Sample of Chared ParchmentToday I decided to write about a project I did some time ago it was make a new sheet of paper look old. Or how to make some good olde fashioned parchment paper. To the left is an example of what it could look like

First – I wrote in my best calligraphy handwriting on the page – (I used a heavier high cotton blend for the fiber look and feel).

I had to use Noodlers black ink as this ink will not run when adding the paper coloring. I let this dry while I gathered up the rest of the items needed.

  • 1 cup of strong brewed coffee (I made two – one for me to drink while working on the Calligraphy and one to sit and wait till the right time to be put to use)
  • 1 tablespoon of any instant coffee (This is to add the extra color on to the paper in a varied pattern)
  • 1 baking pan – large enough for the paper to be put into.
  • 1 sponge or several paper towels
  • an Oven or hair dryer – I prefer the oven method – but both work
    if using the oven pre-heat it to 200-225 degrees
  • An Iron (Optional)
  • A zippo lighter (Optional)
  • Woolen Yarn or Leather Strip (Optional)

Now this is the hard part – after you finished the calligraphy work on the paper – You need to first tear the edges in varied patter to give it that old torn look (Do this if you want to) Doing this before adding the color helps the edges get better coloring in them. Next is the really hard part – you need to crinkle the paper up into a small / medium size ball. Then you need to unball it and flatten it down – almost flat but will some of the crinkles still showing to hold the coffee to help break up the solid pattern of color.

Place the flattened sheet into the pan and pour the coffee all over the page. Making sure to cover the whole page. 

Now wait a few moments or about 1 min then sprinkle the instant coffee randomly across the page. Don't make it even as these will soon dissolve and give the page that extra color that will make it look more like beautiful old parchment paper.  

Next you want to use the sponge to blog the coffee off the paper – I waited about 2 or 3 mins to let it soak in. Use different amounts of time depending on how much color you want.

Now empty any remaining coffee back into a cup if you intend to do another sheet or throw it away. (I heard coffee grounds were good for some plants – I wonder if you could use this for some of them plants)  

Now put the paper on the tray into the oven for about 5 to 7 mins. (Make sure to watch and check often – you don't want the paper to burn after all this work)

The last step is optional – I used an iron on low setting to remove all the creases in the paper and make it flat again. Some people will like the the creases in the paper. It does look good both ways.

Now this last step is also optional – I only did this to one of my parchments and it looked really classy but I was afraid of redoing all my work. Get out the zippo lighter and light it up and get near the edges to "Burn" them slightly. This really will give it that old world look – just like this was an old pirate treasure map.

Now you can mouth this in a frame or if you want to use these for other uses you can roll this up and tie a woolen piece of yarn around it or a strip of leather to tie it with a bow. 

You can use this for creating a beautiful love poem for your wife or girlfriend, or if you are having a party and want to have some cool invitation (Great for a kids Pirate Party) or You are running a scavenger hunt – these make cool looking location maps or scavenger hunt lists. The Ideas for what you can use this for is endless. I have seen a photo printed out on a laser printer in a grey scale pattern to make the photo look like an old sepia type print.

Good luck and Stay warm (Brr)

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