How To Stain Paper With Coffee DIY Tutorial With Video [2022]

Here is how to stain paper with coffee. If you have wondered how to create a beautifully aged coffee stained paper, you have come to the right place! Here's the only coffee staining tutorial you will ever need to get a vintage look to any paper.

In this coffee staining paper tutorial, you will learn how to make regular paper look old and vintage by staining it with coffee grounds. This tutorial will make your paper look like it's been around for years and years. There are many uses for coffee stained paper, and it's so fun to make too.

Step 1: Start out with 3 cups of hot water and add in 1 cup of ground coffee. This will give your water a nice dark coffee color.

Step 2: Stir the coffee mixture really well and let it sit for 5 minutes to get the water fully saturated with the coffee grounds.

Step 3: Strain the coffee mixture with a mesh strainer and discard the coffee grounds. There may be some left, that is fine! It adds darker spots to your paper. 

Step 4: Pour the strained coffee into a shallow pan, dish, or bowl and add in your paper to soak up the coffee.

Step 5: Let the coffee stained paper dry on a piece of paper towel, or hang it to dry with clothespins.

Coffee Staining Tip: Double dipping and letting the paper sit for a few minutes will give an even darker aged look. You can also make the coffee with your coffee maker but doing it with a strainer will keep more of the coffee bits in the liquid which will give better staining designs on your coffee-stained papers.

Read on to learn about how different papers soak up the coffee differently and for more detailed instructions. Some papers will react very differently when soaking them in coffee water.

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It's fun to see how papers soak up coffee in different ways. Keep in mind that aging paper with coffee is not archival because coffee is acidic. Make a whole bunch at once and use them to make your own vintage style book or junk journals.

Another way you can use coffee stained paper is to make it on very thin printer paper and then use it for decoupage crafts.

For this coffee stained paper tutorial, we tested out four different kinds of paper and got different results depending on the tooth and absorbency. The results were surprising!

What Type Of Paper Works Best For Staining With Coffee?

1. Plain Printer Paper For Staining With Coffee

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Printer paper will soak up the coffee water evenly. If you let the printer paper dry and dip it into the coffee again, there will be more of an aged look. This paper would be great for little notes or gift wrapping. This paper gets pretty delicate when it's wet so be very careful to avoid rips.

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2. Watercolor Paper For Staining With Coffee

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A favorite is staining watercolor paper with coffee. Strathmore watercolor paper is a good paper to use. The way this paper soaked up the coffee and little coffee bits was amazing. This type of paper would be great for junk journal inserts and for painting on. 

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You can also cut strips and use the coffee stained paper to embellish some small boxes that we were gift wrapping. And this paper would make fabulous greeting cards. Such a nice touch!

3. Mixed Media Paper For Coffee Staining

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Another favorite is mixed media paper. After playing with a few different kinds of mixed media papers, we found that this paper soaked up the coffee extremely well.

This kind of coffee stained paper is perfect paper for card-making, tags and for painting or drawing on. So many ways to use this paper including maps.

4. Lined Paper For Paper Staining

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The regular lined paper was the same as the plain office paper and would be great for adding to your junk journals and for writing notes or poems on. Again, it is extremely delicate when it's wet.


This paper would be great for more advanced coffee staining because it will rip very easily.

5. Printable Graphic Papers For Coffee Staining

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Here is a HUGE BUNDLE of printable downloads, high quality digital art, and printable graphics for coffee staining. These digital papers are great for making your own wedding invitations, journal spreads, journal inserts, announcements, matting, scrapbooking, cardmaking, photo backgrounds for your products, collage, decoupage, wall art, make items for sale and more.

Now that you know about how different papers react to coffee, let's get staining.

This is the fun part. Use whatever dish or containers that fit your sizes of paper. A cookie tray or plastic container will work for your larger sheets. Fill your container or dish of choice with your coffee.

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Start dipping and emerging your papers into the coffee. Have fun and experiment. Try to crumple the paper or fold it before dipping and after to see what kinds of designs appear.

Double dipping and letting the paper sit for a few minutes will give an even darker and a more aged look. Hang your papers to dry or use your blow dryer or a heat gun. 

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Keep in mind that the regular printer paper and lined paper will rip easily. Also if you are going to hand stamp or paint on your paper be sure to do that after it's dry. Don't paint on the paper and then dip into the coffee because your image will smear.

On the other hand, if you are going to print a design on your paper with a printer, best to do that before as long as you are using designs from a laser printer. Inkjet will run.

Watch the coffee staining tutorial below to see how we stained our papers with coffee to give them an old, antique look. You will love how the paper turned out. 

Now that you have the basics down, try staining other things too! Maps, book pages, canvas, fabrics, and doilies can be stained by this process.

If you found this tutorial helpful, please save the pin below.


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About the Author: Thien Bao

Hello, my name is ThienBao. I am a freelance developer specializing in various types of code.