How to Make a Life-Sized Silhouette Cardboard Cutout

Written by colin rowe
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How to Make a Life-Sized Silhouette Cardboard Cutout
A life-size cardboard silhouette is easy to make and can be a very effective decoration or prop. (silhouette 4 image by Nathalie P from

Whether you are making a life-size silhouette for a Halloween party, a play or just for fun, this craft is an easy and incredibly effective way to add a touch of fun to any occasion. If you simply want to project a silhouette onto a canvas, the project will take only minutes, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort then you can make your silhouette look truly spectacular.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Large sheet of cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Scissors or other cutting implement
  • Decorations such as paints

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  1. 1

    Measure the height of the person you want to make the silhouette of, and purchase the correct size of cardboard. Remember that if you are going to eventually decorate the silhouette or are planning to add a hat or headdress, the initial sheet of cardboard will need to be even larger.

    How to Make a Life-Sized Silhouette Cardboard Cutout
    The easiest mistake is getting the measurements wrong. (ruler image by TRIPHOTO from
  2. 2

    Draw an outline of the person in pencil so you can correct any mistakes. If fitting it to someone's size, get the person to lie on the cardboard and just draw around him.

    How to Make a Life-Sized Silhouette Cardboard Cutout
    Use a pencil so mistakes can be corrected. (pencil image by AGphotographer from
  3. 3

    Cut out the silhouette. This can be done using scissors or a craft knife.

  4. 4

    Decorate the silhouette as appropriate and leave any glue to dry, preferably overnight.

    How to Make a Life-Sized Silhouette Cardboard Cutout
    Decorating the silhouette can make it a very effective costume. (Paint brush and aqua paints image by PaulPaladin from
  5. 5

    Add handles onto the back of the silhouette, if you'll be using it as part of a costume. Glue or tape two extra bits of cardboard at an appropriate point of the back of the silhouette so they form loops that you can hold.

Tips and warnings

  • Take your time. If you rush into this project, you are more likely to make a mistake.
  • As this project requires the use of scissors or other cutting instruments, make sure children are supervised.

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