Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sun Printing with Rubber Stamps by Ali Manning

We're heading outside for today's tutorial and making sun prints using rubber stamps. Have you ever seen those blue paper kits in toy stores that kids use to make leaf and flower prints? Well, that's exactly what I used - you can purchase them on Amazon.

The dark blue paper is treated with a chemical that makes it light sensitive and reacts when placed out in the sun. The proper name for this is Cyanotype. Objects are placed on the paper and leave behind a negative image once the treated paper has been exposed to the sun.

I love the look of leaves and flowers, but I wanted to use some items from my craft room. So, initially I made some prints using buttons, lace and a Tim Holz mask backing.

They turned out nicely, but weren't quite what I was looking for. I liked the detail on the lace and wondered if I could somehow make sun prints from detailed rubber stamp images. After some trial and error, here's how I did it.

[Note: The directions below are specific to this kit, but each manufacturer's kit will be slightly different, so be sure to read and follow the directions on the one you purchase.]

  • Keep unused sheets of sun paper in the protective bag until you need to use them. They will begin the change color with any exposure to light.
  • When laying objects on paper and putting them out in the sun, ensure the sheets remain dry. The tiniest drop of water will mark the paper. This is especially important if using botanicals of any kind.
  • Place sheets in water the minute the paper turns white otherwise the image will be come overexposed.
Here are a few cards made with some sun printed images I created. This image was made by overstamping the flowers (Stampin Up) with navy ink once the sun print was dry to create a shadow effect.

This card, made with an Oxford Impressions stamp, has a plain sun printed image as its focal image.
This final card has a sun print as it's background - the image is from Artistic Outpost.

This was a fun project to do outside on a sunny day - I hope you'll give it a try!


  1. That is so cool! Thanks for sharing!

  2. what a fab product and great technique.

  3. This technique looks fantastic! now all we need is some sun!...

  4. Wow, Ali - these look great!! What a great way to use the stamped images!

  5. wow....never heard or seen this before thanks for the tutorial

  6. What an innovative way to use sun paper! Awesome idea!

  7. how cool is this! Thanks for sharing this brilliant idea Ali!!!

  8. Thanks so much for having done all the experimenting for the rest of us!!! I love how your sun prints turned out!! I especially love "Come fly with me"

  9. These are wonderful! The deep blues are stunning. Can't wait to try it thanks for tutorial.

  10. How cool is that. Never seen this technique before. Not even sure if we have this kind of paper in Norway.
    Thank you for sharing.


  11. such a brilliant tutorial. thanks for sharing. ClareX

  12. Very cool technique but why are some of the pages blue and some are white??? I love the bird but again did you not soak the paper. I need more info but this looks like something I would love to try.

  13. That is absolutely too cool! Now I have to go find another item! Love all your cards and thank you for sharing your talents!

  14. Fantastic! Completely new to me. What a lovely thing to do on a sunny day,

    Lucy x

  15. What a great tutorial Ali, With Stunning results!


Thanks for your wonderful words!

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