Coffee staining paper

I received a custom order for framed vintage sheet music using ‘Amazing Grace’… after searching through over a dozen hymnals and contacting nearly every sheet music seller on Etsy I decided that I’d have to just do this myself.  (The version I was finding in random hymnals was only a half page song, or the song was split between two pages… and I wanted it a bit bigger, full page.)

My friend Holly pointed me towards a few online websites where you can access free printables!  I searched and searched to find the right style I was looking for (needed to be a full page piece, including words, etc)… and I found just what I was lookig for.  I don’t remember exactly which site I pulled the song off of, but here are a few leads: and  THANKS HOLLY!!!

I downloaded the song by clicking on the PDF link and then opened it in Microsoft Word.  I wanted to reduce the overall size of the piece so that I could fit it into an 8 1/2″ x 11″ frame, with embellishments around it, etc.  Once that was done I printed off a few different sizes/copies and then went to town on testing out how to coffee stain paper … for my first time.  Can you believe it?

The short and quick of it, I set aside some extra coffee from earlier in the morning and let it cool completely.  (Apparently using hot/warm coffee turns the pages more orange?  OK.  Noted.  No pun intended.)  Next, I prepped my 3 samples and pulled out two sheet trays, some paper towels and a cooling rack.   See the slideshow below for detailed step by step examples and to see the 3 different samples.

It’s this easy:  1) place the paper in the coffee, 2) press down to let any air bubbles escape, 3)  allow to soak for 20-30 seconds, 4) carefully flip the paper over and repeat steps 1, 2 and 3.  Carefully picking up paper, allow excess coffee to drip off and then place the soaked paper between two papertowels to wick off even more coffee.  Remove to a sheet tray until the paper is dry. 
**Please note, my samples below show the paper drying on a cooling rack – but I will not do that again as excess coffee “pooled” where the paper was laying on the rack and it left faint lines on the paper. 

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Have fun staining paper of all sorts:  maps, book pages, hand written notes, paper with stamped images on it… the possibilities are endless…

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