We’ve got something to help you beat the end-of-summer doldrums—free downloads! This month we have something really fun and different to work with: cyanotype images. These beautiful indigo blue images are created with a special photo process that uses sunlight to develop pictures, and the results are unique. Lucky for you, we’ve taken all the hard work out! For August, you get several fun images to play with for all your mixed-media projects, and you can download them here!
Print these cyanotype images out on paper or fabric and let the creative sparks fly. Use them for art journal pages, tags, cards, collage, handmade books, textile projects, and much more. Once I started incorporating cyanotypes in my artwork it was difficult to stop. Because the prints are so distinctive, they put a whole new spin on your artwork. Use them as is, or cut them up to suit whatever it is you want to make. Here are a few of the cyanotype images included in the download:
I started out pretty simply by printing the crocheted image onto heavyweight cardstock and trimming it into a tag shape, then adding a piece of gauze, an old photo, and a small piece of a vintage cigar label.
Next, I hand-dyed a plain muslin drawstring bag with walnut ink. To make the muslin look more vintage, scrunch up a bag (don’t wet it first) and submerge it in a tub of walnut ink—this will make the color look more uneven. Be sure to wear gloves! Here’s a fun fact: I keep a plastic container of walnut ink in the office refrigerator, so it’s ready whenever I need to color something. (My co-workers are used to it.)
While the bag dried I printed out the tatting image onto an inkjet printable fabric sheet and cut out a 4″ circle with pinking sheers. The image was adhered to the bag with Mistyfuse (any double-sided fusible web will work), and I sewed a running stitch in a pretty coral color with embroidery thread around the perimeter.
I added a vintage button to the center for another accent. These would make great gift bags, and smaller versions could work as pockets in an art journal or a handmade book.
Feeling like I was on a roll, I wondered how cyanotype images would look as the focal piece on an art journal page. I created a background with gesso and sepia ink, swirling them together in spots before the gesso was dry. I stamped over some of the darker areas with a patterned stamp, using white acrylic paint. While that dried, I collected some ephemera and rubber stamps I thought would work with the image.
The cyanotype was layered over a scrap of ledger paper that had been painted and stamped, and I added a scrap of book text and a postage stamp image. A few splatters of sepia ink and and the page was done. I’ll definitely be incorporating cyanotype images into more art journal pages.
I hope you have fun with these cyanotype images, and that they add another element and layer to your artwork. If you post your work on Instagram, use the hashtag #clothpaperscissors so we’ll be sure to see it!
Nature prints are another fun and easy technique that’s perfect for warm summer days. This blog post has all the instructions!