Have you ever experimented with cyanotype paper? I think I did some sun prints in a summer camp art class when I was a kid, so I sort of knew the (incredibly easy) steps in the back of my mind! I was excited to try the project again for some art in our playroom.
The supplies are super affordable and the design possibilities are endless, so if your room needs a little (or a big) pop of blue, like our playroom did, grab yourself a box or two of Sun Print paper and have at it!
Here are the simple steps and some of my favorite ideas for items to use when making your design:
Step 1: Gather up your supplies and objects. I bought two packs of 8×10 Sun Print paper. You’ll also need a 9×13 pan filled with water and a tablespoon or so of lemon juice as well as a roll of paper towels.
Step 2: The paper should stay in it’s package until you’re ready to go. As soon as the paper is exposed to sunlight, the chemical reactions start, so be ready to go! Once you’ve arranged your objects, place the paper in full sun for about a minute. It takes some experimenting with the exposure time, so that’s why it’s a good idea to buy extra paper.
Step 3: Pull off the objects and submerge the paper in your pan of lemon water for about 30 seconds. Lay flat on sheets of paper towel to dry completely. The blue color in the paper will deepen and develop while the paper dries. The longer you left the paper out in the sun, the more dark the blue will be.
Step 4: The paper will wrinkle and curl a bit while drying, but it’s easy to press between heavy books later to flatten the paper again. If you’re framing the sun prints like I did, you won’t even need to worry about that step.
I used one of those Toobs of plastic animals for my sun prints and I think they turned out cute. The outline of the animals ends up getting a little blurry since they were three dimensional and some of the light gets around the sides of the figurines, but I’m okay with that sort of abstract look. More flat items make a much more distinct image. That’s why flowers and leaves work so well! I’d love to try an arranged pattern like in these prints I saw recently in a local shop.
Other ideas for objects to use for making Sun Prints:
your child’s hand
jewelry for a closet or dressing area
buttons, ribbon and craft supplies for a craft room
clothes pins for a laundry room
fruits and veggies for a kitchen or pantry
feathers or shells
keys from all your former homes, apartments and cars
Have you tried cyanotype printing before? What worked well for you?