How To Make Paper Look Old

Paper in sepia
While there is no practical reason why you might want to make paper look old, it is an interesting craft you can explore during weekends and holidays, including your entire family in this fun exercise. To learn how you can make fresh paper look, faded and wrinkled and age-colored, read through the instructions listed below. There are several methods you can employ to "age" paper; each of these methods is discussed as a separate step. Read on...

Step 1

Using coffee. For this method you will need:

  • A cup of strong coffee (use about five or six times the normal amount of coffee you would use for a regular cup)
  • A shallow container large enough to put the entire sheet of paper in
  • A spoon and fork

First, prepare the cup of coffee as required. You can vary the amount of coffee you use, depending on the shade you want the paper to be. The more coffee you use, darker will be the color of the paper. Pour some coffee into the shallow container, enough that it covers the bottom of the container fully and is at a depth of about a quarter to half inch. Place the paper carefully in the container and let it float on the coffee. With a spoon, spread some coffee over the top layer of the paper, covering it fully. Leave the paper in the container for a couple of minutes to soak in the coffee.

Next, remove the paper carefully from the coffee mix, drain away any excess coffee and place the paper in another container, which is clean and dry. Then, place the paper in a baking tray and cook in the oven, till the paper is dry. The oven setting should be at about 230 degrees. Take the paper out of the oven, once it is dry, and place on the counter to let it cool. You will now have a piece of paper which looks old.

Step 2

Using tea. Make some tea using a teabag. Remove the teabag from the cup and smear it all over the paper to be aged. If the teabag dries up while you are doing this, dip it into the cup of tea again and continue. Once the paper is fully coated and damp with the liquid, allow the paper to dry.

Step 3

Using a candle flame or the kitchen stove. For the candle method, hold the paper just above the flame of the candle and move it around. You can slightly burn the edges to give it the really old look. For the stove method, take another piece of paper and lay it in a pan over the stove. Place the paper to be aged, over this paper and turn on the stove. Using a spatula or spoon, press the paper lightly on all sides, cooking it on a medium flame.

Any or all of these methods will help you give paper that ancient and faded look. Be careful when you're using the oven or fire to cook the paper, it shouldn't catch fire or damage the oven. Try making the paper look coarse by crumpling it and then soaking it in liquid and get interesting textures on the paper. Include your children in the project and have a great time aging the paper.


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