Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Antiquing Paper

In this tutorial we will learn how to make things look old and wrinkled. There are a lot of methods to do this, but I prefer coffee. I like the color (as you can see by now, I like earth tones - the brighter the better).

Things you will need:
1. Cheap instant coffee
2. Tray or a plate or anything that will hold the desired size of the paper you are going to antique.
3. Gloves (if you are allergic to coffee)
4. An image (I'm using plain paper)

Pour water into the tray. Warm water dissolves the coffee faster, but cold is ok too. Add coffee. The amount depends on how drastic do you want the final result to look. I usually like to put as much as possible for a strong effect. Mix it up.

You can see that there is still some coffee that didn't dissolve in the lower right corner. Don't worry about it. We don't want a uniform look.
A WORD OF CAUTION: first time I did it, I mixed everything with my hands. The mixture was so strong that it probably got absorbed into my pores and needless to say I felt like crap afterwards. My heart was racing, i was shaking a little and so on. Perhaps I was imagining things, but I'm just letting you know that you might want to use a spoon or gloves when mixing this stuff.
Back to our project. Place the paper (or whatever you're using) into the water. Let it get wet completely. Keep it in the water until you have reached your desired color. What I did was wrinkle it like so:

Then I took some more coffee and sprinkled it all over the paper.

The grains will start to dissolve, leaving black spots. The less you let it sit, the darker the spots and vise versa. Pour the water out. Here you can stop or continue further. With the back of a spoon I created folds by going over the paper.

Then I sprinkled more coffee on it.

Then I placed it on a paper towel and rolled over the spots with the back of a spoon.

Now, if you want to add some more wrinkles, just crumble some areas like so:

Let it dry and you have your old and worn paper.

You're done. You can use this techniques for various items such as letters, images, photos. You don't have to do as drastic and messy. Just decrease the amount of coffee and time in the water.

If you would like me to do a different tutorial, leave a comment. If I am able, I will do it. For those of you who have tried this tutorial and absolutely loved the results, consider making a donation (paypal). You can give as little or as much as you want on my main website

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Anonymous said...

Nice, coffee, simple but effective, useful for digital artist too!

enui said...

it looks great!
however coffee is acidic so this paper will not be archival safe :(

Lara Berch Tutorials said...

Ming, Thanks for visiting :-)

Lara Berch Tutorials said...

Enui, You're right but for my purposes acid doesn't really interfere with my work...these coffee papers get covered with so many layers of mediums that I don't think acid is an issue in the end. :-)

Lisa said...

Great blog and website. I've added your link to my blog. :)

katiedid said...

Hi Lara!
Thanks for the comment on my blog! Your site is great, so I posted some info about you on my blog. Hope that is OK. Good luck with your sites!

PennyBlue said...

Hi Lara,Thanks for stopping bymy blog. Great tutorial. I would love to exchange links with you. I'll add you to my list now. {:
Happy Friday!

Anonymous said...

hey lara...i've been going over to your website...finally got you added to my links...thanks for such great info.

Lara Berch Tutorials said...

Annie, what is you URL?

Kim -today's creative blog said...

Lara, Thanks for visiting my blog. I love all your tutorials and can't wait to come back soon to learn more. I will put you in my file to feature on my other blog.
Yes, I'll add you to my links. I need to update them soon.

Archana Srinivas Pottery said...

What an interesting blog...thanks for dropping by at my blog...
Sure, let's exchange links:-)

Looking forward to reading more tutorials:-)

suze said...

Great tutorial. You can do the same with fabric, for aging dolls, ect.I also use tea but coffee smells better.

Andrea Nicole said...

I think this is a wonderful idea! I have used this several times even when I was in highschool and had to make some sort of old fashioned project for history I would use the coffee to make old scroll like paper and burn the edges and things... it always made the grade! HAHA! :) Thanks for sharing! I added your blog to my BlogRoll~ I hope thats ok! Great Blog! I will definately stop by often! http://lunaeyescreations.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Lara!
I am so glad to find your tutorial.I have keen interest in art and craft.
It's perfect timing for me as I am looking for some interesting paper to cover some small boxes to be used for organising things.Thanks for helping me out.

Unknown said...

You have a neat blog.

I hope you add more soon!
(and, I hope I remember to check back

Sylvia C.

Lara Berch Tutorials said...

Ashima, I am glad you are finding this usefull :-)

Sue said...

I love the tutorials and am anxious to try them. Thank you!


nice blog!!


Britt- Sparkled Vintage Charm said...

fabulous!!thanks so much!!!

Altered Kat said...

Looks great!...and I happen to have some instant coffee just sitting in the cupboard waiting for a good use! :o)

ashima madan said...

wow! how rare is that! you got two Ashima(s) commenting on your post!
absolutely love this!