I have been waiting to do this project for two entire years. During a trip to the Carnegie Museum on Natural History in lovely Pittsburgh, PA, I picked up a packet of SunPrint paper and thought we’d play with it that summer. That summer came and went, as did another. The packet languished in my sewing studio until now.
And what a perfect day for it. Full, strong sun, warm air, and even a teenager who thought it was “totally cool.” The only thing you’ll need for this fun craft is a packet of SunPrint paper, which you can find online here and here. (As an aside, I really love FatBriantoys.com.) My pack held 12 sheets of the stuff, plus instructions, ideas and a frame to use for sun exposure.
The rest of what you need is strewn about any house. Ask your kids to collect small objects with definite edges: string, rulers, keys, soda lids, small toys, figurines, anything with an interesting silhouette. Provide a template by either cutting a piece of paper to 5×7 or using the frame as a guide. Children can rearrange their objects on the template until they are satisfied with the appearance.
Working in a dimly lit room, remove one sheet of the print paper from the black plastic envelope and place it, blue side up, into the frame. Quickly help your child arrange his objects on the frame and gently move the frame to the sun. We took ours outside, but you could easily use a sunny window.
Exposure times will vary but allow the paper to sit in the sun until the blue paper turns nearly white. Use the instructions as a guideline for length of exposure. Because the paper is treated to be light-sensitive, remove the paper from the frame and rinse it gently with water from a tap for one full minute. Allow the paper to dry flat. As you watch the paper dry, (sounds fun, right?) your children will notice the shifting blues of the exposed and unexposed sections of the paper.
Leaves, old baby gowns, even cut out letters can make elegant room hangings. Put the dried papers in a frame or otherwise display. Fun, easy and science-y!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.primeparentsclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/JenniferBioPic.jpg
[author_info]About the Author
Jennifer Luitwieler is the Prime Parents’ Club regular arts and crafts contributor. She likes to sew, knit, embroider, crochet, papercraft and make jewelry. She also enjoys watching kids find their own style as they play with arts and craft supplies. Find her on her blog at http://jenniferluitwieler.com, or on Twitter as @jenluit and on Facebook. [/author_info][/author]