How to make…A 3D Silhouette Picture

Ages and ages ago now, it must have been pre Christmas 2015, I watched Kirsty Alsopp in her Handmade Christmas programme where she tried out new crafts with experts in their field. One of the things that she had a go at making really stood out for me, and that was the 3D silhouette picture. Kirsty made a woodland scene, and I adored it straight away. Originally I was also going to have a go at making a woodland scene, but then after thinking a bit more I decided a skyline would look really cool. I toyed with the idea of New York, but felt that that was way too tricky for a first attempt! So I picked something that would be easily recognisable, and Paris, which is a city I love, just sprang to mind. I mean, what is more iconic and recognisable than the Eiffle Tower?!

Now, I am in no way claiming that this turned out as good as something that you can buy – and if you look on Etsy there are so many brilliant paper crafters – Bluebell Creations and PaperMockingBirdCuts being two of my favourites. But I think that my effort has turned out pretty well for a first attempt, and that with a bit of practice at the cutting out stage that it would be possible to make some pretty nice pictures yourself.

What you will  need:

  • 3D frame
  • Black paper
  • Background colour cardboard/paper
  • Scissors
  • Stanley knife/craft knife
  • 3D sticky tabs
  • Prit Stick

How to make – instructions:

  • Ok, firstly, I love 3D box frames. There are so many possibilities with them! And I think I will look at doing another post in the future with something made with one for Freddies room. This one was purchased from Hobbycraft and was only £4 in their sale (I think they have another sale on now), so they are available fairly inexpensively.
  • The first step is to create the background, so open up the frame, cut your chosen card/paper to the size of the board, and attach it to the back of the frame with some Pritstick. I would advise using card for this to ensure a nice flat smooth surface. I went with tissue paper (as I couldnt find card the right colour in time to get this finished for you!) but it obviously looks crumpled and a bit more rubbish than I would like……


  • Next you want to find some pictures based on the theme you have chosen – skyline, woodland, seascape, etc. The best (and by best I mean easiest) way to do this, and how Kirsty did it on her show (so it must be right, right?!) was to find and print off pictures in black onto your black paper that you can then cut out. There are tonnes online to choose from.
  • You want to cut down big areas of paper with scissors but then do the detailed cutting with your knife, otherwise you wont end up with nice straight edges, or be able to cut out the middle pieces.
  • Once the pieces are all cut out it is time to start sticking the pictures onto the background with the 3D tabs. The idea to follow is that you build up the picture, starting with the things in the background placed flat, then things in the midground raised on one sticky tab, and things in the foregrounds raised with 2 or 3 labels (or one on top of a previous piece).


  • I added a moon first as I thought it added a nice extra touch to the picture! image
  • The picture I decided on was inspired by Paris, I just love the Paris skyline, so I used 2 different images – one for the skyline and one featuring a couple on a lamp lined walk way. Therefore my picture has 4 levels – the moon at the back, then the eiffel tower skyline, then the lamps and railings and finally the couple at the front.image
  • The trickiest thing about this whole project, in fact the only difficult thing really, is cutting out the more intricate bits of the picutes. You need to use a stanley knife or crafting blade for this rather than scissors – as you just wont get into the middle bits or create nice clean straight edges. It may be a good idea to have a couple of practices on spare paper first!


  • Keep layering up!



Finally pop it all back into the frame, close it up and add it to your wall 🙂


As I mentioned earlier, I based mine on the one Kirsty Allsop made as it just stuck in my head as looking fab, but you dont have to just stick to a 3D silhouette picture. Instead of using black paper you could go for a 3D card style, and have any coloured picture you want – just print it out 3 or 4 times, then use one copy as the background and cut up the other 3 to build up 3D from background to foreground!

I’d love to know if you have a go!

Lucy x


1 Comment

  1. Annette, 3 Little Buttons September 4, 2016 / 3:34 pm

    How clever are you! I love how your picture came out. It’s got quite a loved-up, romantic feel to it 🙂 I am a big fan of the cool papercrafters, but hadn’t thoughts to give it a go myself. Super inspired. Thanks so much for sharing your project on the #DreamTeam xx

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