Cyanotype Cushions


Back in the dark ages (aka the early 1990s) when I was a hippie dippie art student majoring in printmaking, I fell in love with cyanotype or blueprinting. A combination of two chemicals mixed with water and set out in the sun= magic blue-ness! I did a lot of these even in the first few years after I left university, but when I moved from flat to flat in my early twenties my printmaking fell by the wayside, it was difficult to keep a bunch of printmaking supplies in tiny spaces.

So it has been over 20 years since I blueprinted anything.


Then I came across Inkodye, mentioned in a craft book I was reading.  A quick eBay search and a couple of days later I had a bottle of my very own!

This stuff does just what I’d done back in my uni days, but comes in a wide variety of colours! I went with old school blue, but next time I’d like to try a green- it’d be fabulous for botanicals.

And that’s what I wanted to use, leaves from my garden on some plain white cotton fabric.


Now this did not go smoothly, I can tell you!

To begin with, the thick gloopy liquid is hard to work with, and you need to work incredibly fast, it starts colouring straight away. 


Then there was a light breeze that moved some leaves part way through, although this was a happy accident as it actually created quite a cool effect.

It only takes 10 minutes to fully colour.


The next step was to wash the fabric to remove the remaining inkodye. I popped the fabrics into the machine with a small amount of washing powder and once done, hung them on the line.


That was when I discovered the dye hadn’t completely washed out and the white bits started to go blue!!!!

Quickly back into the machine with more powder this time.

Unfortunately the colour faded a bit in the wash so I didn’t get to keep that wonderful deep indigo.

Still, the blueprint feel was there and took me back in time. I love them!


Then I just needed to sew them into cushions. I used an old, very damaged bedspread to source the backing fabric from.


I’m ecstatic with how they turned out, especially considering the hiccups along the way!


A word of caution- use rubber gloves if you don’t want blue fingers for days afterward!!!

About Aixie

Artist Crafter Interiors Addict Crazy Cat Lady
This entry was posted in Craft Projects, Decorating, Home DIY and Decor and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Cyanotype Cushions

  1. nenamatahari says:

    Wow! Those are beautiful. And hooray for “hippie dippie art students.”

  2. Mixy says:

    Wowzers! Love the effect you got, sometimes happy accidents are just magical, right? And seconding “yay for hippie dippie art student” that’s where my spirit is too!!

    • Aixie says:

      Thanks Mixy ☺ it did turn out nicely!
      And I think the world would be a better place if there were more hippie dippie art students, so let’s hope the vibe spreads across the globe!

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