DIY Pet Art

This weekend my fiance and I were pretty busy working on an art project for our new house. We’re on a pretty tight budget so we can’t afford a lot of fancy artwork, and when I saw this project on Pinterest I knew we would have to try it out.

DIY Silhouette Art

We started by choosing two good profile photos of our dogs:

Reese profile


Rory profile

This was probably the most difficult part of the project to be honest. We printed multiple possible pictures, cut them out, and looked at the silhouettes to decide which looked the best. There were a lot of pictures that looked like they would work, but then wound up having odd proportions once they were made into a silhouette.

We used Picasa to make the photos into “posters,” and then printed the quadrants on full sheet shipping labels. (You can read more about the specifics of doing this here.)


I trimmed the inner edges to make everything line up correctly.


Then I placed all of the sticky labels onto a roll of contact paper, and cut the silhouette out very carefully. I peeled the backing off of the contact paper and stuck the picture to the canvas (we bought 20″ x 20″ canvases).


After adhering the photo to the canvas, we went out to the garage to spray paint the canvases. We painted Reese’s canvas pink using Valspar’s Plumberry in gloss, and painted Rory’s gray using Valspar’s Cobalt Cannon in gloss.




(We have an old rug that we’re throwing out, so we’ve been using the back of that to spray paint on.)

After letting the paint dry for about 20 minutes we went back out to peel the silhouettes off. Unfortunately our silhouettes seemed to bubble up and not stick to the canvas as well as they did for the original silhouette creator, so we had a lot of touch-up work to do. I bought white acrylic paint to touch up the silhouettes, and once I started working on them I quickly realized that the paint wasn’t going to match the natural canvas. I went ahead and decided to paint the entire silhouettes with the white acrylic, which made the project way more time consuming and tedious that it initially seemed.

I can’t argue with the results though.


After touching the centers up with the acrylic paint, we went back and sprayed the entire canvases with a glossy protective sealer, which helped to smooth them out and put a nice even finish on the paintings. We were so happy with the way the paintings turned out that we immediately went out and bought smaller canvases to do our cats on. We may even wind up doing the horses on giant canvases at some point :)

My fiance made the comment after we finished the dogs that these paintings would make good gifts, which I actually happen to agree with. He also thought it would be cool if we could sell them, which seems logistically difficult to me, but is a good thought if we could find the time. I’ll post photos of the cat canvases once we get them finished.

If you decide to do some silhouettes of your own, please let me know how they turn out!


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