Staining paper



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Eric C
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Staining paper

Post by Eric C »

So, I'm working on a collaboration with a cosplayer and I need to draw out a sword that I'll be forging. I have some rather large paper but it is white. How would I go about staining it to make it look older?

Hmm, writing that out just planted the seed for a much deeper lore for the blade.
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Elleth
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Re: Staining paper

Post by Elleth »

I always had good luck with tea for that sort of thing.

... and if you don't want to spring for real parchment / this is just a goof => water color paper is a good heavy stock for this sort of thing. It's got a nice tooth for charcoal and pencils, and wears in pretty well. Perfect for kiddo treasure maps, by the way. :mrgreen:
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Cimrandir
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Re: Staining paper

Post by Cimrandir »

In some of my other crafting/prop-building groups, they swear by staining it with tea. Just brew up some black tea and depending on the size of the paper either submerge it in the tea for a few minutes or apply the tea via a paint-brush. Let dry overnight and voila, you have a nice off-white, old-looking piece of paper.
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Eric C
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Re: Staining paper

Post by Eric C »

I was hoping someone would explain tea staining to me! Thanks for the answers. The paper I'm using is on a big roll that I bought for something else years ago. It is not too light weight. I may try a small test piece when I get home from work today.
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Re: Staining paper

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Jack
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Re: Staining paper

Post by Jack »

Eric C wrote: Fri Jun 17, 2022 1:22 pm So, I'm working on a collaboration with a cosplayer and I need to draw out a sword that I'll be forging.
At first I was so confused as to how stained paper was going to help you because I thought you meant drawing out in the black smithing sense LOL
But yes as everyone else is saying tea should do.
Ive also found that accidentally spilling your watercolor brush rinse cup over the piece you've been working on for hours has a similar effect. :mrgreen:
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Re: Staining paper

Post by ForgeCorvus »

Please don't char the edges or corners..... I just think it looks cheap

Tea stain as a basic first step, because new paper is just too white

If you want a distressed look, sandpaper the outside edges of folds.... Even better yet fold it, sand it and then fold it a different way and sand it less (that way it looks like its been refolded to avoid the thin spots)

You can also use a razor blade to scrape the paper edges and corners, this makes them thinner and 'fuzzier'. You're trying to avoid a clean freshly cut edge.

The random brown flecking that you get on old paper (Foxing ?) can be faked by dropping odd instant coffee granules on damp paper.

Old ink made from oak galls and iron water starts black and turns brown over the first couple of hundred years...... So use a brown ink for instant age.

If you really want to go all in, have a look at 'Silverpoint'. Modern ones are a pleasing range of greys but old ones (such as Leonardo da Vinci's ) are quite striking oranges and reds...... Again, adjust ink for the colour to suggest the age you're after
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Re: Staining paper

Post by Eofor »

I always age my letters with tea. No need to brew a batch, just soak some teabags in hot water and sponge the paper down. Different papers will yield different results and you would want to do this before actually writing as it can smear some inks or pencils.

Depending on where the letter is being written you may want to further embellish it with appropriate liquids. As Eofor mostly corresponds from The Ravens Wing I will often pour a little wine or beer on a plate, sit my tankard in it and then leave that on the side of a letter for a minutes or two. A few drops of wax from an errant candle here, some spilled stew there all add to the realism.

Likewise if the finished letter is something that's meant to have been carried around in a sack for a week..... carry it in a sack for a week, get it a bit grimy and scuffed. Bloodstains? Get a nice steak. No substitute for the real thing.

Here are two examples

https://www.middleearthrangers.org/foru ... =19&t=4463
https://www.middleearthrangers.org/foru ... 5&start=15
But the white fury of the Northmen burned the hotter, and more skilled was their knighthood with long spears and bitter. Fewer were they but they clove through the Southrons like a fire-bolt in a forest.
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Eric C
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Re: Staining paper

Post by Eric C »

I agree about charring the edges unless there is something in the lore about the piece surviving a fire.

For a little more clarity, this will be an ancient drawing for an Elvish blade that is presented to an old injured ranger turned Smith. I guess I should upload the backstory to the bard's stage. It is a screenplay I wrote for class before graduation. It got an A. That made me happy.

But I have a collaboration with a cosplayer and I need to create this drawing, a screenplay, and the sword for the collaboration.
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Re: Staining paper

Post by Rockfarm »

The tea option sounds really good, when I made this book I used coffee. Just plain copy paper, bound and soaked for a few seconds so the edges got most of it. It's almost 2 years old now. Now I'm thinking of using a paint brush and tea!
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Eric C
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Re: Staining paper

Post by Eric C »

That looks really cool! In my first attempt, the paper tore too easily. I haven't moved forward with the project because so much has been going on. But I'm about to need to move on with it.
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Re: Staining paper

Post by Elleth »

The weathering on that leather is just divine.
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