My friend, R., of Harry Potter in the hizzouse fame, asked me the other day if I knew about any ways to distress wedding invitations and- shockingly- I kind of did. Two Christmases ago my husband and I got his niece and nephew Watson Scavenger Hunt tickets (which are awesome and in many cities in case you're wondering) so I decided to make it a scavenger hunt to find the tickets. I got a little overboard and found myself in the kitchen with a lighter try to figure out how much is too much singed edges and trying to find things to stain the clues.
This is not quite a tutorial since you'll still have to play around with the technique but here are the results from my first trial.
Staining with Tea
I first started with a brewed tea bag concentrating on the corners and let that sink in for about 5 minutes, and gently blotted areas that pooled too much in the center over the text with a paper towel.
To keep the staining to the corners I perched the invitation over the paper towel and let that sit. Play with this time to see how much it will stain the corners.
This was probably the best idea from the new trials. I was trying to find a way to singe the edges without lighting it on fire because that tends to streaks of ash across the front and would definitely leave ash all of the envelope. I used the flat iron when the invitation was only slightly damp but if you do a slow fanning motion you can create a stiff curl (kind of like you would if you were flipping your hair).
So here's the before and after again. It's not a style for everyone but it's nice parchment-y look.
I printed several test versions so I can keep on experimenting. I'm thinking Coke maybe the next trial since it would stain and not smell (like coffee would).
And, yes, it's a Harry Potter invite. I did it quickly for something to test with but... I'm liking it. A lot. So you'll definitely see more of it in the future.
(The paper used was Paper Source Luxe Cream Cover. I also tried their Opal Cover which had a nice sparkle to it but the tea just beaded off.)