Free August Downloads: Cyanotype Images

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!

No need to stand out in the hot sun to develop cyanotype images—we have them ready for you to use in your mixed-media art!
No need to stand out in the hot sun to develop cyanotype images—we have them ready for you to use in your mixed-media art!

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:

A vintage crocheted placement created this gorgeous pattern.
Old glass negatives produce great cyanotype images like this one.
The intricate design of a tatted doily became this lovely cyanotype.

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.

Use the large patterns as backgrounds for tags and cards.

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.

Cyanotype images can be printed out on printer-friendly fabric and incorporated in textile collage and other projects.

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.

It’s easy to sew, embroider, or fuse printed cyanotypes to fabric pieces.

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.

Cyanotype images give art journal pages a unique look.

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.

Challenge yourself to use cyanotypes in your mixed-media artwork!

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!

Printmaking has never been so much fun! Let Dina Wakley show you how to make designs and marks with creative, low-tech supplies in the video Playful Printmaking.
You’ll be astounded at the variety of prints you can make with a Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate. Get all the techniques in Gelli Plate Printing by Joan Bess.
Get tools, techniques, and projects galore in Printmaking Unleashed by Traci Bautista and start exploring the world of printmaking!


Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques, Printmaking

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