Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Coffee Dying Papers

   As I gradually develop an interest for paper art that closely ties into my love of fabric, I researched how to coffee and tea stain papers to give them that old look.  Some folks got very detailed and had the whole kitchen covered with dip pans of coffee, various numbers of cookie sheets and slow heating ovens.  This method looks like it would have taken hours. I tried something different and it takes me very little time, tools and space. I don't have to wait for a special day to do it all.  I do them as needed.  
I create my papers on the computer using various techniques of my own pictures, online clip art and other free picture manipulation using Photoscape.  When I get a set printed for making cards, tags or recently a graduation junk journal, then I coffee stain them. 

Tuesday Tutorial

Every morning I fix a half pot of coffee.  I've never become a K cup person because I don't like waiting for my second cup of coffee.  This is about how much I have left over.  Because the ending amount has been left on the heat the longest, you know it ends up being the strongest and therefore the best color for staining paper. So far I've never needed more than this amount to do my stack of papers.  I wait till it cools, because I don't need to burn my fingers.
I take just a simple paper dinner napkin.
The napkin is folded in half 3 times.
The napkin becomes a brush.

Dribble, dabble, whatever.
 Go slow, and let it set and the color will be stronger.
 Paint fast and the color is lighter
and the paper is less saturated.  You'd be surprised how much color this leaves.  More like just sun stained paper.
You could pick this up and lay it flatter. I just left it alone.
 See the layer of wax paper under the papers.

All of the pictures you see here were free online pictures.
Printing in black and white is a lot cheaper than color.
I just love the texture that coffee dying gives the paper.  
The process almost gives the paper a cloth texture in some cases.
 Another thing I like about this process is that it doesn't have to take up a lot of space. 
 The papers don't have to be super saturated so papers can be piled. 
 If some papers are super wet I might lift and separate,
 but generally they don't stick to each other.
 The drying time is surprisingly fast.  
I'm guessing I'd beat out the folks that use an oven.  
Within less than a half hour they are rather dry.
  In an hour, ALL papers are totally dry.
I still had coffee left over after all these sheets. 
 You might notice, on some sheets I only stained the words I needed. 
 Notice the circle in the top of the picture?
  Try setting your cup in a puddle of coffee then set on the paper to make a coffee stained ring. 
When the papers are dried and you take up the sheets,
FOLD UP THE WAX PAPER AND STORE for the next coffee staining session.


  1. This looks like fun Joy - I'm going to give it a try sometime. I often use tea or coffee to dye fabric but haven't played with paper (yet).

    1. Be careful Mary Anne, paper crafting can be habit forming. After all paper is fiber and that seems to be our hang up. EnJOY


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