The Endearing Art of Silhouette

Today, I thought I’d share a special moment in time, 21 years ago. One morning I read in the newspaper (remember those?) that a renown silhouettist by the name of K. Housel Bogue, was coming to Macy’s to cut silhouette portraits. She would only be here for a couple of days and appointments were booking fast.I had previously had a silhouette of my son done by another artist and was disappointed when the final product didn’t look anything like my sweet boy.

So, in nervous anticipation, my son and I drove over to Macy’s where Mrs. Bogue worked her magic. I was both thrilled and stunned…she beautifully captured his countenance and I would be forever grateful.


He was little…for a moment. And when I need to remember, I pause in my entry and look longingly at that sweet, sweet face.


Twenty-one years later, Mrs. Bogue is still working her magic. You can read about it HERE and can even arrange to have your own special someone’s silhouette portrait cut. Apparently, she can even create a silhouette from a photograph.

Silhouette cutting is almost a lost art and some fear it will disappear entirely one day due to the advent of computer generated images. I hope not because there’s something very special about a hand-cut silhouette.

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  1. Susan I use to have the same man at Disneyland do all three of my boys. I would have them professionally framed and I had them hanging in my black and white bathroom for years. I have them at 3 different stages and it is so fun to see the changes in their little faces changing into young men. The last time we went the older gentleman had just had a stroke. WE had someone else do them but they just were not the same. Sweet memories in those little black outlines of their faces. Kathysue

  2. What a sweet story; we truly fall in love with our kids, don't we?


  3. Courtney ~ French Country Cottage says

    So sweet! I love those little faces! I actually saw a pair of these just the other day at a thrift store and wondered about how they ended up being discarded when they are so charming and such a memory.
    Really neat little pictures!

  4. Sue (Someone's Mom) says

    I had them made of my children at Disney one year. I still treasure them.

  5. Nancy's Notes says

    Oh Susan, you just brought back a memory! Love your silhouette's, they are just so precious. We have one of our youngest daughter and I cherish it and always will!

    Thanks for sharing the website!


  6. My husband and I were just talking about silhouettes, Susan. I LOVED this post. It was so sweet to hear you talk about your 'little' boy. They grow so fast, don't they? Sometimes it's hard for me to believe just how fast time has gone.

    Thank you for a wonderful post,


  7. marty (A Stroll Thru Life) says

    Oh they are special I have one of me that my mom had done MANY years ago. It is a treasured possession. Hugs, Marty

  8. Hi Susan! OH, this is so precious! I love silhouettes and wish I'd had some of my children made! I'm so enjoying seeing more little glimpses of your lovely home!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  9. Susan, thank you so much for this post! I had K. Housel Bogue do my kids when they were small. (They are now 32 and 27!) I have often wondered if she was still "cutting". Now I know she is and where to find her. My daughter and hubby are adopting a child from S. Korea and I will certainly want to send her a photo so she can so a silhouette for us.
    Thanks again!

  10. tales from an oc cottage says

    How precious!

    m ^..^

  11. Those are a special treasure! I have regrets of not doing it. Maybe I still can from a photo.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Sandi (Meme) says

    We did our sillouette when I was in the first grade, I still have it. I also have one of each of my kids, when they were in the first grade. Such special treasures! Sandi

  13. Susan, I had my boys done when they were little and I am ever so grateful that I did. K. Housel Bogue came to a local store here in podunk Texas and I was the lucky one in the end. They are perfect and capture their personalities perfectly!!

  14. Annesphamily says

    This is such a beautiful art. People want things fast today and I hate it! I have a chalk portrait 18 x 20 of myself and my oldest daughter. It is magnificence. The lady who did it at Knott's Berry Farm was amazing. My kiddo was only 3 so she was a squirmer! Thanks for sharing all the great ideas here Susan. Anne

  15. The artist really did a great job on your boy's silhouette, Susan. I like where you displayed them. Thanks for your comment about my shop…Christine

  16. Enjoyed the silhouettes, Susan, and your floors look gorgeous, too! Susan

  17. Susan, it is wonderful to be able to freeze these moments in time with paper and scissors. Mrs. Bogue is very talented. As a primary teacher, I would do silhouettes of my students that we would then give to the parents as a gift. We used the overhead projector to create a shadow, traced around and then cut out the child's profile. Not this professional, but it did capture a sweet moment in time. 🙂
    ~ Sarah

  18. You have to check out my daughters craftiness and my mothers day gift…

    She gives the details of how she did it.

  19. Tales From My Empty Nest says

    Small world. She lives in my state! She did my oldest daughter's silhouette. I would love to have my youngest daughters done too. Thanks for the information. Love & blessings from NC!

  20. Those are so neat!!! I hope one day I can have those done of my boys!!! Thank you so much for the info!!!

    Take care!

  21. T's Daily Treasures says

    Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by my little corner of the world.

    I actually did silhouettes of my own boys when they were little. I used to teach kindergarten and saw instructions for taking a profile photo with a blank background then cutting around it and tracing onto paper for the silhouette. They actually turned out pretty cute. I did it for a few others too. So very sweet indeed. And nice to see that there are wonderful folks who keep up this tradition.

    There needs to be a lot of metamorphisis going on around here with some cupboards and bookshelves but just can't seem to motivate myself to get started. Still enjoying the last days of summer before I head back to school on Sunday (the weekend here is Friday and Saturday).

    Best wishes to you for the rest of the week. 🙂 Tammy

  22. Oh fun! You always come up with clever posts.

    I will have to look into having one done of my younger son (from a picture). I do have one of my older son, but by the time my second son came along I could never find anyone to cut his Silhouette. We have my husband's from when he was a little guy. It would be so nice to have a grouping.

    This might not be the proper place, but I wanted to thank everyone who left such nice comments about our bath remodel. I was so nervous but proud for Susan to post the pictures. I did not realize how scary it is to put one's self out on the Internet. Thank you again for looking and commenting. We are enjoying having a new bathroom.

    From Virginia

  23. I have 6 silhouettes of my daughter that were done by K. Housel Bogue. Each year my daughter had a different hair style. From the pixie cut, to pigtails, ponytail, half up/half down with large bow…each year showed the style my daughter wore the most. Love 'em all! Glad to hear K. Housel Bogue still comes to Macy's to do this.

  24. THE OLD GEEZER says

    I love your blog title! I like naps.

    I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to. ~Ron

  25. Precious little boys! Shame on me…I had my girls done when they were 5 and 3 and have yet to frame them. On my to do list this week for sure!:)

  26. Splendid Sass says

    This post brings back so many memories! Thanks for sharing.

  27. Meredith @ Welcome to Heardmont says

    Thank you for this post! I believe this is the lady who would cut silhouettes at the War Eagle Craft Fair (War Eagle Mill, Northwest Arkansas). We would see her there every year and my mom always wanted to get silhouettes cut of my brother and myself. We never got to have them made… I'm so glad to have the link to her site – this might just be a perfect birthday present for my mom!
    Thanks again,

  28. Sherry @ No Minimalist Here says

    My son's silhouette sits on my bedroom dresser. It has been 30 years since he sat for this little silhouette and I still look at it every day.
    Hugs, Sherry

  29. I have four silhouettes of my daughter done through the years by Ms. Bogue and then my daughter and her husband. My husband and I plus my father all had ours done too so it makes a nice group on the wall. Ms. Bogue does great work. My daughter wore glasses from 15 months on and they look so cute in the silhouettes.

  30. Pat@Back Porch Musings says

    We have one of her silhouettes. She did one of our oldest granddaughter. I would love to have one of our other grandchildren, who came along many years after Xanti.

  31. Lady Katherine says

    Love the silhouette of your son! I had my daughter's when they were 3 & 4 years old done, and one of Terry and me. I love them so!

  32. laurie @ bargain hunting says

    Oh I love silhouettes. It doesn't even have to be anybody I know. How wonderful that you have those of your son when he was little. They are so sweet. laurie

  33. I had just told my youngest son that I wanted to frame and hang all three of their "school silhouettes" in our hallway. They are rather large, and are different sizes, but I think I would enjoy them!

  34. I just noticed this post (on the bottom of one of your pages), don't know how I missed it last August. I have 2 different settings of Silhouettes by her. Both were done at a Dillards in Oklahoma. One I planned, made an appt and drove there to get separate silhouettes of each of my girls. The other was a couple of years later, we were walking through Dillards and she had come back (a surprise to us). I had a double silhouette done of my girls then. We were standing there watching and I told the girls that they weren't dressed for it. She assured me that she'd just cut a cut collar for each them. It's just as good as the first one!

  35. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    She really is a talented artist! I would love to have gotten some others done over the years. Time just passes way too quickly!

  36. I was just given a copy of my husbands silhouette done by this same artist when he was little. I was hoping to have some done for our kids and now that I know who did my husbands it would be great to have them done by the same person, only problem is I can’t find anything about her online. Do you have any information?

    • I know she at one time had a website when I last Google name, but I’m not sure if she is still doing silhouettes. She was an older woman at the time she did my son’s silhouette and that was about 30+ years ago, so I really don’t know if she still doing them.

  37. susan s. collins says

    A friend showed me two silhouettes of his children that K. Housel Bogue did. They are marvelous!
    I would love to have some done. Is there a possibility??

    Thank you very much.
    Sincerely, –

    • Hi Susan, these silhouettes of my son were done around 32 years ago, so I’m sure Mrs Bogue is retired by now because she was probably in her 50s or 60s when she did the silhouettes of him. I hope you are able to find someone else just as talented. I don’t know who to refer you to though. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

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