How to Make Envelopes Look Antique

Things You\’ll Need

  • Tea bag

  • 1/2 cup boiling water

  • Bowl

  • Small paintbrush

  • 2 towels

  • Blunt-edged knife

... You can use tea to make a new envelope look antique.

If you will be mailing invitations for a special party, you will want those invitations and their envelopes to be distinctive. Aging the paper to produce the effect of an antique envelope is a novel way to draw attention to your invitation. This is especially suitable if the occasion has a theme from yesteryear. Your invitation will set the mood and introduce the theme of time-gone-by before the envelope is even opened.

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Step 1

Add one teabag to one-half cup of boiling water and allow it to seep for 10 minutes to produce a very strong solution. Allow the liquid to cool down completely before working with it any further.

Step 2

Lay a small towel on a flat work surface. Lay the envelope on the towel with the top side of the envelope facing you.

Step 3

Dip a small paintbrush, with bristles no wider than 1 inch, into the tea solution. Brush the solution across the envelope from one side to the other, allowing the paper to absorb the liquid.

Step 4

Continue applying the solution until the whole front surface of the envelope has been coated. Do not try to apply the solution evenly as an uneven coating will produce some darker and some lighter areas that will look more authentic.

Step 5

Turn the envelope over so the back side is now facing you. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until the entire back surface of the envelope has been coated. Lay the envelope on a dry towel to allow it to air dry.

Step 6

Use the edge of a dull knife to lightly scrape one or two corners of the envelope to produce a rough surface for a more aged appearance, if you desire.

Step 7

Turn the envelope over at least once while it is drying. After the envelope has dried completely, usually several hours, you will be ready to address the envelope.


Address the envelopes using an ornate script, hand-lettered with pen and ink to emphasize the appearance of extreme age.

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