Here Comes the Sun: How to Make Printed DIY Party Favor Bags Using Natural Sunlight

By Brittni • posted on 03/12/2024

I would have never guessed this years ago, but it turns out I really love making goody bags for parties! Over the years, I’ve done my fair share of DIY party souvenirs and party bags, but these might be the most unique. Because these little treat bags are made using sunlight!

DIY Sunprint Party Favor Bags

Have you ever tried making Sunprints before? I think I probably made a couple when I was a kid, but in my adult life I had never tried it until recently. So, of course, now that I’ve had a little taste of this crazy cool (kid’s) pastime, I’m completely addicted. In a really strange way. Once I bought the kit, it was pretty much on. 

SO, I made these sunprint party favor bags for candy and little gifts. And, if you’re into it, I’m sharing the tutorial for how you can make your own…using the natural light of the sun! Yay nature.

DIY Sunprint Party Favor Bags


  • frame with  glass
  • sunprint kit (which you can buy on Amazon)
  • objects to use for printing (I used balloons, candy, and toothpicks)
  • cardboard or stiff book
  • scissors
  • craft glue

DIY Sunprint Party Favor Bags


1. Start by laying out one sheet of the sunprint paper, over a piece of stiff cardboard or a book. Then, arrange objects on top of the piece of paper (in my case balloons). Place plexiglass on top (as shown in the photo) to secure objects so they don’t roll around. Plexi comes with the sunprint kit, just FYI.

2. Place the entire thing (cardboard, paper, objects, and plexi) outside in direct sunlight for 5 minutes (or until the paper turns white).

3. Then bring everything back inside. Remove the plexi and the objects from the paper, then submerge the paper in water for 1 minute or run under a faucet. Remove from the water and let the paper dry flat.

How to Make DIY Sunprint Party Favor Bags

4. Once the paper is dry, its time to start making the gift bags. Start by folding the paper so that the two ends slightly overlap (as shown in photo).

How to Make DIY Sunprint Party Favor Bags

5. Then cut a triangle in the center panel, at the top and a flap at the bottom of the middle panel.

How to Make DIY Sunprint Party Favor Bags

6. Lastly, fold up the bottom flap and the sides and glue them together with a glue stick or craft glue. Let the glue dry and fill with candy or other party favors.

Some thoughts on printing….

I thought the balloons worked really well for the sunprinting process. But I also really like using toothpicks, which creates almost a laser inspired pattern in the bags…kind of 80s / 90s yearbook photo backdrop style. And gummy fruit rings created a cool pattern too. So, you may want to experiment with some different objects. Its really fun to test out different stuff to see what works the best for creating patterns.

That said though, they’re not all winners…I tried lollipops and they did not work very well at all because they’re weren’t even heights, so you couldn’t really see what was going on when the sunprint was finished. Thumbs down there.

Flowers and leaves work great though…I used those on another project (that I haven’t shared yet) and the prints were pretty interesting. So if you like the botanical vibe, that would be a good option.

More DIY Party Ideas

  • If you’re looking for more party stuff, my birdhouse construction kit has been my one of my most popular party favor ideas ever. And it’s definitely my personal favorite. Made them for my son’s 4th birthday party and they were a big hit.
  • My hand-picked party essentials for throwing beautiful / cute parties every time.
  • Bet you’ve never seen DIY drink stirrers as bold as these. Would be fun for a colorful summer party.

DIY Sunprint Party Favor Bags

DIY Sunprint Party Favor Bags

DIY Sunprint Party Favor Bags

Photography by Kimberly Murray
Assisted by Linda Jednaszewski
Styling by Brittni Mehlhoff

Think you’ll give this DIY a try? Do you remember playing around with sunprint art when you were a kid?

13 comments | Click here to reply

Thanks Sophie and Georgia.


These look amazing!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

Georgia @ Silver Spiral Studio

These are so awesome, I remember doing photograms in photography which is a similar process, but I love that you can buy kits for this! Super cute!


Awesome, Vicky. Glad to hear it.


This is so cute. Thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely try this when I get the chance


Thanks Kel. I’m sure you’d come up with a really cool pattern if you made these. Just be warned that it is highly addictive. 🙂


I am DYING to try this!! So awesome, B!

Kelly @ Studio DIY

That’s awesome, Myrthe. I had no idea it would work with regular photo paper for black and whites. So cool!


So cute! Almost like how we used to make black and white photo’s in high school (and play around with the photo paper by putting objects on them, and then exposing them to light). So cool that there’s something similar that can be used for all kinds of fun things. I never knew!


Thanks Anrola. They were definitely fun to make.


What a great idea!


Thanks Courtney-Lynn. 🙂


Oh my! How have I never thought about this before! What a super unique and adorable idea.

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