Art projects

Something I’ve been working on needs to achieve a certain “look” to the finished product. Ancient paper, a whiff of scents, bound by twine and wax, that sort of thing. I’ve been experimenting with assorted methods of achieving this, and so far what gives me the closet thing to the package I want is taking some strained way-too-strong coffee, crumpling my printed sheet a little, putting the sheet on a baking tray and dribbling coffee all over it, then sticking it in the broiler for about 4 minutes.

Once it comes out of the broiler, I smooth the sheet out the best I can, wetting it with more coffee if I need to, then back into the broiler for another 2 minutes or so (until it starts curling at the edges and looks about ready to catch fire… XD) Once it’s fetched, the paper has a “crispy” but still almost fabric-like texture (probably should have mentioned I started with that ridiculously expensive “Official Ink-Jet Photo-Quality” paper, since that does seem to make a difference.) Let it dry for about 5 minutes (so parts are still at least a little wet, but I can handle it without burning myself or ripping it), fold it the way I want it folded, and spritz it with Febreeze or Glade in the scent I want, let it set for another 10 or so, then take a cigarette lighter and run it quickly along all the edges (making sure to blow it out if it somehow actually catches instead of just smoldering the edges, of course.)

All that done, I take a dull, fat needle, punch a hole in one side (the actual text is done landscape, but when folded it’d be “sideways”) and a knotted bit of frayed yarn through it, wrap the folded bundle. Then drip candle wax on the fold, and use a rubber stamp for the proper impression and seal. Leave the stamp pressed into it for a minute (since candle wax tends to be a little pickier than actual sealing wax, I’ve found), pull it out nice and careful like, and voila!

Yes, this will ruin the stamp. Yes, this takes forever per page (and while one could fold all the pages together and then string and stamp them, that’s still about a half hour of work per page for the staining/crisping/burning). But it looks so pretty!

Don’t suppose anyone out there has a better idea that’s faster/easier/cheaper to accomplish this?


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