DIY canvas silhouette art

Bow wow wow … yippie yo, yippie yay … Snoop Dog in the motha …

That’s probably enough of those lyrics. ¬†ūüėČ

Any Snoop Dog fans out there?

I love ALL things music. ¬†I don’t know music, like people in the know know music. ¬†I just love it in all shapes and sizes. ¬†Fo shizzle. :)

And who doesn’t love a puppy? ¬†Or a¬†silhouette art of a big dog?

diy canvas silhouette art collage

I got so many great comments on these guys (thanks to you for that!) when I revealed the gallery wall and here’s how you, too, can make canvas silhouettes of really anything you have a photo of.

It’s easy as 1-2-3 (4-5-6-7). ¬†ūüėČ

You may remember that my canvases were a couple of Goodwill finds that I flipped back to front?

silhouettesThey are the two on the right.  The one on the left got painted black and turned into number art.

You could easily just buy new white canvases but I rarely take the sensible easy way. These are 12 x 12 inch squares and only cost me $2 a piece.  That ended up being the only money spent on this project.  Booyah!

Since these canvases didn’t have any backing I just had to flip them over and, using a mini pry bar and hammer, remove all of the staples.

silhouettesI do recommend not¬†stabilizing¬†the canvas with your knee unless you’re ok with this happening.

silhouettesI’m happy to report I will survive. ¬†:)

TIP!!! ¬†After you remove all of the staples I recommend ironing the creases in the canvas to bend the other way so you’re not fighting with the canvas when trying to restaple it inside out. ¬†Make sense?

silhouettesThen you really just have to line up your seams and restaple the canvas back on the frame.

OK, so now you have your blank slate, er, canvas.

One of the funnest (Yes, I know it’s not a word, but I like the non word so choose to use it.) parts of this project was scouring all of our photos for good profile pics of the girls.

I mean, who doesn’t love to lay their head on a pillow?


Thank goodness this wasn’t a snapper. ¬†(We have very few picture of Mico even remotely looking in the direction of the camera.)

silhouettesThey just make me smile.

And look at this wicked cool pic my brother took of his border collie out in the field on the farm.  RIP Capadoo.  :*(

silhouettesBut, back to the silhouettes, I was looking for profile pictures, so I picked these.

*I ended up using a different picture of black dog because once I had the sitting picture cut out I didn’t like the way it looked.

After I had my pics selected I resized them so they would fill an 8 x 10 sheet of paper and printed them on regular paper on my at home printer.  If you want a bigger canvas you could definitely resize the pic bigger and have it printed at a printer.

Or, have you heard of Block Poster? ¬†I haven’t used it but from the looks of it you can upload an image, enlarge it and then print it in blocks so you could maybe tape it together and follow the rest of the steps here.

If you have tried this, or try it now, please let me in on the deets, I’d love to know!

TIP!!! ¬†I rotated my photos to the direction I wanted during editing,¬†but realized after printing that I didn’t need to because you could just trace your silhouette with your printed pic upside down. ¬†Duh! ¬†ūüėČ ¬†Also, flipping your cut out image upside down to the plain white side of your paper gives a good idea of what the silhouette will look like without any of the other details in the photo.

diy canvas silhouettes


  1. pam says

    This is so perfect and cute. I spent hours two days ago looking for art dog related for a dog themed bathroom. This will be cuter and cheaper. Thank you so much.

    • Jennifer says

      I totally did this. I didn’t use recycled canvas. I got 2 11×14 for 6 bucks, so cant beat that!
      I tried to paste a picture in, but the box wouldn’t let me. :(

      I did mine of my beagle Delilah in red and cream. I have plans to do my other 2 dogs. I think I am going to frame their paw prints in coordinating colors to put on the wall next to them. :)

  2. says

    Even though I feel like Mico is flipping me the tail, I love these silhouettes! Where are your dogs stockings – I see Joel got the shaft with that tiny little stocking (could it even hold a candy cane?) but what about the doggies? I see silhouette stockings in their future!

  3. says

    The silhouettes turned out really well! I don’t think the nose on Mico is noticeable to anyone but you :-) The portraits by the Maryland artist are so great!! Not in my budget at the moment, unfortunately.

  4. says


    You know I loved these pictures when I first saw them. I didn’t know they were your dogs….I thought they were just random dogs. That makes them even more wonderful! I think I am going to do this project….just on a pillow. I am totally pinning this.


  5. says

    You are so funny! I read this in bed this morning (what?? is that weird to say??) and you made me smile. I love your writing style! And, these canvases as absolutely ADORABLE!! Love them!

  6. says

    I LOVE your dog silhouette canvases! And an excellent bargain at only $2.00 each :-) Your girls look so sweet, and I almost cried when i read about Romeo – he sounds like a great dog, and so fun that you used to have cheese & cracker hour together :-)

    {Thanks for checking out my railing makeover post!}

  7. says

    Thank you for being my latest Linky Follower! I just recently switched over to WordPress from my Blogger blog, and transferred my Linky Follower tool with me. I’m now unsure as to whether it is working correctly. Do you see any problems with finding my blog through your Linky Followers? I just want to make sure it isn’t directly people to the wrong address! I’ll be your follower, too, once I make sure I have everything working a-o-kay!

  8. says

    Oh, love the way those turned out.
    Very fun!

    Apparently Hobby Lobby has blank canvases. (I don’t own a staple gun yet.) Maybe I’ll wait for a sale. I might do a small one of our Maine Coon – I have a great profile pic of her. There other one, not so much ūüėČ

  9. says

    You make silhouette painting look very simple. I have no pets, but I know some pretty children that would look great in a silhouette.
    Hugs, Cindy

  10. says

    I see these types of canvases at thrift stores all of the time and not once did it ever occur to me to upcycle them in the way you did. Inspired!

    Your silhouettes are wonderful. And the dogs are adorable!

  11. andrea cammarata says

    they are simply FABULOUS!!!!! the subject matter though is AWESOME!!!! : ) hugs to the pups and to you….are you snorkling today as i freeze in NJ!!!!!!! : ) hugs…

  12. says

    Very nice tutorial and beautiful dogs. I really love the paintings over the fireplace.

    I’m a new follower. New to this linky party thing. So not quite sure what I’m doing yet. I will have to check into that tool. But for now I am posting a link from the post page I submitted.
    Love for you to stop by for a visit. And I hope you have a wonderful day.

  13. says

    I just adore this diy! It looks chic and modern and pay tribute to mans best friend and they joy they bring. Sorry – I am a little sentimental we lost our dog about 5 months ago and it still hurts. I might find a photo of his and do a silhouette of him. Thanks you fo linking up! I pinned it!

  14. says

    You did an amazing job! The dogs are too cute! I would love for you to stop by and link up at my linky party via:

    Mrs. Delightful

  15. says

    Hi Karah,

    Just found your blog via My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and I’m now following via the Linky Followers thing-y, if I did it correctly! Anyway … I’m a lover of dogs and all manner of dog art so I think your DIY is fantastic and the custom art you commissioned is beyond great. I’ve DIY’ed some art myself of our little man (his name is Beaver) and have more planned but now I have some new ideas based on your project. Thanks for sharing and I’m excited to fully explore your blog.

    Robin @

  16. says

    I’m loving this project! I never thought of painting over an existing canvas that already had art on it! I have been trying to find some sort of art work for where our kittens cat house is, and I think a silhouette of him would be perfect! I’m ready to get crafty after reading this! Thanks :) -Kate

  17. says

    Comin’ to you via Wow Us Wednesday! Looks like you are a fur baby lover as much as myself. Can’t wait to give my crafty side a whirl and try this out. Super cute!

  18. says

    I have to admit that I’m not really big into pet pictures, but I love the silhouettes! I think it gives them a whole, different, bold, contemporary thing that makes them less pet-portrait and more art… or at least a good combo, where those visiting the house see art, while you enjoy the personal connection. Thanks for the instructions!

  19. Celeste B. says

    I love these. Think I will try to make one of one of my cats. FYI — I have the exact stocking that you have that was made for me by my great aunt when I was little. I guess you would now call it vintage.

  20. says

    This is such a great project! As much fun as I had reviewing your tutorial… I must admit I really enjoyed the pics of your girls!! Love, LOVE, this idea. Gonna have to peruse some pics now…

  21. says

    Oh my goodness…looks so GREAT! Thanks for sharing at Overflowing with Creativity! I can’t wait to see what you link up at my party tomorrow! I LOVE following you…you’re so inspiring! Just a little reminder, my giveaway for 1000 free FULL color business cards ends at midnight!! Stop by and enter to wiN!

    ***I featured you today on my blog!***

    XO, Aimee

  22. says absolutely wonderful! I found this post on pinterest and am so excited! Your babies are precious and I have been wanting to make something like this for my golden and my daughter’s little pup. This just went to the top of my to do list!
    And – I have the same Christmas stocking you have! My aunt knitted it for me as a child and I actually have knitted ones similar for my kids!

  23. Jery says

    This is such a great idea! I have been looking for a project to memorialize my nephew’s dog who passed away last year after 13 years of faithful friendship. He is going off to college this year and maybe this in a 5×7 size would be just the thing!

  24. Lyn says

    I have used blockposters and it’s super easy. You can hardly see where the pages are taped together, especially if there is a busy background. If you use it just for a template to make a silhouette then it wouldn’t even matter if it was noticeable. Makes me want to make silhouettes of my yellow and black labs who are now gone but not forgotten. I wouldn’t have thought of turning the ugly canvass over, I usually just paint out the ugly with gesso.

  25. LizS says

    This is absolutely awesome! I’m can’t wait to make one of these of my dog. I’m not familiar with paints at all, so I am wondering what kind of paint did you use? Thank you!

  26. says

    Thanks so much for linking this to my party! We are big dog lovers too. I will admit . . . I will be a copy cat on this project. I’ll let people know where the idea came from. :)

    I am your newest linky follower.

    ~ robin

  27. says

    I absolutley love these! I just made mine this weekend of our two pups. They turned out great!
    I posted it on my blog
    I credited your wonderful blog for the inspiration. Thank you! My dogs thank you too!

  28. says

    These are so great!! I just love them! I do a series every week where I make my own of something I’ve pinned and this was my inspiration this week! I love how mine turned out and it’s so special to have your furry friends on the wall. Thanks for the inspiration! You can see how mine turned out on Thursday 3/15.

  29. Alisha @ Crafty Brooklyn Army Wife says

    Your fur babies are precious. I found your blog through Haute To Sew’s blog. She did the same project and now I want to do one for our fur baby Holly (she is a 5 year old yellow lab & the love of our lives).

    If you want to stop by my blog here is my web address

  30. Juree says

    Your Labradors are fabulous! Thank you for sharing your Bow Wow silhouettes. They are beautifully displayed. I want to do this project for my Yorkshire Terriers and German Shepherds dogs.

  31. says

    I love this! I was thinking of having some art of my two fav pups made, but didn’t know exactly to do. This is perfect!

  32. Betsy says

    Love this idea, thanks for sharing it. I have a yellow lab named Moses Marley and I think this project will be a wonderful one for our home. Thanks.

  33. andrea cammarata says

    you know how much i love this project!!!! thank you so much for sharing it with us today! even though your creativity was a STROKE of genius — you know it’s all about your models :) lol!!! woof woof! sending tons of hugs to all! hope our little patient is feeling chipper this morning!

  34. says

    I think this is a great way to reuse a canvas! And look at how you made it so personal with your own pets and family pets! I love this idea! I am going to look out for some that I can do this with! Thanks!

  35. says

    Why have I never thought to reuse a canvas before??! I’m glad you figured that out for me, I have a few I could reuse instead of just getting rid of them! You’re a genius I tell you! Thanks so much for sharing your skills at my Throwback Thursday party! I hope to see you again this week… with a particular project of yours… *hint* *hint* :)

  36. jill says

    iReally cute idea.
    f your canvases aren’t preprimed, use gesso before applying your acyric paint. It will go on much easier.

  37. Beverley Kimbler says

    I love your tut on this project. We had to have our Jack Russell (Scout) put to sleep, the same day they called us about our rescue lab, Darby. He has helped us heal but I have wanted some way to remember Scout. I have the perfect picture to do this with and know that my husband and I will love it!!! Thank you so much for another way for us to remember him. And my deepest condolences on Romeo.

    • says

      Beverly, thank you so much for sharing this. The best part of people liking this project is everyone sharing their stories of their beloved pets. I’m so sorry about Scout but I’m so glad this might be a great way for you to memorialize him. And have fun with Darby!!! I truly believe they are a person’s best friend. xo

  38. Brigette Marold says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’m making a good friend a silhouette of her horse for Christmas! :) Happy Holidays!!


  1. […] Karah at The Space Between has been loving all of the canvas silhouette art floating around lately. However, without a vinyl cutting machine, she had to find another way to create her own. Karah used her printer, paint, and two Goodwill canvases to make two silhouettes of her pooches. Karah says, ‚Äú’No fancy equipment needed to get this look and I am so  happy with the result.‚ÄĚ […]

  2. […] Now, many smarty pants have reminded me that I could have just primed them or used something called gresso…never heard of it. But, I didn’t have any primer and I will try anything before spending more money. That’s just how I roll. So, I flipped them, the how-to’s with some tips are here. […]

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