How to Make Silhouette Portraits – The Easy Way (with bonus project: book wreath)

A couple of weeks ago I showed you a few simple things I did to improve the look of my living room. Namely, moving a large mirror above the couch and creating a wreath and family silhouettes.
living room
Sorry about the glare – here’s a side shot of the silhouettes that is a bit more clear.
I remember doing silhouette portraits in grade school. I stood where the light from an overhead projector could cast the shadow of my profile onto a piece of paper tacked to the wall. I remember having to stand as still as I could while my teacher traced the shadow for me to cut out.
Since I don’t have an overhead projector and I don’t think I could get my family to stand still for that long, I made mine the easy way.
Step 1
Take a profile photograph.

Step 2
Print on card stock and cut out. I like to use an xacto knife and my handy glass cutting mat (though a sharp pair of scissors and a steady hand will work too).
Step 3
Turn photo over to blank side and paint black (or whatever color you like) with craft paint.
Step 4
Mount on background paper, mat if desired, and frame.
I used pages from an old paperback Harry Potter book as my background.
(I had used the covers a long time ago to make Newt some spiral notebooks.)

After hanging my silhouettes, I needed something to balance them out. I remembered seeing this book wreath tutorial online. I also remembered that my really cute niece had made a really cute one herself, and I still had a whole lot of Harry Potter pages left.

Here are a few more shots of the finished product:
book wreath

book wreath

book wreath

Now I can curl up with a good book, under the pages of a good book. What do you think?


  1. I noticed your wreath when you posted pictures of your room redo, and wondered what it was. It is soooo cute! Thanks for the tutorial!

  2. This is very neat. If I ever have an old book around in need of some help, I might just make a wreath out of it.

  3. This is so cool! I’m putting this idea in my inspiration file for our livingroom redo!

    • @Christina and The Saved Quarter – thanks! If you end up making some I’d love to see photos.

  4. stumbled across your site- LOVE it! great ideas!

  5. Ok despite being absolutely shocked at how you’ve mutilated that book – I’m impressed.



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