It is really easy to make paper look old for making antique parchment manuscripts. These simple steps will show you how to get the best results.
Choose your paper carefully.
You will get very different results with different types of paper. I have found that normal printer paper tends to be a bit waterproof and does not soak up the tea or coffee stains very well. So you get a very pale result. If you feel a sheet of it, you are looking for a coarse texture rather than a smooth, shiny one.
Try blotting or waterpaint paper. We used a 'sturdy, multipurpose textured art paper' from a sketch pad - this was perfect for aging as it took the stain very well.
Crumple it up!
Crumpling the paper gives it a lot more texture when it soaks up the tea or coffee stain. If you want a more even look then you don't need to do this.
Soak it in Tea or Coffee
We usually add about 2 tablespoons of coffee to 2 cups of warm water. You need to let it dissolve. We have also tried soaking 3 or 4 teabags in the same amount of water. Both seem to work well.
Flatten out your crumpled sheet and lay it in a roasting dish or other container. Then pour over your tea/coffee stained water. It shouldn't take very long for it to soak in.
Dry it out.
I guess you could just lift the parchment out onto newspaper to dry - but I usually place it on a baking tray in the oven for a couple of minutes (low temperature). I guess I have impatient kids.
Your paper is now ready to use. Perfect for making scroll manuscripts, or as an aged parchment to make fonts on.
We have put the parchment through the printer without a problem if you need to do this. We have also tried printing onto the paper before aging it - but often the dye will run in the soaking process.
A final touch is to make some burn marks on the paper. (My kids love this part!) Light a candle and hold the manuscript over it - higher than the flame. Be patient - and keep moving parchement slightly so it doesn't burn in one place. The scorch marks give a great effect - but make sure you have a flame resistant surface to drop things onto if it gets out of hand - and a glass of water for dousing.
So now you know how to age paper. This is a great little technique, and useful for many different homeschooling crafts projects.
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