DIY How to Age Paper to Create a Vintage Look

Create Vintage Paper for Your Scrapbooking and Junk Journaling Projects

Paper is generally made out of wood which consist of cellulose fiber and lignin.  When lignin is exposed to air, it turns the paper to brown color, giving the paper an old or vintage look.  Using old or vintage papers adds character to any craft projects that you maybe working on such as junk journals, writing poems, making invitations or fake treasure maps.

However, sometimes these papers being old, they tend to be brittle and may not handle well. I will show you how you can make any new paper look distressed and vintage with just 4 easy steps.

Materials that you need:
1. Tea (tea leaf or tea bags) OR coffee powder;
2. An oblong bowl or any bowl that can fit your paper
3. A baking tray
4. Any type of paper such as copier (80gms), pattern, parchment, magazines (preferably not so glossy), wrapping paper, doilies or full scrap paper
5. Kitchen towels

Step 1
Boil your tea or coffee in a pot for 5 minutes. In my case, I used tea, so rule of thumb is use 2 tablespoon of tea for about 10 pieces of A4 copier paper. Set the pot of tea to cool in an oblong bowl for about 3-5 minutes or until it is cool enough to handle.

Step 2
Dip the paper into the tea for about 20 seconds. For a darker vintage look, you may dip the paper for about 30 seconds.  Anything longer than that may result in the paper being torn.  Remove the paper from the tea and allow the excess tea to drip off.
Do note that besides, dipping your paper into the tray of tea, you can also use other methods such as paint brush, spray bottle or the tea bag itself by dabbing onto the paper.

Step 3
Line your baking tray with kitchen towels to absorb any excess tea. Then, put your papers onto the baking tray. Do not worry if the papers are sticking to each other as you will be baking them in the oven and the papers will detach when dry.

Step 4
You can either air dry your papers, or if you are impatient like me, you can bake them in the oven at 180 Celsius for about 10 minutes or until it is dry. I would normally rotate the papers every 3 minutes and remove the dried papers from the oven. By doing this, it will speed up the drying process.

When all these papers are dried up, you can start using it to make notebooks, junk journals or any paper craft projects. I don't know about you, but I love the sound that these papers make when you turn the pages. They also have a light, sweet smell of tea.

I hope you have fun trying out this simple and easy process!


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