Category Archives: Art

How to antique paper in 3 easy steps and new clothes pin bathroom art

How to antique paper bathroom art

This project started because  I realized the one piece of art in our hall bath wasn’t really cutting it. I wanted something to stick with the vintage theme but didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so I came up with the idea to make antique looking cards spelling out a word and hung up by clothespins. I’m sure I saw something similar to this in one of the 1000 pins I look at each day on Pinterest, but I can’t remember where. You may be wondering why I referred to this antiquing process at easy.  Well, I had no intention of reinventing the wheel so when I started this project I goggled “how to antique paper” and man was I bewildered when I started reading the 20 step process. Are these people serious? I spent a day or two thinking about this project as well as some trial and error before I came up with a simple and easy 3 step process.


Paper (I used index cards)

Black tea

Brown shoe polish

Paper towel

Step one of how to antiw paper: apply brown shoe polish to edges

Using a paper towel quickly apply brown show polish to all of the edges. I say quickly because you want to make mistakes and have overlap.

how to age paper soak in black tea

Place the paper into a black tea bath for a minute or two. I just poured hot water into a Pyrex container and added a tea bag for a few minutes to create the bath.

how to age paper step 3 put in over for 2 minutes

Place paper onto a baking sheet and put in the oven at 300 degrees for 2 minutes until the edges start to brown.  And that’s it! I placed my cards in a book overnight to flatten them a little more (as seen below).

place paper between books to flatten

Here’s what they looked like all done.

How to antique paper

Instructions to make clothes pin bathroom art


Antiqued index cards

clothes pins

sisal rope (or whatever you have on hand)

2 wall hooks

I highly recommend you antique the paper first and let it dry, then print on it. I tried printing on it first and it caused the ink to run a little when I put it into the tea bath.  Open Ms Word and set your paper size to index card (page layout> size> index card). I played a while with different fonts and sizes but ultimately I choose Engravers MT in 150. One of the things I really love about this project is that it is fully customizable with any words in any font.

how to print onto index cards

Next, stick your index cards in the printer and start printing. I had made a couple of extra cards to play around with just in case I stuck them in the printer wrong or didn’t like how they looked. Here they are all done. Aged paper bathroom art

Then, we attached some left over hooks we had to the wall. This took some patience trying to figure out the right height and how far apart we wanted them. Once we had it all figured out we tied the ends of the sisal rope, that was left over from the lamp shade project, into cute loops and hung them from the hooks. sisal rope knotted and attached to wall with hook

Finally, attach all of the index cards to the rope with clothes pins. I’m so happy with the way it came out. Oh and did I mention it was free?! Yep, we had all of the materials on hand from other projects.

aged paper bathroom art with clothes pins

DIY Burlap Art


After completing my sisal lamp shades I’ve become a little obsessed with texture, so burlap seemed like an obvious next choice to try my hand at.  I decided to replace the pictures hanging over the credenza in the living room with a stenciled burlap art depicting the most important dates for our family (if you’ve been on pinterest lately you’ve seen the plethora of inspiration out there). I particularly love this project because it is cheap (it only cost me $3.19 total) and because it is so easy to customize for anyone. Oh, and it’s also super easy!

Here is what you will need for this project:

  1. A picture frame with mat
  2. 1 yard of burlap (this did all 3 of my 11×14 mats)
  3. black acrylic paint
  4. a paint brush (I used foam but a stiff bristle brush would be even better)
  5. an exacto knife
  6. a cutting board or mat
Burlap art tools: 1 yard of burlap, card stock, paint brush, black acrylic paint, an exacto knife, and a cutting board.
Burlap art tools: 1 yard of burlap, card stock, paint brush, black acrylic paint, an exacto knife, and a cutting board.

The first thing I did was create my stencils. I decided on 3 dates (our anniversary and each of the girl’s birthdays) and I picked a picture to symbolize each (a heart for our anniversary, a tiara for princess Sophie, and a teddy Bear for Lizzie Boo Bear). I created them using PowerPoint, 1 slide for each stencil. I used that standard Stencil font, but you can really use any font just make sure that you will be able to cut away the negative space. Enact the grid lines to make sure you have centers the symbol. Once you are done print them onto card stock.

Create your stencils in PowerPoint
Create your stencils in PowerPoint

Next get out a clean cutting board or mat and using your exact knife remove all the black areas from your stencil. I find it easiest to keep the knife straight and turn the paper when cutting. Do not worry about perfection here. You are going to dry brush the stencil on which is a very forgiving process.

Once all of your stencils are cut you’ll need to cut your burlap to size. I used my matting as a template. This will ensure that you have room to rim if need be.

Use your mat as a template to cut out the burlap to size.
Use your mat as a template to cut out the burlap to size.

Now, center your stencil on the burlap and tape it down to keep it from shifting. I placed my mat over the stencil to make sure I had it place correctly before taping.

Center your stencil on the burlap and tape it in place.
Center your stencil on the burlap and tape it in place.

Painting time. Squeeze out a small amount of paint onto a paper plate and dab your brush into it. Usually, you would use a stiff bristle brush ( a great use for brushes that you didn’t get all the paint out of), unfortunately I couldn’t find any so I used foam. Next, dab the brush onto clean parts of the place a couple of times to remove most of the paint. Hold your brush vertical and dab and the stencil, do not brush the paint on. The goal is to make the paint look worn and allow some of the burlap to show through.

To dry brush hold the brush vertical and dab at the stencil.
To dry brush hold the brush vertical and dab at the stencil.

When you are done it should look something like this. Note that the paint application isn’t thick or cohesive. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Remove the stencil and voila! It’s that easy. The burlap will absorb the paint quickly but I still allowed mine to absorb for about an hour before framing them.


Here’s the finished product. I love how simple and yet rich it is.

Custom DIY stenciled burlap Art
Custom DIY stenciled burlap Art

Here’s all 3 of them in the Living room.

Trio of custom DIY stenciled burlap art
Trio of custom DIY stenciled burlap art