feel like I have more control that way – but there's no denying the lasso tool is quicker!

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