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Aged Parchment

Here’s a project with many uses. Some photos lend themselves to special treatment. A vignetted country scene, a bouquet of flowers in a vase, or a favorite photo digitally enhanced to resemble a pastel or water color when printed on old parchment presents an interesting and artistic form suitable for framing.

Eight and one half by eleven paper comes in ninety weight parchment or heavy cover stock in cream or white are good media for the parchment treatment. Prepare a tray of strong tea and soak the paper one sheet at a time in the tea. Additional dunkings along the edges further enhance the aged look. Dry the sheets overnight between weighted flat cardboard or blotters. For a torn edge look, fill a tray with one half inch of water and add a few drops of dish detergent. Wet one half inch of edge all around each sheet, place on a pine board and with a wire brush (electric drill or by hand). Roughly scrape away the edges over a pine board. Dry the sheets under blotters to prevent curling. The sheets also may benefit from ironing with a warm iron.

The photograph may then be spray glued to the center of the parchment and ironed flat or the parchment can already be printed from a digital file on your hard drive. A coat of spray lacquer will protect the ink. Frame in an oversized frame without a mat.

Other uses include a scroll-like declaration, a wedding announcement, a party invitation, an alternative Thank You Car, or a Pledge of Love for Valentines Day. You’d better make a lot of them.

© 2006 Kenneth Hoffman Articles available with limited rights for distribution upon written email approval. A link back to this site is a requirement. Contact Ken for permission.
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