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saying c-ya with cyanotype: DIY cyanotype key sunprints

So, good news first: we found a place to lease next year! A bona fide house with a yard and storage and everything! We are thrilled: me, to be done with house-hunting and to start planning a new space, and Matt: to have me done with the house-hunting part. Let’s just say I take to house-hunts like a fish to water. An incredibly stressed, frazzled fish who systematically checks five different housing websites every six hours.

But, sad news: did you guys know that moving to a new place typically means leaving the one you’re living in currently? The first lease you signed together, the first time you made a home together, the place where Matt finally watched The Office all the way through? I’m super sentimental and even though I could not be more excited about our next place (it is SO cute and having a house will be so fun and now we can actually have more than two people over for dinner and not make them eat on our couch AND A YARD FOR FINN) but I can’t stop the feels about leaving our cozy little apartment. Home means a lot to me.

DIY cyanotype key sunprint

Commemorating our first place together seemed important. When I saw Little Green Notebook’s cyanotype prints for her playroom, I knew that would be perfect. Cyanotype prints work really well with flat objects – leaves, dried flowers, etc., so I thought I’d make a print of the key to our apartment. The cobalt color of the paper is so pretty, it looked pretty easy, and I could order the kit on Amazon which is just so dang appealing. Here’s the quick how-to:

how to make a cyanotype key sunprint

How To Create a Cyanotype Key Sunprint

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Sunprint paper kit (this is the one I used)
  • House key
  • 9″ x 12″ tray or dish
  • Water
  • Paper towels or paper bags
  • Heavy books

making a cyanotype key sunprint

  1. Keep the paper in the kit while you’re setting up – any exposure to sun will start the reaction, so keep it protected until you need it.
  2. Fill a tray or long pan with water. You’ll submerge the paper when it’s done sitting in the sun, so you want this ready to go. 
  3. Lay some paper towels or paper bags on the counter so that you have a place to set the wet paper to dry.
  4. You’re ready! Take a sheet of paper, lay it outside in direct sunlight, and place the object you want to make a print of in your desired position on the paper. Let the paper sit in the sun for anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes or so. The longer the paper is in the sun, the deeper the blue hue will be when it has processed. I experimented with different times and liked the ones in the 3-4 minute range. Probably a good idea to buy some extra paper if you want to experiment a lot or are looking to make several prints. 
  5. When the paper has been in the sun for the desired amount of time, pick it up and lay it in the water, completely submerging it to stop the chemical reaction. 
  6. Gently remove the paper from the water and lay it down on the paper towels or paper bags to dry.
  7. When it’s dried completely, use some heavy books to sit on top of it to remove any wrinkling or curling on the edges.

DIY cobalt cyanotype key print

Voila! A pretty sweet way to commemorate your first home together. Or your first place of your own. Or the key to your shop. You get the gist. And since I technically spent a grand total of about $1 on the print, I wanted to dress it up in a really special frame that I might not normally splurge on. Enter Framebridge!

framing a DIY cyanotype key sunprint with Framebridge

Framebridge was the perfect answer to a frame for this pretty but unusually sized print. Here’s how it works: you go to their site, choose a digital image or upload a picture of your physical art, enter the dimensions of the art, and then click through their frames where they mock up how the art will look in the frame. It’s incredibly satisfying if you’re super visually-motivated like I am. As soon as my eyeballs saw the blue key print mocked up in the burl-wood Cairo frame, they fell out of their sockets like a cartoon boy dog looking at a cartoon pretty girl dog. 

Framebridge review - pretty details!

Once I got the eyeball situation figured out, I sent off my print to Framebridge in a package they provided with a shipping label also provided. A few weeks later, I got my got-dang gorgeous frame back and had to deal with my eyeballs all over again. They even dress up the backing with this pretty Matisse-style print. LOVE. And bonus for yall: use the code bigadventure15 to get 15% off your first Framebridge order!

framing a DIY key sunprint with Framebridge

cairo burl wood frame from Framebridge with a cyanotype print

Still a little sad about moving, but I’m really glad to have a little physical memento of a home and a time that was pretty great to us. And yes, I realize that I also have two years of blog posts, but who knows how long this “internet” thing will stick around. 

 

I was provided with product by Framebridge, but all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the companies that support ABA!

How to make a DIY cyanotype key print

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One Comment

  1. Jonna Jonna

    Very cool Molly. I have done many similar prints in a darkroom but always with B&W. This dash of color makes it much more fun and I am now walking around our apartment looking for an appropriate object to use with your Cyanotype Sunprint system. Love how you are open to all of these new possibilities and simply cannot wait to see what you are going to do with a whole house. OMG. I’m sure it will be fun!!!

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