How to Make Sunprints

Rinne Allen paints light-sensitive solution onto thick watercolor paper, but the pretreated sheets in store-bought kits work just as well. She likes the Sunprint kit for paper ( and the Lumi Inkodye kit for fabric ( In any case, the process remains the same.

What You'll Need


  • Light-sensitive paper
  • Tray
  • Pane of glass or a clear acrylic sheet
  • Paper towels or a clothesline, for drying


  1. rinne-allen-crafts-gathering-93-d109213_vert

    On a sunny day, collect objects with interesting shapes and silhouettes (the more intricate the negative space, the better). Place the objects flat, being careful not to bend stems or break leaves.

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    In a room with little to no ambient light (e.g., a windowless bathroom), place a sheet of light-sensitive paper on a tray. Then arrange your specimens on the paper. Place a pane of glass or a clear acrylic sheet on top of the arrangement to keep it in place (and to create crisp outlines when it's exposed to light). Take the tray outside and expose it to sunlight.

  3. After about five minutes (or up to 20, if it's overcast), the silhouette will be apparent.

  4. Rinse the print with water from a hose or in a sink to stop the chemical reaction. The colors will then become more pronounced. Lay the sheet on an absorbent surface, like paper towels, or hang it on a clothesline until it's completely dry.

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