19 August 2011

It's Distressing - paper, that is...a mini tutorial

OK, so I was thinking I should pour the leftover morning coffee on my blueberry bushes (good source of acidity, ya know).  But, on the way to the kitchen garden, I passed a pile of papers on the counter I had gathered to take to the studio to create some "thank you" enclosures for Etsy sales.  Hmmm.   I had a few minutes  I was already late getting out of the house, but sometimes you just have to stop and play a bit.

So, I poured the leftover coffee into a large Corning roasting pan and added the grounds that were still in the coffeemaker.  Lined up a couple of cooling racks on the counter with newspaper underneath, tore the paper into half size sheets, and put them in to soak for a few minutes. (The paper was a lightweight white cardstock.)  I tried a few different things to get some variation in the look.  (Let me apologize ahead of time for the photos - it was a gray morning and the light was poor - but I had to "seize the moment".)

In the one above, I rubbed some of the grounds into the paper against the rungs of the cooling rack, creating a ripple effect with some darker spots.

Paper before and after - on this, I allowed some of the grounds to stay on the paper and put it, still wet, into the microwave for 30-40 seconds, then brushed off the grounds.

This one had just a  little pool of coffee on it which created a splotched effect.  Looks a bit like parchment paper.  Nice.

A page ripped from a home decor trade journal I had been looking through.  Will definitely use this for journaling or scrapbooking or some such thing - love the "vintage-y" look of it.  (again, the pics don't do justice...sorry!)

Very cool - the paper towel tube, which I unrolled and put in the mixture.  LOVE the color and the text.  What I also found was that the papers (actually, all of them) seemed to get a bit of texture and substance (stiffness?) from the coffee soak.  I liked the "feel" of them.

Here's a sample of one of them, in use:  This little chair was a Goodwill purchase - love it!  I spray painted it ivory and slightly distressed it, then glued down a nest embellished with strands of straw and three hand-painted robins blue eggs.  For the little stamped" nest" label, I used the paper (above) that had the "pool" of coffee, the parchment-like one:
cute, yes?
Most of the research I've done in the past has used tea for staining/distressing/coloring papers - but I liked the results with the coffee, too.  Definitely worthy of more exploration.  I love that antiqued look and the way that every paper takes on it's own personality.

Wonder if any of you have tried coffee and may have some insight or tips to share??  Or perhaps you have another way to "antique" papers and cardboard/stock?  Love to know...

1 comment:

  1. I love this- great idea that turns out similar to the type you have to buy special things for. I'm going to try this with tags- thanks for the inspiration!
    An Oregon Cottage


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