How to Make Coffee-Stained Paper: An Easy DIY Guide

How to Make Coffee-Stained Paper?

As someone who enjoys crafting and DIY projects, I’m excited to share a guide to making coffee-stained paper at home. This is a simple and fun activity you can do at home, and it’s an ideal way to add a unique touch to your creative projects.

In this article, I will guide you through the process of making coffee-stained paper step by step. But before starting the guide, let’s discuss what coffee-stained paper is and why you might want to make it.

What is coffee-stained paper?

Have you ever heard of coffee-stained paper? Coffee-stained paper is exactly what it sounds paper shaded with coffee. It’s an exciting and creative way to add a vintage or rustic touch to any paper-based project. By staining paper with coffee, you can achieve a beautiful, aged look perfect for scrapbooking, journaling, or even letter writing. This gives the paper a vintage, antique look that is ideally suited to various creative projects such as scrapbooking, journaling, or even creating invitations or greeting cards.

Staining paper with coffee is also an eco-friendly alternative to chemical-based stains, making it an ideal option for environmentally conscious people. So, whether you’re a seasoned crafter or just looking for a fun and easy project to try, making coffee-stained paper is definitely worth a try. Instead of buying expensive, ready-made paper, you can create your own using simple materials you already have at home. Let’s get started!

How to Make Coffee-Stained Paper?

In this easy DIY guide, I’ll take you step-by-step through the process of making coffee-stained paper. We’ll cover everything from selecting the right coffee to applying it to the paper and adding additional effects. By the end of this guide, you’ll be a pro at creating a beautiful coffee-stained paper that you can use in all sorts of projects.

Materials Needed

Before we start, let’s review the materials you’ll need to make coffee-stained paper. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Coffee: You can use any coffee for this project, but the darker the roast, the more intense the stain will be. You can use coffee grounds or brewed coffee.
  2. Water: You’ll need water to dilute the coffee and create a staining solution.
  3. Paper: Choose a paper suitable for staining, such as plain white copy paper or cardstock. Avoid glossy or coated paper, as it won’t absorb coffee stains.
  4. Bowl or container: You’ll need a bowl or container to mix the coffee and water solution.
  5. Spoon or stirrer: Use a spoon or stirrer to mix the coffee and water solution.
  6. Baking sheet: You’ll need a baking sheet to dry the coffee-stained paper.
  7. Oven (optional): If you want to speed up the drying process, use an oven on low heat.

Each of these materials serves an important role in creating coffee-stained paper. The coffee and water solution will be used to stain the paper, while the paper itself will absorb the solution and create the stain effect. A bowl or container and a spoon or stirrer will be used to mix the solution. The baking sheet and oven (if available) will be utilized to dry the paper.

Choosing the Right Coffee

When making coffee-stained paper, the type of grounds you use can significantly impact the result. Here are some factors to consider when selecting coffee for staining paper:

  1. Roast level – As mentioned earlier, the darker the roast, the more intense the stain will be. Try using a lighter roast for a softer, more subtle stain.
  2. Strength – Coffee strength can also affect the color of the staining. If you want a darker stain, use a more robust coffee.
  3. Acidity – Acidity can also play a role in the stain’s color. If you want a reddish-brown stain, try a coffee with a higher acidity.
  4. Type of coffee – You can use any coffee for staining paper, but some may produce better results. For example, espresso or French roast coffee can leave a darker, more intense stain.
  5. Freshness – Freshly roasted ground coffee can produce a more vibrant stain than older, stale coffee.

When selecting coffee for staining paper, it’s wise to experiment with different types and strengths to find the one that works best for you. Remember that the kind of paper you use can also affect the results, so test different combinations.

Choosing the Right Paper

Not all paper is suitable for coffee staining. Here are some types of paper that work well:

  • White or off-white paper: Coffee stains show up best on white or off-white paper.
  • Thin paper: Thin paper, such as printer paper or notebook paper, tends to absorb the coffee stain more easily.
  • Uncoated paper: Uncoated paper absorbs coffee stains better than coated paper.

Before staining your paper, it’s important to prepare it properly. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Cut the paper to size: Cut the paper to the desired size and shape for your project. This will make it easier to handle and apply the coffee stain evenly.
  2. Crumple the paper (optional): If you want a more textured or aged look, you can crumple it before staining it. This will create creases and wrinkles that absorb coffee differently and create an uneven stain.
  3. Flatten the paper: After crumpling the paper, flatten it out by placing it under a heavy book or object. This will make it easier to apply coffee evenly.
  4. Protect your work surface: Lay down a protective surface, such as a plastic tablecloth or newspaper, to avoid staining your work surface.

By adequately preparing your paper, you can ensure that the coffee stain will be applied evenly and create the desired effect for your project.

Staining Paper with Coffee

Now that you’ve selected the right coffee and prepared your materials, it’s time to stain the paper. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Mix the coffee and water – In a bowl or container, mix the coffee and water in a 1:1 ratio. You can adjust the ratio to achieve the desired stain intensity.
  2. Dip the paper – Dip the paper into the coffee and water solution, ensuring it’s completely submerged. You can use tongs or your hands to move the paper around and ensure the solution is evenly distributed.
  3. Remove excess solution – Once the paper is saturated, remove it from the solution and gently shake off any excess liquid.
  4. Dry the paper – Place the paper on a baking sheet and allow it to dry completely. You can also use an oven on low heat to speed up the drying process.
  5. Add additional effects (optional) – If you want to add additional effects to your coffee-stained paper, you can try crumpling or tearing it before or after staining it. You can also use a paintbrush or sponge to apply the solution to specific areas for a more controlled effect.

Drying and Finishing

Once you have applied the coffee stain and any additional effects, it’s important to dry and finish the paper correctly. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Air dry: The most effective way to dry coffee-stained paper is to air dry it. Simply lay it flat on a clean surface and let it dry completely. Avoid using a hair dryer or other heat source to speed up the drying process, as this can warp or curl the paper.
  2. Press the paper (optional): If it is still slightly curled after drying, try pressing it to flatten it out. Place the paper between two clean sheets of paper and place a heavy book or object on top. Leave it like this for several hours or overnight.
  3. Consider sealing the paper: If you want to protect the coffee stain and give it a glossy finish, seal it with clear acrylic spray. Hold the spray can about 6–8 inches away from the paper and spray in a sweeping motion. Let it dry completely before handling the paper.
  4. Add finishing touches: Finally, consider adding finishing touches to the paper, such as ribbon or twine, to make it look more presentable. You can also tear the edges or give it a burnished look to make it look more aged.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your coffee stained paper is dried properly, finished, and ready to use for your project.

Tips for Making Coffee-Stained Paper

Here are some tips to achieve the desired results:

  • Experiment with different coffee-to-water ratios to achieve your desired stain intensity.
  • Feel free to try different types of paper to see how they absorb coffee stains.
  • If you want a more uniform stain, try using a paintbrush or sponge to apply the solution instead of dipping the paper.
  • Be patient and allow the paper to dry completely before handling it.

Adding Additional Effects

Coffee-stained paper can look gorgeous on its own, but you can also enhance it by adding additional effects. Here are some optional methods to consider.

  1. Crumpling or tearing: Before or after staining the paper, you can try crumpling or tearing it to give it a more aged or distressed look.
  2. Ink or paint: You can also use ink or paint to add designs or text to the coffee-stained paper. This can be an effective way to personalize paper for a specific project or purpose.
  3. Tea staining: In addition to coffee, you can also try tea staining to achieve a different look. Brew a strong cup of tea and follow the same staining process as with coffee.
  4. Wax or oil: You can apply wax or oil to coffee-stained paper to give it a more weathered or antique appearance.
  5. Other materials: Feel free to experiment with different materials to enhance the coffee stained paper. For example, you can use spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg to add a subtle scent to the paper.

Adding additional effects can help you achieve your paper’s unique and personalized look. Experiment with different methods and materials to see what works best for your project.

Applications of Coffee-Stained Paper

Coffee-stained paper can be used for a variety of creative projects. Here are some ideas for how to use them:

  1. Writing and Calligraphy: Coffee-stained paper adds vintage touches to handwritten notes, letters, or calligraphy projects.
  2. Scrapbooking: Use coffee-stained paper as a background or embellishment for scrapbook pages, adding a unique and rustic look to your design.
  3. Invitations: Create unique invitations for a wedding, baby shower, or other special event using coffee-stained paper as the base.
  4. Gift Tags: Make gift tags by cutting coffee-stained paper into small rectangles and writing a message or name on them.
  5. Art and Crafts: Use coffee-stained paper as a canvas for drawing or painting or as part of a mixed-media art project.
  6. Bookbinding: Use coffee-stained paper for handmade journals or notebook covers.
  7. Home Decor: Use coffee-stained paper to create stylish wall art, banners, or garlands.

When incorporating coffee-stained paper into your projects, consider using it as an accent or background element to add texture and depth. By experimenting with different techniques and materials, you can create unique and personalized designs that showcase coffee-stained paper’s beauty.


Coffee-stained paper is a simple and easy DIY project that adds a unique and vintage touch to various creative projects. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create your coffee-stained paper and experiment with different techniques and materials to achieve the desired results.

Using sturdy paper and following proper drying and finishing techniques ensures that your coffee-stained paper will last for years to come.

We encourage you to make coffee-stained paper and incorporate it into your next creative project. Whether you’re writing a letter, scrapbooking, or creating wall art, coffee-stained paper can add a unique and personalized touch to your design. So grab a cup of coffee and get creative!


Here are some common questions about the topic, along with brief answers:

Q 1. Can you use instant coffee for staining? 

Ans: Yes, you can use instant coffee to stain your paper. However, remember that the stain’s color and strength may vary depending on the brand and type of instant coffee used.

Q 2. Can you use decaf to stain paper?

 Ans: Yes, you can use decaf grounds to stain the paper. However, remember that decaf coffee may produce a lighter and less intense stain than regular coffee.

Q 3. How do you prevent paper tearing during staining? 

Ans: To prevent the paper from tearing during the staining process, make sure to use paper that is sturdy enough to handle moisture. You can also try pre-soaking the paper in water for a few minutes before staining it to make it more pliable.

Q 4. Can you use different types of paper for staining? 

Ans: Yes, you can use different types of paper for staining. However, remember that the paper’s color and texture may affect the final result. Some types of paper that work well for coffee staining include watercolor, parchment, and kraft paper.

Q 5. How long does coffee stained paper take to dry? 

Ans: The drying time can vary depending on factors such as the thickness, the amount of coffee used, and the humidity of the environment. It takes 30 minutes to hours to dry completely.

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