Cyanotype Blueprints

How to sun print on fabric (cyanotype) via

When Boo and I were making our pinhole camera I wanted to teach her how 35mm film worked.  I gave her this pack of cyanotype fabric and let her decide what to use from around the house to make her prints. Cyanotype is what they used to reproduce blueprints and diagrams a hundred years ago or more……those pretty architectural type drawings you wish you’d find in a thrift store one day (or at least I’m always looking for them!)? Cyanotype is basically a photographic printing process that results in a blue or “cyan” print.

Blueprints on Fabric via


I gave Boo a clipboard to lay the fabric on as she took each piece one at a time out of the “light proof” bag (it took a few reminders that she had to make sure to close it back up carefully):

Kid Project Idea: Sun Prints on Fabric or Paper via


She laid out her objects and then carefully carried the clipboard out into the sun. She set the kitchen timer for 5 minutes and sat patiently by until it went off:

sunlight blueprints on fabric via


My job was keeping a bin of cool water nearby.  She dropped her fabric into the water to stop the photographic process:


Then she watched as the photosensitive emulsion drifted out of the fabric……and then moved onto her next project. I rinsed them out for her and she laid them out in the sun to dry.

sun printing with kids via

Her first print….she’s always making gifts for her friends:


This one made me laugh…..I didn’t even know what it was at first until I saw the stapler sitting out:

sunprint on paper or fabric (cyanotype fabric) via

She grabbed a few of her favorite necklaces:

sunlight print fabric via


She loved seeing how they turned out when they hit the water.  That’s the best part.

how to do sun printing via


So many things you can make with the fabric too…..check out my post below with some projects I made using this type of fabric:


How to sunprint on fabric via






Make sure to check out the pinhole project we did!  Next we are making a dark room….so stay tuned!

How to make a pinhole camera using a jello box via








  1. says

    Such an adorable little girl. Was wondering how you got rid of the cyanotype waste water………hope you didn’t throw it down the drain.

    Love this photo essay. Well done!