Easy DIY Silhouettes

3 Materials
30 Minutes

Silhouettes used to be all the rage. They were a popular form of art, and a way to cherish your loved ones.

Well, silhouettes aren't just for antiques anymore!

Follow these easy steps to make your own silhouette from any photo, and in any colors you want!


  1. Photo of your choice, printed on plain paper
  2. Art canvas
  3. Craft paints
  4. Paint brushes
  5. Pencil

For this project, you can use any picture you want of your family, furry friends, or anything else that you think would look good as a silhouette. It's best to use an image that has large shapes, because they're easier to paint. I used a picture of a little bird for this sample.

Start by painting the background color onto your canvas. Be creative! Choose bright colors, or a color that matches your home decor. I used light blue, so it would look like sky behind the bird.

Prepare to transfer your picture to the canvas by printing the picture on plain paper. Turn the picture over, and use a pencil to color over the backside of the shape you want to transfer.

Lay the image right-side-up on top of the canvas. You may want to use a little bit of tape to secure it in place. Then, trace around the edge of the shape you want to use for your silhouette with your pencil, pressing hard.

Remove the paper, and you will see that some of the pencil lead from the back of the paper has been transferred onto the canvas. You should see the outline of your shape.

Now, simply paint inside the lines! You will create a silhouette image from your photo.

I used black paint, but you can get creative with your colors here as well.

And that's how to make Easy DIY Silhouettes!

If you liked this project, you'll love this sign made with the silhouette of a dog:

Unleash Your Creativity with this Adorable DIY Dog Sign

You can see the full tutorial and get a free template! While you're there, be sure to sign up for our newsletters to get project ideas delivered to your inbox every week.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

Join the conversation

  • William
    6 days ago

    Very nice. a different take on silhouettes. They were usually cut out of black paper and glue to a background paper. I remember doing these in grade school as gifts. Especially For Mother's Day.

  • Kara Wurtzel
    Just now

    Wow! Such a cool idea!

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