Shadow Words Photo Gift

First, let me say, GI Joe, stop reading now, assuming you’re actually reading my posts.  And my dad and father-in-law shouldn’t read it, either, but I’m pretty certain they don’t.

Here we go again…I saw this on Pinterest a while back, but, unfortunately, it was one of those pins that didn’t lead anywhere. So I puzzled it out all by myself. And I didn’t even get a headache or anything, it was so simple.


I had some poster board that I cut in half, then roughly sketched the letters on each.  I used a combination of a box knife and scissors to cut out the words.


Now the hard part…I had to find a sunny afternoon or morning, when the hooligans were with me but the hubs wasn’t, and a parking lot where I could take the photos.  It’s been rather gloomy, to say the least, here in Wisconsin.  I normally am a lover of cold, rainy weather, but even I have been a bit impatient for warmer weather this year.

Finally, Monday the sun peeped out from behind the clouds just as I picked the kids up from camp, so we used the YMCA parking lot as our photo shoot area. I’m sure the camp counselors thought I was insane, making my kids hold signs upside down while I photographed them.

Anyway, my cute assistant demonstrates below the proper way to hold the signs. Upside down and the message reading from left to right as you look at them. They may need to tilt the signs slightly, depending on the position of the sun.


The sun was still shining when we arrived home thirty minutes later, so we tried it in the driveway, as well.Gravel-CHaosServedDaily

After downloading the photos from my camera to Photoshop Elements, I did some minimal editing (sharpened them a bit) and added the test using the Sketch Block font.  I also added a digital background paper, because the photo ration wasn’t right for 11×14 or 16×20. And it added more color and interest, I thought.

Although it’s not as clear as the asphalt, due to the texture of the gravel and the angle of the sun, I liked this one better for the hubs.  I think it’s more interesting and rustic, with their bare feet and the nature surrounding them…kind of like our life.  So I printed this one as a posterboard ($15 for a 16×20 at Costco).  I picked up a plain white frame at Walmart for $4. For the Papas, I printed an 11×14 enlargement ($3 each at Costco), because 1) I know they have frames already and B) I wanted to be able to roll them up to mail them.

Costco can print posterboards or enlargements in an hour or two, so it’s not too late to make these for the dads in your life (assuming you have a little sunshine!). My other option, had the sun not made an appearance, was to photograph the bottoms of their feet with a message written on them.  But, really?  Their feet have spent way too much time barefoot on the trampoline and running through the woods to be very endearing anymore.

So everyone should give thanks that the sun cooperated!


5 thoughts on “Shadow Words Photo Gift

  1. Cool! Very cool. Thanks for explaining the exact layout for people like me who can’t pat their tummy, rub their head and blow bubble gum at the same time. :)
    See? I can’t even think that out correctly!

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