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How to make a silhouette painting

DIY projects can be a lot of fun, but they can also be super time-consuming and expensive. For this DIY silhouette painting, most of the supplies will be easily accessible from your own home. This is also a project you’ll be able to complete within one hour, max. The end result is elegant, fun and personal.

How to make a silhouette painting


  • Canvas (8 inches x 10 inches or larger)
  • Paint brushes (one large, one small for details)
  • Two paint colors of your choice
  • Scissors
  • Tape (Scotch or painter’s tape)
  • Pencil or pen
  • Photo of silhouette


Step 1:

Place tape around the canvas one inch from the edge. Make sure tape is secure and lines and corners match up nicely. Take your base color and paint the entire canvas with a large paint brush. Let dry and remove tape. This will give you a nice border. If the tape didn’t hold securely, you can go through and touch it up.

Step 2:

Cut out the shape from the photo that will be used as your silhouette. You can use a full body or just a side profile of a face. The choice is yours! Make sure to cut carefully and precisely. This is probably the most time-consuming part.

Step 3:

Place the cut-out silhouette on your painted canvas. Take a pencil or pen and lightly trace photo onto canvas. When complete, remove photo.

Step 4:

Using your second paint color, fill in traced silhouette with smaller paint brush. You may need a few coats in order to cover the pen markings and the base color if it was dark. Also, if you chose a color other than white for the silhouette, you’ll need to paint the borders created in Step One too.

Step 5:

Let dry and do any touch-ups that are needed. Hang it on your wall (bedroom, nursery, hallway, etc.) and show off!

More DIY crafts

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DIY wine rack projects
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