DIY Dog Silhouette

As always, it’s shaked out to be a crazy week, but a good crazy.  We’ve been going back and forth with the same buyer as last week for the last couple of days and we may have some good news to share soon.  Fingers crossed!

Today, I wanted to share something that I made Chris for Christmas.

I knew before we even got our little Gracie that I would do a dog silhouette of her at some point.  I decided to wait until she was more mature so that her silhouette would always look like “her.”

I had planned to do a smaller one, much like I’d seen before.  Then I saw this larger scale dog silhouette from Anthropologie.

Anthropologie Silhouette

I knew then that I wanted to make a big statement piece with our little girl (okay, big girl, but that’s just a term of endearment).

I knew I wanted it to have a rustic feel.  I love that style, but Chris really does and this was a present for him after all.  I went with a barnwood frame and check fabric.

Life of Splendor Great Dane Silhouette

The frame is a poster frame from Hobby Lobby and the fabric we found on a remnant table at a local fabric store.

Life of Splendor Great Dane Silhouette 1

I knew I wanted a classic black dog silhouette.

Life of Splendor Great Dane Silhouette 2

Right now, it’s just leaning on a desk in the guest room because we already have all of our big walls filled up.  But we’re going to reserve a prime spot for her in the next house.

I love all of the little imperfections that it has.  The little lump on her head the weird little place where her lip hangs down crack me up.  I traced it exactly because I wanted it to look like her, but when I saw those imperfections, I considered smoothing them out.  But then I thought, “NO, that’s what makes it her!”  And that’s why I love it most.

I see this and immediately recognize her.

Life of Splendor Great Dane Gracie

(P.S. This is my favorite picture of her to date).

I really love how it turned out and most of all, Chris loves it.

So, if you’d like to make your own, here’s my adivce:

I decided not to do an official tutorial on this because I used a projector to trace her silhouette onto the fabric.  This is 24×36, so since I had access to a projector, that was the best option.  But I realize not everyone has this option.  Do any of you have any good ideas for doing one of this size by more conventional methods?  If so, please share in the comments for others to use 🙂

I started with a photo of her from the side and traced around it in Photoshop (before I had Photoshop, I used Paint.net which you can get free online if you do not currently have a photo editing software.  Tracing silhouettes is easy!).

Then, I taped the fabric up and projected her onto it at just the size I wanted.  I traced it with a pencil and had it ready to paint later.  If you wanted to do a smaller one, it’d be really easy to print it out on regular-size paper, cut it out, then trace it onto the fabric.

The biggest piece of advice if you’re tracing and painting onto fabric instead of wood, canvas, etc. is to use textile medium with the paint.  You can find textile medium at any craft store.  You mix two parts textile medium with your chosen color of acrylic paint.  This makes all of the difference in the world because it makes the paint soft.  It feels just like the fabric when you run your fingers over it and it keeps it from getting the sheen that paint often gets on fabric.

In fact, Chris thought it was black fabric that I’d cut out and glued to the tan check!

Happy Weekend!

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7 Comments

Oh, I want to do this with our pups! And one of Zumi too, because he was the best dog I’ve ever known. Wish I had access to a projector (is it weird I’ve always been tempted to buy one? So good for projects!). If anyone tells you of a way to do this nice and big (because I LOVE it) with the projector, let me know please!
ALSO, saw some burlap garland at Michael’s today and immediately thought of you. (Also, I loved it too.) I would’ve texted you a picture, but I still don’t have your number again. 😉 But you should check it. Awesome stuff.

I LOVE this!

You’re so talented!

This makes me want to do one of each of my doggies. So sweet!

Thanks for the tutorial- I am 100% certain I’ll need it!

Have a great weekend!