To make a custom life-size cardboard cutout, take or find a high-pixel photograph of the subject, enlarge it, print it out, cut it out, and then glue it on cardboard or foam board. The life-size cutout is suitable to use for parties, family gatherings or for picture-taking opportunities.
- Obtain a high-pixel photograph
The higher the pixel count of the photograph, the better the picture looks enlarged to life-size. Use the best quality camera available. Use a photograph with as plain a background as possible.
- Edit the photograph
Using photo-editing software, remove any background that could clutter the enlarged image. Adjust the color of the subject, if necessary. Create a solid-color base, if desired, to show on the cutout.
- Enlarge the photograph to life-size
Enlarge the photograph using photo-editing software to the correct height of the subject. Save the enlarged, edited photograph for printing.
- Print the photograph
Depending on your printer, it may be possible to print the photograph at home by indicating you want to print a poster. Another option is to purchase a software program allowing you to print it easily in printer-paper size chunks. If that is not possible, take the saved file to a print shop, and have the photograph printed. This costs more, but results in a photograph that is one solid sheet rather than many smaller ones.
- Cut out the photograph
Very carefully cut away the background from the printed photograph.
- Select a background material
Large sheets of cardboard can be obtained from furniture stores. Another option is to use foam board. If necessary, glue or attach background pieces together to create a large enough surface for the photograph. Be certain there is a way to stand the cutout up to create a freestanding figure, if desired.
- Glue the photograph to the background
Choose a good adhesive. A spray adhesive does not allow the picture to be manipulated once it is on the background. White glue, such as Elmer's, allows the picture to be moved around if necessary. Be careful to roll out any bubbles and smooth any wrinkles.
- Cut out the background
Cut the background carefully to shape around the photograph. Use a sharp knife or a specialized cutting tool depending on the background.