Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How To - Sun Print Pillow Craft

Sun printing lets you make beautiful pictures by placing objects on paper or fabric and exposing it to the sun. The paper/fabric undergoes a chemical change when exposed to sunlight. 

I saw this craft on Martha Stewart so decided to make pillows with ferns from my garden. I purchased the ready-to-print cyanotype velvet fabric from blueprintsonfabric.

I picked a few ferns and placed them between some books to dry out flat for a couple of days since I wasn’t going to use them right away. If you are use your clippings right away then this step is probably not necessary.

Take the fabric out of the package, indoors, away from any sunlight and cut to size. The fabric will have a greenish tinge to it. Pin the fabric to a piece of foam, then arrange the dry ferns on the fabric. Again, this must be done indoors...because once the sun hits that fabric, it starts changing color. Make sure you place the unused fabric back in it’s package.

1. Since ferns are very lightweight and flat, it’s best to pin them down or place a piece of plexiglass or glass over them which is what I did.

2. Take your prepared fabric outside and lay flat in bright, direct light. Let fabric sit for the amount of time specified by fabric’s directions. Timing can vary based on the strength of the sun and the season; I did a test strip to test my exposure time. It’s worth it since this fabric is not cheap! 

3/4. Take fabric indoors, and remove ferns; you’ll be left with a faint image at this point.

5. Rinse fabric under running water, agitating gently, until water runs clear.
It’s probably best to lay flat to dry, but I hung mine over the shower curtain to dry.

6. This is what they looked like once dry but as you can see from the finished product, the pale blue turned a bit yellow...which I love!

7. Close-up of the pattern. I was just amazed at the sharpness of the little fern leaves.

8. I added some decorative trim to my pillows.

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