DIY silhouette wall art

art, DIY, how to, projects

I recently came across the remains of some wall art created in my college bedroom, so I thought I’d post a quick how-to because it was one of my more successful projects. I always love things that are personal (all the silhouettes were made from pictures of friends) and I liked this even more because the materials were cheap and easy to find.

Save this for a slow day—it’s an easy concept, but getting it done will take a while and the results will be much better you cut neatly. I guarantee your hand will cramp more than a few times before you’re through.

wall art


  • black poster board
  • foam board
  • photos with clear forms
  • double-sided tape (something strong like the foam kind works best) or glue
  • wall putty
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • empty frames (thrift stores and garage sales are good places to find these—they don’t need to be nice)
  • black paint and a paintbrush
  • hammer and nails


  1. Cut figures from your photos. This is the first step to creating silhouettes.
  2. Trace the photo figures on the poster board and cut them out. Now you have the actual silhouettes (toss the photo stuff).
  3. Cut small tabs from foam board and use strong double-sided tape or glue to stick them to the back of silhouettes. This prevents the silhouettes from puckering when you mount them on the wall and also adds a little dimension. A few pieces of foam on the back of each figure should do it—no one will see it, so be messy. This part should be quick and easy.
  4. Paint the frames, decide on an arrangement, and hang them. I like to test different designs on the floor before I grab a hammer.
  5. Position silhouettes within and around the frames and secure them to the wall using putty (apply the putty to the foam tabs and press it to the wall. You’re doing it right if the actual poster board shouldn’t touch the wall).

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