Monday, March 24, 2014

One-nap project: sunprinting tutorial


Recently, I did a great discovery! Well, a great 'crafting discovery' that is. I discovered sun printing. I had read about it online, but never tried it, thinking it involved special attributes such as light-sensitive paint, very bright sunlight and whatnot. Turns out, you can do it with regular fabric paint, it is extremely easy, and the effect is quite stunning. It's the perfect nap-time project.
What I learned is that sun-printing does not even require the sun. An old fashioned lamp (which not only emits light, but also heat) can do the trick as well. That's because you need heat instead of light. The heat lets the area around the mask dry faster than underneath the mask, soaking away the paint from under the mask. And this trick works really well, as I'll show today!

So let's do a little tutorial.

What do you need:

  • cotton or knit fabric
  • regular fabric paint
  • a paint brush
  • leaves or other objects that can function as masks
  • a work area (I used a cutting board from the kitchen, but a plastic-covered cardboard will also work)
  • the sun, or an old-fashioned light-bulb type lamp (if there is no sun, or if it is very windy outside)


  1. Soak the fabric and place it on your work area
    Your attributes
  2. Water down your fabric paint and apply it to the fabric. You can mix different colours or leave a part unpainted for an interesting effect.
  3. Put your masks on top of the fabric. I found that young cow parsley (fluitekruid) leaves give a beautiful wispy effect.
    Cow parsley
    Do not use freshly cut leaves, since these will be too crisp. They need to be a bit soft and limp, so that they lay nice and flat on the fabric. Of course you can also use other things as masks: buttons, coins, cutlery, keys, maybe even paper masks (haven't tried that yet). Just use your imagination.
    Waiting for the sun to appear
  4.  Now, the hardest part ;-). Put your mask-covered fabric in the sun and wait. Just wait.

    I told you, the perfect one-nap project
    Have a cup of coffee! And try to suppress your curiosity. Feel. Not dry yet? Have another cup of coffee.... See, I told you this is the perfect nap-time project!
    Let's have another one!


    Wow! Better than freezer paper stenciling

  5. Is your fabric dry? Now, the best part. Take away the masks and reveal your patterns. Pretty, isn't it?
These triangles will become a baby bunting for a little baby girl. Curious about the result? Come back later...

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