Get creative with a cyanotype kit
Treat yourself to a cyanotype kit and enjoy the magical craft of sun printing.
Harness the power of the sun and unleash your creative side with cool cyanotype printing! It's remarkably simple to have fun with this photographic printing process, and you can create a huge range of unique and interesting images.
We’ve rounded up our favourite cyanotype kits that are available online. You’ll find simple cyanotype paper kits that you can start making with straight away, as well as kits that include the chemicals so that you can prepare your own paper or fabric.
You’ll also find that some kits come with additional objects and accessories that you can use to create your images, making them a great option for if you’re looking for a kit to give as a gift.
8 of the best cyanotype kits available to buy online
1. Sunprint® kit
Best basic set for beginners
Sometimes you just want to get stuck into a new craft, and this Sunprint® kit is just what you need to start making interesting images straight away.
The kit comes with 12 sheets of 10x10cm cyanotype paper squares, perfect for experimenting with and they would be the ideal size to use to decorate greetings cards.
You’ll need to source your own objects to use on your prints, but that’s half the fun of cyanotype printing! This kit also comes with an acrylic overlay, which you can lay on top of flat items such as leaves which will help to give your prints better defined edges.
While some people will prefer having larger paper sizes or a more comprehensive kit, we think this is ideal for if you fancy just giving cyanotype printing a try.
2. Cyanotype printing kit
Best for gifting
If you’re looking for a cyanotype kit that would make a great gift or just want a more in-depth beginners set, we think this kit is a brilliant choice.
It comes with a number of A6 hand-coated cyanotype papers (you can select the quantity), stored safely in a light-proof pouch, and the kit includes lots of interesting extras too.
You also get a set of acetate letters and interesting objects (which vary from kit to kit) to help make your images, plus handy step-by-step instructions. There’s also a photo frame and clips included which will help to keep your objects in place while you’re exposing the paper to the sun. All of this presented in a lovely gift box – fabulous!
More like this
3. Sunography set
Best for different material options
You don’t have to just stick to paper – cyanotype printing can create fantastic results on fabric too. This small set is another one where the light-sensitive surface is already prepared for you, so all you need to do is decide if you want to print on paper, coloured cards or squares of 100% cotton fabric.
Again, it’s another cyanotype set that is great for a first venture into this creative craft. We think sewers and quilters will love making their own small patches of printed fabrics which they can incorporate into their projects.
4. Love to Print cyanotype kit
Best for clever chemistry
Perhaps you fancy picking your own papers (or other surfaces) to make your prints on? Or maybe you’re looking for a gift for that science-loving friend? This kit would be perfect for either, as it comes with the separate chemicals for you to mix and paint onto your selected medium to turn it into a light sensitive surface.
But it’s not just the ability to mix your own chemicals that makes this kit stand out – it also comes with lots of practical and creative elements too. It includes handy items such as mixing pots and a sponge brush, as well as intricate black leaf skeletons that look fabulous when used in a cyanotype print.
5. Cyanotype chemical refill kit
Best for making your own surfaces
Whether you bought the previous Love to Print kit, or want to progress from any other cyanotype starter kit, here’s a handy refill set that allows you to get really creative with your cyanotype surfaces.
This refill kit can be bought as just the chemicals alone, or as a handy pouch that includes chemicals, gloves, mixing cup and sponge brush. The chemicals make up approximately 130ml of sensitive solution which will coat around 40-50 A5 sheets of paper, giving you plenty to experiment with.
6. Baker Ross Sun Print Paper kits
Best for kids
You don’t have to get all clever with chemicals, especially if you want to try sun printing with kids! Little ones will love collecting leaves and other materials to create their own photogram (the correct name for a photographic image made without a camera).
This simple kit from Baker Ross comes with 12 sheets of A5 solar paper plus an acrylic overlay to press down your objects to get a nice clear print. Encourage kids to think creatively, they could incorporate their toys in the print or spell out their name with a mix of items.
7. Jacquard SolarFast Kit
Best for pro solar printing
Traditional cyanotype printing is almost exclusively done with a blue tone – the word cyanotype being a combination of the ancient Greek words for dark blue and mark/impression/type. Now you can even go one step further and make violet and orange solar prints too with this Jacquard Solarfast kit.
You can use it to create solar prints on fabric or paper using the traditional method of laying items on top of the surface. This kit also comes with three sheets of SolarFast Film – a transparent sheet that you can print onto using your home printer (or draw onto with the supplied pen). This means that you can take a black and white image, reverse the colours on your computer to make a negative image, print that image onto your film and then use that to make your solar print. That’s some fancy printing!
8. Fluorescent cyanotype paper
Best for bright colours
Even the classic blue cyanotype can be used to create different and bright coloured images by simply using a coloured medium rather than a plain white surface.
These vibrant fluorescent postcard-sized papers come pre-treated in the sensitive solution, so when you expose your print to the sun your subject matter will develop in a bright neon shade. We think it’s a great alternative approach to traditional cyanotype printing.
Make your own custom fabrics
If you like the idea of printing on fabric, you might also enjoy our beginners guide to fabric painting – there’s plenty of ways to transform your textiles!
Get creative with your prints
Now that you’ve decided on your favourite cyanotype kit, you just need to find your muse! You can get varying results from different objects with your solar prints, so try thinking outside the box with your subject matter.
Look for objects that will make interesting shapes or have differences in transparency. Part of the joy of cyanotype printing is experimenting, so don’t be afraid to try something new.
Find inspiration for your fantastic prints
Once you've got your supplies sorted, get inspired and check out these cyanotype ideas to try with Gathered.
Matt Spiers is a crochet artist and designer who has been overseeing Gathered's crochet articles for over 2 years. He previously worked as Digital Assistant for Simply Crochet magazine and is our in house video editing pro. What started as a hobby a decade ago led to Matt developing a passion (and then a career) with crochet. As well as still regularly writing and designing for Simply Crochet magazine, Matt is a crochet artist in his own right, having displayed and created crochet installations at festivals and fibre events across the UK. You can keep up to date with Matt at @onemancrochet on Instagram.
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