Appropriately, as I write this I’m listening to an old favorite from junior high school, “Dear Mama” by 2Pac. As the famous rapper says, “you are appreciated.” And it’s true. With Mother’s Day on its way, we’re busy thinking about and creating gifts for mom. She deserves an amazing brunch, a hilarious card and a special gift. Perhaps a handmade gift? We think so. We’ve asked moms what they want and the answer is unsurprisingly unanimous. They want photos of YOU. Today we’re stepping up our photo game and making gold leaf silhouettes. It’s a new take on your mug and we know mama is going to be elated when she opens this shiny pressie.


Materials + Tools:

  • tracing paper
  • colorful or patterned paper
  • ballpoint pen
  • pencil
  • gold leaf pen
  • scissors
  • tape


  1. Print a photo — a profile or a shot that doesn’t have a lot of detail will work best.
  2. Place your tracing paper on top and outline the person in the photo with your ballpoint pen.
  3. Flip over the tracing paper and go over the lines with a pencil, shading the area around the lines. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
  4. Turn the paper back over and place it on top of your colorful or patterned paper. Trace your lines again pressing firmly with your pen.
  5. Remove the tracing paper and see your drawing magically appear on the paper. Color in the silhouette with a gold leaf pen.

Choose a photo that will touch mom deep in her heart. So basically any photo of you will do. Print your photo on paper. The quality doesn’t need to be good. If you are going to frame your silhouette, make sure that the photo is the right size.

  1. Silhouettes-Part1

    Tape a piece of tracing paper on top of your photo and go over it with a pen. Then flip your tracing paper over and shade the lines with your pencil. This part can be messy.

  2. Silhouettes-Part2

    Turn the tracing paper back over so that the pencil marks are on the back side. Secure it to your colorful or patterned paper with tape. Go over the lines again with a ballpoint pen, putting some pressure on it so the marks show up. Lift the tracing paper to see your image. Then fill in the silhouette with gold leaf pen.

  3. All-Three-Silos

    A black silhouette is cool but this is next level. And the patterned paper?! LOVE it. Put a pack of tissues in your gift box because dear mom is definitely going to shed a tear or ten.

  4. Framing

    These can function as Mother’s Day cards, but we all know what mother really wants: your silhouette in a frame. Take measurements and then cut your pic to size.

  5. Gold_Leaf_Silos_016

    Place it in your frame and get ready to receive a “Best Kid Ever” mug as a thank you gift from mom because, let’s be real, she can’t help but get you a gift too.


What are you going to make your mom for Mother’s Day this year? Do tell!