How to Make New Sheet Music Look Old

I needed a lot of sheet music for a bunch of Christmas decorations that I will be selling at The Holiday House Boutique this week, but had no luck finding enough at local thrift stores. So, I decided to try to make do with what they did have.  I took it from bright white to this:
I found two college textbooks full of a couple hundred sheets of music. The problem is that they were BRIGHT white! Not fun and aged and vintage like I love. So I decided to try to change that, and give them a vintage patina.
{I am sorry about the REALLY bad pictures! I took most of them in poor lighting at night}
First, I tore the covers off of the book.
Then I made a big pot of coffee on the stove. I soaked one side of the whole book at a time in the pot. 
This made it just soft enough to squish it all down into the coffee. 
I just let it soak until it got a nice golden aged color and then I pulled it out of the pot and placed it on a cookie sheet. 
I guess I forgot to take a picture of this next part, darn it! I baked it in the oven {at 350} until the edges of the book turned dark, it dried out a bit, and the coffee color deepened. I think it took 20-30 minutes. {If you do this, please keep a CLOSE eye on it and don’t burn your house down}
Then I just left it out for about 5 days while it dried out a little more. I flipped to a different section of the book each day to help dry it out a little more evenly. 
I pulled out pages individually {even though they were still damp} and ironed them with a regular clothes iron. {Again, be careful to not light anything on fire… I had NO issues but being extra careful is always a good idea} This book was spiral bound, so I cut the rough edges after I ironed the pages. 
They really look aged in person. They are perfect for what I am using them for! 
This would be so easy to do to age book pages too. 
I am excited to show you the Christmas banners and ornaments that I am making out of them!!


  1. says

    Kristen – Good idea! I much prefer the coffee stain to a tea stain. To me, the tea stain always has a reddish tint. Can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with the pages.


  2. says

    These are so cool looking. I didn’t know you had a blog. I’m glad I found it. You have some very creative ideas. Can’t wait to see what you do with these.

  3. says

    Ahhhh! How did you know I needed you to post this, like THIS week??!! I am making old picture collages out of old windows ~ I can’t wait to post when I’m all done ~ and I was wondering what I was going to do with my labels for the photos to make them match. Your genius-ness just helped me figure it out! Thanks!!

  4. says

    You can just photocopy music since you are going to age it anyway. Copy Christmas carols, love songs,whatever works best for the special occasion. You can also copy music onto thin tracing paper for window shades, etc. Beautiful site!

  5. says

    Looks very realistic…I have music books from the days when I took piano lessons some 50 years ago (OMG! could it be that long!) …fortunately when we moved, the piano and the books went to my daughter’s house. I was looking through one of them just this weekend and they have yellowed nicely.My f-in-law used to write music which I have kept(some are 50+ years old)so yes, I too am wondering what you will use yours for. I don’t think I would use his but my books – hey they are not doing any good sitting in the piano bench!!! Gulp! TFS

  6. says

    Maybe this is a stupid question but do you have to use a certain type of paper or can you just use regular paper like you would use for the printer?

  7. says

    Maybe this is a stupid question but do you have to use a certain type of paper or can you just use regular paper like you would use for the printer?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>