Musical Crafting

The other day, I called my bestie with a craft idea. I’d heard of people doing something like this project, but not recently, so I want to give myself a little credit for thinking of it. I wanted to take our favorite Christmas songs from my old hymnal, and  make them look old. Then I wanted to mat/frame them and add them to our Christmas decorations! Lauren and I both have pianos in our homes, and I thought it was a good way to decorate the piano area for the season.

So she came over, we brewed some tea, cut some songs out of the hymnal, and got to work. Here’s our process:

1. Brew the tea. Drink some. Mmm. Doesn’t matter the kind of tea. I just used a cheap black tea we had in the cupboard, and brewed it fairly strong. After some googling, we found out some people use coffee or orange juice for this project also. I like the color that the tea turned out, though.

2. Cut out the songs. We cut out a lot… some Christmas, and some not. We figured once we put the songs into frames, we could put the non-Christmas ones in for the rest of the year, so as to get our money’s worth out of the frames!

3. Put a song or two at a time on a cookie sheet (we used one with sides, to keep the tea in), and pour a little bit of tea at a time onto the corner of the sheet, not actually onto the paper. You want it to go underneath the paper and soak it up that way.

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4. Pour off the excess tea, and bake it for 5-7 minutes on 200 degrees. When the edges of the paper start to curl up, take them out. Sometimes mine were still damp in the middle, but I set them on a rack and let them dry.

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5. Admire your handy work! If you’re like me, and you always have tea and sheet music, this is a pretty much free project! Obviously, you will have to get frames if you don’t have any spares, but they can be inexpensively purchased at Michael’s or A. C. Moore.

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Side note: I found frames at Wal-Mart that I used, but I’m not 100% that I like them yet, so I didn’t post a picture… I’ll add it when I decide for sure!

Have you aged paper like this before? How did you do it?

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