Making Documents Look Old


Selling an antique phone? Need an old looking document or diagram? Want to fool the buyer? Read on...

To start with you will need a tea bag, ordinary black tea not flavored!

Make a copy of what you want to use, print it on a laser printer. Boil the tea bag in about 1/3 cup of water, easy to do in the microwave oven using a small dish.

Set the document to fake on several sheets of newspaper, you can start once the tea has cooled a bit. CAREFULLY rub the document with small piece of sponge dipped in the tea. Male sure you get lots of tea on the document. Try to get an even coat of the tea and let it soak into the paper. Do not rub too hard, you will damage the document.

The document will get weak, from the water, so use care. Turn the document over and rub the other side, try to get even coats of tea. If you do this right the first time it will work just fine, if not, you may need to dry it and repeat the process. Dry the now evenly tea stained document completely. Do this by pressing between sheets of newspaper.

Once it starts to dry set it on a plastic tray and keep turning it. It will dry unevenly (exactly what you want). You can also put it in a microwave and give it 20 seconds. Turn the document and give it a few more seconds. Letting it "age" in bright sunlight on a warm day for several days will improve the look and get rid of the tea odor.

Now you have an official looking old document that you faked. Try this several times and get your technique perfect.

For 10 seconds in the microwave you can count 2 years. Don't go too long or the paper will become brittle.

For added realism you can add a spoon of soluble fiber (no flavor or sugar) to the tea. This is the stuff you add to a liquid if you need fiber in your diet. This will add "thickness" to the paper and make it look like old shellac that was used to attach the drawings to cases on old phones.