Making Your Own Antiqued Papers


Ingredients I used - plastic tubs and plastic bags

Vintage Books and good cotton papers

hydrogen peroxide, steel wool, vinegar, tea bags

rusty items, gloves

spray bottles with water, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide + water

Space outdoors/indoors to let stuff age


All of this is just a fun science experiment that you can play with when you think it's finished. I'm enclosing some examples from this and I hope you'll try it out.

In an earlier blog post, I showed how I rusted items. I had already washed and dried steel wool, so I had that ready to use. In those blog posts, I showed how to wash the steel wool to use while rusting and how to use the vinegar to activate rusting.

I started by pulling a bunch of old books a friend had given me. Some I kept intact and some I pulled sections apart. First I sprayed the books with water, vinegar, or the hydrogen peroxide mix. I fanned the books and let the spray collect throughout the books. I stuck each book into a plastic grocery bag and wrote on the outside what I'd used. I kept them in a cool damp place and check on them every few days. I added more spray and wrapped back up. I did this for a few weeks. Sometimes, I'd take them out and let them start to dry out. If the weather was good and dry, I'd stick outside for a few days and occasionally spray them. Bottom line, it was all an experiment.

I then began to experiment with other materials. I stuck some pages in buckets with tea bags and water. Some books I put in a tub with vinegar and rusty items. I got lots of great colors and effects on those pages....use gloves if you are dealing with the steel wool and vinegar. Most of the images below are from playing outside with the books.


I did start to get some real mildew and mold on certain books. They are still in the bags. I check on them occasionally. They are really smelly. I moved the bags to my garage. Keep an eye on your experiments because I did get huge sections of pages sticking together.


When I like the effects I'm getting, I put them on a drying rack to dry. I then photograph or scan them so I can edit the pages for digital textures. I can also use the actual pages in a collage. Because of copyright laws, I edit out any words in Photoshop before I use the pages digitally.


I haven't edited any of my current experiments and used photographs with them, but I'll include a couple from earlier experiments. It's fun, relatively cheap, and easy. You just need a bit of space and cheap ingredients. Feel free to ask me about it if you have any questions!


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