Monday, June 17, 2013

Making New Paper Look Vintage

Hey everybody! How's it going?!! I'm so glad you decided to come visit me today! I have a little tale of trial and error for you today. Here's the deal, when I started planning the Vintage Airplane/Travel Baby Shower I knew that I wanted to use old maps throughout the d├ęcor.  One problem.   Do you guys know how difficult it is to find vintage or even moderately old maps where I live?!! I put multiple pleas out on Facebook, I searched any store I knew of...nothing. So, I decided I was going to have to use new maps whether I liked it or not. I didn't like it. :-/ There was no way it would look right. Next option, make new maps look old. But how? I grabbed an atlas and took to the internet to find out ways to age paper. There are several different ways, so I decided to try a few and see which one got the best results. Are you wondering the same thing?

The first method I tried was the wet coffee grounds method. I put two scoops of instant coffee in a plastic cup, added water and stirred it around until all the grounds were wet. Then, I spooned the coffee grounds onto the map and let it sit for a few minutes. I then had the totally fun (not) task of spooning up and wiping off all of the coffee grounds. This was by far the messiest method I tried.
I'll be honest, I'm pretty sure I did something wrong here. After wiping off all of the coffee grounds, the map came out looking like I had rubbed mud all over it. Not exactly the look I was going for. :-/
I think maybe I left the grounds on for too long and I definitely think that wiping the coffee grounds off was a bad idea,  that's what made it look like I had rubbed mud all over it, but I'm really not sure how else you would get them off. This is a method I may try again, just because I'm curious.

The next method I tried was another one using coffee. This time, I used a little bit of the coffee I had bought for my hubby at Sonic that morning (I was too lazy to actually make coffee... I took his coffee and did I mention, it was Father's Day? Sorry honey!) Anyways, I poured the coffee onto a 9x13 baking sheet, just enough to cover the bottom, and then I laid a map on top of it (it kind of floats). I spooned a little of the coffee onto the top of the map and then let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then I transferred it to a dry baking sheet and put it in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10 or 15 minutes.
Here is a picture of the map before...
This is a shot of the map during the process.
This is how the map looked afterwards.
Here is a side by side comparison of the way the map looked before (it's a different map, but it looks exactly the same) and how it looked after. You can see that the after (the one on top) is quite a bit darker and a bit wrinkled. It just looks older.
By the way, when you go to put it in the oven, make sure that there are not any puddles of coffee left on the map. If there are, you end up with a paper that looks like this... Not pretty.  Unless that's the look you're going for.  :)
The next method I tried is one I didn't see anywhere on the internet, that doesn't mean it's not out there though.  I thought, hmmm, I've got some tan craft paint and also some brown, why not try that.  I grabbed both colors, a cup of water and a small paintbrush. I barely dipped the brush in the tan paint, wiped off the excess and then dipped it in the water.  After that I painted it on the map and then took a paper towel and wiped the map to give it a worn effect.  I also crumpled the paper up some so that it would look even older, but this is not something you have to do.  Just a side note, I preferred the brown paint to the tan.  It was just a bit darker and I liked that.  It just depends on what your preference is. 
Here is a shot of the painted map.
Given the choice between these options, the painting method was definitely the easiest and quickest and since I usually go for whatever is easiest, I'm thinking that I'll probably use it to do my project for the baby shower.  I think that the one done with coffee in the baking sheet is a really good option too.  Hmmm, I might do that one instead.  Which one did you like best? Wondering what I'm going to use my aged maps for?  Stay tuned!  The Vintage Airplane/Travel Baby Shower is coming up soon!!!   
*Update- I went with the coffee in the baking sheet method, I just thought it looked a little bit more "vintage".


  1. I have always wanted to try this. Thanks for testing out the different methods and sharing your findings. Thanks also for linking up to Think Tank Thursday. I have featured you today.

    1. Hi Carrie! I'm so glad you found my post useful! Thank you for featuring me!