Cyanotype printing on vacation

Here’s a fun impromptu way to use cyanotype to make a keepsake. My husband and I recently celebrated our 10th anniversary by spending a week in sunny Cabo Pulmo, Mexico. Naturally I had to bring along some unexposed cyanotype fabric to make a special souvenir to commemorate the occasion! I used an opaque black marker to write out a simple message on a sheet of tracing paper. I laid that down on top of the sensitized fabric, taped it in place and arranged some seashells I found on the beach:

ready for exposure to sunlight

I then took it outside to expose in the very strong tropical sunshine. I only needed 5-6 minutes! (This same tracing paper negative would’ve taken at least 3x longer in Berkeley.)

I then took it inside and processed it with a little vinegar and water.

finished cyanotype print on brown linen

Cyanotype printing is a great craft project for a vacation because it it only requires sunshine, water and a little creativity to make a print! And you certainly don’t have to use tracing paper if you want words – instead try drawing letters and shapes with sand or grains of rice, or pine needles. It’s always fun to experiment with different objects and shapes.

And your finished print can be incorporated into a sewing project or just simply framed. For this particular print, I’m planning to put it in a shadowbox frame along with some of the seashells and other ephemera I brought home from our trip. A fun keepsake, don’t you think?

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