Friday, February 26, 2010

Aging Paper

The Eldest has a project at school coming up where he will portray Paul Revere.  He has to give a speech and dress like him (haven't dreamed up a costume yet) and do something creative.  We put our heads together and came up with several ideas.  The one he wanted to do involves him doing a one act play basically.  It's going to take place on an evening during his "great ride" where he has reached an Inn.   While at the Inn he's going to take the time to write his wife Rachel a letter.  He'll be pretend to be writing the letter while speaking aloud.  The letter will also be his creative part of the project.

So, The Eldest and I started to age some paper for his letter.  This was a pretty fun project and here's what we did.

To Age Paper:

1.  For this project we are using legal size copy paper so that he can roll it up.

2.  We mixed a solution of water, tea and lemon juice.   I boiled a small pot of water and threw in a family size tea bag.  Then added in the lemon juice.

3.  In a jelly roll pan we placed the paper and poured the above solution on top of it and let it sit for a while.  Warning:  If you let it sit too long and then don't handle it with extreme care, the paper will tear.

4.  After sitting for a while in the solution, move the paper to another cookie sheet and put it into an oven that has preheated to 200 degrees F.  This serves two purposes.  It dries the paper and ages it a bit more.   If you leave it in too long, it will brown too much along the edges.  I'm not going to give you a time here, oven temps vary too much and you will be far better off by checking the paper frequently until it is aged like you want it.

5.  We did one more thing to age the paper.  Once it was completely dry, we took some cinnamon and rubbed it into a few spots.  You can still see some of it clinging to the paper in the final pic: 

Next we will run it through our printer (carefully) and use an old calligraphy font.  Once the ink is thoroughly dry we're going to crumple it up several times to finish the aging process.

The Eldest loved it.  It's not often that he gets to do something so fun for school projects!

Anybody else out there have any more techniques for aging paper?