Sun Painting

Sun Painting | Homan at Home

I love all the projects I share on this blog, but this project might be my favorite ever. From start to finish, this was a blast to do, and my 18 month old, my 3 year old, and a 8 and 10 year old that came to visit loved it. It really is a craft you can do with just about any age. 

It’s also dirt cheap and uber simple. I used flour sack towels from Walmart for the fabric background. They come in a pack of 5 for 7 bucks, and I cut one up for this project. We only used about half of it, leaving us with plenty of cotton fabric for future sun printing adventures. 

Sun Painting | Homan at Home

The paint is literally just regular acrylic paint – again from Walmart for $0.50 a bottle. The secret to getting the sun print using regular paint is just to water it down. You can see the difference in the blue popsicle verses the others. The popsicle isn’t as sharp, and that’s because I was still getting the hang of how much water to add. What I discovered? More water = better!

And the last material you need is cardstock. This is another place where watering down the paint is important. If you leave the paint too thick, your cardstock may stick to it and ruin the fun.

The designs here use these printable templates: there are 2, one for the watermelon and flip-flop, and one for the popsicle and sun.

. I absolutely love how fun these little summer images are, and I’m planning to do another set of templates in the future. Are there any designs you’d like to see? Leave a comment and let me know!

Sun Painting, Step-by-Step



Start by prepping your cotton. I used these towels cut into roughly 8×8 squares. We were making a summer bunting from the finished products, so we wanted a kind of undone look. I ended up leaving the ends cut and fraying. 

Soak your cotton thoroughly with water, then wring it out. You want it damp, but not pooling water. Once it’s been wrung, spread it out on a foil-covered baking sheet.

Sun Painting | Homan at Home

Now you get to water down your paint. Add a small amount of paint (about 1 tsp) to your bowl. Then add about 2 Tbsp of water and mix it together well. You want your paint to be very thin – just slightly thicker than water. Add more water if you need to.

Pour the paint onto the fabric and use your paintbrush to make sure that the paint covers the entire thing.

Sun Painting | Homan at Home

I love how Alex has turned into a teenager now that he’s a whole 3 1/2 🙂 Don’t let the face fool you. He’s not thrilled about how many pictures I’m taking, not bored with his craft.

Once you (or your happy little helper) have covered the fabric with paint, take your cardstock template and press it down on the fabric. You want the entire thing to be pressed down firmly – especially the edges. That’s what gives you a crisp looking print. 

Sun Painting | Homan at Home

Now, take your baking sheet and place it in the sun for 2-3 hours. You don’t actually need a brilliantly sunny day for this, but if it’s overcast, you will probably need to wait a few more hours. 

Peel the cardstock from the fabric, and check out your cool design!

Sun Painting | Homan at Home

Looking for more summer crafts? Check these out!

Mix 'n Match Rock Snake | Homan at Home

Mix ‘n Match Rock Snake

Creative Paintbrushes | Homan at Home

Creative Paintbrushes

Adventure Binoculars | Homan at Home

Adventure Binoculars

Don’t forget to pin!

Sun Painting | Homan at Home




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