The Crumpling Method

This method will lend ordinary copy paper the appearance of medieval parchment by crumpling it up and soaking it in tea. The process requires some other ingredients and tools in addition to tea and paper, but you should be able to find most of them around the house.

You will need:

If you're too impatient to let the paper air-dry, you can let an oven do it for you. If you are impatient, you will also need:


  1. Preheat the oven, if you plan to use it, to 200°F.
  2. Microwave a cupful or heat a teapot of water until it steams (about a minute and a half in the microwave).
  3. Let the tea bag(s) steep in the hot water for 3-5 minutes. More time will give a darker color to the paper when you soak it.
  4. Fill a cup or bowl with the tea. Leave room for when you put in the paper so that the cup or bowl does not overflow.
    If desired, 1 tbsp. of turmeric may be added to the tea.*
  5. Wad up the paper and push it into the tea until it is completely covered.
  6. Allow the paper to soak for a few minutes. Longer amounts of time will make the paper darker, but do not leave it in for longer than 10 minutes or it may start to deteriorate.
  7. Carefully remove the paper from the tea and allow excess tea to drain off.
  8. Allow it to air-dry or, if using the oven, unfold the paper and place it flatly onto the baking pan.
  9. Bake the paper at 200°F for 8 minutes.
Paper transformed using crumpling and tea.Paper transformed using crumpling, tea and turmeric.

Bravo! Your very own sheet of lookalike parchment paper!

* - Turmeric will stain the paper yellow, giving it a weathered look.