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How to Age or Stress White Card Stock for Scrapbooking

If you take your scrapbooking seriously, you'll want yours to look as authentic as possible -- especially if you're going for an antique look. Use one of these techniques to stain your card stock without having to wait for natural aging.


  • Step 1: Apply a tea stain Use regular tea to create that old look. Get a tea bag wet and drag it over the white card stock. You can also brew a bit of tea and use a paintbrush to spread it over the card stock. Use a weight so the paper won't warp while drying.
  • Step 2: Use coffee grounds Apply wet coffee grounds to the paper as you would in the tea staining method. Brush wet coffee grounds over the paper. Remove the grounds, and dry the paper with a weight on top to avoid warping.
  • Step 3: Stain with vinegar or lemon juice Spatter the paper with either Balsamic vinegar or paint it with lemon juice. If you choose the lemon juice method, heat the paper to create the desired effect.
  • TIP: Using tea, coffee, vinegar, and lemon juice to age and stress your card stock does not create acid-free paper. Acid-free paper has a neutral or basic pH which preserves the paper longer.
  • Step 4: Use ink and a sponge Smear a small sponge in a brown ink pad and make circular motions over the paper starting at the center and moving outwards.
  • TIP: Walnut ink is an excellent choice for using the ink method. It is a dark ink usually sold in a crystallized form.
  • Step 5: Tear, burn, and crumple Tear or burn the edges of the paper. Crumple it. Sand it. All of these extra steps will help to create an authentic looking effect. Once you've completely finished stressing your card stock, pop it in your scrapbook, and start collecting memories.
  • FACT: The oldest known Egyptian papyrus roll dates back to the 1st Dynasty around 2900 BCE. It was discovered in Saggara in Hemaka's tomb; the scroll however, was blank.

You Will Need

  • Tea bags
  • White card stock
  • Paintbrush
  • Weight
  • Coffee grounds
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Ink
  • Sponge
  • Fire
  • Sand paper
  • Walnut ink (optional)

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