How To Make Paper Look Old to Play with Kids

Every moment spent with your kids is precious. When we spend our time with them, we are giving them memories for life. Of course, we always end up playing with them, because that is what time is for in children’s world. Playing can also open their mind for creativity and inspire them for the future to come. One of the interesting things to do with kids is to age paper. It is a great way to show them how to make paper look old and in the same time to get them involved in the work. There are several ways to do this; here are the best ways you can age the paper with your kids.

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How to Make Paper look Old

There are many ways to make the paper old. Here are three suggested ways accomplish the best vintage effect. The paper will look like one from the past century – and the kids are going to love it!

How to Age the Paper with Tea

Aging the paper with tea will give it really light-colored, older look. You can do it with different tea flavors – black tea will give it darker look, while the chamomile tea will give the brighter look to the paper.

  • Soak 4 teabags in 2 cups of boiling water and leave 5 minutes to rest.
  • Pour it in a baking pan and wait 5-10 minutes to cool off.
  • Carefully lay the paper into the pan and wait for 5 to 10 minutes for it to soak completely.
  • Remove the paper carefully. Get the paper out from the pan without spilling or spill the tea from the pan. Then remove the paper to dry (Figure 1). The best is to put it into a preheated oven at 200 – 250 degrees with the fan on – it will dry the paper faster and save you a lot of effort.

Age paper using tea

Figure 1 Aging the Paper with Tea

How to Age the Paper with Coffee

Aging the paper with coffee will make your paper old and darker, giving it darker and older look, compared to the first technique.

  • Make two cups of coffee which you are drinking regularly. Stronger coffee results with the darker paper.
  • Pour the coffee into the pan and let cool off for a couple of minutes, so that paper won’t fall apart.
  • Put the paper in and soak completely (Figure 2).
  • Remove the paper carefully and leave to dry, or spill the coffee and put the paper into a preheated oven (200 - 250 degrees F) with the fan on so it can dry faster.

how to make paper look old

Figure 2 Aging the Paper with Coffee

How to Age the Paper with a Lighter

This aging technique can be used alone or in a combination with the tea/coffee technique. You can do it with a lighter or candle. It will have an amazing effect on the paper and really make it look old.

  • Light a candle or a lighter and carefully hold the paper over it – raise the paper higher so that it doesn’t burn completely.
  • Try to burn the edges first – move the paper and try to do it simultaneously - it will enhance the effect.(Figure 3)
  • Don’t forget to do it above the flame-resistant surface and keep the water close – the glass of water beside you is a good idea.

aged paper

Figure 3 Aging the Paper with Lighter

The Use of the Aged Paper

Making the paper old will bring so much fun itself, but there are also many ideas on what to use it for.

  • Gift-wrapper. Wrap boxes, flowers, books and many other gifts with the aged paper and thereby, make it look really amazing. If you put a string around and tie it in a bow - you'll have a unique gift that you made yourself!
  • Bookmark. After drying the paper, you can cut it and use as bookmarks. If you are creative enough, you can also add some drawings or writings to it - it will enhance the complete effect!
  • Gift card. Fold the aged paper into two or three parts and make a unique gift card. You can also add drawings, stickers or similar to make it look really special!

The List of Required Items

In order to age paper, you must prepare all needed items before. Here is a list of required items, depending on the techniques of aging the paper you choose.

  • Paper. You can use old paper, newspapers, music notes, your old writings or drawings, or just a new paper on which you can later write on.
  • 4 bags of tea - if you want the darker paper to use dark tea and if you want brighter, use chamomile tea
  • 2 cups of boiling water.
  • Baking pan in the size of the paper.
  • Dishrag – if you spill some tea around.
  • Coffee – the amount depends on your kind of coffee and how dark you want the paper to be. Stronger coffee will result with darker and older paper and vice versa.
  • The lighter and a candle and flame-resistant oilcloth or foil.


To save your carpets, covers, and blankets from stains, try to do this in a separate room or cover the space with an oilcloth before. When you end up with the coffee/tea stains, wash it with soap and soak in water with a teaspoon of liquid detergent.

If you plan to burn the paper, don’t forget to watch out the kids, too. If they are old enough to try alone, also be careful – the paper can flare up very fast. So be sure that you are close enough to the glass of water, so you can help if you need to.

Making paper old with your kids will surely be a lot of fun and will provide you quality time together. You’ll end up satisfied and the kids will be more than happy to create something new. And learn how they can actually have a good time with family and without technology.

At last, if you like the post, don't forget to share it!

Abida Ganic Licina

I am a mother of two and I have much knowledge in babies and kids, their health and growing, education and parent behavior.

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