DIY Nature Sun Print Silhouette

Updated: Sep 5, 2020

Father's day is coming up on Sunday and I always love the idea of making something special for my husband who is such an incredibly and loving father. I feel like for the past two years, I never came up with anything though! I would do the typical card and try to find a manly gift like underwear or golf stuff but it always felt a little forced and run of the mill.

I saw an amazing nature craft last week where a woman took leaves and created a gorgeous profile picture (think sideview not facebook profile) of her child and I was instantly inspired! I didn't have any dried leaves or flowers on hand and was feeling like I had waited too long UNTIL I remembered that I had some sun paper in the closet! I had never used it before but bought it on a whim after seeing the beautiful artwork a friend of mine creates with it. The idea came to me suddenly to use it to create these beautiful profile photos of my girls!

Y' is so easy and looks incredible. The hardest part is having your child sit still long enough and in the correct position to take a picture. You want to be on their level and have a nice side view where you can see their sweet noses and the little indents of their lips, maybe even some curlicues! One of my girls was easy and I got the picture on the first try, the other one I probably ended up taking 20 pictures but I persisted and it was worth it!

Here's what you do. Print out the pictures (black and white is totally fine)- you may need to scale them down a little to fit whatever size sunpaper you have- just play around with it. Then as carefully as you can, cut out all around the picture pay attention to each little curve. Voila! Turn it over and you can see what the shadow will look like- adjust as needed.

Now for the magic. Collect any natural objects that you think would cast a beautiful shadow. I went with maple leaves, ferns, lavender flowers...gather anything that catches your eye and think about negative space. In a shaded area outside, take out a piece of sunpaper and put the profile picture face down wherever you would like it to be (I liked mine centered at the bottom of the page). Take your natural objects and arrange them however you would like! There are no rules here just make sure you aren't exposing the paper to direct sun until you are ready.

Ever so carefully, whenever you are ready, move your image (with everything resting and balancing on top) into the direct sun and set it down gently! It can take anywhere from 1-5 minutes for the paper to fully expose- you should see it shift from blue to white. AHHHH!!! Magic moment! Lift the paper, letting everything slide off and see the beginning of your print. Rinse it for 1-2 minutes in cool water to set the colors and let it dry (I think it says on the directions in between a book, I did it on a towel for the initial water to dry then pressed it in a book) for 1 day. They turn out SO lovely! Mine are drying as we speak and I cannot wait to frame them for Father's Day- I'll post an updated picture of the finished product but I wanted to make sure I shared the idea with you in time to complete it yourself!

Here's the Sun paper I got:

This would work too and is the perfect size for a small picture frame!

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