diy/before & after: lisa’s cedar slice silhouettes

this fun project from d*s reader lisa berry straddled the line between before & after and diy project so well that i couldn’t resist posting it as a project today. as a christmas gift for her mother, lisa decided to use these cedar slices to create a personalized silhouette series of her family. the steps are simple and are great for a rainy day like today. to create your own cedar slice silhouette, just click here for the full instructions.

what you’ll need
-cedar slice (you can saw them from local fallen trees, or pick one up/have one cut at a local lumber yard )
-sand paper
-photos of your family, friends or pets
-paint or card stock paper (depending on how you want to create your silhouette)
-scissors and a pencil
-puzzle glue
-computer and printer (optional)
-patterned/decorative paper (optional)

1. sand down your cedar slices so they’re smooth and splinter-free. if you want to alter the color of the slice you can apply a light stain to the surface. (allow to completely dry before continuing)

2. select (or take) a photo of your family members that you would like to use for the silhouettes. using a scanner and a computer, use a photo program like illustrator or photoshop to trace their profiles or full heads. print the profiles on card stock and use the scissors to cut each profile out.

*if you’d prefer to paint or cut by hand, simply use tracing paper to outline the family profiles from each photo (you can have photos blown up to make larger silhouettes if need be). then draw copy the outline onto the wood and fill in with paint, or trace onto card stock (or decorative patterned paper) and cut each silhouette.

3. after applying your chosen style of silhouette, you can cover the slice with a clear layer of translucent glue like puzzle glue. (lisa used puzzle glue and says it works perfectly).

  1. Megan says:

    what a lovely and creative idea! I was just thinking that they’d make nifty little coasters. I’m definitely adding this to my list of crafts to do!

  2. Kristan says:

    I really like the look of these on the wood. Normal frames are nice too, but there’s something awesomely ironic about putting something so “proper” like a Victorian-esque silhouette on something so normal like a beautiful cedar slice.

  3. virginia says:

    congrats on *best home decor* on apt therapy!

  4. The Goods says:

    love this as a way to carry on the silhouette trend and change it up a bit!

  5. Cindy says:

    Gratz on the Apartment Therapy Homie Award for Best Home Decore Grace!

  6. Lisa Berry says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely comments!

  7. Jennifer says:

    I made a set of silhouettes for my Mom this Christmas ( , and, while I love the way they turned out, they are really too traditional for my decor. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cedar slice idea… I will be trying this. Timeless with a twist. Love it.

  8. Lisa says:

    Simply fantastic!

  9. R says:

    took me a minute, but got it… check out different material, similar shape…. but if you like silhouettes, look in (scroll down a little…)

  10. Katie says:

    There we were sitting around at lunch talking about DesignSponge when Lisa said “I got posted on there.” I had no idea they would be this amazing. They make me happy. You do too Lisa.

  11. Sylvie-Anne says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful evening -I enjoyed every minute!!!

  12. Gabe says:

    These would make great Christmas ornaments as well!


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