Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Antiquing paper... wedding project part 1

So Pinterest is a great helper for planning weddings, even if you don't have one in your immediate future - or you already got married. Fun to look at. I knew from the start that I would be using DIY touches in our wedding, so I was all over Pinterest, creating multiple wedding boards, coming up with ideas. Some I used, some I didn't get around to.

One thing that I did decide to do was antique paper for a project that I'll outline in another post. I ordered/collected all of the stuff to do this back in December, but I didn't actually do the project until 3 weeks before the wedding. Oops!

Anyway, I ordered used Disney Love Songs piano books on Amazon for cheap - I think a penny plus shipping for each - totaling around $8. I was hoping that since they were used that they would be kinda yellowed or beat up looking, but they were both in good shape. (Curse Amazon marketplace users for selling such nice products! LOL) So I knew I needed to antique the paper.

I remembered antiquing paper for school projects long ago, but it always involved putting paper in the oven, and I didn't really want to do that. So I checked out other techniques on Pinterest. This is what I pinned, and it's been one of my most frequent re-pins:

I used to watercolor and I totally didn't think about the salting technique, so if I had wanted to watercolor my pages instead of antique them to match our wedding colors I probably could have done that. BUT I had cheap coffee in my cupboard, so I thought - what the heck! Why not.

Here's what the original post doesn't tell you: The coffee. It smells. It smells so much. If you are framing the antiqued paper, like they did in the original post, then it's probably not a problem. But if, like me, you are using it for a project where the paper will be in open air - IT WILL SMELL LIKE COFFEE. STRONGLY. FOREVER. And if you salt the paper, it will smell like salty coffee. We tried putting odor neutralizers with the papers in a plastic tote and they stopped smelling so much, but they still smelled like coffee. Just so you know. I can't overstate this enough. If I did this again, I'd probably use tea, because it would probably be less smelly, or smell better.


Anyone who knows coffee (or tea) knows that the longer it brews, the stronger it gets. These pages were made using the just-brewed coffee, so they are considerably lighter:

Here you can see the "Bella Notte" page was in an early batch, and the "So This is Love" page was made much later after the coffee had been sitting for a while:


1. I started with the pages laid out on my countertop. (Luckily it is laminate and not real granite so it did not stain!) I boiled water on the stove in a small pot and mixed coffee in with it. I used sponge brushes to paint the coffee on to the pages and I had a bowl of salt waiting nearby. 

2. Next, I painted the paper using the sponge brush. It looks funny at first but trust me, the coffee will sink in to the paper. 

3. To make the color darker, I sprinkled coffee grounds onto the wet pages and brushed it in more with the sponge brush. 

4. If you're going to use the "salting" technique, sprinkle salt over your damp pages, especially where water/coffee has puddled. The salt will soak up the excess moisture and make a neat pattern on the page. Allow the pages to air dry for a little bit.

5. I used a hair dryer to speed the process along a bit. JUST BE CAREFUL that you don't a) overheat the hairdryer, b) set the paper on fire, or c) melt anything nearby accidentally. I think this is safer than putting the paper in the oven, but that's just me. (Or maybe it's just safer for me to use the hairdryer than put it in the oven. haha)

6. When the paper is dry, if you used salt on the paper you will need to rub it all off! (This makes your hands feel very smooth afterwards, lol. A good exfoliator!) You can see in this final picture the pile of salt that I had after rubbing the salt off of the pages. (I think that was 14 pages worth of salt though... )

And you can see the final product of the antiqued pages!

There you have it... the antique sheet music. Later today or tomorrow I'll show what I actually made with it. : )

Hope you're all having a good day! I'm busy trying to get the house back together for various reasons... one of which I will also be posting about in the near future. OH THE SUSPENSE!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep it cool : )

1 comment:

  1. Way to leave us hanging..... ;)

    Can't wait to see what you made with your antiqued music AND why you're getting your house in order!