I wanted to make some antique/old looking paper for my label holders that I rusted for my refurbished dresser. I decided to stain a bunch of paper so that I could use the extra for projects in the future. For this project, I used regular ol’ white printer paper.
I boiled some water and poured it into this glass bowl with 12 teabags. I only had flavored tea on hand, so I guess you could say that my paper might smell a little bit like a gingerbread cookie. Any type of tea can be used…just note, the darker the tea, the darker the paper.
After about 10 minutes of adding the first 12 tea bags, I decided to add four more. I let the tea sit for 30-40 minutes total.
I crumpled about 10 sheets of paper from the stack that I was antiquing. I was hoping that this would give different textures and character throughout all of the paper.
I placed the paper in a glass dish that I had, that was large enough for the paper to lie flat. I then poured the tea over the paper, placing small stacks of the paper into the dish, and pouring the tea over each stack, until all of the papers were stacked on top of each other.
I opened some of the tea bags and sprinkled the spices throughout the papers, lifting part of the stack a little at a time to get the spices to sit on more than just the top paper.
Some of the edges did end up tearing on a few of the papers, which was ok with me. I felt that it would just add more character and make the paper look even more aged. I split the paper into two stacks and placed it on a cookie sheet.
I had preheated the oven to 200 degrees prior making the tea…into the oven the papers went. I have never done this method where I antique a whole stack of paper at once, so I was excited to try it and see how it turned out.
I initially left the paper in the oven (all of the paper in two stacks) for 30 minutes, which wasn’t a smart idea. It wasn’t drying well and it was getting really hot in the middle of the stacks of paper.
I took the paper out of the oven and split it up into many small stacks.
I took it outside and put the stacks on my sidewalk to start the drying process. In the meantime, I realized that it only took 2 minutes to dry each paper, if they were separated, in the 200 degrees oven. I took each smaller stack of paper and placed it in the oven for 2 minutes on 200 degrees. Leaving the small stack in there for 2 minutes, allowed me to be able to peel apart each stack without tearing the paper.
I then laid one piece of paper, side by side, on a cookie sheet and dried each one for 2 minutes. I have a double oven, which helped speed up the process. It was so easy and went so quickly! Make sure to set a timer for 2 minutes each time. It helps to not loose track of time and forget that the papers are in the oven. I needed the timer!
I can’t even express my excitement with how they turned out! They are absolutely amazing!
Each one has it’s own character and shade of it’s own. The crinkle sound of the dry, tea stained paper is just as satisfying as the look of it all!
I was actually surprised at how fast the process actually went. Once I realized that each paper only took two minutes to dry, it was smooth sailing from there on out.
I placed one of the tea stained papers next to a piece of printer paper that was not tea stained, and it shows the gorgeous “after” even better!
Stacking the paper in the beginning, during the pouring on of the tea process, gives the paper so many different color variations throughout.
I’m glad that I have lots of paper for all of my future projects. It’s going to go a long way!
I would say that the whole total process took me around 3 hours to finish. I was so busy moving the paper in and out of the oven the whole time that it seemed like it only took 30 minutes.
Another Chester approved project! I love how each one turned out! I would love to hear if you have ever tried this process before! It really is so much fun!