Every year I strive to make my wife something unique and special for her birthday.  As with anything homemade, sometimes these gifts turn out like I expect, and other times... not so much.  This years gift, however, I just knew was going to be awesome before I even started....thanks to Adam Levine.

For those who don't know, Adam Levine is the frontman of Maroon Five. And my wife just so happens to have a huge crush on him. I know this because she brings it up every time we hear one of his songs or watch an episode of 'The Voice'. My idea for this year was to make a full size cardboard cutout of Mr. Levine and surprise her with it on the morning of her Birthday. 

Upon searching Instructables, I came upon a good one by FreakcitySF: How to make a cardboard stand up of someone!  However, my goal was to do this as inexpensively as I could, which ruled out making the print at Kinko's. Read on for instructions on how to make your very own Celebrity Crush Cutout for only about $5!
Materials you will need:
* Cardboard sheets
* Color printer
* Scotch tape
* 3M spray adhesive
* Liquid nails

Tools you will need:
* Utility knife
* Exacto knife
* Straight edge
* Photoshop

Step 1: Find and Photoshop your celebrity

When picking your celebrity, the possibilities are endless. We're having so much fun with Adam that we've already started working on Buddy the Elf. I'm hoping my wife reads this so she can make Katy Perry for my birthday!

After deciding on who, you then need to find the right picture of said celebrity. There are a few key requirements:

* The image must capture the full body of the person (their arm can't be obscured, their feet can't be cut off, etc)
* The person must be facing the camera (they can't be standing at an angle or your cutout won't look right)
* The image must be high resolution (it must be high enough to not pixelize when enlarged to full size)

This sounds simple enough, but it takes more time than you think to find an image that meets these requirements. I searched images using Google and qualified my search to 'Large' images.

Once you've found one, open it up in Photoshop. Then open a new file that has the approximate dimensions that you want for your cutout. I wanted mine to be 6 feet tall and about 2.5 feet wide. Then select the portion of the image that you want use - being sure to leave a small border that can be cut away later - and copy it into this new larger file. Stretch the image to match your desired height.

At this point I filled the area between his lets with a uniform gray color. This was done because I didn't plan to remove this portion later - and I didn't want the original backdrop to be distracting.

When finished, save the file as a .pdf.

How super fun! Nicely done!
Great job. Looks like your gift was a hit with your wife.

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