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How to Age Paper

I learned how to age paper when I was making Harry Potter crafts (more on that later!) years ago.  Aging paper using tea is such a simple and fun DIY.

how to age paper

Step 1: Boil Water

First, you will need boiling water.  I just put a small pot on the stove, but if you have a tea kettle or a Keurig, even better!

Step 2: Add Tea Bags

Deciding how many tea bags you need will depend on how brown you want your paper! If you just want slight aging, one tea bag will do the trick!  Typically, I use two tea bags for a classic, aged paper look. Place the tea bags in a mug and pour the hot water over top. 

how to age paper

Allow the tea to cool for 10 minutes.  You don’t want to put piping hot water onto your sheet of paper!

Step 3: Dab Tea Bags onto Paper

Place your paper onto a cookie sheet. Then dab the paper fully with a tea bag.  If the tea bag starts to dry, dip it back into the tea.  Cover both sides of the paper.  Make sure you dab the paper and not rub it! You don’t want to smear the ink.

how to age paper

Optional: If you want your paper to have a darker color, you can sprinkle ground or instant coffee onto the wet paper.

Step 4: Allow to Dry

Once you are happy with the level of darkness, dab off excess liquid using a paper towel.  Place your paper on a flat surface lined with paper towels.  Allow to air dry until completely dry, for about 24 hours.  Smaller pieces of paper will dry quicker!

how to age paper

Optional: You can either rip or burn the edges of the paper to create a worn look.

Interested in how aged paper looks?  Check out our DIY Decorative Faux Books here!

how to age paper

How to Age Paper

Build Time 30 minutes


  • Cookie Sheet


  • Boiling Water
  • Paper Towels
  • Tea Bags
  • Paper


  • Boil Water
  • Add Tea Bags
  • Dab Tea Bags onto Paper
  • Allow to Dry
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