Saturday, May 14, 2011

DIY: Pretend Parchment

Earlier this month, I took my kids to a pirate encampment (a historical re-enactment of one, anyway) and to see a rare Dunlap Broadside Declaration of Independence, all in one week. (I know, awesome mom, right?!) My almost-7yo son has drawn treasure maps before, so it was no surprise when he began drawing some more earlier this week, pretending to be a pirate. He put his map in his treasure box, because, as he reminded me, the pirates had told him that one of the first things pirates went for when they took over a ship were maps and charts, because those were truly valuable at sea. Quoting The Journey of the One and Only Declaration of Independence, he rolled up his map and said, "You never, ever fold parchment."

The next day, while he was at school, I decided he needed some paper that looked like parchment. This is how I did it.

I grabbed a couple large sheets of drawing paper and tore off the edges. Then I crumpled them up, uncrumpled them, and put them in my roasting pan.

I poured a cup of cold coffee into the pan and made sure the paper was submerged. You could also use tea.

I left it there for a bit--maybe fifteen minutes? Long enough to wash the lunch dishes, make some more coffee (for drinking), and finish reading the paper. Periodically my daughter or I would tilt the pan, and I flipped the papers over once. After a bit, I dumped the coffee and ran some water over the paper, mainly to wash away any sediment (that coffee had been in the fridge longer than I can remember). Then I set the papers out on a cooling rack to dry.

I tried to hurry this part up by using a blow dryer, but my daughter (she's two) was terrified by the noise. So we let them dry naturally. By the time my boys were home from school, I needed my counter space, so I ironed them on the "paper" setting. (Just kidding. I think it was the polyester setting. Not too hot, in other words.)

And here is the finished parchment.

Doesn't it look nice and old? Makes a good map:

Make sure you roll it, not fold it. My son tied his map with twine.

Ahoy, mateys! There's treasure about. Happy Pirating!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh that's clever! I could see that being lots of fun!