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Cyanotype – Safe and Cheap Printing At Home

cyanotype print
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Cyanotype is perhaps the safest photo printing method for home use. I love this project because the options of printing are virtually endless.

Cyanotype is an old monochrome photographic printing process which results in a cyan-blue print. Digital pictures printed as cyanotypes make great gifts for family and friends.

Cyanotype Chemicals and Sensitizer Formula

“There are two principal chemicals employed in the traditional cyanotype formula, and these are mixed together in equal parts to create a working sensitizing solution that will be applied to paper with a brush. They are: Part A, ferric ammonium citrate and Part B, potassium ferricyanide.

Neither of these chemicals poses a serious health risk unless you are one of the very few people who may have an allergic reaction to the chemistry.

Ferric ammonium citrate is often found in iron and vitamin supplements and is mostly annoying if it becomes humidified and sticky.

Potassium ferricyanide is a stable compound that only becomes a risk if it is heated beyond 300°F or if it is combined with an acid.”- christopherjames-studio

cyanotype print

The Steps are very simple.

  • Mix 2 Solutions – equal parts
  • Apply solution with special Brush evenly on your paper (I prefer this Special Paper)
  • Collect items such as flowers, shapes, stencils, etc.
  • For Photo Prints – create negative on transparent paper via copier
  • Place items or photo negatives over sensitized paper
  • Expose to direct Sunlight
  • Rinse or bathe paper in water
  • Let Dry

Almost any type of paper or fabric can be used in the cyanotype process. If you use the formula above your will get the blueprint. If you like a more vintage looking print try THIS FORMULA.

If you use fabric, a total immersion of the fabric works best, but uses a lot of solution.

Watch this instructional video to find out how simple this Sun Art is produced.


Go HERE if you like to learn the history, workings and details of Cyanotype.

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