Silhouetted Art

Turn a photo into a 3-dimentional backlit silhouette art piece.

5 col


12” x 16” Shadowbox frame
(3) 12” x 16” Identical pictures on plain paper
(2) 12” x 16” White cardstock
12” x 16” Black cardstock
Set of dewdrop string lights
Cutting mat
Craft knife
Marker pen
Glue gun with glue sticks or rubber cement
Sheet of foamcore cut into 1” strips



1. The silhouette art piece will be built up in 3 layers made up of a foreground, middle ground and background. Take your first identical picture and identify everything that’s in the foreground of the picture. Outline the foreground elements with a marker pen (See image below)

2. Take the second identical picture and identify anything in the middle ground that you’d like to highlight. This will be any elements that are behind the foreground elements. Outline the middle ground elements with a marker pen. If the middle ground elements are partially hidden behind the foreground elements, use your best judgment to continue the lines to create whole shapes (See image below)

3. The background can be a solid color or it might be another layer of elements that are even further back than the middle ground. For this project, our background is a solid color

4. Cut out the foreground and middle ground elements (See images below)

5. Place the foreground element on a white piece of cardstock. Trace around it with a pencil. Place the middle ground elements on a black piece of cardstock. Trace around them with a pencil. Cut out the elements (See images below)


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6. Remove the back of the shadowbox from the frame. Apply dabs of rubber cement in the four corners of the shadowbox backing and press the 12” x 16” white cardstock on top. This is the background layer (See images below)

7. Dewdrop string lights will be added on the back of the middle ground layer to illuminate the final art piece. Turn the largest middle ground element over and arrange dewdrop string lights on the back. Make sure the light switch overhangs the bottom of the piece by about 4”. Hold the lights in place with tape (See images below)

8. All middle ground elements will be raised off of the background using 1” pieces of foamcore. The foamcore can be cut smaller for small middle ground elements. Use rubber cement to attach enough foamcore pieces to the back of each middle ground element so that it will be evenly raised. Glue the elements to the background in the positions they were in in the original picture (See images below)

9. Repeat Step 8 to add the foreground element on top of the middle ground (See image below)

10. Place the shadowbox frame over the picture with the wire and switch from the lights hanging out the back (See images below)

11. Turn the frame over and secure the picture in place using the frame’s hardware. Secure the light switch to the bottom of the frame with a piece of tape (See image below)

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