Sunday, 29 April 2012

Coffee-Dyed Paper Tutorial

...or, the best-smelling craft project ever! (except for anything that involves real lavender)

Way back at the almost-very-beginning of my blog, I learned how to dye cardstock with instant coffee.  I love the aged, spotted look it gives to the papers, and I've used it in countless projects since then.

I just made some more to use with the centrepieces, so I thought I'd share it here!

- Cheap instant coffee
- white (ish) cardstock
- water

Step 1: Boil water (a kettle or pot full should do...amount doesn't really matter)
Step 2: scoop some instant coffee powder and place in a glass dish big enough to hold your cardstock.  I used 1/2 a cup of coffee powder, and my 9x13 glass pan.  I'm sure you can use less coffee.
Step 3: Pour in boiling water and carefully stir (I only filled my pan to half-full).
Step 4: Place cardstock into the hot coffee one at a time, pushing it down so it can kind of soak.  Don't do more than 4 or so at at a time or the paper gets too fragile by the time you take it out.
Step 5: Lay out the wet, coffee-soaked papers on a towel.
Step 6: Sprinkle some granules of coffee powder over the paper.  This is what creates the spots.  I was really skeptical of this step the first time I did it.  But without this step, you just get tan paper, not the aged vintage look.

Let me know if you try it!  This paper can go through the printer, but I reccomend flattening it for a few days first.  I had a really hard time printing on it this time because it was so freshly made and warped.


  1. Lovely! This is so clever :)

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair

  2. How easy is that!! Have you ever tea-dyed anything? Hot strong tea poured over linen to give it an aged look. Works the same sort of way. Cool tutorial, Joanna. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lovely! The paper looks great :)
    Greetings from Australia♥

  4. Looks great! I can see this wiil come in handy...thanks :) Laurel

  5. Love this idea, Jo! I always wondered what the technique was. Now I know! Thanks for sharing! :)

    xoxo laurie

  6. Can't wait to try this myself sometime...

  7. Thanks so much for sharing this at Knick of Time Tuesday - I'll be featuring you this week and there's an "I Was Featured" button waiting there for you!

    Angie @ Knick of Time

  8. I have been experimenting with the instant coffee method as well and I love it so much more than tea staining. You are right. The instant coffee gives the perfect age spots. I love the tags you made. Very clever.

  9. I came over from Knick of Time and I am glad I found this post. I have been using the instant coffee method, but the sprinkling of the granules is totally a new concept for me. Thanks for sharing this nifty idea. I've been wanting to give some white gift tags a vintage look and I don't regret that this little project has been on ice. Now I am excited to finish it:)

  10. I'm going to have to give it a try. I'm making Vintage Wedding Invitations and this is exactly the look I'm going for!
    Becca @

  11. I hung my paper on a line in back yard and sprayed coffee on the pages while they were hanging. I let them dry in the hot sun and warm breeze .They turned out good.


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