Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Secret to Making Antique Paper

I LOVE antique books and collect antique school books. Nothing can match the mellow, rich colors of vintage papers and books, but I sure can try to recreate it in miniature. Below is a House of Miniatures desk kit that I just stained and finished (although the hardware is still giving me fits). But while I had the wood stain out, I decided to do a little experimenting...
I had printed out several book covers from one of those printables sites but they just didn't look realistic enough for me so I grabbed a few of them and started painting them all with the same wood stain I was using on the desk! I even used the same Ceramcoat Satin Varnish. Here they are:
Much better! When making books for bookshelves, I usually fold and glue the paper covers around a piece of white foam (like kids use for crafts). Fast and easy! This time I decided I wanted pages, real paper pages. I folded the newly stained covers as usual and put a nice smear of tacky glue in the binding part and started tucking pages in. I thought it looks much more realistic for a setting like on this desk:
Of course, white paper in an antique book? That just wouldn't do! I also think that good old copy paper can look a tad thick. I made a ton of antiqued paper for the books and also stuffed the drawers! Can you see the subtle shading of tans in the papers below and how "to scale" the thickness of the paper is? They look even better and more antiqued in real life. The Secret of Making Antique Paper is below....
Parchment Paper!
Yup, the cheap stuff you buy in the grocery store for baking.
(**You CANNOT use wax paper for this!!**)
1. I used my paper cutter to cut long strips.
2. I then cut those strips into paper size widths.
3. The antiquing magic happens when you take all those pieces, put them in a pie tin
and bake them until you have the right color!
Parchment paper turns the most wonderful shades of antique tans when cooked. I have baked whole sheets at a time thinking it would be a shortcut before, but it mostly browns on the edges. Cutting them first is the key.
Just be ready to explain to your family why there aren't any cookies being served afterwards :)

Happy Baking!!


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