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Whether it’s filled with sweet nothings or directions to the nearest zombie-secured manor, everyone needs to write a letter now and then. Transform your standard writing paper into a treasure when you age it yourself! This paper will be great for creating beautiful handwritten notes, like the kind Lizzie Bennet would write to keep in touch with Jane about family drama and zombie preparedness strategies.

First, gather your supplies. For this project you will need:

  • Plain writing paper
  • Tea bags and/or coffee grounds for pigment (used tea and coffee will be fine)
  • Coffee filter or straining cloth
  • Spray Bottle
  • Paint Brush
  • Water
  • Water proof work surface (spread plastic or cling wrap over your table if you aren’t sure)

Instructions

1. Soak pigments in 1 to 2 cups of hot water. Leave your pigments steeping in the water until the liquid has cooled and looks strong and dark (about 1 hour).

 

2. When your pigmented water is ready, prep the paper for staining. Fill the spray bottle with clean water and lightly mist both sides of the sheet. By misting both sides you’ll prevent curling at the corners of your paper. When you are finished, empty the spray bottle. (Pro Tip: Make sure that you are resting your paper on a clean, waterproof surface, as the damp sheet will pick up pigment from any contaminants.)

 

3. Pour the pigmented water through the filter or straining cloth and into the spray bottle. If you are using teabags, they can go into the spray bottle as long as there are no rips or tears in them.

 

4. Mist the pages with the pigmented water, lightly at first covering the whole page and then concentrating on the edges. Coat evenly for a uniform light tone, or dapple the paper with a light spritz here and there.

 

5. Allow the paper to dry: lay it flat to preserve the droplet/splatter patterns, hang it on a clothesline for more even, all-over color.

 

Once the paper is dry you are ready to write! Make a whole batch of stationery in advance, or make a new sheet anytime you have something important to write. Be sure to age the paper and let it dry completely before getting out that quill – you wouldn’t want to smear your message! Your can age paper that already has pencil drawings or writing, and experiment with printed maps or portraits.


Margaret Dunham's picture

Margaret Dunham

Margaret’s earliest memory is trying to get a plastic Playskool car up to 88 miles per hour. She lives in a beautiful DIY fortress about a stone’s throw from Peter Parker’s old digs in Queens. By day she writes full time for the City of New York and local nonprofit heroes; by night she spends her time crafting, writing, and kung fu fighting. Read all about it on her site The Fearless Gluestick.