How to Make Your Own Old Newspaper

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Creating your own old newsparer is a fun and educational activity.
Creating your own old newsparer is a fun and educational activity. (Image: old newspapers image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com)

Making a real old newspaper is not possible without waiting a long time for a paper to age naturally, but you can make a good reproduction of one at home. Newspapers follow a set style and layout, so by emulating the look of the newspaper, and then aging the paper, you can create a convincing replica. Making your own old newspaper at home requires access to a computer, a printer, and a few common household items.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Black and white laser printer
  • Word-processing or desktop publishing program
  • Three tea bags
  • Three tablespoons of instant coffee, or real coffee grouts
  • Paint brush
  • Paper glue

Design a newspaper layout on your computer. Include a horizontal header across the top, vertical columns to hold text, and spaces for images if you want them. Save the blank page as a template. Use this blank template to produce as many pages as you want by filling in the columns with stories and articles of your own creation.

Print out the pages in black and white. Do not print in color. Check each page to ascertain that there are no errors. Its easier to correct mistakes now rather than later. Make a cup of tea, using three tea bags, and no milk or sugar. Leave the bags in the cup and allow the tea to cool.

Squeeze one of the tea bags to remove excess water, then wipe it all over the pages, and then allow them to dry. Turn the pages over and wipe the reverse sides in the same way. If a teabag breaks, discard it and use another bag from the cup. Dip dry bags into the cup to "refill" them.

Simulate the lines and wrinkles produced by a long life by crumpling the dried pages into balls, then smoothing them out again. Add folds and a few small rips too. Use teabags from the cup to add a second layer of tea to the pages, allowing excess tea to gather in the creases while the pages dry. This darkens the crease lines.

Mix coffee grouts or powder hot water to produce a dark brown liquid. Add a sepia tone to images on your pages by dipping a paintbrush into your coffee liquid, and then carefully painting over the images. Allow the pages to dry thoroughly. Fold or glue the pages together to form a newspaper.

Tips & Warnings

  • For a more authentic looking result, use these ideas to age a real newspaper .
  • Take your time and apply the cold tea carefully. Rushed and careless staining looks obvious.
  • Either use a cigarette lighter, or get a responsible person to use one, to burn the edges of the paper to make it look even more ancient and damaged.
  • Wet coffee grounds sprinkled onto the paper and left to dry will leave spots simulating mold marks.
  • Try using brown shoe polish applied with a tissue instead of tea and teabags.
  • If you use an ink-jet printer, the ink may run when it gets wet.
  • Don't over soak the paper or it will rip and fall apart when you move it.
  • Don't wet both sides of the paper at the same time unless you hang the pages up to dry. Otherwise they will dry stuck to the work surface.

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