How to Make Paper Look Old: Easy Tips for Your Project

How to Make Paper Look Old: Easy Tips for Your Project
Photo by Anja on Pixabay
SHARE - Do you have some project, perhaps it’s related to craft or poetry—and you are planning to make use of paper with a dramatic look? You can use old paper for that! But what if you don’t have one because there’s no access to buy one and you have some issues with your budget—yet still want to get one? Good news! You can make it yourself!

In this article, we’re going to learn about how to make paper look old. Make sure you keep reading and then prepare the ingredients and tools needed. Don't worry, most of them are easy to find! Now, let's check it out together!

How to Make a Paper Look Old with Tea or Coffee

Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

You can age a sheet of paper by staining and baking with tea or coffee. Follow the tutorial below to know how to make paper look old with these liquids:

Step 1. Prepare your solvent. You can brew either coffee for a darker color or tea for a lighter color for your paper. Make sure to cool your liquid before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2. Place the paper on a baking or cookie sheet. Preheat the oven to 200ºF (90ºC).

Step 3. Start pouring in a corner of the baking sheet, not directly over the paper.

Step 4. Use a sponge brush to spread the coffee/tea around. You can make the pattern even or unevenly as you desire.

Step 5. Make sure there are no pools of liquid left either on the paper or in the baking sheet by dabbing excess liquid with a paper towel.

Step 6. You can be creative with your paper. Add some touches by tearing a thin, jagged strip off the side. Or, dig small holes out of the paper with your fingernail. You can also crumple it a bit to make it looks like parchment paper, or press down on the paper with something like a fork to leave imprints.

Step 7. Place the baking sheet in the oven for four to seven minutes.

Step 8. Remove the paper and allow it to cool down about 10 to 15 minutes. 

How to Make Paper Look Old with Lemon Juice or Vinegar

Photo by Amaury Gutierrez on Unsplash

Do you know that lemon juice and vinegar can be used to age a sheet of paper instead of coffee or tea? Unless the paper is acid-free, it tends to become darker and crisper around the edges. That’s why you can trigger the effect by using lemon or vinegar.

By preparing a juicer or fork, brush or sponge, and a heat gun, let’s make aged paper by following these steps:

Step 1. Using a juicer or fork, squeeze all the juice out of a lemon.

Step 2. Dip a brush or sponge into the juice and lightly brush your paper with it. Apply more juice at the edges or around holes, and less juice toward the center.

Step 3. For a treasure-map effect, crumple the paper, and then smooth it out and add juice over the raised areas. You can also tear around the edges of the paper while it is still wet.

Step 4. Apply heat evenly over the paper with a heat gun, or bake a sheet for 10 minutes in an oven at 350 degrees F.

How to Make Paper Look Old and Burnt

Photo by Anna Larin on Pixabay

If you want to know how to make paper look old and burnt, follow these easy steps:

Step 1. Take a sheet of paper over a sink in case you accidentally light the paper on fire.

Step 2. Find a candle, lighter, or any source of fire available to you. Don’t use one with an intense flame.

Step 3. Run the flame along the paper’s edges. Hold the edges of the paper between 1/2 inch (1cm) and 1 inch (2.5cm) above the flame. Move the flame along the edges, going back and forth along the sheet’s perimeter.

Step 4. Burn small spots into the paper. If you want to further damage your sheet of paper, you can burn little holes into it. Again, put the paper around an inch above the flame, this time letting it linger.

Step 5. If you want to make it look older, crumple a bit around the corners, use a mixture of coffee and use a cotton ball to stain it. Let it dry and you’re done.

How to Make Paper Look Old without Liquid

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pixabay

There’s another alternative on how to make paper look old without using any liquid. After crumpling your paper (don’t do it too much, instead focus on the ridge of the paper), dig a hole in your backyard, and bury it inside. Retrieve the paper after three to fourteen days.


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