Today I present to you a project that you could do for yourself, or as a present for a friend or family member. In my case, I created this for my brother and sis-in-law, as part of their wedding present (we have an inside joke with dinosaurs.... I realize it might seem strange to commemorate a marriage with dinos, but for us, it's appropriate). :)
I knew I wanted to make a big letter "W" made out of dinosaur shapes, so I googled "dinosaur silhouette" and printed off a couple collections of images that came up during the search. It won't matter if there are watermarks over the image, or if they look blurry or pixelated - just get some print-outs of different sizes of whatever shape you're wanting to use.
(You can also use search terms "dinosaur vector images" or "dinosaur outline" or "dinosaur shapes"... play around with the terms if you're not finding something that you can use.)
On a piece of tracing paper, I created an 8" x 8" square, and drew a big bold W within that square. From there, I kept rotating the tracing paper over my various dinosaur print-outs and would trace a shape if I fit into a particular area.
Sometimes, I drew the shape of the dinosaur bigger than what was on the print-out, so that I have different sizes of dinos all throughout my letter.
Here you can see my completed W, which is filled with dinos of various sizes and species. :)
Now, for the next step, I needed some technology. I scanned the tracing paper W, then pulled up the image in photoshop. I colored in the shapes, and erased the "W" border that I had included on the tracing paper.
Then, I printed off my W and put in lots of little finishing touches. For example, I included a small "5-14-11" since that was their wedding date. I also hand-drew in some dinosaur footprints and other little dinos to fill up some empty space. I also retouched the outlines of some of my shapes that got wompy in the process.
IF YOU DIDN'T HAVE PHOTOSHOP/A SCANNER..... you could do the initial step with tracing paper. That part is important because you're constantly rotating the paper around trying to find where the shapes will best fit. Once you've finished making up your letter - you could then tape the tracing paper letter to a bright window, and place your regular paper on top of that and trace through to the real paper. Does that make sense? Then just fill in the shapes with an art pen so it still looks the same:
Once I was finished, I taped it to the backside of a piece of square matting:
And popped it into a frame. Ta da!!
This actually took quite a bit of time, but it wasn't too tricky. Think of all the possibilities you could do with the idea - all sorts of animals for a kid's room, a nursery, you could make just about anything.