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How to Age Paper with Coffee & Make Spooky Halloween Cards

We really wanted to take our DIY Halloween cards to the next level this year. But what's the best way to crank up the spook factor? Make the paper itself spooky!

So we set out to age paper with coffee, and add an air of mystery to each card. Is it a page from a witch's potion recipe? A ancient piece of vampire's stationery? Your recipient will never know. ;)

This stamped antique paper technique not only makes for one-of-a-kind Halloween greeting cards, but also party invites, scrapbook pages, and little messages for trick-or-treat candy bags.

Here's how to make your own spooky parchment.



Step 1: Paint. Brush on strongly brewed coffee onto each side of your paper until you achieve the shade you desire. We used a water/coffee ratio of about 1:1, but you can always go stronger for darker results.

Step 2: Bake. Once you have the paper looking how you want it, place it on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven at 200 °F for about 5 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it -- once the edges start curling up, the paper should be dry and ready.

Step 3: Stamp. Use pigment ink to stamp your design onto the aged paper. Pigment ink combined with crumpled paper creates a distressed look that adds to the antique vibe.

Step 4: Cut. Trim the paper to the size of notecard you want. Want a folded card? Make sure to leave empty space to the left of your impression to fold it in half. Don't be afraid to cut unevenly -- it adds character!

Step 5: Ink Edges. Rub a brown or black pigment ink along the edges to create a burned appearance. If you're craving a more authentic look, you can always burn the edges.

Step 6: Roll & Tie. Want to deliver your Halloween message in person like they would in ancient times? Roll up the card and tie it with a piece of twine to form a scroll parchment.


  • Card stock paper is a little thicker than computer paper and tends to be more durable throughout the staining process. It also takes on the coffee's color a bit easier.
  • Find that your paper is still too soppy? Use a hair dryer or heat gun to dry each side between staining layers. You can also try brewing a stronger batch of coffee; you won't need to brush on as much liquid if the coffee is darker.
  • Using wax paper underneath the paper helps protect your work space and leaves cool aging patterns!
  • Set down your coffee cup on the paper while staining to make rings. The more distressed and damaged the paper looks, the more interesting it is! offers a wide variety of stock and custom Halloween and holiday stamps to choose from, so you're sure to find a design that fits your specific project!

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