How to Make Silhouette Art

This is a tutorial for making quick and easy silhouette SVGs from your favorite photos for various cutting machine and other art projects.

The possibilities are endless with silhouette art. The real professional artist will probably bawk at my method here but hey, whatever the works and the easiest right?

I made this shadow box from one of our wedding photos using this silhouette outlining technique.

There are making other things you can make from just plain wall art to ornaments to personalized cards.

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Suggested Materials for Silhouette Art Projects

Cardstock – I used cardstock from all sorts of sets I already have. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Assorted Starter Pack – Basic assorted colors, great starter pack, perfect weight for most papercraft projects
  • Cricut Joy Insert Card Packs – You don’t have to use these with the Cricut Joy, they are nice material kids for cardmaking.
  • Cardstock Warehouse Brand on Amazon – I love the quality of all the matte-colored cardstock with Cardstock Warehouse. It is my go-to brand for individual matte colors that I might need
  • Poptone Assorted Variety Pack – This is the perfect peppy assortment of colors of heavy cardstock. It’s a heavy cardstock assortment with colors I actually use frequently for cardmaking.
  • Seasonal Assorted Variety Pack – This is a slight variation on the Poptone assortment and has a quite few neutrals that complement almost any accent color.
  • Stardream Metallics Line – For paper crafts, the Stardream line is the go-to for a metallic shimmer finish. It is the perfect sheen to make any project pop. The core is also colored is which hard to find for metallic paper.

Shadow Box – I think the black or white framed shadow boxes look really sharp especially if you do a black cut out.

Glue Dot Dispenser – I like this option the most to keep things in place without warping the cardstock. I like the Scotch Adhesive Glue Roller the best.

Frame Templates – I’ve included my set of 3 that you see in the photos for free in my resource library.

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    How to Create Silhouette Cutouts from Photos

    Unless you already use a full graphics editing program like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape, you would normally be left with cutting the physical photo self.

    However, I like to use a clever little tool called Clipping Magic to do my work. I actually have both Illustrator and Inkscape but I use Clipping Magic because it is way faster and easier to use.

    Clipping Magic is the only fully automated background removal tool that allows you to make editorial changes after the background has been automatically removed.

    First, you just upload your image.

    It takes a couple of seconds but then it just find the outline for you.

    This is where the editing part becomes crucial. So for Silhouette art, you want just an approximate outline so you might want to make some editorial changes. The background removal algorithm is set to find the most accurate.

    So here, I want to smooth out the area around the feet.

    To do this, I just use the “red” and “green” makers at the top left corner of the screen and tag the areas that I want to keep with green and the areas I want to remove red.

    The best part is, Clipping Magic allows me to download this as an SVG.

    And now you can have a custom silhouette outline from any photo you want regardless if the background is messy or not.

    To use this outline for any art project, just upload the file to you cutting machine interface.

    I made a few example projects here using our wedding image.

    To secure any of the cutout pieces from cardstock, I would recommend using glue dots on the back side.

    These are so easy to make and are the perfect newly wed personalized gift or anniversary present.

    Interested in related project SVG designs? Check out my SVG Membership:

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    DIY Cricut Floral Wall Art

    easy cricut shadow box project idea
    Cricut cardmaking idea
    Cricut silhouette art project

    6 thoughts on “How to Make Silhouette Art”

    1. randi

      is there a template that i am not seeing for the top image with the roses cut out of the heart? i was trying to make something like this, but cannot figure out how to attach the roses and not get the heart line cut through/inside the roses that are on the line. does this make sense? i love this idea!

      1. Hi, Yes! its called heart silhouette frame and the template is under both the Home Decor and Other section in my resource library.

    2. Luz

      thank you so much for sharing this beautiful art work. you have inspired me I want to try to make this. are all of these in your library under the same category heart silhouette frame

    3. L w

      How do you separate the two frame files to cut just the rose one?

      1. L W

        Never mind. I pulled in wrong file lol. Thanks can’t wait to make one

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