[DIY] Faux-parchment

6Have you ever thought about doing old looking paper for fancy handouts or for kids’ scavenger hunts, for example, but felt like its too much work? Me too!

Just sometime ago I was in this situation when my kids were asking for me to make old looking paper for their treasure maps. At first I thought that it’s going to be too much work and make a mess, but then I put these thoughts aside and decided to give it a try. I took a few photos of the process to share it with you all and prove that it’s actually pretty quick and easy to do.

We were about to make food just before I did the faux-parchment, so making a few sheets of old looking paper took perhaps 20 minutes. Half an hour tops.


  • Deep container, like an oven casserole that can fit one paper sheet
  • Loose tea and/or coffee
  • Water
  • Paper (ordinary printer paper is just fine, other qualities can work even better)
  • Oven with  a baking tray and greaseproof paper (not mandatory, but very helpful)

Step 1: Prepare the Paper


Tear the paper edges to make it look old and worn. You can also wrinkle the paper to add more wear and texture to it. Just be careful not to tear the paper too much at this phase.

If you are using the oven, turn it on. I put the oven to 150 C/ 300F degrees myself, and it seemed like a good temperature for this.


Step 2: Mixing the Solution


It’s time to make the secret solution into a deep vessel like an oven casserole. Boil some water and pour it into the container. Add some loose tea and/or coffee into the hot water. I used both green tea and coffee. Let it brew for a minute or two and mix it a bit.

Step 3: Dipping the Paper


Dip the paper into the solution, so that it’s completely soaked in the liquid. Make sure both sides of the paper are wet with the solution.

Important: don’t soak the paper for too long as it gets fragile and tears very easily in the next step. 

Step 4: Let them Dry


Place the soaked papers on an baking tray. I used greaseproof paper to avoid sticking and to keep the papers clean. Be careful not to tear the papers when lifting them from the solution! It’s also a good idea to drip the excess liquid from the paper, so it dries faster.

If you are using an oven, put it in an over for about 5 minutes. If that’s not enough, give it a few more minutes.

Step 5: Get Your Pencils Ready!


Done! The paper should be dry after five or so minutes in the oven. If they have a few wet spots, don’t worry. Just leave them to dry for awhile. When the papers have dried, they are ready for further use.

Drawing before the “Parchementation”

You can draw or write on the paper before the treatment, but be careful not to mess the drawings or writings. Pencils are ok, but if you have used ink, for example, it’s probably going to smear the paper when it gets wet.  So, I would recommend drawing or writing on the paper after the treatment to avoid spoiling your work in the process.


[Game] Creature Cards

I  made these customizable cards for my kids a few years back.



How to use them?

In the cards you have large space for the creature’s picture and/or its description. Draw the picture of the creature and add a the name of the creature with a flavour text, if you like.

Then you have four abilities:

  • Friendship
  • Wits
  • Strength
  • Speed

Each of the abilities is rated from 1 to 5 and you can distribute a number of points (or dots) between all abilities based on the creature’s power level.

  • Super Epic Legendary Boss: 17
  • Epic Boss: 15
  • Powerful Boss: 13
  • Boss: 11
  • Mini-Boss: 9
  • Minion: 7

How to play

These are just one kind of rules we came up when we played with creature cards. You can use these, modify them or come up with rules of your own.

What you need to play?

To play the game, you need preferably at least six cards and ten regular six-sided dice. If you don’t have so many dice at hand, see the “One die rule” below.

Build your deck

First decide how many cards each player will have. Then, Construct your deck from the creatures you have created. What kind of creatures you can put in your deck depends on the deck size. You can have unlimited number of Minions, but other creatures are limited as follows:

  • less than 10 cards: 1 Boss, 1 Mini-Boss
  • 10 – 14 cards: 1 Powerful Boss, 1 Boss, 2 Mini-Boss
  • 15 – 19 cards: 1 Epic Boss, 1 Powerful Boss, 2 Boss, 3 Mini-Boss
  • 20 – 24 cards: 1 Super Epic Legendary Boss, 1 Epic Boss, 2 Powerful Boss, 3 Boss, 4 Mini-Boss
  • 25+ cards:  1 Super Epic Legendary Boss, 2 Epic Boss, 3 Powerful Boss, 4 Boss, 5 Mini-Boss

Let’s Play!


  1. All players draw three cards from their decks
  2. Roll a six-sided die to determine who goes first.

Turn order

  1. The player in turn plays a creature from their hand and challenges one of the players. The challenged player can flee like a coward and discard any card from their hand  and lose the battle OR accept the challenge and play a card from their hand against the creature declaring the challenge.
  2. Battle! When two creatures fight, the challenging player decides which of the abilities is used. When the ability is decided, pick as many dice as there are dots in the creature’s ability. Roll all dice and see compare the highest results. The creature with the highest die result wins the battle. The creature that lost, flees away.
    1. When a creature flees, discard the card and pick a new card from your deck.
    2. When a creature wins, put the creature on the table in front of you as a token of victory and draw a new card to your hand from your deck.
  3. The player who lost the challenge declares the next challenge.
  4. Repeat until both players have played all their creatures and count the creatures that won their fights.

One Die Rule

In case you do not have that many six-sided dice readily at hand, you can use this alternative rule.

Instead of rolling multiple dice, you can roll just one die and add the number of dots in your Ability to your dice result.


The player with the most victorious creatures wins the game.


If the results tie, compare the next highest die, until you find the highest result. If the fight still results in a tie, roll again until you have a winner.