Tuesday, December 8, 2009
How to Antique Paper
I'm not going to lie - I make really nice antique paper. And it's quite simple, you just need a little bit of patience to do it in layers.
1. Use heavy paper. If you want to antique something that's been printed, do it first and use waterproof ink.
2. Crumple the paper. The colours will soak into the crinkled parts for those nice long veins in the paper.
3. Cover with coffee, tea, some combo of both for your base colour. Add ink or watercolour to this mix if you want it to have a certain colour to it. In this one I added a bit of scarlet ink to coffee because it's going to match reddish leather. Cover the entire paper.
4. Add coffee grinds in certain areas, they'll stain it darker. Add salt on top of that, it'll soak up the colour and leave lightened areas. You can also use tea leaves, watercolour, ink spots, etc. You can press paper with non-waterproof ink onto it to tranfer some of the colour. It's going to take a while to dry, so leave it alone!
5. When it's dry remove all the grinds/salt etc. The salt will very likely leave little shiny things on the paper, so if you have a stiff brush use it to remove them. I usually put another thin layer of coffee/tea on at this point to get rid of the rest of the salt, and make it a little darker.
6. Repeat steps 4/5 until it looks the way you want. Try adding very strong coffee where the crinkles in the paper are so that they become really pronounced, and dripping dark coffee or ink on it from above for a different pattern to the staining. Using more than one medium to unevenly stain the paper - as in not just a quick coffee bath - makes the paper much more interesting.
7. If you need to smooth the paper out after it's done flip it over and iron it. You can use steam and a fairly high setting, just don't hold it on any one place too long. If you have a big enough board and table you can mist it with just a little bit of water and press it flat. Use lots of books for weight and then have patience until it's totally dry!