The Coffee Method

This method for giving copy paper the appearance of parchment is through instant coffee. The process requires a few other ingredients and tools, too, but you'll likely have them around the house if you're any sort of culinary adventurer.

You will need:


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
  2. Mix about eight times the amount of coffee you would typically use for a cup of coffee with hot water.
  3. Pour a quarter-inch (¼") of coffee into the first container.
    If desired, add the red wine as well.*
  4. Float a sheet of copy paper atop the layer of coffee.
  5. Slowly spoon coffee over the paper until a thin layer coats the top side.
  6. Allow the paper to sit for 1 minute.
  7. Pick up the sheet of paper and allow the excess coffee to drain off.
    If desired, carefully tear the edges of the paper.**
  8. Place the sheet of paper into the second container and place it in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes.

Paper transformed using only coffee.Paper with torn edges transformed using coffee. Paper transformed using coffee and red wine.

Bravo! Your very own sheet of lookalike parchment paper!

* - Red wine will separate from the coffee on the drying paper, creating wavy lines. This addition creates an advanced appearance of age.
** - Tearing the edges will make the paper appear worn and damaged. Great for treasure maps--not so great for love letters.