Friday, August 30, 2013

DIY: Canine Silhouette Art

In addition to the floor pillows we covered Wednesday for the pooches, we've been working on a piece of DIY art for the bedroom makeover.

I've seen canine silhouettes throughout Pinterest and Etsy, and I knew I could find a way to DIY it.  After finding this tutorial, I jumped in.  The tutorial gives directions for a white silhouette, but we wanted a dark colored silhouette and a light background color, which really made things much more difficult (of course!).

You will need:
-- Art Canvas (we used 18" x 24" at the lowest grade -- we love the texture!)
-- Full Sheet Label Paper
-- Large Piece of Heavy Card Stock (we used the contact paper as instructed in the original tutorial because we had it on hand)
-- Scissors
-- Silhouette photo of your pooch
-- Craft and/or spray paint in 1 or 2 colors

To make a two-toned* silhouette (with the background lighter than the silhouette):

Step 1: Spray the entire canvas the background color.  We used Valspar in Star Bright.  Allow to completely dry for 24 hours before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: We had a friend with photo-editing skills remove the background of our photos, simply to save our printer.  If you don't have access, no worries -- you can cut around your dog's profile after it's printed instead.  Then upload your photos into a photo-editing software (we used the free Picasa software!).  We cropped the photo down to as close to the pooches' outlines as possible.  If using Picasa,  click on the "Create" tab, then "Make a Poster".  In the pop-up box, make your "Poster Size" 200% and your "Paper Size" 8.5 x 11 (for 18x24 canvas size).  Do not click "Overlap Tiles."  Print the profile onto 4 separate sheets of the Full Sheet Adhesive Label pages.

Step 3: Cut off any white edging around your photo.  Remove the backing from the labels, line up each quadrant, and lay out onto your card stock paper.

Step 3: Cut your pooch's silhouette.

Step 4: Because we wanted a colored silhouette (darker than our background color), we lightly traced our cut-out onto the canvas.  We then painted in the outline.  We used craft paint (FolkArt Multi-Surface Acrylic Paint in Medium Grey) for this step.

Step 8: After allowing to fully dry overnight, hang those babies up!

There's also the option to spray the dark color, then lay down the silhouette and spray primer and the lighter color.  This would probably give you a crisper edge than we got using brushes (and be way quicker).

*If you are using white as your silhouette color, you can use the original tutorial I found, here.


  1. Very cool! I would love to try this one of these days.

  2. WOW!!! How darn crafty are you? I need one of Bray--those ears are begging to be silhouetted-- of course I wouldn't leave out my little man :)

    1. Yes -- those ears!! They would look great in a silhouette -- although, isn't Bray always a silhouette?

  3. Love it! I totally want to try this!

  4. You are blowing my mind with all this creativity!!! Can you come to my house and do stuff????!!!! I will feed you!

  5. Will definitely be doing this with my pups. They look awesome.

  6. I love how they turned out... I'd saved the same DIY project to my pinterest page a while back and completely forgot about it.

  7. They look pawsome! And they do look better dark on light.
    Dina and Mom

  8. Those are awesome! This same project has been on my to do list for years:/