Step-by-Step: Giving Paper an Antique Look

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When we made the fact sheets to go on our castle presentation board for our Night at the Museum party, we wanted to give the papers an antique, Middle Ages look. We’ve stained paper with tea before (way back in the dark ages, before I was blogging), but we were feeling a bit lazy this time, so we started with some off-white resume paper I had laying around. Because, you know, I’m probably not going to be putting out my resume any time soon.

**This is a fairly easy activity, but the actual burning of the paper should be done with caution and only by an adult.**

Supplies for giving paper an antique look

  • Off-white paper
  • Lighter
  • Access to running water
  • Plenty of hot air {grin}

How to give paper an antique look

Step 1: Print your information onto the colored paper.


Step 2: Tear the edges to give them a “worn” look. If you scrapbook, you probably know how to do this. If not, you just want to hold the paper in two hands, keeping your fingers close to the tear line, tearing a little at a time and working down the paper in small sections.

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Step 3: This step should be done by an adult. Standing over the sink, use a lighter to burn the edges of the paper. You want to do this slowly, doing very small sections at a time. Just hold the lighter to edge of the paper until the paper starts to burn and quickly blow it out. If you have trouble blowing it out, don’t hesitate to toss it in the sink, run water over it to put out the fire, and start fresh with a new paper. Be safe!

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Note: It is important to tear the edges first, rather then just burning them and trying to get a nice shape. If don’t, you’ll wind up with something like this:

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. Great way to make the pages look old! 🙂

    Y’know, I sure wish that the homeschool group here liked to get together and do stuff like your ‘night at the museum’ party… they really don’t get together for much of anything, though, especially not that sort of thing. It’s so much fun when you can show your projects to others and see theirs, y’know?

  2. I remember doing something similar in high school to make an old Biblical scroll. 😉 I think we soaked our paper in coffee grounds {smelled great!}



  3. I did that once with my kids they thought it was so fun. You are blessed to have a homeschool coop that is a big highlight for my kids in their week.
    -God Bless

  4. My son and I used to make “antique” treasure maps every day (seriously, EVERY DAY). We made the paper look old by crumpling it over and over and soaking it in really strong tea.

    I ought to do that with my daughter. She’d love that.

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