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Sun-Print Pillows How-To




Find pillow-sewing how-tos here. Before printing onto fabric, trim it to the shape you want for the pillow, with a few inches extra all around. This will give you more flexibility when positioning the pattern on the pillow.

Resources: Ready-to-print cyanotype fabric, 43-inch-wide silk velvet, and raw silk,


  • Fabric
  • Pins
  • Foam board
  • Plexiglas (optional)
  • Iiron
  • Velvet ironing mat (if using velvet)


  1. Step 1

    Working indoors, out of direct light, cut fabric to desired size. Return unused fabric to package. Pin fabric, slightly taut, to a piece of foam board.

  2. Step 2

    Make sure all botanical cuttings are dry (check ends of stems), and avoid touching fabric with wet hands since water and sap spot the fabric. Arrange cuttings on fabric, pinning each (if cuttings are somewhat flat, such as ferns, you could lay Plexiglas on top instead of pinning). Use short pins without large heads, and arrange pins along cuttings to prevent casting a shadow on fabric.

  3. Step 3

    Take prepared fabric outside, and lay flat in bright, direct light. Let fabric sit for the amount of time specified by fabric's directions. Timing can vary based on the strength of the sun and the season; you may wish to try a test strip first to test exposure time.

  4. Step 4

    Take fabric indoors, and remove cuttings; there will be only a faint image at this point.

  5. Step 5

    Rinse fabric under running water, agitating gently, until water runs clear.

  6. Step 6

    Lay fabric flat, out of direct light, to dry. If using velvet, run your hand over the fabric to separate the fibers and restore the nap. Once dry, the color and contrast of the print will deepen. If you wish to iron the fabric, use a velvet ironing mat and a cool setting on the iron.

Martha Stewart Living, March 2011



Reviews (3)

  • borislovesnatalie 24 Jul, 2012

    I did the prints this weekend on raw silk--very easy and very beautiful. I had four pieces of fabric and on one of them, once the front was done, I turned the fabric over and let the underside sit in the sun. This gave me the same beautiful blue on the underside as I had on the front. Also, adding 1 tsp of hydrogen peroxide when doing the final rinse really brought out the blue.

  • abs2008 2 Jun, 2012

    There is also paint in assorted colors that is light sensitive. Sun paint by pebeo, I believe it's called.

  • zabe11 2 Jun, 2012

    I did this project years ago, when Martha first had it on her show, and it was fabulous. It's easy and sooo beautiful when finished.