Tuesday, June 17, 2014

DIY Sun Prints with Construction Paper

Make Your Own Construction Paper Sun Prints

DIY Homemade Sun prints from construction paper
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Did you ever make sunprints with SunPrint Paper  as a kid?  I remember eagerly placing objects on that special paper, waiting patiently, and then oohing and ahhing when lovely, vibrant blue and white images appeared.  It was really, really magical.  (And now that I think about it... kinda scary how powerful the sunlight can be. Ack, SPF, anyone?!) 

Ok, back to today's post. The other day I learned through Instagram that you can make your own DIY sunprints at home... without the special paper. What?? Yurp.  After some online searching and experimenting, I figured out a really easy way to make homemade sun prints at home.   Now, the results aren't anywhere as nice as the images from the special SunPrint Paper, but the process is definitely still fun and a whole lot cheaper too.  

Materials to Make Your Own Construction Paper Sun Prints

Let's Make some Sun Prints!

1.  Sketch out and then cut out your ideas on paper.

sketch and cut out your images

2.  Then, trace your images onto contact paper and cut them out.

3.  Lay your contact paper images on your construction paper (without peeling off the backing) to see where you want the images to go.

4.  When you're pleased with the arrangement, peel off the backing and stick the images onto your paper.

(I am totally a copycat.  These two designs were inspired by Anthropologie items.  Golly, that store has some beautiful stuff.)

make your own sunprints at home without the special paper

DIY Sun Prints using construction paper

5.  Once your design is ready, use masking tape and tape your construction paper to the window.  (Make sure the side with the contact paper is touching the window.  Basically, the contact paper blocks the sun from lightening certain portions of the paper.)

how to make homemade sunprints without special paper

6.  After about 4 hours (aka, after getting back from church and eating lunch), carefully take your construction paper off the window, and peel away your contact paper.  You should see some lovely designs appear.   (Note:  It might take more or less time where you live.  We also got results after waiting just 2 hours.) 

Tada!  Aren't they gorgeous?  Now the only question is what to do with this lovely paper?  Hrmmm....

DIY Construction Paper Sun Prints

how to make DIY sun prints without the special paper (from construction paper)

Aaaaand, if you like the idea of playing around with window art, here are some other cool window art ideas that you might enjoy:

Cellophane stained glass heart windows contact paper and cellophane artdoodle easy DIY window clings
Happy making!


  1. I would have never thought to use contact paper. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh my goodness, I LOVE this!!! Childhood memories all the way : ] Yours are so pretty you could totally frame them. I host a weekly link party, The DIY'ers, if you would like to stop by and share your project.

    1. :) Thanks for visiting Jennifer. I'm going to go check out the link party now (although maybe it's too late? Eeek.)

  3. I wish it was this easy to do on fabric without buying a special formula.

    1. Hi Patricia- I just googled around and saw this tutorial... http://www.craftiments.com/2013/06/acrylic-paint-sun-prints-on-fabric.html Maybe it's a good one for you? (Thanks for visiting!)

  4. The picture may not be 'light fast' - will it not fade in time and become the same color overall?

    1. I think that as long as you keep them away from direct sunlight, they should be ok. But if you want them to last... then the Sun Print paper is probably the way to go. This is just a neat little activity to do with kids.

  5. Hi Chelsea- Ack. My blog likes deleting comments.. and it deleted yours. But I read it in an email and wanted to say thanks for commenting. Also, I'll bet your California sun will do wonders on the paper much faster than our Jersey sun over here.

  6. Love it! WE are heading into spring here in New Zealand, so I will definitely try this out with my daughter and if it works with the paper we have I will try it with my high school art class. I've had some horror story problems with contact paper, but I imagine that a light smear of glue stick around the edges might do the trick too.

    Thank you for the tutorial. You have a really lovely blog :)

    1. Hi Erica! Thanks for visiting. Glad you liked this activity. Let me know how it turns out. I didn't have any problems with my contact paper sticking... but maybe that's because I got the cheap not-too-sticky kind? I've never heard that tip about the glue stick before. Good luck!

  7. Would you get the same "result" if you just positioned say 2D Shapes on a piece of Construction Paper then left sitting in strong sunlight for a few hours? Going to try this back in class and hopefully no need for sticky or contact paper ?Will let you know.

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