Sunprint Paper Nature Garland

By freshlyplanted - 10:03 AM

Have you ever played with sunprint paper before? This special paper is a magical way to capture natural treasures on sunny days. Although I've played with it as a teacher before, this was our first time exploring it as a family. We were inspired by the fantastic book "Green, Crafty & Creative." As I start to plan our summer activities-  we only have a few more weeks of curriculum left!- this book is going to be so helpful.  There are some neat nature crafts we've never done before, and great ideas for upcycled crafts, too. Isia loves exploring our recycling bin, and is most excited for this chapter (wink). There are also eco-tips for families including an easy DIY fruit fly trap (handy for our summer kitchen!) and no-sew t-shirt bags that we'll be making for our farmer's market soon. 

Sunprint Nature Garland | Freshly Planted
To create your sunprints, you'll need sunprint paper & assorted natural treasures. We used a baking sheet to hold the sunprint paper (with cardboard underneath) so things could be arranged on it in the shade before moving it into the sun. You can use larger objects, like the spoon above, just realize the included acrylic plate won't lay on top if you do.

Sunprint Nature Garland | Freshly Planted 
The sunprints turn out fine without the acrylic plate, but it's nice for capturing details (and keeping anything from moving!) if you do use it. We exposed our paper until it was almost white, setting a timer as Wendy Marcum suggests, then brought them inside to rinse under running water and watch the extra pigment run off from where the sun couldn't expose the paper. This is actually how early photographs were made! In the early 1800s, early photographers created sun prints, or "cyanotypes," of different arrangements and it was also how early architects made copies of their drawings, which is why they were called "blueprints." 

Since we used two sizes of sunprint paper, we cut our larger pieces to match the smaller size (4" by 4") and strung them to hang across the mantle. For stringing, we paper punched the two upper corners and threaded hemp string. through. So pretty! 

I was given a copy of "Green, Crafty & Creative" to review, but all opinions are my own. I already enjoy several of the authors' blogs, and know that we'll reference this book a lot in the warm days to come. Here's the full list of the collaborators, as well as their blogs: Georgina Bomer (Craftulate), Meghan Rabuse (Playground Parkbench), Evelyne Nemcsok (Nemcsok Farms), Emma Craig (P is for Preschooler), Jennifer Tammy (Study at Home Mama), Karen Creel (Garden Chick), Julie Nixon (My Mundane and Miraculous Life), Nicola Simpson (Crafty Kids at Home), Nell Kartychok (Rhythms of Play), Wendy Marcum (10 Acres and 6 Chicks). They have a lot of fun ideas to check out! 

Sunprint Paper Nature Garland | Freshly Planted

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