DIY Dog Silhouette Art

DIY dog silhouette art
Dog Silhouette- Dog Silhouette Art
Dog Silhouette- DIY Dog Silhouette Art


Dog Silhouette- DIY Doug Silhouette Art


My daughter Bella is out of school for the summer and we kicked off summer vacation with a fun DIY dog silhouette art project today. This is one of those projects that I have been wanting to do for a long time and something that I knew that my daughter would really enjoy, especially because it’s something fun for her bedroom.

Although I have to say, this project was a little challenging, as it required the participation of an extra crafting buddy that would rather eat craft projects than help.  Meet our crazy bird dog Ava:
Dog, German Short-haired Pointer
Yep, this is Ava and every bit of her nose.. She’s good for sniffing out birds and little lizards, chasing her tail and feasting on june bugs.  Not so good at craft participation… Did I mention that she’ll eat anything? I’ll spare you the details…

Anyway… So a couple of months back, I ran across this amazing large dog silhouette print on Pinterest and I haven’t stopped thinking about it for my daughter’s room:


Dog silhouette- Dog Silhouette Art

Source: Shelter Interior Design


I have searched high and low for the original source of this amazing print but unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate who the artist is (please let me know if you happen to run across the artist so I can add the credit).

I loved this print so much that I knew our dog Ava would be the perfect inspiration {and nose model} for our own silhouette print.  Bella and I wanted to practice with a smaller canvas before tackling the big one we had planned for her room.  You will not believe how easy this project is!

The instructions for the large canvas are towards end of post and are slightly different the smaller canvas instructions, which are directly below.

Instructions for the smaller canvas:

Like I mentioned, this project was super easy and the hardest part was just getting the dog to sit still for her silhouette photo shoot:

Round 1


Crazy Dog


Round 2


Dog-Dog Silhouette- Dog Silhouette Art


Finally got the shot!! (she looks like she is in a police line up)


Dog- German Short-Haired Pointer- Dog Silhouette Art


After I got the side profile picture, I uploaded my picture to the computer.  I cropped the picture as close as I could to Ava’s body.  I then printed out the picture full size onto a piece of 8.5″ x 11″ 3M Permanent Adhesive Full Sheet Label Paper (found at office supply stores):



Dog Silhouette Art


After I printed out the label, I removed the paper off of the adhesive back and attached it to contact paper  (updated** Vinyl works so much better and sticks to the canvas better) – for extra security so to ensure that the paint wouldn’t seep.  (FYI.. The adhesive label does not stick to the canvas as well as vinyl or contact paper does):

Contact Paper


We then used a small pair of sewing scissors and carefully cut out Ava’s silhouette:



We then removed the adhesive paper on the back of the contact paper and positioned it onto our canvas and used the edge of a credit card to make sure all edges were firmly attached to the canvas.  We did this multiple times with my card and also with our finger.

I love the look of the high gloss with this modern style of silhouette, so we decided to use a Valspar gloss spray paint in the color “Tropical Oasis”.    We lightly sprayed the canvas with paint and tried to get the edge of the paper covered fully without saturating the paper. You really do not want to go over the edge of the label paper more than once or twice, so covering well the first pass is the goal:



After we completely covered the canvas with paint, we let the canvas dry for about 20 minutes.  Even though the canvas is still slightly wet and tacky, we carefully removed the silhouette, pulling the edges up with a tweezers.  We didn’t want to wait until the canvas to dry because  our edges would not be as crisp when the paint dried and the label may pull some of the dried paint:


Dog Silhouette Art- DIY Art


I had a couple spots where my edges were not crisp and paint seeped a little, so I touched up white acrylic paint and narrow watercolor brush.

This little silhouette literally took us less than an hour to make and they are so easy to do. I did not try painting with a brush over the label/contact paper silhouette but I think that would work too. The key is to watch the amount of paint on the edges.

Instructions for the larger canvas:


1) We uploaded the side profile and cropped the photo as close as we could to Ava’s body.  I used the photo editing software Picasa that you can download for free here (if you don’t already have it or have a different program that can make a poster).  FYI.. Picasa, in my opinion, is by far, the easiest editing program available and I think it’s amazing.  I am techno-challenged and I figured it out immediately, so don’t be intimidated if you’ve never used a photo editing program before.  {When you download Picasa, all your pictures on your hard drive are automatically uploaded into the program, which is awesome}.

2) I pulled my side profile picture up in Picasa and clicked on the “Create” tab on the top, upper left hand side.  I then clicked on “Make a Poster”.

3)  A little box pops up and says “Poster Size” and “Paper Size” and I entered “200%” for poster size and 8.5 x 11 for paper size and left everything else alone (do not click box to overlap tiles) and then I clicked “ok”.  The program automatically configured my pictures into four separate photos (full size photos) of each quadrant of my photo, which when printed and placed together make the larger poster size of the picture.

4) My four larger quadrant full size photos magically appeared at the top of the page where you can see thumbnails of previous photos. Go right to left for all four photos and click each one and print out full size sheet of each photo onto 8.5″ x 11″ 3m Permanent Adhesive Label Paper {found in office supply stores}:



5) We cut the edges off of each photo so that we could match them up perfectly. We removed the adhesive backing off of each photo and matched up each quadrant and placed on rolled out contact paper:


Contact Paper


Dog Silhouette Art


Dog Silhouette Art


6) We then cut out Ava’s silhouette and removed the paper and placed it on our larger 24 x 30 canvas:


Dog Silhouette- Doug Silhouette Art

7) We took the edge of a credit card and smoothed out every edge multiple times to make sure the contact paper edges were down good on our canvas:


Dog Silhouette- Dog Silhouette Art


8) We spray painted our canvas using a Valspar Berry in Gloss:



9) After 20 minutes, we used a tweezers to pull up the silhouette.  You don’t want the silhouette to completely dry as it may pull paint when you pull it up:

10) We allowed the canvas to dry completely:

If some of your spray paint happens to seep and go into the white, all you have to do is go over it with a watercolor brush and white paint.


Dog Silhouette- Dog Silhouette Art


Dog Silhouette- DIY Dog Silhouette Art


This has really been a fun project and my crafting buddies are a little tired:

I hope you all have a great week and be sure and check back on Friday for Friday Favorites! If you missed last week’s favorites “Decorating Tips & Tricks”, you can find it by clicking the picture below:
Decorating Tips, Decorating Tricks



This entry was posted in Art, Children's Crafts, Children's Decor, Crafts, Decorate, DIY, Do It Yourself Projects, Home Decorating Ideas, Tutorials, Wall Ideas and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to DIY Dog Silhouette Art

  1. Lee says:

    I love this project and your step by step instructions and the finish product looks great!

    Lee ☺

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so much Lee! I was so surprised by how easy this project was to do! Yay! Don’t cha just love projects like that!! Thanks for your sweet comments!

  2. June says:

    I love this and am so going to do it!!! I had seen it on Pinterest and had to come check it out… I also have a crazy German Shorthair..she is lying right next to me as I type!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you June and I’m so thrilled that you are inspired to do one of your german girly. This is our third german shorthair and we just love them. Yes, they live life large but I cannot imagine a sweeter pooch when they settle down for the evening. Please send me a picture if you do the project and thank you so much June for stopping by!

  3. That is ador-a-ble. Love it.

  4. This is the best idea. Great tutorial – and I love how it turned out!! Working with animals isn’t the easiest ; )

  5. Shay Hobbs says:

    Love it!!!! I think even I could do this one. AND I love your writing skills. Your blogs are always fun to read. Keep ’em coming……

  6. Dawn says:

    Amazing project! Great job – looks awesome. Love our hunting doggies too!

  7. Krystle says:

    i just have to say that I LOVE this and I will be trying it very soon!! May try it with my sons picture instead, he’s only 15 months old. I also have a bird dog, 2 in fact… a german shorthair pointer named Blaze and a weimaraner named Ike. I was SO excited when I saw your doggy. And I completely understand the trying to get them to hold still long enough, and the eating everything lol. Thank you so much for sharing!

  8. Your silhouettes turned out great! Your crafting buddies are both so cute! I’ve been want to do silhouettes of my pets for a while now. Thanks so much for your great “how-to”. . .can’t wait to get started! 🙂

  9. It’s FABULOUS!! {and she doesn’t look like a police dog in the silhouette!} Love the colors you chose, too. Amazing 🙂
    <3 Christina
    Wildly Original Round Up party every Wednesday at 7pm!

  10. OMG I looove this! And I can totally tackle this! Thanks!!

  11. I absolutely adore this idea! Can’t wait to try it! I am visiting from Savvy Southern Style and am so glad I found you!

  12. I am coming over from wow. I noticed the picture and thought that looks just like my dog Gracie who is a german shorthaired pointer. Then when I saw your dog I knew why I thought it looked just like her. Cute dog and I love the pictures of you trying to get the perfect picture. Thank you so much for showing how to do this I think I will have to give it a try.

  13. I love this! It turned out really great!

  14. Debbie says:

    This is adorable! You inspired me to make one. I love how it turned out. I love your blog and your blog design. I’m a new follower!!! =)

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so much Debbie!! I would love for you to send me a picture if you make one! Cheers and thank you so much for your sweet words!

  15. Love this so much! I’ve been wanting to do one of my Boxer for sometime, but it always seemed intimidating. I hope you’ll share this on my linky party going on now, my readers would love it!!

  16. Mona S says:

    Can’t wait to try this! Hoping our Golden Retriever will cooperate in a silhouette pose!

    • Cyndy says:

      Good luck on that! Ha, like I said, the most challenging part of the project! I would love it if you sent me a picture of your finished project if you decide to do it! Cheers! Cyndy

  17. Heather says:

    Thanks for your instructions. I just found your blog searching for DIY canvas dog art. Looking forward to trying this. 🙂

  18. Britt says:

    Anything with a GSP on it is awesome! Thanks for sharing!! We are currently remodeling an airstream trailer and the concept would be wicked fun to try this on the curved interior wall. Thanks for the great idea – I will be pinning it! Cheers!

  19. Heather says:

    I love it! My dog’s silhouette looks exactly like yours, so this really caught my eye. I’m going to make one for my daughter. Thanks!

  20. Silv says:

    Loved this project & thought it perfect for my hubby’s birthday – he is completely devoted to our dog Cody, as Cody is to him. I thought I’d paint the canvas gold since Cody is his “golden boy”, so the dog’s silhouette would be golden, but I got as far as sticking the contact paper to the canvas and ran into a problem. I thought I’d mention it here for any others who might want to try 2 contrasting colors. Contact paper won’t stick to spray-painted canvas. I have enough time to complete the project in time for hubby’s birthday, as soon as I get a clean canvas from Michaels. Oh, well, live & learn – and share so others don’t make the same mistake!

  21. Cyndy says:

    Oh no Silv! I hate that that happened! My contact paper and adhesive label combo sticks well to a plain canvas (untouched) but its good to know that it will not stick to a spray painted canvas. I wonder if the adhesive label would stick better than contact paper on spray paint. It may be worth trying if someone wants a two tone. Not sure but thank you for sharing here for others! Sorry Silv! I would love to see a picture of your project of Cody when you’re done!

  22. Katie says:

    I love this! I have two dogs, one a 5 yr old mutt and one a 5 month old puppy, and I can’t wait to do this with pictures of them. I’ll wait until the little guy is full grown but I can’t wait. What a perfect way to capture man’s best friend.

  23. Marlo says:

    You are AMAZING!!!!!!!! I have been trying to figure out how to get a small photo on canvas for some time already and I believe this technique will do the trick.

    Thank you for sharing your ideas – you are beyond creative 🙂

  24. Carma says:

    Hi! LOVE this!! ♥ We raise German Shorthaired Pointer’s & was ecstatic to find your DIY on poster-sized silhouette’s!! Thank you!!

  25. Elisabeth says:

    I just finished my dog Willy’s silhouette-It turned out great. Willy is also a short haired german pointer. I love that its so personalized and looks amazing. Thank you for the detailed instructions-it was very easy!

    • Cyndy says:

      That is so awesome Elizabeth! You made my night! Can you send me a picture? I would love to see Willy! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me a note!

  26. Cynder says:

    I had made one of these a while back! I saw your on pinterest and thought, that has to be a GSP!!! We have two.. and I did mine of my babies too! Great job! Thanks for sharing!!!

  27. Sarah says:

    Love this! Our dog is super fluffy, so I bet it would be a tad more difficult, but I really really want to try it!

  28. Mollie says:

    I just found your blog while searching for DIY closet organization tips and it’s just wonderful! I’ve been perusing your older posts and came across this one – you and your little gal sure are creative. I hope to do this with our Boxer, Clarence Clemons. But getting him to sit still is the trick! Thanks for the excellent instructions!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you for your sweet note Mollie (sorry I am just now responding!)… I really appreciate your kind comments and what a great name you have for your Boxer! Yes, a Boxer silhouette would be so fun! Thank you again Mollie for your sweet note and again, I am sorry for my delayed response.

  29. Tosha says:

    Thank you so much for your detailed instructions. Saw on Pinterest. Thought it looked like our fur babies… Vizslas. I felt I was close enough when I saw it was a GSP. Love them too! Can’t wait to so this!!! Thanks again.

  30. carol says:

    Thank you for sharing.That wasn’t brutal at all.Since I have 3 dogs the small ones should be perfect.Mine are all hounds also.Your dog is beautiful.(so are mine) lol

  31. Anja says:

    Love this idea – now I just need my dog to sit still long enough for the photo shoot! 😉 I have thought about making something like that for a while, and now I have the perfect tutorial. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Elizabeth says:

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I worked on this project last night as a Christmas gift for my brother. He will love it, and I am so appreciative that you took the time to detail instructions so that I could finally take on a silhouette! So, thank you, and Merry Christmas!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so much for your note Elizabeth! I’m so glad that you like the silhouette project! Its one of my favorite projects. Merry Christmas to you too Elizabeth and thank you so much for stopping by!

  33. Lauren says:

    I started this project this afternoon and wanted to add a few things I found- make sure the contact paper rolls down, not curling up, when you paste your pup- otherwise it doesn’t work well! I also skipped the large labels. I printed out my picture on regular paper, cut it, and traced onto the contact paper with a sharpie. It does create more cutting, but does eliminate the cost, and it’s not hard. Otto (Plott hound rescue) will be white and yellow, and Moby (GSP rescue) is the same Valspar blue! I think I’m going to paint the white dog a different color, since I have to do some major touchups. Another way to get an easy 2 tone. Thanks for the great tutorial- this was a great project. I’ll add pictures on my blog in the next few days. Thanks again.

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so much for adding your tips for this project Lauren! I was going to suggest doing it with paper and tracing but I wasn’t sure how difficult it would be. Good to know that it worked out! I cannot wait to see your finished silhouettes of your Otto and Moby {great names!}. I will be checking your blog to see your creations. Thank you again for stopping by Lauren! Merry Christmas!

  34. Diana Olsen says:

    Loving this idea but can’t get the paper to stick to the canvas. I’m going to try spray adhesive and see if that works. I also think it would be impressive to do a set of three in different colors, hung side by side. Will send photos when complete. Thanks for the idea!

  35. Katie says:

    How fun! I can’t wait to try. 🙂

    We also have a GSP…SO MUCH ENERGY but he’s such a great dog! Even though he’s kind of a nut I can’t imagine having any other dog. (Plus the length of his hair is just right.)

    I think, to get Hunter to sit still, I’ll have my husband hold a treat.

  36. Angela says:

    I’m not crafty and hardly have the patience for anything. I just wanted to comment and say what a gorgeous dog Ava is!

  37. Kristen says:

    Saw this on Pinterest and thought “that looks just like our Bug!”. No wonder, he’s a GSP too! Ava is a beautiful girl and looks like such a sweetie! Can’t wait to try this with our boy. He likes posing for pics, so that’ll be easy – it’ll be his “helping” nature that may get in the way! Thanks for the tutorial!

  38. Rebecca says:

    Just finished up the 1st of our two doggies (a walker hound and a lab/pitbull mix)! I’m happy with how it turned out, but I ran into a couple snags that I thought might be helpful to others…

    1)The contact paper I bought would NOT stick to my canvas! ugghhh! So, at the advice of my artist father, I used rubber cement on the edges of the cutout to secure it to the canvas (once dry, rubber cement will easily rub off–kind of like a booger–haha)

    2) I decided to check the box on the Picasa menu that said “overlap tiles.” I did as instructed the 1st time (didn’t check the box) and I lost some of the picture and the edges didn’t match perfectly. I ended up having to freehand some of the lab’s leg and belly 🙂

    3) I took the pictures in the kitchen where we have a tile floor and was sooo happy I did! The lines of grout are a perfect grid to help you match up the edges of the photos!

    THANK YOU for this fabulous post Cyndy!!!

    • Cyndy says:

      Thank you so much for your tips Rebecca! Yes, I think certain brands of contact paper are not adhering as well and I’m so glad that you posted the tip for the rubber cement. Brilliant!! I was also thinking vinyl would work as well. The tile floor was very smart too girl! I would love to see pics of your final project so I can share them with readers on FB. Thank you so much for stopping by Rebecca!!

  39. Victoria says:

    Thank you so much for this idea! I did mine a little bit differently. I didn’t have any large labels like your tutorial requires. Instead I simply traced around my photo cutout with a pencile. It did take more time due to having to tediously paint around the lines, however it turned out perfectly! So far I’ve done one of my dog and one of my cat. I plan on hanging the two paintings side by side, so that my pets are facing each other. Thank you again for this fabulous idea!

  40. Elena says:

    If you want to know a source, just drag the picture to the google search. That’s what I found:

  41. arry says:

    Fabulous tutorial that must’ve taken a lot of work but thank you for sharing! fyi – the source of the image is from Dillon Kyle Architects. He has a facebook page and I found the image here:

  42. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that
    I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  43. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much for the post! After I kept coming back to this site, I finally decided to try it myself. I did it the cheaper way and just printed on computer paper, cut the silhouettes out, wet them and they stuck to the unpainted canvas! Some had less bleeding than others but all were fixed with a little touch up paint. Thanks again.

  44. Nim says:

    Love the silohette idea!! I will definitely be doing this but with my cat! Also, what is the color of the paint on your walls where you’ve hung the reddish colored dog silohette?

  45. deanna says:

    OHMYGOSH…I’m doing this. Thanks for the instructions.

  46. Sue says:

    One quick question, when you pull the silhouette off are you pulling off the contact paper? or just the label that was originally stuck to the contact paper?
    okay two questions, haha. is this contact paper the stuff you can buy in the rolls at the dollar store, like you line your kitchen cupboards with?
    awesome project, can’t wait to try it!

  47. Clarice says:

    Such a cute idea! I’m going to try making one for my mother of our Jack Russell. She’s quite the model, so the photograph will be no problem 🙂 Thanks for the tutorial and congrats on your craft successes!

  48. ann-Maree says:

    This is so great! Im just left a little confused about the contact paper. … do you cover the entire canvas with it?

  49. Kristy Bodle says:

    I so want to do this. I have a great picture I took of one of my dogs shadow’s. I want to do my 2 dogs and my cat if I can.

  50. JE McManus says:

    Thank you for sharing the tutorial (and Ava!). Between the graduated size versions and your attention to detail (along with the visual illustration) this turned out to be a “keeper” in my best tutorials folder! Thank you again.

  51. Joanne Berry says:

    I love this idea and will be trying it with my art students. Has anyone tried it with acrylic paint rather that the spray paint. If so, was there any problems peeling off the contact paper when dry?

  52. Paula Whitfield says:

    OH!!! I’ve been searching the internet for a french bulldog silhouette!!!! Now I’m thrilled to know how to do one of my very own frenchie!!!
    THANK YOU!!!!!

  53. jenny says:

    i would like to create that do it yourself dog silhouette art, it is very cool and awesome

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