Aging paper

How to Make Paper Look Old - The Most Realistic Methods

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: November 12, 2020
How to Make Paper Look Old - The Most Realistic Methods

Whether you are preparing a treasure hunt or archaeological activity with a treasure map, an advertising brochure or a nice decorative box... When you use aged paper, everything will seem more beautiful and realistic. The techniques for achieving this are quite simple and you can do them in just a few minutes in your own home. In the following article, we explain how to make paper look old. With the following methods, you will achieve a realistic antique look and touch that will make it look like a real piece of aged paper, so you can take full advantage of such a beautiful relic. Pay attention!

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Steps to follow:


In order to make paper look old, you can carry out the solvent technique. Choose one of the following solvents, according to the tone you want to give your aged paper. If you use coffee, you will achieve a darker shade, using tea will achieve a mid-tone and orange juice will achieve the lightest tone. Prepare your solvent by dissolving tea or coffee in water.

How to Make Paper Look Old - The Most Realistic Methods - Step 1

Whilst preparing your solvent, place the sheet of paper you want to age in the oven for a few minutes at the lowest possible temperature. With this step, you'll give your paper a rough texture. It'll look like many years have passed by!


Once you have removed the rough paper from the oven, pour the solvent onto it to give it an aged appearance. Our advice is to pour the solvent onto the baking tray holding the paper and not directly onto the paper itself. This is so you try to achieve a sort of pool below the sheet so that the pigment is absorbed slowly whilst the sheet airs.


Leave the paper to absorb the ink for at least five minutes. After this time, remove any excess solvent from the tray and preheat the oven to 90°C (194°F). Before returning the paper to bake, you can do a few more touches to make it appear older, by breaking off some corners, creating some cracks or pressing a fork onto it to leave some marks. It will look much more real!


When you have finished modifying the paper, put it in the oven - on a medium shelf - and leave it to bake for approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Keep watching the sheet and when you see that the edges begin to wrinkle and bend, it is time to remove the tray from the oven. Leave it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes and there you have your aged paper.

How to Make Paper Look Old - The Most Realistic Methods - Step 5

There are other easy tricks for giving an aged look to a sheet of paper. Among the most common tricks include the use of paint, where you can also use tea or coffee, but in this case, paint the paper using a brush or rag. Give it little touches with the selected pigment and then allow the paper to dry completely. You will notice that yellowish or brown spots appear on it (depending on the solvent you use). In just a few minutes, you will have added an antique touch to a completely white sheet of paper.


Another method is by using a flame. To perform this technique, we recommend you do it carefully and always work over the drainer or the sink, so if you set light to the paper, it will be much faster to extinguish the fire. To perform this trick, use a candle or a lighter to slowly burn the edges of your paper. You will achieve an aged, dark appearance, in a really fun way. Try it carefully. You'll be surprised with the result!

If you want to read similar articles to How to Make Paper Look Old - The Most Realistic Methods, we recommend you visit our Art & handicraft category.


  • If you perform the flame trick, remember to not place the paper directly over the flame, because you will only light it up and you can cause a fire.
  • To burn the paper, you just need to use the heat of the flame, so place the sheet at a safe distance.
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How to Make Paper Look Old - The Most Realistic Methods