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Make DIY silhouettes using either card stock or paint. Both tutorials are easy! You can then display then on a gallery wall or even as Christmas ornaments!

DIY Silhouettes can make pretty housewarming or birthday gifts. They can cleverly customize a child’s space. Or they can personalize a small vignette. They can even be used on Christmas Ornaments!


And they are ridiculously easy to DIY! Don’t believe me? Take a look at these two ways to make DIY silhouettes!

DIY Silhouettes

Card Stock Silhouettes

Supplies For Card Stock DIY Silhouettes

Instructions For Card Stock DIY Silhouettes

1. Take your child’s profile (side) photo against a contrasting backdrop. A white wall works well.  Profile photos turn out much nicer if the girl’s hair is up (live and learn) or if the boy is wearing a ball cap or something. And perhaps remind your children to stand up straight and help them choose their clothes for the photos.

2. Print the photos. Black and white and even draft mode on your printer is totally fine.

3. Cut out each silhouette.

4. Using a glue stick, glue each silhouette onto black cardstock.

5. Then cut out again.

6. Flip card stock over and glue to paper, or canvas.

Voila! Easy DIY silhouettes!

black, gold and wood christmas ornaments

Painted Silhouettes

Supplies for Painted DIY Silhouettes

Instructions for Painted DIY Silhouettes

profile photo for making DIY silhouettes

cut out profile pictures for diy silhouettes

paint canvas

Our silhouette canvas backgrounds are pretty simple. I just painted some dollar store canvases white with a few coats of DecoArt paint (which is also sometimes available at the dollar store) and let it dry.

trace silhouette onto canvas with a pencil

  paint silhouette outlines

Also after the paint dried (I may or may not have helped it dry faster with a blow dryer) I grabbed a sanding block and went over the edges and then the whole surface of each canvas. This roughed up the paint just enough to soften the look.

Where to Use DIY Silhouettes

You can use silhouettes in any number of places. 

  • as art in a gallery wall
  • made into ornaments for the Christmas tree
  • as Christmas cards or birthday cards
  • made into pennant banners and strung across a child’s room or a fireplace mantel
  • printed onto t-shirts 
  • printed onto pillows
  • and more!

Originally, all three painted DIY silhouettes hung over the TV armoire. Then they moved to a gallery wall.

A while later we made the card stock DIY silhouettes and hung them on our Christmas Tree as ornaments!

glittery neutral christmas tree ornaments

Home Made Lovely Christmas Tree

Didn’t I tell you it was easy! No matter, which DIY tutorial you choose, you can make yourself some DIY Silhouettes in an afternoon and then use them however you like around the house! 

Would you try making DIY Silhouettes? Which method would you use? Where would you display them?

shannon photo and sig oct 2022

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  1. Very cute kids! I have seen that headboard before too, but I can’t remember where? Great tutorial, Thanks!

  2. love it!! đŸ™‚ your kids look so cute! The only diy ones I’ve require photoshop, so I’m happy you shared this one! Looking forward to making one soon đŸ™‚ I might do one of our dog, because I’m odd! lol

  3. So sweet — it may just end up as one of grandmas Christmas present this year! If I start now, I might have time to do all 11 grandkids as one piece of art!

  4. This is so wonderful! I googled how to make these and your tutorial is super amazingly helpful. Thanks so much! I’m totally hooked on your blog!

  5. I have always loved the silhouettes when I saw them hanging in homes. I often wondered why we never had them when we were young.
    I let time slip by when my own two children came along. But I won’t let that happen again! I have identical twin granddaughters who happen to be spending some time with me during their summer vacation. I’m so very glad I happened to catch your email and all your wonderful treats inside, especially the silhouettes. I’m going to do those tomorrow, as they have hit the sack for the day.
    Again, I want to thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas and showing the easy way to diy. This is a real treat for me.
    Happy Summer!

    Patti Clifton
    Concord, NC – Sarasota, FL