Monday, October 6, 2014

DIY Sun Print Pop Art

As you might have noticed in our Final Summer Bucket List Update, one of our favorite art projects is making sun prints with materials we collect while out and about hiking, geocaching, and at the beach. This summer, Cam and I were working on some feather prints when I spied a pile of "guys" Kane had left nearby (we all refer to the endless number of toy policeman, ninjas, knights, cowboys, etc. generically as "guys") and thought they might be fun to try. Crisp, pop-arty images from the toys' silhouettes emerged -- I LOVED the result! And thought I'd share this super easy way to make some quick art for your kiddo's room.

P.S., while we have a general "no weapons play" policy at our house, we picked up a number of guys with weapons at the Beaver Island Toy Museum and it turned out that they made great silhouettes. So I went with it. You can make these prints with whatever toys you like.

You'll need:
  • a handful of toys that will make a good shadow silhouette -- look for shapes that have some negative space, like those listed above. 
  • a piece of sturdy cardboard
  • sun sensitive paper (you can find this at most arts and crafts stores or online)
  • a sheet of acrylic (generally comes with the pack of paper)
  • a tray of water
  • sun! the more direct and bright the sunlight, the more crisp your images will be

1. line up your toys in the order you like. I find that using odd numbers of toys makes the most aesthetically pleasing prints.

2. place a piece of sun sensitive paper onto the cardboard and quickly align your toys, making note of where the shadows fall as you line them up. The shadow is what your print will look like. If the toys are wobbly, place the acrylic on top to steady them. If they are fine without it, it's not necessary.

3. expose the paper to sunlight for 1 - 5 minutes. The length of exposure depends on how direct and bright the light is, but you want to wait until the paper is almost white.

4. remove toys and place paper into tray of water for 1 minute.

5. remove the paper and let it dry completely. The background should turn a dark indigo blue with the toy outline a crisp white.

6. if necessary, weight the prints under some heavy books to flatten. Then frame and place in your kiddo's room!

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