Transforming Paper

Parchment's earthy, worldly appearance evokes nostalgia and appreciation in those who consider it a beautiful and historic material. Yet it offends some modern sensibilities, especially the sensitivities of those who object to slaughtering animals, as parchment and vellum were and are made from animal skins.

It can also be considerably expensive; an 8-inch by 10-inch sheet of pre-cut sheepskin parchment can cost $15. That's smaller than a sheet of computer paper, folks.

For those looking for a cheaper, animal-friendly alternative, the artistically-minded can transform a sheet of ordinary computer paper into a writing surface that resembles the real thing. Each method requires a few tools and pantry staples you might already own.

Check out all of the different methods and, once you have some parchment of your own making, view the Old-Looking Text and Sealing the Document sections to create a handmade gift for someone of your choosing.