Recently on an arts and crafts forum, I saw someone ask the question:
“How do you stain paper with coffee?”
This is an intriguing question but we should probably start with another question:
“Why would you want to stain paper with coffee?”
The answer is simple. You can take sheets of cheap ordinary white paper and turn them into paper that has the appearance of antique paper using plain ordinary coffee from your kitchen. In fact, with a little finessing, you can actually make the paper look just like antique parchment paper! From here, the possible ways you can use this antiqued paper are endless. This is a fun project to do with children.
Below, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to antique a brand new piece of white paper. It will take on an uneven yellowish coloration, sometimes with streaks, that will look like old aged paper.
How To Stain Paper With Coffee
1. Brew an ordinary pot of coffee. For an extra light stain, brew weaker coffee or dilute with the brewed coffee with more water. For a darker stain, brew stronger coffee by using more grounds.
2. Pour the coffee into a casserole pan, a rectangular cake pan, or any flat dish that is big enough to hold the paper you are using without folding or creasing it.
3. Place a single sheet of paper into the coffee and allow it to steep. The longer it steeps, the darker it will become. However, you should be aware that if you are starting with white paper, there will be a maximum darkness you can achieve even if you let it steep overnight.
4. Continue steeping the paper until it is a shade lighter than what you want the finished product to be. Once the paper dries, it will darken at least a shade. You may have to experiment a bit to get the exact effect you want. For this reason, be sure you carefully time how long you steep each sheet of paper so you can shorten or lengthen the time accordingly.
5. To dry the coffee soaked paper, lay the sheets on kitchen cooling trays or hang them on the clothes line with clothes pins.
For a parchment paper look, you can crumple up the paper and then smooth it back out before you start the procedure outlined above. You can also scratch the paper up with coffee grinds for a slightly different effect. You can also tear some of the edges or roll them slightly to give a more authentic appearance. Another trick is to use a paintbrush or plant fibers to create some fine streaks across the paper before you soak them in coffee.
Here are few ways to use you faux antique paper:
1. Party Invitations
Impress your family and friends with unique antiqued invitations that will really stand out.
2. Gag Gifts
You can easily create fake newspaper clippings. Type up what you want using an antique font and then antique the paper. You can also create antique hand-written letters this way.
3. History Projects For Children
Whether you are a teacher or a parent, this is an excellent way to make history displays for children look more authentic.
Now you’ll be an expert the next time someone asks, “How do you stain paper with coffee?” Have fun with this project!