How to Stain Paper with Coffee: Vintage Paper Tutorial

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How to Dye Paper with Coffee

I am so excited to walk through the step-by-step tutorial with you to learn how to dye paper with coffee! Making coffee dye paper is a fun project to do if you’re hoping to get that vintage look on your paper. This is a fun project that you can easily do in just a few moments. 

coffee dyed pages corners

How to Coffee Dye Paper

By dying paper with coffee, you get to enjoy that vintage look, rather than using other types of dye as you’re using coffee grounds which are good natural dyes. Using coffee dye paper gives your paper an aged paper look, without any time passing. 

This is a great use if you have any junk journals lying around or old papers that you want to invigorate. If you like vintage things or that antique look, it doesn’t take a lot of rocket science to make your own vintage-looking paper. I am excited to show you a simple way that you can make your own antique-looking paper by following this simple coffee dye tutorial. 

Let’s take a look at the step-by-step instructions in this coffee staining paper tutorial, beginning with the materials. 

Coffee Staining Instructions

Materials Needed: 

Coffee Grounds. You can use any kind of coffee grounds that you have on hand. It doesn’t matter what brand or flavor they are as long as they are coffee grounds they will work. 

Hot Water. The coffee grounds will react much better when combined with hot water, rather than cold or room temperature water.

White Paper. You can use any kind of paper that you have on hand. Just make sure that it is white paper so that you will have the best coffee dyed results. 

Rimmed Cookie Sheet. A rimmed cookie sheet is important, because it will allow your paper to lay flat, but still contain the coffee. You could also use a cake pan if you would like the sides of your pan to be a little higher. 

paper dyed with coffee

How to Dye Paper with Coffee

Step 1: Brew the Coffee

First, you will need to brew your coffee. You can do this in a coffee pot or pour the hot water and coffee grounds directly into your pan. 

I prefer to brew the coffee in a coffee pot, or bring the water to a boil on the stovetop, and pour it into a French press to brew the coffee so that I don’t have to worry about cleaning the coffee grounds off of the paper later on. It’s entirely up to you how to brew the coffee. 

Step 2: Coffee Staining the Paper

After the coffee steeps, you can pour it into your desired type of pan. I like to use a rimmed cookie sheet or a cake pan. 

Take a single sheet of paper at a time and dip it into the coffee. Let the single page rest in the dye bath for a few minutes before removing it. 

After it has had a good amount of time to soak in the coffee, you can carefully remove the wet paper, and gently squeeze off any excess dye as you remove it. 

Tip: If you prefer a darker color, try leaving the paper in the coffee longer, or repeat the dye process twice. 

Step 3: The Drying Process 

Next, take a clean baking sheet, and spread the wet paper out on the flat surface. Let the pan set in a dry place to dry the paper. 

There are a few different drying methods for your coffee stained paper. Let’s take a look at the different methods to see which one is right for you. 

1st Drying Method: Dry in Direct Sunlight

The easiest way to dry your coffee stained paper is in a single layer, then place to baking sheet in direct sunlight and allow it to sit there until it is dry. You might want to turn the page is a paper over partway through the drying process, so that the other side can dry out completely as well. 

2nd Drying Method: Clothes Dryer Line

Another good option to dry your coffee stand paper is to hang them up on your clothesline. If you have a clothesline whether it’s a portable drying rack, or a clothesline outdoors, clipping the pieces of paper to the clothesline in allowing them to dry in the open air is another good option. 

3rd Drying Method: Oven Drying 

Using the oven drain method is another option, but you will want to make sure to keep a very close eye on it because there is a chance that the paper could become flammable as it dries out. 

You will want to make sure the oven is on the lowest setting possible, usually, this is around 180 to 200°F. Place your wet paper on a cookie sheet and then into the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove them from the oven and flip them over. 

Place back into the oven for another 2 to 4 minutes until the other side is dry. Please know it’s a good idea to remove the paper from the oven while they are still slightly damp and allow it to dry the rest of the way at room temperature.  

coffee dyed notebook paper

4th Drying Method: Hair Dryer

The last drain method that I’m going to mention is using a hairdryer. This is my personal favorite method because it allows you to have more control over the drying process. 

To dry your coffee-dyed paper with a hairdryer, place the wet paper on a clean surface, then use the lowest setting on your hairdryer to blow warm air on the wet paper until you begin to notice it drying. 

Flip the paper over and dry the other side until it begins to turn dry. Set it on a cookie sheet and allow it to try the rest of the way in the sunlight at room temperature. 

Type of Paper to Coffee Dye

Just says there are many different ways to dry the coffee dyed paper, there are several different types of paper you can choose to dye with coffee. The type of paper you choose to use will give you different results depending on the specific paper type. 

Some types of paper will soak up the coffee more than others, which results in a darker coloring, or different texture. It’s entirely up to your preference and what kind of paper you have on hand. 

Regular Paper

The most common type of paper to use is going to be regular printer paper. Most of us will have this on hand already, and it’s not very costly to buy. This way you can have plain white paper that will get that vintage look once it has been stained with coffee.  

Watercolor Paper

Using watercolor paper to dye it with coffee is one of the best papers because it tends to absorb the coffee really well and is one of those thick papers that is not going to fall apart as easily. Because it’s so thick it might take a little longer to dry, but you are likely to get the overall best results when using watercolor paper to dye it with coffee. 

Parchment Paper

Parchment paper is another type of paper that you might enjoy trying to die with coffee. This is a unique type of paper but can have some fun results when stained with coffee.

coffee dyed parchment paper

Lined Note Book Paper

Another type of paper that you might enjoy dying with coffee is notebook paper. This lined notebook paper will give you still a reference for where to write on it, but is also a fun type of paper to coffee dye. 

Journal Pages

If you have an old journal lying around, then using journal pages to dye with coffee is another fun option. Like regular paper or notebook paper, it will soak up the coffee quite well, but maybe not quite as well as watercolor paper.

Mixed Media Paper

Mixed media paper is another type of thick paper option. It is usually quite sick and textured, typically designed for drawing or other projects like that. It does make a great paper option for dying with coffee as well. 

Coffee Filters

Coffee filters are another fun type of paper you can easily dye with coffee. They are designed to be thicker, so it makes the dying process much easier. With your coffee-dyed filters, you can make a coffee filter wreath or even a paper flower. These beautiful paper flowers can be used in a variety of ways as decorations.  

Paper Towels

Another type of paper you can use to dye with coffee is a piece of paper towel. Paper towel still has that paper look but tends to stiffen up a bit once dyed with coffee. However, it is important to point out that you want to use the cheap kind of paper towels and not the super-absorbent kind for the best coffee dye result. 

coffee dyed paper towel

Coffee Dying Paper Using Another Method

Using a Sponge Brush

Another method, that we wanted to mention before closing is that rather than dipping your paper completely submerged in the coffee, you can also use a sponge to brush the paper. That way the paper doesn’t become completely saturated, but still has the coffee stand appearance. 

Coffee-Stained Papers

Using coffee to dye paper is a lot of fun! There’s no specific right or wrong way to go about making these beautiful shades of vintage papers. Using coffee to stain paper gives it a more aged look, it is a fun way to mix things up for any occasion. 

Thank you so much for stopping by to learn how to dye paper with coffee! I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial for paper crafts, and now you can begin making your own coffee-dyed paper. Have fun and enjoy!

You might also be interested in learning how to make your own pom pom garland. You can easily do this with just a few basic supplies, making it such a fun craft project!

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About the author

Hi! My name is Faith, I am the creator behind My Sweet and Saucy. I have so many different things that I enjoy doing, and this is my space to share them all with you. I really hope you enjoy it! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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