How to Make Large Wall Silhouettes

Updated February 21, 2017

Decorate for your next party with large silhouettes. Images of ghosts, bats and witches are popular Halloween decorations, but large silhouettes can be used as inexpensive decorations at many types of parties. Make silhouettes of the bride and groom as children for an engagement party. Cut out a lacy heart for a Valentine's Day party. Vary the colour of the large paper to match the party's colour scheme.

Trace the shapes of the silhouettes onto thin cardboard and cut them out. You may draw or trace your own pictures or cut them from magazines. You can find many royalty-free images online.

Stand the shapes upright by clipping two clothes pins onto the bottom of the shape. The shape may stand on the ends of the clothes pins or you may have to prop the clothes pins up with a large book on each side. Place the shape about 2 feet from a blank wall.

Place the desk light behind the shape about 3 feet away, so it shines on the shape and projects the shadow of the shape onto the wall. Adjust the position of the shape and the light until you achieve the desired size shadow on the wall. You may need to place the shape and light on two small tables.

Tape the large paper to the wall with masking tape so that the shadow falls on the paper. Dim the other lights in the room and trace the shadow on the paper with a pencil.

Take down the large paper and cut out the shape. Use loops of masking tape to hang the decoration.


You may be able to project a 3-D object such as a toy.

Things You'll Need

  • Pictures
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Spring-style clothespins
  • Two large books
  • Desk light
  • Large paper
  • Masking tape
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About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.