Inspired by Cyanotype

A few days ago, Lydia from Understand Blue posted a series of cards she created that were inspired a cyanotype exhibit she had seen recently. I was absolutely blown away by how beautiful they were. I was inspired to give the technique a try as well.

I had a vague knowledge of the cyanotype process (a.k.a. blue print) because my dad was a photography buff in his younger years. After seeing her beautiful cards, I was inspired to learn more about cyanotypes and spent some time researching it. I learned Anna Atkins (1799-1871), an English botanist, used the cyanotype process to photograph algae and ferns. She is considered by many to be the first person to publish a book containing photographic illustrations. With that in mind, I decided a fern frond would be perfect for my cyanotype inspired image on this one layer card.

Mel's Card Corner | Inspired by Cyanotype

Now, the first thing you will notice is my card isn’t blue as one would expect with a cyanotype. While I was certainly inspired by the process, I wanted to use a different color for my card. I chose the new Sweet Sugarplum In Color from Stampin’ Up.

I started with an A2 top-folding card base. I masked off a two inch square just above center then applied some of the Sweet Sugarplum ink using my Clarity stencil brushes. If you don’t have stencil brushes, you could also do this step with a sponge or ink blending tool.

Once I had the intensity of color I wanted, I used my Mini Misti to stamp the frond and small butterfly from the Butterfly Basis stamp set using the same Sweet Sugarplum ink. Since I was using the Misti, it made it really each to reink and stamp again in the exact same spot. I ended up stamping each a total of three times to get nice dark stamped images against my background.

Mel's Card Corner | Inspired by Cyanotype

Once I was satisfied with my stamped images, I removed the masking. I then used some Night of Navy ink to stamp my sentiment which is from the stamp set included in the Watercolor Wishes card kit. To finish off the card, I wrapped a piece of thick white baker’s twine around the card and tied it off in a small bow. To be sure it didn’t slip around, I tacked down the knot with a mini glue dot.

I’m entering this card in the following challenges:

Until next time …

Signature Image


  1. Maggie B says:

    Such a beautiful card, Mel. Love the white space you’ve left and the addition of the baker’s twine brings everything together. Nicely done.

  2. Lynn Fletcher says:

    I love this idea for a card. It is nice and simple, can be reproduced easily or originally each time. I am always looking for new ideas and I will have to pull out this stamp set to use again. Maybe even use the Botanical Garden set too. TFS! 🙂

  3. carol says:

    Your cyanotype inspired image is absolutely stunning! The colours, the design, the pretty images…WOW! Thank you for sharing this gem in the ATSM gallery!

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