Printing Fun in the Sun!

It’s summer season and although there’s a slight sun drought at the moment, we’re confident that there’ll be a lot of sunny days still to come! If you’re interested in trying something different whilst soaking it up, why not try creating some Sun Prints? Read on for our guide to creating some printing fun in the sunshine!

Sun Print Basics

Before we break down each of the important steps in creating a unique Sun Print, there are a few helpful tips to mention. The first is that you can use all kinds of objects to create Sun Prints, but for the best results, you should use smaller and more unique objects. These will produce the best visible results.

Another important thing to consider about printing using sunlight is that the process relies on heat, and not just the sunshine. Therefore, Sun Prints are best produced on warm days, with very strong sunlight and very little of a breeze. The humidity is a key factor in slowing down your print drying which will produce a much better result.


What You’ll Need

To produce Sun Prints, you’ll need the following:

  • A piece of Sun Print paper (any preferred size)
  • An acrylic sheet
  • Some cardboard
  • A tub of water
  • Any objects you want to include in your print (interesting feathers and small plants are our favorite!)


Step 1: Carefully arrange your objects onto the Sun Print paper

When placing your objects onto the paper, make sure that you are not directly in sunlight. Leaving it in the range of direct light means that exposure of the paper will quicken, so try to stay within shade or a dark room.


FMS Blog Sun Printing

Image source:


Step 2: Apply the acrylic sheet on top of the objects to hold them onto the paper

To create the best effect, place an acrylic sheet on top of your objects. This will help sharpen the edges between the colours in the final resulting print. It will also help maintain the colour contrast on the Sun Print. This is important as ambient sunlight can sometimes project underneath the edges of objects which cause the contrasts to blend.


Step 3: Take your paper arrangement outside and lay it in direct sunlight

Generally, direct sunlight will react with Sun Print paper in the first 2-5 minutes of exposure to sunlight. However, if there are clouds in the sky, the process may take longer. If the clouds are particularly thick, it can take 5 – 20 minutes of time for the print to be correctly produced. You’ll know that your print is being created when areas of the paper exposed to sunlight turn from blue to white.


FMS Blog Sun Printing 2

Image source:


Step 4: Rinse the Sun Print in water

Here’s where the magic happens. When you rinse your Sun Print under some water, you’ll see the colours gradually switch. The white parts of your print will slowly turn a blue colour and the blue parts will become white. If you want the deepest shade of blue possible, make sure to leave your Sun Print in water for around 1-5 minutes.


Step 5: Lay the Sun Print on an absorbent surface to dry

Once the print has been rinsed in water, it’s time to let it dry out before you’ll see your final result. Place your print onto a piece of cardboard to let it dry properly. By using an absorbent ‘bed’ for the print, it lessens the chance of water spots forming on your design. The drying process shouldn’t take longer than 10 -15 minutes before you can marvel at your new artistic creation!


FMS Blog Sun Printing 3

Image source:


Sam Rose