Cyanotype (sunprint) Craft for a sunny day

About a year ago I ordered a package of “Sun Art Paper” from Tedco with the intention to use it with an After School and Summer Enrichment program I work with.  The product worked well and we enjoyed producing various images, from snowflakes to the shadow cast by a badminton shuttlecock.  With just one of the sheets left I decided to attempt something I’d read about but hadn’t had a chance to try yet.


I printed a copy of one of my black and white photos onto the cyanotype paper.


How you ask?  Using a copy of my image “To Light the Graves Black and White” ( ) I then inverted the colors to create what was effectively a negative using MS Paint since I was at work.

Copyright Joshua House 2015

The image of the lighthouse inverted via MS Paint since that was what was handy at work.

I then printed the new image onto a transparency sheet.  (If you’re going to do this I strongly recommend taking the time to find out what sort of sheets work with your printer).  With the image safely on the transparency it was time to take the cyanotype sheet, the transparency and the lemon-water bath outside to the sun.

Five minutes in the sun and the image had printed itself on the cyanotype paper, so a quick one minute wash in the lemon juice water combo and then inside to spend an hour or two drying.

Copyright Joshua House 2015

The cyanotype print that was made from the negative shown above.


Sadly the print did not dry flat, but no matter, with the transparency made I can always produce more prints once I have more Sun Art Paper.  Equally annoying is the fact that some of the transparency ink had gotten onto the print, since I’d accidently put it ink side down on the cyanotype paper.  This also means that the print itself is oriented backwards. Again, once I print it again this will be an easy fix.

So, if you’re looking for an interesting sunny day art and craft project that gets kids thinking about how images are made, the reverse of images, and gets them outside try cyanotypes.  Feathers work well, and so do thin leafs where you can with practice get the vein structure.


Copyright Joshua House 2015

The earlier cyanotype print of a badminton shuttlecock. The amount of light the art receives has a serious impact on the deepness of the blues.

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