Summery Sun Prints

Posted by: admin on Aug 28, 2012 | No Comments

You can make fun pictures using the sun’s power to fade the colour from construction paper! This project uses repositionable glue, as an option, which you can find in most shops that sell office or school supplies You could also do the project by setting objects on your paper and laying it flat in the sun instead of using the special glue.

You Will Need:

Dark coloured sugar paper

Solid objects with interesting shapes that you can trace around (leaves, buttons, coins, and plastic toys work well)



Repositionable glue (Optional, made by Elmer’s or Scotch brands)

A window that gets lots of sunlight




Trace around your objects on construction paper and cut out each shape. Or, you can draw your own shapes and cut them out. Be creative! You could even draw letters to spell your name.

Arrange the paper shapes onto a new sheet of dark-coloured sugar paper to make a design.

Use the repositionable glue to stick each shape to your picture. Don’t use much glue though, or it will be hard to peel your shapes off later.

Turn the shapes towards the window and tape the corners of your picture to the window to hold it in place.

Leave your picture in the window for a couple days or until you notice that the colour of the sugar paper has started to fade. (Compare it to a new piece of the same colour of paper to see if it has changed.)

When it is quite a bit lighter than it was when you started (it might take up to a week; it depends on how many sunny days you have!), untape the picture from the window and peel off the shapes. They should come off pretty easily, but do it slowly to make sure your picture doesn’t tear.


What’s Happening?

Have you ever left an art project made from construction paper in the sun for too long? If so, you probably noticed that the colour started to fade and the paper ended up a lot lighter than it once was. In this project, you covered parts of the paper with paper shapes, then when you left your picture in the sunlight, it started to fade. Since the shapes blocked sunlight from hitting the parts of the paper they covered, you could see the original colour of the paper after you peeled off the shapes! The extra layer of paper from the shapes protected those parts of the paper from the sun’s rays that faded the colour from the rest of the sheet of paper.


Sunlight contains ultraviolet (or UV) rays – the same rays that will give you a sunburn if you are in the sun for too long without sunscreen on. Those rays cause chemical reactions in the dye that gives sugar paper its colour. When the paper absorbs the rays of light, a chemical reaction breaks down the dyes so they aren’t as bright. UV rays can lighten a lot of things. Some people’s hair turns a lighter colour when they are in a lot of sunlight. Hanging white laundry outside in the sun to dry can make it look whiter also.

Thanks to and adapted from


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