botanical prints cyanotype print cards

Sun Print Cards

After sun printing napkins I was a hooked on the possibilities of the interesting shapes in the garden that just needed to be immortalized. Using some of the leftover cyanotype solution from the project, I made a bunch of sun print cards showcasing the various leaves in my garden.

Sun Prints
To make these, follow the instructions over at the napkin tutorial, or on the instructions of the cyanotype kit to mix the chemicals. I then used a small foam roller to make a rough rectangle on the cards.  Pick out a few cool shaped flat things from you garden and arrange them on the cards once the solution has dried (make sure it dried in the dark). Place a piece of glass over them and let them sit for 20 minutes undisturbed.

NOTE: you can also buy sun print paper if you don’t want to deal with applying the chemicals. That’s on my list to try next.

sun printingWhen the exposure time is up run the print under water until the print starts to develop. The instructions say wash for 5 minutes but I found this lightened too much of the print. I also tried floating the whole card in a tub of water and didn’t like these results that were again too washed out. There was a warning in the instructions that if you don’t wash the chemicals off well enough, your print will continue to expose. I did these cards a few weeks ago and they are still just perfect so I suppose I found the right balance. My experimentation lead me to feel satisfied with the running water system.

Developing Sun Print cardsYou don’t need to wash them until the unexposed area under the leaf is completely white, this will happen as it finishes developing and dries. Set out to dry until damp, then press between sheets of parchment in a phone book so that the card flattens out again.

sun print cardI did a bunch of different types of organic materials I found in the garden but the most successful was flat leaves or flowers. I did some poppy seed heads that cast a shadow and made a the print look distorted. I’m sure you will have plenty to choose from as I did, mostly collecting things off the sidewalks while walking with my nephews who were great sun print helpers! This is a great project to do with kids. 

botanical prints cyanotype print cards

About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Sheila @sZinteriors
    Sheila @sZinteriorsOctober 2,12

    Your cards are incredible! In the end which part did you find the most time consuming? Love these, and would so frame them :-)

    • Stevie
      StevieOctober 2,12

      Hi Shelia, thanks! They weren’t that time consuming, although to make it even easier you could buy paper already treated (link above). On the other hand, the napkins that I did were very time consuming. The results were worth it though.

  2. Joanna
    JoannaJune 17,15

    These are lovely! What kind of paper did you use?

  3. Stephanie
    StephanieJune 17,15

    Hi Joanna, just plain old cardstock. Thanks for the note!

  4. Lisa
    LisaFebruary 10,16

    Hi Stephanie! I absolutely love these. This will be my first attempt making sun prints. I’ve notice that your prints look almost black. I’ve done tons of research (I’ve only seen a blue color) and maybe you can direct me in the right way in how to make my print color look like yours! I’d greatly appreciate it to make a few gifts for my family. Thank you!

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