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Project

Painted Fabric Silhouettes

These painted fabric silhouettes are a clever and inexpensive way to brighten up any wall.

Materials

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Start with two blank canvases. Trim fabric to appropriate size to cover the front and stretch around to the back of the canvas. Stretch and secure two opposite sides of the fabric onto the canvas back with a staple gun. After folding in the corners neatly, stretch and secure the fabric onto each of the remaining two sides.

  2. Step 2

    Prime the fabric covered canvas on front and sides with a clear medium gloss like modge podge to help it adhere. Let dry for 30 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Download and print wren and friesian templates. Cut template out using scissors or a utility knife to create paper silhouette.

  4. Step 4

    Position the paper silhouette on the fabric canvas and trace.

  5. Step 5

    Select color of paint and paint the background, including sides. Allow paint to dry. Dab any remaining marker marks with a damp paintbrush and wipe away.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, November 2007

Reviews (32)

  • perbagirl 7 May, 2010

    This looks really cute. But if I wouldn't have watched the instructions, I totally thought it was put together differently. Not questioning the designer but I thought that the canvas was painted first

  • kittycrafty 4 Feb, 2009

    I love this idea. I get canvases at the art store for my kids to paint on and decorate their room. It's a great way to change colors without spending too much money. But I never thought to cover it with fabric first.

    I think I might try one with this one as the background fabric...
    http://www.beesquarefabrics.com/catalog/detail.php?products_id=3965

  • isvelad 15 Jul, 2008

    I really like the poject, but I do have a problem to stat working on it...I don't know what Mod Podge is!!!!!ok, i have search on the internet and it seems to be glue sealer finish...right? I do not think I could find it in spain, or at least that brand, so please, could you give an alternative? could I use white glue instead????
    Thank you very much!!!!!

  • apparentlyjessy 30 Jun, 2008

    I just want to say what a great project this is! I have now made two pairs and I plan to make many more. I find its easy to personalise the fabric and silhouettes to suite any person, and they make great presents! I am from Australia and each pair has cost me under $12 Aus to make!

  • bethfilzen 6 Jun, 2008

    You really should have Amy Butler on your show. She has inspired me to start sewing. Her patterns are simple and easy to follow. Plus her fabrics are fresh, fun and appealing to all ages!

  • monkey8765 1 Jun, 2008

    Martha, you just HAVE to have Kathie Davie on your show! She is the most talented fabric artist I have ever seen. She has had several shows of her work, and deserves national attention. Her web site is delight@nilenet.com You won't be disappointed! Shelly Smith

  • tammyhope 30 May, 2008

    Great idea...but why would you not just cut out a template in fabric and then adhere it to a fabric covered canvas? Seems like a waste of time to paint fabric to have a silhouette. Cut out the bird in the fabric and put it on yellow background fabric!!!!

  • redguide 28 May, 2008

    I've just downloaded some clipart to enlarge for this. we have a 'mudroom' at the cottage [way up north in the wild] I am going to do typical Canadian wildlife [or North American actuallly] on a close weave canvas that I found in about 6 gorgeous colours. I am doing the anilmals black or dark brown[that part is still under discussion] but it will liven up a quite boroing room.
    Now to choose six animals. Who knew this was going to become a family argument? It's my prject.

  • redguide 28 May, 2008

    I've just downloaded some clipart to enlarge for this. we have a 'mudroom' at the cottage [way up north in the wild] I am going to do typical Canadian wildlife [or North American actuallly] on a close weave canvas that I found in about 6 gorgeous colours. I am doing the anilmals black or dark brown[that part is still under discussion] but it will liven up a quite boroing room.
    Now to choose six animals. Who knew this was going to become a family argument? It's my prject.

  • DebiOF 28 May, 2008

    If you are planning on wearing or washing your project, my recommendation is to use the "Textile Medium" in the acrylic paint section. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

    In response as to why you would use a clear gloss medium or modge podge before you paint is to give the fabric a "tooth" for the paint to grab onto.

  • DebiOF 28 May, 2008

    If you are wanting a wash 'n wear item

  • DeniseViola 28 May, 2008

    I am not sure as to the type of paint to use. Will any type work, I have lots of fabric paint. I cant wait to get this project started for my daughters room!!!

  • quackmehard 27 May, 2008

    I think this can be a fabulous idea! Just use a theme that you already have going! My daughter's room is butterflies and fairies and plaid. This would be fantastic if I nixed the bird and made a butterfly on plaid! You just need to make it your own!

  • Heiser 27 May, 2008

    Awsome art project minus the bird....try abstract art maybe lines, boxes circles on solid fabrics.

  • sunpower 27 May, 2008

    Love your crafts BUT this time you didn't "hit it out of the ballparkl"

  • marisal 27 May, 2008

    I don't know about the properties of mod podge, but gloss or gel medium (acrylic based paint medium) will stretch the fabric like canvas. You need to make sure that your fabric is stretched as evenly and firmly as possible, otherwise it will buckle. If you bought a store canvas you may also have little "keys" which are little wooden triangles. If your stretched fabric is uneven you can tap the keys into the corners of the canvas to stretch it out just a little bit more and make it tighter.

  • jessicapoundstone 5 Mar, 2008

    Not sure what purpose the mod podge serves - particularly if you're using a fabric paint. (I'd recommend Jacquard Textile Paint: http://www.dickblick.com/zz012/08 ) I'd also recommend using the freezer paper stencling technique to ensure crisp edges to your image. Tutorial: http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/2006/03/little_elf_shir.html - here's a picture of a shirt I made using this technique http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=mabel leaf

  • dncnqwean1 4 Feb, 2008

    I just tried to make these this weekend and I had a problem I'm hoping someone can help me with. I stretched the canvases tightly but once I painted the modge podge over the fabric, it completely puckered. And also it didn't come out very even, it's all splotchy when I know I covered the entire area. Did I use too much? Too little? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • leoniewright 3 Dec, 2007

    I made two of these with Christmas fabric and Christmas tree silhouette - they are very striking and make a change from the traditional wreath on the front door.

  • leoniewright 3 Dec, 2007

    I made two of these with Christmas fabric and Christmas tree silhouette - they are very striking and make a change from the traditional wreath on the front door.

  • kmbritt79 3 Dec, 2007

    I did this last night and did a little black dress and a hanger, with a purple print underneith. it looks amazing. thanks for the fun and easy craft

  • brookie313 24 Nov, 2007

    I did this particular craft, but put a holiday twist on it. I got some nice red plaid and stenciled a Xmas tree on it and painted the outside with a pearlized green. I used fabric paint.

  • snakhn 18 Nov, 2007

    what kind of paint is to be used for this craft ???

  • gardenart 15 Nov, 2007

    I think the show is available now, just search for "secret sources" and the page will come up, just click on video next to the show you want to watch and your video will load.

  • energizerbuny 15 Nov, 2007

    You can view the full show two days after it airs on this site. At the top of the page, select Television

  • staci 15 Nov, 2007

    I forgot to record this and am crushed that I missed out on Anna Maria Horner. Is there anywhere on this site that you can watch a recent episode. I have been looking all over the internet in hopes of finding something and have had no luck.
    :(

  • feliciaparker2000 15 Nov, 2007

    I loved the show and idea; however, I was hoping to get the silhouettes of all the items shown. I can only locate the wren and friesian. Can you help with the others?

  • SweetRuby 15 Nov, 2007

    I love fabric, and am in the process of redesigning my daughter's room. What a fabulous way to bring your bedding colors or fabrics on to the walls. While at the same time creating beautiful, inexpensive pieces of art! What a great project and perfect timing for me! Thanks!

  • pengercrue 15 Nov, 2007

    I saw this craft and knew it is perfect for my tween niece. She is ready to update her room from a girl to a teen. The fabric shown on the show was exactly the colors she has decided to decorate her room. I can't wait to give her this gift for christmas, made from the heart.

  • kroth875 15 Nov, 2007

    My daughter is expecting a baby boy in March. These will look adorable in the nursery. I can't wait to show her this idea and to get busy making them. They can be adapted to any theme she chooses for the baby's room.

  • CanadianMegan 15 Nov, 2007

    I am beyond excited to make a bunch of these! What a fabulous and inexpensive way of jazzing up my apartment! Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful, easy idea. I am SO excited!

  • myfourkids74 15 Nov, 2007

    I absolutly love these easy to do to brighten my baby girls room and give her fun pictures to look at