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Aging Paper

© Curious Goods


SuppliesPaper to be aged / molded, preferably a cotton rag, linen, or other natural fiber paper
Note:Copier paper and inkjet bonds tend to not hold up as well to the washing process. The author suggests testing a strip of the paper before attempting to age your life’s work.
Walnut ink crystals (the author prefers 7gypsies brand)
Spray bottle filled with water (a cheap from the travel section of your favorite pharmacy will do)
A few blank sheets of the paper to be aged (cut into strips)
Empty (and clean) jam or jelly jar
A container that can accommodate (flat) the sheet to be aged
If replicating an already aged piece of paper, a photograph of that piece nearby just for reference
Plenty of paper towels
A flat plastic board or pan the size of the paper to be aged. I use a flexible plastic placemat (not pictured)


Testing your paperFill the jelly jar with some warm water and add a bunch of the crystals to it. Most inks have a recommended water-to-ink ratio, but the author prefers to guess. Shake until it’s well-mixed and then empty into the dip pan. Test a strip of paper in it to see if it is dark enough. If it’s not, just dump a few more crystals in and swish around until mixed. Save your aging fluid in the jar, so you can age many more sheets of paper without going through this step each time.

Submerging the paper.

After getting the appropriate color of dye, submerge the paper in it. Swish the liquid around. Sometimes the author agitates it with her hand, which seems to work especially well on cotton rag paper.

Removing the paperOnce it’s soaked for a bit (about a minute or two) remove the sheet onto some paper towels.

There are two things you can do once removing the sheet: let it dry a bit so that the ink is darker in some places or blot it immediately so it is more consistently dyed.


The author wanted this sheet to be more consistent, so she blotted immediately. Her blotting procedure just consists of laying paper towels on top and soaking up the excess water.


Now for the molding. Spray the sheet with clean water and dump some of the walnut crystals onto an extra sheet of paper.

Distributing Walnut Crystals.

Shake the paper over the sheet to be aged to distribute the walnut crystals in a semi-random pattern.


Spray the sheet with clean water again. The crystals will begin to “melt” and stain the paper around them.

Blotting the Ink Crystals.

Blot the ink crystals and “walk” around the paper blotting as you go. This puts lighter stains on the paper in different places. The key is to blot — not rub. Rubbing causes streaks which make your paper look like someone threw walnut ink crystals on it.


After you have achieved the look you want, transfer the sheet to a plastic mat and rinse the ink crystals off under hot water. If at this point you want more stain, the process can be repeated.


Final Product

Aging Paper


Curious Goods’ tutorial was taken with permission from

Please note that the patterns and tutorials you find here have been designed by Harry Potter fans all over the Internet. The authors alone hold the copyrights and licences to these patterns and tutorials, which means you CANNOT use their patterns to make something that you will sell to others afterwards. You can use them to make things for yourself. You can make some for your friends and ask them to pay for supplies. You CANNOT, however, ask them to pay you to do it as though you had created this pattern by yourself, or try to sell you crafts to a local store.

Think about it. Would you take a Prisoner of Azkaban book, photocopy it, put your name in big red letters on the front cover and try to sell it in your local library? The answer is, obviously, no. Well, selling crafts you have made but not designed would be just as bad!

Also note that the tutorials, recipes and patterns found here have not been tested and that The Leaky Cauldron’s Harry Potter Crafts section is not responsible for any mistakes they may contain. If you do find something wrong in one of them, however, please e-mail us to let us know.

On that note, Harry crafting to all!