book spine art

We love books!  To read, to collect, to display...and sometimes, to turn into art.  We're also partial to silhouettes so we decided to try creating one using the spines of books.  What we love most about this project is that you can choose your very favorite titles so that it's a composition of who you are, both in the shape of your profile and as a reflection of thoughts and ideas that have meant something to you over the years.  Oh, and don't worry.  No books were hurt in the making of this DIY.  

Book Spine Silhouette DIY


1.  Gather your favorite books (they can be hardcover or soft).  You'll need 20-30 titles. Stack the books together and place spine side down on a color copier.  (You'll need to do this in batches since all of your books won't fit at once. 

2.  Make copies using a few different size reductions.  For this project, we copied the images at 60%, 70% and 80%.  

3.  Have someone take a photo of you in profile.  Enlarge it and print it out so that it fills most of a regular 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper.  (We traced ours in Adobe Illustrator, but you can work directly from your photograph.)

4.  Cut out your profile, keeping the paper around the profile intact.  You can then either use the cut-out profile itself as a template and trace it onto another sheet of paper, OR, you can use the edges around the profile as a stencil.

5.  Cut out the book spines individually.  Start playing around with how you'll layer them.  Make sure there is no white space showing and tape down the spines with clear tape.  

If you're using a template of your profile, you've traced it onto another sheet of paper.  You then fill it up with the book titles and photocopy it again.  After you've got the copy, you'll cut around the edges of your profile.  

If you're using the negative space around your cut-out profile as a stencil, arrange the book spines on a sheet of paper and place the stencil of over the titles.  You'll be able to see how it's going to look once it's cut out.  You then tape the stencil to the paper with the book titles and photocopy it.  Cut out around the outline of your profile.  

6.  Place your completed silhouette on top of heavy black paper and frame.  Voila!