How to Age Paper for School Projects

    by eHow Contributor

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    Treasure maps and medieval parchments can add a sparkle to an otherwise boring school assignment. Aging paper using a few basic household items is a creative way to get your students excited about learning. Aged paper works well in numerous projects, but it definitely turns heads in history class. So turn on the oven, grab some copy paper, and get started making faux parchment.

    Things You'll Need

    • Paper
    • Cookie sheet
    • Vinegar
    • Coffee grinds
    • Paper towel
    • Oven preheated to 200 degrees

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    Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

    Place 1 or 2 sheets of copy paper on an ungreased cookie sheet and soak them with vinegar. If you don't want the smell, cold tea also works, but the final effect will be a little different.

    Sprinkle used coffee or tea grounds onto the wet paper. At this point, you can smudge the coffee in for darker stains or scatter and remove them quickly for a subtler effect.

    Remove excess coffee and vinegar from paper carefully. Gentle dabbing with a paper towel will remove excess liquid and will prevent tearing the paper.

    Place the cookie sheet into the preheated oven.

    Check the paper frequently to be sure that it isn't sticking to the cookie sheet.

    When paper is dry, remove from oven and let cool. The paper is much easier to remove when cooled.

    Repeat the process for darker results.

    • Print text on paper before completing the aging process. If you use water-based pens, markers or printer ink, the writing will bleed and blur, so wait until the paper is dry to use those. The results will not look quite as realistic, however.
    • Burning the edges of the dry parchment gives a touch of authenticity to a faux historical document or map, but it should only be done by an adult.
    • Do not leave the paper unattended while it is in the oven, as it is highly flammable.