Crafts & Hobbies Information

The Easy Way to Make a Special Present

We all know someone who is difficult to buy a present for. Someone who has everything they need and would not appreciate 'normal' gifts. Often this will be your parent or an older relative or neighbor, and they can be a problem to buy something for.

Well, this is a simple way to make a unique gift that they will be happy to accept. When you take the time to produce something that relates only to them and their interests it will always be happily received.

The idea is to make a picture that includes something that they are especially interested in. This could be a hobby or any other interest they have.

This is a quick and easy technique. You simply choose your theme (their hobby or interest), paint a silhouette of it onto a colored background and frame it.

You could paint a colored background onto a canvas panel or use already colored paper. I noticed my local art store had colored card that had a range of colors merging into each other, this would be ideal for this technique.

The theme of your silhouette is really the creative part. The easiest thing would be to use their hobby as the theme.

Look through some copyright free clip art until you find an image that you could use for the outline of the silhouette.

If they like fishing it could be a fisherman/fish/fishing fly. For a golfer it could be a set of clubs/golf hole with flag. For someone who likes to cook it could be related to cooking. If they are keen church-goers a silhouette of their church may be appreciated.

A lot of people like to receive a silhouette of their home. For car enthusiast a silhouette of their car is a good idea. In which case you could use a digital camera and take a picture of their church, home or whatever you have decided to include in the picture.

You really can use your imagination for this. When using clip art you have a huge range of options (probably too many!) to choose from. You don't have to be great at drawing!

Also, you can use a computer graphics package to blend together two or three images for your final silhouette shape. Be sure to adjust the size of the final image to make it the correct size for the painting surface you have chosen, and print it out. As this is a gift you can make it whatever size you choose.

Once you have painted or found a suitable background, then trace around the outside edge of the image for your silhouette shape. Use carbon paper for this.

The silhouette shape can be painted in using acrylic paints - don't make the paint too thin though! Another alternative is to use a permanent marker, not a normal marker as it will fade over time, and that would be disappointing for the person receiving the gift.

Silhouettes look very effective and traditional in black. However you could use a darker shade of one of the colors in the background for an alternative look. For example if the background was a pale green the silhouette could be in a dark green. This all adds to the uniqueness of your gift.

If you are using a colored card it will be better to use a permanent marker as the water in the paint may cause the card surface to buckle.

Fill in the silhouette shape and leave to dry. Then frame the silhouette picture.

**A distinctive gift for a special person.**

This type of personalized gift is always appreciated and shows that you have put some thought, time and effort into the present.

Another major benefit is that no one else will be giving exactly the same gift!

This is an excellent technique if you can't find a suitable card. You can make your own special card. It is most effective if you choose a very simple shape for the silhouette when using this method in card making. Cards are generally a lot smaller and look best when you use less detailed shapes.

Use this system and say goodbye to gift buying problems for that hard to please someone.

Catherine Calder is the author of the Acrylic Painting Course. This step-by-step course teaches you how to paint using acrylic paints. All stages of each of the 12 painting are illustrated. Ideal for beginners or anyone new to using acrylic paints. For a free preview of the course visit Sign up for the free report on 'How to Paint Abstract Pictures for Pleasure and Profit' at

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