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How to Age Paper (4 Easy Ways to Make Paper Look Old)

How to Age Paper (4 Easy Ways to Make Paper Look Old)

In this step-by-step tutorial on how to age paper, you will learn 4 different techniques of aging paper. The first three processes don’t involve tea or coffee and provide a mild aged look. Lastly, you will learn how to make papers look old with tea or coffee stains. 

We all love to do a little scrapbooking and journaling and aged papers are most commonly used for that. If you want to learn how to age paper at home, this article is for you! With the help of our step-by-step tutorial, you can learn how to make the paper look old in no time. We are going to show you 4 different techniques to make the paper look old and of course, the most important step includes the use of coffee-stain and tea-stain. We are going to use tea-stain for our paper. 

These aged papers can be used for so many activities. If you love vintage and old looks, you can use them for scrapbooking, journaling, gift tags, letter writing, gift cards, and much more. Tea-stained or coffee-stained papers give such a beautiful vintage vibe to anything and this is exactly what we’re going to share with you in this article; the step-by-step guide to making papers look old.

You will need half an hour to complete all the steps. Although drying the tea-stained and coffee-stained papers might take a little longer, but it won’t require any tasks from your end, you can simply put them in a safe and dry place to dry and go back to your usual activities. The cost is almost nothing as we’re using supplies which are already available in our house. I’m sure you’ll have stationery paper, tea or coffee and a lighter or candle at home. 

How to Age Paper (4 Easy Ways to Make Paper Look Old)

How to Age Paper (4 Techniques)

Things You’ll Need

  • Lighter
  • Tea-stain, coffee-stain
  • Usual white stationary paper

The one we are using is very fresh and crisp and you’ll be surprised to see how you can transform such fresh and crisp papers into aged and vintage papers in few easy steps.

aging paper supplies

Instructions

Technique 1: How to Age Paper by Ripping Edges

Step 1: Select and Prepare the Paper

Select a paper, we’re using the usual stationery paper. We prepared our papers for aging by cutting A4 papers in half; the half of an A4-sized paper is perfect for scrapbooking, journaling, and crafting. Although it would depend on your choice. You can use a ruler and pencil to trace 1 cm borders along the 4 sides of the paper to make sure that you rip off the borders evenly.

Step 2: Ripping the Edges

Ripping off the paper edges is pretty simple and therapeutic. Simply hold the paper firmly with one hand, near the edge, where you’d like to rip off the paper border. Use the other hand to gently rip off the edge along the traced 1 cm border. Continue to rip the edge until all 4 sides have been covered evenly.

How to Age Paper by Ripping Edges

Technique 2: Burnt Edges

Step 1: Selecting Paper and Lighter

You can prepare the paper like we did for our previous technique or you can keep the paper size however you prefer. You should check the lighter (flame level, if it’s leaking, if you can hold it firmly while lighting etc.) before getting started. Once you’ve prepared the paper and the lighter, hold the paper along the opposite side to side you’re going to burn, that way you’ll be safe from the flame or heat. Also, trace the border if required.

Step 2: Burning the Edges

Light up the flame and start to burn the paper edges slowly. If the fire doesn’t stop and starts to burn the edge too much, make sure to turn off the lighter immediately and blow off the fire before it reaches too deep into the paper surface. Continue to do this until all 4 sides of the paper are burnt.

As an alternative to a lighter, you can use a candle.

Burnt Edges technique of aging paper

Technique 3: Crumbled Paper

Light Crumbling

Crumbling paper is probably the most common and a very classic way to make a paper look old. To make a paper look slightly old, crumble the paper without forming it into a crumbles ball. Crumble each part of the paper lightly using both hands. We crumbled the top side of the paper first, the bottom, and then the middle part to avoid creating a crumbles paper ball.

Crumbled Paper process

Fully Crumbled

Simply crumble a piece of paper into a ball and keep it like that for a minute. After a minute unfold the crumbles and flatten the paper using the palm of your hands. This will give the paper a very aged look.

fully Crumbled Paper process

Technique 4: How to Make Paper Look Old using Tea-Stain/ Coffee-Stain

Step -1: Preparing the Stain

You can use either coffee or tea stain, they look relatively the same but we’ll try to put up another content with the detailed paper staining technique later. Boil the coffee or tea liquor for a few minutes and then allow it to cool down a little. Take one of the papers you’ve prepared using the previous techniques and soak them into the coffee or tea liquor. Keep the paper soaked for 10 to 20 minutes; the longer it soaks the better paper absorbs the stain.

Step-2: Dry the Paper

Carefully take out the paper from the liquor and making sure that the paper doesn’t tear apart as it would be very fragile. Place the paper on a non-stick flat surface and allow it to dry completely. We placed them on the tiles under the stove but if you can’t do that, you can simply place them on a dry surface and allow them to dry overnight.

How to Age Paper (4 Easy Ways to Make Paper Look Old)These are the 4 basic ways to make the paper look old. hough there are many other techniques such as adding stains from different colored liquids, adding a tea or coffee-stain circle from the bottom side of a cup, etc. But once you can master these 4 ways, you can get creative and try the other ones for a more vintage and aged look.

How to Age Paper (4 Easy Ways to Make Paper Look Old)

Tips for Making Paper Look Old

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when working on aging papers.

  • Use regular stationery papers. If the paper is too thin, it might tear apart while soaking in the coffee-stain or tea-stain.
  • If you’re not confident about ripping or burning the edges evenly, use a pencil and ruler to trace 1cm borders on all 4 sides of the paper.
  • While burning the paper with a lighter, make sure to set the flame level to low.
  • Make sure to prepare a strong coffee and tea liquor for a better result.

And that’s all for aging papers. We hope you find our how to age paper tutorial helpful and easy to follow. Don’t forget to share your versions with us. You can share your picture with hashtag #craftaholicwitch or just DM your picture to us on Instagram.

How to Age Paper (4 Easy Ways to Make Paper Look Old)

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