Making a cyanotype tote bag

Making a cyanotype tote bag is a beautiful way to showcase your art. Greeshma from India shares how to make one in a few simple steps.

Writer and photography / Greeshma

Cyanotype can transform an ordinary tote bag into a unique masterpiece. Cyanotype, a photographic printing process dating back to the 19th century and recognised by its distinctive blue colour is of course use in many applications today. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through a few simple steps to creating your own cyanotype tote bag. To find out how to mix cyanotype chemicals take a look here.


Start off with a blank natural fibre tote bag, such as 100% cotton blank tote bag.
Outline the printing area with masking tape for a defined line. Important! Insert newspaper inside to prevent chemical bleed though the cloth to the other side.
Coat the tote with cyanotype chemicals using a foam brush and let it dry in the dark.
The next day, remove the masking tape.
Place a botanical, such as a plant, or any other object on the bag to make a photogram.
Using a board at the bottom, a piece of glass on top,  and paper clamps to hold it together. Expose the image to sun or UV light until it has turned green.
Rinse in a water tray to remove unexposed chemicals. Repeat the rinsing process until the water is clear. 
Allow the bag to dry and admire your final piece of art.

Let us know if you too turned a tote bag into a personal work of art.

Watch the video on YouTube

Greeshma is a photographer and printmaker from Bangalore in India. You can see more of her work on her website or her Instagram @greeshmap.

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