sunprints for a sunny day.

July 11, 2016

sunprints | reading my tea leaves

Sometimes you just have to make yourself do something. You have an idea, or the memory of an idea, and you say: Oh, I should find the time to do that again. What fun that would be. Next time I have a spare twenty minutes…sunprints | reading my tea leaves

And then another day slips by and you’ve spent twenty minutes lolling on your bed scrolling through Instagram and you wonder what in heaven’s name your life has come to and who are you anyway.sunprints | reading my tea leaves

But then you pass by your favorite little shop for kids in the neighborhood and you spot the supplies for the very project you’ve had on your mind and so you count out your pennies and stick the little package into your bag next to the computer you’re supposed to be typing away on, and then you’re one step closer. sunprints | reading my tea leaves

Suffice to say, I boought my little squares of photographic sunprint paper and saved them for a sunny day. sunprints | reading my tea leaves

When we were at my parents’ house for a whirlwind visit this weekend, I gathered bits of botanical good stuff from their yard and set to work. My three-year-old nephew was in town, and so while Faye was more content to scoot herself around on the red toy car at Grammy’s house, Oliver was my little sunprint buddy. sunprints | reading my tea leaves

Instructions come with the kit, but the process is simple: 

  1. Place your blue photographic paper on a piece of cardboard, blue side up.
  2. Press your collected items beneath the acrylic sheet that comes with the sheet. 
  3. Place in a sunny spot until the paper turns light bluish white (1-5 minutes depending on cloud cover).
  4. Dip the paper in water and let it dry in the sunshine. (Once dry, I tucked my sheets between pages of a book for flattening and safe-keeping on the train ride home.)
  5. Hang somewhere pretty, stick it on the fridge, stick it in an envelope and mail it to yer grandpa, etc.

nursery sunprints | reading my tea leavesI found my Sunprint Kit locally at Acorn Toy Shop. (Replacement paper and pre-treated fabric also available!)

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  • Reply LCZ July 11, 2016 at 11:11 am

    As you already know, I love this stuff!!! And when I saw the instagram yesterday I became instantly envious of the fun you were having!! While you weren’t specific, I knew it was creative and fun!! And as an aside, this project can be done on fabric as well on a t shirt, or a cape, or a silk scarf, or whatever, can be created using the same technique. So many fun things to create with toddlers!!!!

    • Reply Erin Boyle July 11, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      So curious! Now I want to make a set of play silks with botanical prints!

  • Reply Camila July 11, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Awwww! So beautiful. Can’t wait to get our own kit. <3

  • Reply Erin M July 11, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I remember buying a pack of that paper at the Smithsonian when I was in middle school. It was pretty cool. I’m intrigued as to how it can be done on fabric like LCZ mentioned above…

    • Reply Erin Boyle July 11, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Investigated: Sunprint, aka Cyanotype fabric!

  • Reply Heather July 12, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    You skateboard! That is awesome

    • Reply Erin Boyle July 13, 2016 at 7:00 am

      Badly 😉

  • Reply Akino July 12, 2016 at 9:45 pm

    Wow, these are really pretty! I remember seeing these when I was little(er) and wanting them, but I forgot about them and how nice they look!

  • Reply Rita July 13, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    ” And then another day slips by and you’ve spent twenty minutes lolling on your bed scrolling through Instagram and you wonder what in heaven’s name your life has come to and who are you anyway. ” eheh I just LOVE your writing! 🙂

  • Reply april July 13, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I bought this same kit about 3 years ago for my little man when he was 7 and we had a grand time with it. I recently ordered larger sheets of this paper to make a series of local botanicals to frame for my house. Blue is the best color and this blue in particular.

  • Reply Oksana August 11, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I just found your blog today, and I’m already in love! Your posts are so relatable, and I can definitely see a lot of myself in them (i don’t know if that makes sense. 🙂 ) Wishing you all the best, and I’ll be definitely stopping by often to read more.

  • Reply Carolyn August 26, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    Check out The Crafter’s Box. They sell a kit where you treat your own paper and some of my Cyanotype prints from that kit turned out amazing! It takes the craft further, but you can still treat some papers to prepare them ahead of time for the littles. The end result, with super thick paper is stunning.

  • Reply marilyn needham February 12, 2022 at 12:42 pm

    Hi Erin, I have just come across your site, and I’m staying! (via newsletter) I am very interested in your botanical sunpaper idea. Living in Nottingham UK I think we will just get enough sun for it to work! Once you have got the print on the paper does it fade, or is there something that will fix it (stop it fading)? I have a monthly craft stall at a local church coffee morning, and thought this idea would be brilliant on a card. Cheers and thankyou for your ideas, Marilyn in the UK, formerly Adelaide Sth. Aust.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE February 15, 2022 at 9:20 am

      I’ve never noticed significant fading, though I tend to give these papers away as cards or bits of ephemera and haven’t had a piece hanging in a consistent spot for long enough to weigh in with much authority.


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