handmade crafts

Freebie and tutorial how to age paper

NOTE: this only works if you use a laser printer, it will not work with an ink jet printer

I wanted to make a little tutorial on how to age normal printing paper. The printables I am using in this tutorial are old antique bookplates. If you don’t really know what they are, they used to be really popular back in the day when books were more or less exclusive to the upper class. So a way to show ownership of a book, people used to glue a small paper with a pictorial and the name of the owner inside the book. Bookplates or Ex-libris were made by famous artists at the time and they portrayed the owners career and personal interests. But ever since books became rather easy to come by and with paperbacks outselling hardcovers the bookplates have become rarely used nowadays.

So if you want to follow this tutorial by staining your own book plate you can download this freebie
free Bookplate
or you can get the premium PDF on my etsy which also supports my youtube channel and this website =)
my etsy listing

So if you bought my etsy listing you want to pick the page which is black and white. Next you want to make some coffee or tea or both really. You can experiment what kind of color you prefer. But for me I normally make one cup of normal coffee. Then I mix that with about 1/3 cup of water. But if you want a richer color just add less water.
NOTE: coffee is acidic and paper is normally acid free so when you make your coffee mix, add a pinch of baking soda to cut the acid.

I was a bit worried that the ink will smudge in the water but it didn’t move at all. I should note that I printed these with a laser printer so it could be that.
When I pull the paper from the coffee bath I place it on some kitchen towels to dry. At this point you can also dribble extra coffee on top.

Once I stained all of them I just put them to the side and let them air dry, they will curl up and buckle while drying but don’t worry!

So to get rid of the curling you can just put them under a heavy book but what I do is to iron them flat (clothes iron). I sandwich the paper between 2 sheets of normal paper and I set my iron to medium heat. And I just make one or two passes with the iron, that’s all it takes really. Make sure you don’t burn the paper! In the last picture you can see the before and after difference and it looks much more natural!

And that is it! If you have any more questions let me know! You can also check out my video tutorials on youtube, or my little etsy store!

Thanks for reading!

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