I saw Martha "antique" paper a few years ago, and although I don’t remember her technique, I do remember that it was complicated. I played around with the general idea, though, and came up with an easy way to get the same aged look.
Supplies You'll Need for Aging Paper
- A piece of paper you want to age. (I used regular 24lb laser paper. Of course, print your poem, passage of writing, and etc. to the page before you attempt to antique it.)
- 1/4 cup of hot, black coffee. (Although I’ve only used coffee, I’m sure tea would work.)
- A teaspoon or so of instant coffee. (I haven’t used fresh ground coffee or tea leaves, but they might work too.)
- A baking sheet larger than the piece of paper you want to antique.
- Sponge brush, or soft bristle brush.
- Paper towels.
- An oven.
How To Give Paper an Aged Look
- Pre-heat oven to lowest setting. For me it was 200 degrees.
- Crumple up your piece of paper into a ball, then smooth it out and place in your baking sheet.
- Pour hot coffee over your paper. Spread coffee over/around your paper with a sponge brush. (I puddled a little too much in the lower left corner in the picture below.)
- Sprinkle instant coffee over your paper.
- Let stand for a few minutes, letting the coffee crystals "blossom."
- Using a couple of paper towels, dab the coffee up so none is pooled on the baking sheet or paper.
- Slide sheet into oven. Keep a watch on your project just in case of flame ups.
- "Bake" sheet for about five minutes or until paper is dry. You can tell it’s drying when the edges of the paper start to curl up.
What To Do With With Your Vintage Sheet
Frame your antiqued poem or passage for a great-looking piece of cheap art; or use it to make your sweetie a heart-felt Valentine. Antiqued paper also looks great as a backdrop for photographs, serving as recessed matting. (I’d only use copies of treasured photos for archival reasons, however.)
Speaking of paper... have you seen this fun oak leaf garland tutorial?