Over the last few years, we’ve had a chance to do Sun Prints with kids a few times (first at Crafting Community, then at an event at Ida’s school), and they were so much fun we figured we should try a more grown up version too! If you’ve never heard of sun printing, it’s a process using fabric that has been specially treated to make a photographic print, called a cyanotype, using sunlight. You can make sun prints with almost any object, but we love using leaves, and other botanicals for a jungalicious look.
- Cyanotype (sun print) fabric
- Garden shears
- Twine or rope
- Heavy double-stick tape
- Branch, bamboo or dowel
Cyanotype Fabric Instructions:
- Keep your fabric in it’s black bag until you have all your materials and you are ready to go
- Collect leaves from your yard, go on a nature hike and collect some foliage, or find some at your local flower shop
- Figure out where you want your sunny spot to be. (Think about sun exposure and wind)
- Layout your leaves on a table to figure out the placement for your design. (Better to have this near your sunny spot)
- For your Wall Hanging Only:
- Figure out how large you want to make your wall hanging
- In a room that has no sunlight, take our your fabric and cut it to your desired size. (Do this quickly so you don’t accidentally expose it)
- Put your excess fabric back in the black bag and seal it shut
- Wrap your cut out fabric in another bag or fabric so you can bring it to your desired sunny spot. (Don’t unwrap it until you are ready to start designing)
- Layout your fabric in the sunny area and immediately begin putting your foliage on your fabric. (Do this as quickly as possible)
- Tip: The closer the leaf to the fabric the better the design, so weigh down your leaves either with plexiglass, pins, or heavy objects small enough to hid behind the leaves.
- Set your timer for 15 minutes. (Time may be different depending on package instructions)
- After 15 minutes, immediately rinse fabric in cold water until the water runs clear
- Let it air dry
Wall Hanging Instructions:
- Find a stick or a piece of bamboo that is long enough for your wall hanging fabric (If you can’t find one in nature, grab a dowel from your local home improvement store or craft shop)
- Once your fabric is dry, lay it out flat
- Place double sided tape along the top of the fabric
- Place your stick onto the tape
- Cut a piece of twine at least 5 feet long
- Wrap the ends of the twine around the ends of the stick several times to create the hanger
*Thanks to the Cyanotype Store for providing the fabric for this project, and the activity at Ida’s school! For more ideas on how to use sun prints, check out their idea galleries.*
Nice Idea :)
George Fukuda says
Looks GREAT! Love a little indigo ;) Always wanted to try this technique, even more inspired now looking at the amazing result!
Oh my gosh… this looks amazing. I didn’t even know sun print fabric was a thing! Now I’m wondering if it comes in different colors? It’d be cool to get it in fall colors and use fall leaves to make a, well, fall-themed one.
sophie inez says
love how you decorated with the leaves similar to the ones that are on the print – looks great!
What a great idea! I didn’t know how easy it was to do! Now I think I have to do this for everything in my house!
Becki Watlington says
What size did you use for the teat towel?
We had a debate on diy courses for non-tech majors. Instead of general education at college, students must have a chance to acquire some creative skills to make something with their hands.
Mansi Bavishi says
Can machine wah the towel after the print.
I made a print on fabric and put it for wash after a few days. The blue disappeared and now its brown n white
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bing maps says
That’s so beautiful towel. My grandma will love it much.