Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Primitive Pirate Invitation

Well it's birthday season at our house, with parties almost every weekend and both of my own kids' birthdays coming up. I love going all out (as much as I can on a budget) with a theme and making the party special for everyone involved. Let's face it - when they're young, the parties are for the adults as much as the kids! This year my daughter's party is Strawberry Shortcake and my son's party is inspired by the new Disney cartoon, "Jake and the Neverland Pirates". So today's tutorial is my son's birthday invitation, but also a look at how to age paper.

Let's start with the recipe for this project:
one invitation printed on letter sized cream cardstock
instant coffee
vanilla extract & ground cinnamon
shallow baking dish & tongs, paper towels
large cookie sheet
parchment paper
lighter (per your preference)
Here is the invitation before I've done anything to it:
Now the fun begins!
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Prepare instant coffee as directed on container, but just a little more volume. This container called for 6 oz. water, so I made it with 8 oz. and instead of 1 heaping teaspoon of granules, I added 1 1/2 tsp.

  • Add cinnamon & vanilla to coffee mixture. Don't have direct measurements for this folks, but you want to be able to smell the cinnamon over the smell of the coffee.

  • Pour the coffee mixture into casserole dish and let cool just enough so you won't burn your fingers if they were to come in contact with the liquid.
  • While it is cooling, take your invitation and crumple it up, careful not to tear the paper. It's o.k. if it tears a little bit, but too much and it will fall apart once it gets wet. The creases and lines will show up great when they absorb the coffee. Now uncrumple your paper and lay it out flat.

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place it right next to your casserole dish so that you can easily slide your paper out of the coffee and directly onto the waiting cookie sheet.

  • Place it in the coffee mixture and use your tongs to push it down. Make sure all parts of the paper are covered with the liquid. Soak both sides of paper in coffee, and let sit just a little to really absorb the color of the coffee.

  • Now slide the paper onto the parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the200-250 degree oven for 9 minutes.
I was really nervous about putting paper in the oven. It goes against everything we've been taught right? But, we need the heat to 'set' the color and 'flavor' of everything we've put on the paper.

O.k. - once you've removed the cookie sheet from the oven, let the paper dry completely. You may be tempted to play with it, but don't give in! The paper won't be totally dry yet, and you could end up tearing it. (am I speaking from personal experience? Why yes I am!)

NOTE: once it dries the paper will be crispy and not easily manipulated. This will make it difficult to fold if you're planning on mailing it!*If you want to use the lighter and burn the edges of the paper, stand over your sink and do it at this point!

For a final touch - gently roll the paper and tie it with black silk ribbon. It will be big and bulky, but these aren't going in the mail so that's o.k. This invitation looks (and smells) great!
This also works great with Halloween projects, Thanksgiving projects (pilgrims) or any history project.I used the same technique on the flashcards for a tablescape & this banner:

Thanks for looking and good luck with your own projects!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I am one of your Creative Scrapbooking Diva friends. I came to see your blog and I am already a follower :) and have visited you many times before. You have awesome projects here. That pirate map is very clever :) thanks for sharing.
    ScrappinAnn at gmail dot com
    www.annlenth.blogspot.com.... visit me and help me reach 150 followers... thanks :)