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Muddy Faces

Acrylic paint sun printing

A simple sun printing technique using fabric and diluted paint.

Art & Creating


A great alternative to using sun print fabric or sun print paper - all you need is some simple resources and a sunny day!

What you'll need

  • cotton or calico (white or light coloured)
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brush
  • water
  • scissors
  • clingfilm/waterproof fabric
  • cardboard

This activity has been provided by

Useful items from our shop

Item available from our shop

Environmental Considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

  • source of natural materials
  • disposal of paint

Health & Safety Considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:

  • using paint
  • using scissors


  • Choose your acrylic paint colours and create some diluted solutions of paint/water. The process is more effective with a more dilute solution so aim to add just a tint to your water.
  • Cut your fabric into squares or triangles for bunting
  • Collect some natural materials - items with nice clear edges work well
  • Cut some cardboard (bigger than the size of material you are working with) and cover with clingfilm or similar so the solution doesn't soak into the cardboard.
Art & Creating

Step #1 Paint the fabric

Apply acrylic paint + water solution all over so that the fabric looks wet.

Top Tips:

Paint the fabric first with water.
Play around and add different colours if you are feeling creative!

Art & Creating

Step #2 Add natural materials

Making sure that your fabric is still wet, press the natural materials into the fabric so they lay flat and 'stick'.

Top Tip:

You could press the natural materials first to ensure they are flat and to get a crisper print.

Art & Creating

Step #3 Let the sun do its magic!

Leave out in the sun for up to an hour (depending on the intensity). If it is windy place in a box with low sides (to let the sun in and keep the wind out).

Peel off the natural materials and reveal your print! Amazing alchemy!

Take it further

  • Use your printed fabric to make bunting, or sew patches together to make a sun print quilt!
  • Use your natural materials to create landscapes or pictures of your favourite toys.

Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.

Key Features

  • Age Range All Ages
  • Duration Less than an hour
  • Location Anywhere
  • Season Summer
  • Categories: Art & Creating
    sun print


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