Let the warm weather activities begin! Entertaining your kids in the summer months can be a little daunting — filling all the daylight hours while keeping the kids interested is no easy feat!
Here’s one awesome way to fill a few of those summer days: sun bleaching paper! Not only is this a crafty, creative project, but can be educational, too! Your kids can learn a little about how sunlight works and about UV radiation.
Photo via Kid’s Activity Blog
HOW TO SUN BLEACH PAPER
Materials you’ll need for sun bleaching paper:
- Blue or black construction paper
- Creative objects (stencils, leaves, fruits, etc.)
- A beautiful sunny day!
Place your objects on the construction paper in a sunlit area outside. Leave paper out in sunlight for at least 3-5 hours. Remove the objects from the paper and you’ll see that the sun bleached the uncovered areas, but the paper under the objects is still fully colored.
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A FEW TIPS ON MAKING YOUR SUN-BLEACHED CREATIONS EVEN BETTER:
1. The darker the paper, the better
When sun bleaching paper, use a darker colored construction paper (like blue or black) to guarantee the contrast in the shapes and stencils. Plus, the darker the paper color, the faster it will fade. For the kids with short attention spans, get the darkest paper you can find!
2. Create a melting effect
Express your abstract style with a melting effect. Place a few crayons on the paper to create a dissolving pattern. This is a super cool way to make a few new art pieces for your kids’ rooms. Just throw it in a cute frame, and voila!
3. Give your kids freedom to express themselves
Let the kids find things that interest them! Have a little dude obsessed with toy trucks or trains? Let him put those to work on his construction paper.
Half the fun of this project is allowing them the freedom to be able to put whatever they would like to see on their artwork. Everything from bird feathers to harmonicas are completely allowed sun bleaching privileges.
4. Sun-sensitive paper
There is such a thing as sun-sensitive paper that will help speed the sun bleaching process along. Instead of waiting a few hours, you can purchase sun-sensitive paper at craft stores and see results in as little as 3 minutes. This project would be perfect for a quick piece of artwork for a last-minute gift.
5. Create an entire scenery with your sun-bleached work of art
If you have the resources, correlate your objects to recreate a piece of scenery with your sun-bleached goodness. It’s pretty spectacular if you’re able to make something that is visually connected, and I can guarantee it will turn out spectacular. The scenarios are endless as to what you could create!
6. Consider the weight of the object
Just because the stenciled object is pretty doesn’t mean it will hold up outside for a few hours. Choose objects that will stay put for several hours and will not be blown away by the wind.
7. Pick the perfect spot
Choose a spot that will have continuous sunlight for several hours. Since the sun does move throughout the day, it’s important to know where the sunlight hits and make sure the paper will be well lit.
THE DYEING PROCESS FOR SUN-BLEACHING
Photo via Creative Jewish Mom
Another type of sun bleaching paper requires dye (which you can get at most craft stores) for the outside of the stencils or objects. For this process, place your object on white paper and paint the dye onto the page around the object, as if it’s a stencil. This will create a white object and allow the backdrop to be your favorite color!