DIY Tutorial: Homemade Silhouette from a photo

DIY Tutorial: Homemade Silhouette

——THIS blog post is from a few years back, when my photography business name was “Captured Moments by SK” instead of Shanna-Kaye Photography,

so you may notice the name change on the photos!



Yesterday my mother-in-law asked if she could watch my 1 year old for the afternoon. Why yes! I would love some time off! ?

With my new found 5 hours of time baby-free, I got on Pinterest to find some kind of project that I would enjoy doing for my home.

I love silhouettes-always have. I get majorly excited when the lighting is right during a session and I capture one. So when I found a way to make your photos into silhouettes, I decided that would be my project for the day. Below is the tutorial for what I did-I changed up the directions for the orginal project, and made it my own. That’s what I LOVE about crafting-there really are no rules on what you can do! If you do this project-I would just LOVE to see yours….feel free to post a link to your blog or FB where you post a photo, or post it on my Shanna-Kaye Photography fan page.


pinned this DIY tutorial here-feel free to repin it on your board! It makes me excited when people repin something I did ?

Happy Crafting!!



What you need:




*Black paint

*Paint Brush

*Zig Zig tape (found at fabric store)

*Paper to collage behind painting (I used an old hymnal)

*Rub on letters or stickers

*Thick paper (I used watercolor paper)

*Photo on your computer


*Printing paper

*Frame (I used a 12×12 scrapbooking frame from Michaels)

*Note: I use Photoshop Elements for editing. You can use any editing program that uses layers to make this project.



Step 1:

Open your photo in PSE. Pick a photo that you can see a side profile, as your silhouette will be flat and not have depth. The great thing about this project is you can use a photo that is blown out, and it’s okay!


Step 2:

Use the Quick Selection Tool to select the part of the image you want as your silhouette. Right click on the image, and “save layer as copy”. Look over at your Layers panel,

and you will have two layers-one with the original picture on it, and one with the cut out picture. Turn the background picture layer off. (click the little eye icon to turn off)



Step 3:

Make a new layer. (In the toolbar at the top-go to “Layer”, and the first item on the menu will be “New”. Move your mouse over it to see the “new layer” button.)

Grab the paint bucket tool, and make sure your color is on black. Now paint the new layer black. Don’t freak out when the whole photo goes black-it’s supposed too!

Now go to the Layers panel-and “clip” the black layer to the cut out layer. To do this-click on the dividing line between the layers, and it will clip the top layer to the bottom layer.

Step 4:

(yes the photo is different for this one)

Open a new document-sized for 8.5×11 inches. Drag your two layers over to the new file, and resize them to fit the size you want on the paper.

Save the new file as a .PNG file. Print this PNG on your printer.


Step 5:

Tape the printed photo to a brightly lit window. Get a piece of thick paper (I used watercolor paper from Michael’s), and hold it over the taped photo. Use a pen to carefully trace the silhouette on your paper. The outline you make will be what you paint-so make sure it’s a good outline!


*Note: At this point, you could print it on card-stock paper and just cut it out…but since my printer isn’t that fabulous, I decided to paint it.

Step 6:

Paint the inside of your outline with black paint. I went over most of the silhouette twice, letting the paint dry in between. I use acrylic paint, and it dries quickly.

Use a small brush so you don’t accidentally mess up the faces. Tape it back to the window, and let the sunlight dry it.

Once it’s dry, I carefully torn the edges of the paper.

Step 7:

Lay your frame on the table. I used an old hymnal from a garage sale (bought for .25!) for the background. I tore out pages, and tore them in strips and layered it inside the frame. I did not tape or glue them down-since the frame I have had the glass fit in the top, I didn’t have to turn it over. You could use scrap booking paper too. Set this aside.

Step 8:

Un tape your photo from the window. Lay it on the table, and cut out the rub-on letters you want to use. Carefully adhere them on to the paper. (Instructions should be on the back of the package)

Lay the paper on top of the frame and scrap paper, and position it. Cut a small piece of zig-zig tape, and place it under the letters. Put your glass top on the frame, and snap it into place.

And your done!!!


These are going to go in my son’s room-above his bed. I can’t wait to make more of them to put in my house!

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