Custom Profile Art: A Tutorial

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I love cameo jewelry and vintage profiles, so last summer I decided to make some vintage-inspired profile art with a modern twist. I gave my boyfriend Mike a set of “us” for his college graduation, and I made a set for myself as well.  I’ve since made a couple for friends and another one of me for my mom.

The Method

Materials:
black cardstock
colored paper
tracing paper
exacto knife and cutting mat
spray mount
matte board with oval cut-out
masking tape for matte board

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1.  Take a picture of yourself or subject like this:

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This picture makes me want to cut my hair!

2.  You could print this out now, but, sans printer, I laid my tracing paper right over my laptop screen and gently traced my profile.

3.  Cut out your tracing paper profile very carefully with an exacto knife.

4.  Use this cut-out as a template, and trace your profile onto your black cardstock with a pencil.

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5.  Cut out the black profile with the exacto knife.  Don’t be discouraged if this takes more than one try.

6.  Apply spray mount to the back of your profile and glue to your colored paper.  Let dry completely.

7.  Use masking tape to attach your profiled-paper to your matte board.

Notes:  If you live in San Francisco, you can find matte board with precut ovals at Flax for ~$2 (very cheap!).  Otherwise, you may have to search around to find a framer (or frame counter at a craft store) that has a circle-cutter.  When I made these in Santa Barbara, I had to go to Craft Essentials out in Goleta, and each 8×10 matte board set me back $8.  You may be able to find them cheaper online.

I glued $.10 hanging hardware to the back of my matte board so I can hang these, but alternately, you can frame them.

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The version of my profile that I like better is at Mike’s house. ;-)

When I get around to setting up an Etsy store, I’m sure I’ll put these custom profiles in it.  Until then, let me know if you’d like one without having to make it yourself!


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  1. i shall try this some day!!! this is so cool… :)

  2. Nice!

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