Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Magazine Strip Silhouette Art

This summer felt like it stampeded by, so it was particularly nice to have a free Saturday morning! I ended up blocking it off for a fun project with friends which included coffee, craft therapy, and grownup talk.  The project at hand was to make magazine strip silhouettes, and my goal was to make it simple, modern, and a fun distraction from our routine troubles.

Step One: Print Stencil/Silhouette
In preparation for this project, you'll need to choose your images. We found stencils and silhouettes online, then resized them to print onto a full letter sized page.  Images with more surface areas are ideal. For more intricate images, like the zebra, fish or raccoon-Mario, an alternative is to use the magazine strips for the background, rather than for the silhouette itself. (You'll see what I mean later!)

We had a wide variety of images to work with!

Our magazine stash.

Step Two: Choose Colourful Magazine Pages
Pull out pages with a lot of colour or intricate patterns, which will make the silhouette look fuller.  Try to choose pages with colours that will contrast with the background paper you intend to use.

It's okay to have some pages with words or body parts, since these won't be very noticeable in the cut strips. 

Step Three: Cut Strips from Magazine Pages
Fold the magazine pages accordion-style to create nice, straight cutting lines that are the same distance apart. Alternately, you can use a ruler and draw cutting lines. Note that the thinner the strips, the more gluing you will have to do.

Cutting the strips takes patience, but it's worth it!
Be very careful to cut as straight as you can, because it will help when pasting the strips side-by-side. While cutting, my friend came up with an ingenious plan to use a shredder.  Try it out and let me know!

Paste strips on the back
of a printed page.
Step Four: Glue Magazine Strips to the Back
The fun part! Paste the strips as you please on the backside of the stencil pages. The pattern is up to you. We alternated a variety of strips of different colours to make a rainbow effect.  I have seen some projects done with gradients of the same colour, which has a desirable look as well.

Keep in mind that the strips only need to cover the image, so you don't necessarily have to cover the entire page.  Rotate and place magazine strips strategically, depending on where the image cutout will be.  Some of the strips won't be cut perfectly straight, so just overlay them to ensure no blank spaces are showing.

Step Five: Cut out Silhouette and Paste Striped Silhouette onto Paper
Depending on the silhouette, you can also turn the original cut sheet into a second art piece, as with the deer silhouette shown below. As I mentioned earlier, this would work really well for more intricate images like the zebra.

The negative space inside the remaining magazine strips still looks neat! 
Cut-out striped silhouette.
Left, we have the striped silhouette on coloured paper, and on the
right, the leftover striped background over coloured paper.
Step Six: Enjoy Finished Art Piece! Frame and Gift at Your Leisure.
I'm really glad that this turned out so well!  We were really worried that this would turn out to be a pinterest fail moment.  I still have tons of magazines left over, so I will have to come up with another craft therapy session soon!
Our finished silhouettes, ready for display.

- Siao (Volunteer)

All photos provided by Siao.

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