How to Cyanoprint, or How to Sun Print




Saint Salvage of NJ is about being ecofriendly by giving thrifted and vintage items new life. I u...

I live near the Jersey Shore, and a saw a woman wearing a printed shirt that had a very interesting print with plant leaves on it. I asked her what it was, and she told me she bought it at a craft fair from a vendor selling "cyanotypes". So..... that gave me an "Ah ha! moment".

So, I did a little research, and I came across a company called Blue Sun Prints

 found a lot of fun choices. The rest of this of the Instructable shows what I did....

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Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Here's what I gathered for my supplies:
The package of cyanotype squares
Assorted leaves: Fern, oak, and holly
Package of straight pins

I took my supplies to my makeshift darkroom (the bathroom), and turned on the light on my iPhone. Then... I pinned the leaves to the squares.

Step 2: Create the Print

This part is the hardest for me. Wait 15 minutes for the solar energy to do its thing. Unpin the leaves, and leave on the forest floor. The fabric looks like an anemic blue with weird white splotches. Have no fear......

Step 3: Reveal the Print

Now, here's where the "magic" happens.....
Rinse out the squares in cool water, until the water is clear.
Flatten out the squares, and enjoy the unique prints. Ooooohhhh..... Ahhhhh....
Now, to repeat the process with 19 more squares. What will I make with all these squares??? I think a quilt....

*****One final note: if the squares are not used in one session, seal them back up in their black plastic pouch, in a cool, dry place. Otherwise, you will end up with squares that are overexposed. *****

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    So this is a specially-treated cotton square? Wonder what it's treated with.

    Uncle Kudzu

    6 years ago on Step 3

    I like the fern leaves!

    You can use photographic negatives with cyanotype paper to get a pretty decent photo print. Of course, you'd need a large negative...

    1 reply
    SaintSalvageUncle Kudzu

    Reply 6 years ago on Step 3

    Thanks. I like the pattern that I got from the fern leaves, too.

    I should try the negatives, too. I'm sure that plenty of options are out there....