The Vinegar Method

This method will show you how to transform ordinary copy paper into medieval stationery through two types of vinegar: balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar. The balsamic vinegar produces paper with the look and feel of a thin sheet of leather. The red wine vinegar yields a wrinkled, warped sheet of a rose-colored parchment.

The process requires some other ingredients and tools as well, but you should be able to find most of them around the house.

You will need:


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F.
  2. Pour a quarter-inch (¼") layer of whichever vinegar you want to use into the first container.
  3. Float a sheet of copy paper atop the layer of vinegar.
  4. Slowly spoon vinegar over the paper until it thinly coats the top side.
  5. 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.
  6. Carefully remove the paper from the tea and allow excess vinegar to drain off.
  7. Unfold the paper and place it flatly onto the second baking pan.
  8. Bake the paper at 200°F for 8 minutes.
Paper transformed using balsamic vinegar.Paper transformed using red wine vinegar.

Bravo! Your very own sheet of medieval stationery!

If you used balsamic vinegar, you now have a sheet of faux leather that would make a spiffy envelope for a parchment letter. If you used red wine vinegar, you will have a sheet of parchment.

Check out my other videos to see how to make and seal the envelope.