If you have wondered how to create a beautifully aged coffee stained paper, you have come to the right place! Here's the only coffee staining tutorial you will ever need to get a vintage look to any paper! In this coffee staining paper tutorial, we will show you how to make regular paper look old and vintage by staining it with coffee grounds. This tutorial will make your paper look like it's been around for years and years. There are many uses for coffee paper, it and it's so satisfying to make too. We've spent many enjoyable hours making our own stained papers. The results are always amazing.
1. Start out with 3 cups of hot water and add in 1 cup of ground coffee. This will give your water a nice dark coffee color.
2. Stir the coffee mixture really well and let it sit for 5 minutes to get the water fully saturated with the coffee grounds.
3. Strain the coffee mixture with a mesh strainer and discard the coffee grounds. There may be some left, that is fine! It adds darker spots to your paper.
4. Pour the strained coffee into a shallow pan, dish, or bowl and add in your paper to soak up the coffee.
5. Let the coffee stained paper dry on a piece of paper towel, or hang it to dry with clothespins.
TIP: Double dipping and letting the paper sit for a few minutes will give an even darker aged look. You can also make the coffee with your coffee maker but doing it with a strainer will keep more of the coffee bits in the liquid which will give better staining designs on your coffee-stained papers.
Read on to learn about how different papers soak up the coffee differently and for more detailed instructions.
It's fun to see how papers soak up coffee in different ways. Keep in mind that aging paper with coffee is not archival because coffee is acidic. Make a whole bunch at once and use them to make your own vintage style book or junk journals. Another way you can use coffee stained paper is to make it on very thin printer paper and then use it for decoupage crafts.
For this coffee stained paper tutorial, we tried out four different kinds of paper and got different results depending on the tooth and absorbency. The results were surprising!
We experimented with a variety of different papers and they all turned out very differently. Here are our results.
Printer paper soaked up the coffee evenly. When we let it the printer paper dry and dipped in coffee again, there was more of an aged look. This paper would be great for little notes or gift wrapping. This paper gets pretty delicate when it's wet so be very careful to avoid rips.
Our favorite was staining watercolor paper with coffee. If you would like to see the exact paper we used, here's the link on Amazon. We used Strathmore watercolor paper. Oh my gosh, the way this paper soaked up the coffee and little coffee bits was amazing! This type of paper would be great for junk journal inserts (see our junk journal blog post) and for painting on. We also cut strips and used the coffee stained paper to embellish some small boxes that we were gift wrapping. And this paper would make fabulous greeting cards. Such a nice touch!
Another favorite from Strathmore was the mixed media paper. After playing with a few different kinds of mixed media papers, we found that this paper soaked up the coffee extremely well. It would be perfect for writing thank you notes. This kind of coffee stained paper is perfect paper for card-making, tags and for painting or drawing on!
The regular lined paper was the same as the plain office paper and would be great for adding to your junk journals and for writing notes or poems on. Again, it is extremely delicate when it's wet.
We have hundreds of printable papers that would be perfect to print out and then coffee stain for your junk journal and other craft projects. If you have a YouTube channel and need access to our collections, you might even get to use them for free! See our influencer program here.
Now that you know about how different papers react to coffee, let's get staining!!
This is the fun part. Use whatever dish or containers that fit your sizes of paper. A cookie tray or plastic container will work for your larger sheets. Fill your container or dish of choice with your coffee.
Start dipping and emerging your papers into the coffee. Have fun and experiment. Try to crumple the paper or fold it before dipping and after to see what kinds of designs appear.
Double dipping and letting the paper sit for a few minutes will give an even darker and a more aged look. Hang your papers to dry or use your blow dryer or a heat gun. We use this heat gun on Amazon.
Keep in mind that the regular printer paper and lined paper will rip easily. Also if you are going to hand stamp or paint on your paper be sure to do that after it's dry. Don't paint on the paper and then dip into the coffee because your image will smear. On the other hand, if you are going to print a design on your paper with a printer, best to do that before as long as you are using designs from a laser printer. Inkjet will run.
Watch the tutorial below to see how we stained our papers with coffee to give them an old, antique look. We just loved how the paper turned out. Keep watch because we are working on more paper staining tutorials.
Now that you have the basics down, try staining other things too! Maps, book pages, canvas, fabrics, and doilies can be stained by this process.
We have a ton of tutorials and ideas on our blog, check out this paper napkin ideas for decoupage crafts!
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