Sunday, 15 July 2012

Art Lesson Idea for Stage 2 Children: How to Age Paper

Children may create their own aged artifacts after poring over history books showing old maps, illustrations or scripts. Creating aged effects not only spurs experimentation but also encourage children to discover more about our past. In this lesson, children are to create aged effects to paper after completing an illustration.

Art Lesson on Aging Paper

How to Make Paper Look Old
H and J Busby
There are several ways of aging paper, each method suggesting various stages of age. Steeping paper in coffee granules will give the paper a dark tone. A steeped teabag will give the paper a warm, burnished colour. For a paler brown colour, orange juice can be introduced into the tea. The beverage needs to steep in hot water for a few minutes and allowed to cool before paper can be immersed. Children may experiment with various effects of aged paper by trying out the different solutions and steeping the paper for various amounts of time.

Recreating Old Artifacts in Schools

A vessel sufficiently wide and flat to accommodate paper is required, as well as a heatproof container in which to strew the beverage. For the illustrations, good quality colour pencils or pens can be used. Do not use watercolour pencils as the pigments will bleed out whilst the paper is in soak. Also avoid using wax pencils as they will repel the water. Children may draw old maps, vessels or scripts inspired by reference books. Bright colours and definite marks are encouraged as the illustrations will fade a little whilst the paper is being aged.

Art Resources for Lesson Plan for Kids

In order to make paper look old, the following items are required for the lesson:

Coffee granules, tea bags and orange juice for various aged effects.
A wide container such as a mixing bowl or baking tray.
A kettle.
Sheets of A4 paper.
Colour pencils and pens.
Reference material such as history books or old maps.
A drying rack.
The use of an oven is optional

How to Make Paper Look Old

Once the children have finished their illustrations, maps or whatever, the paper can be soaked in presteeped beverage. The longer the paper is immersed, the darker the paper will appear. Children may suggest parchment effects by carefully tearing the edges of the paper or puncturing holes via fingernails or nibs. The paper may be scrunched up in a tight ball and placed within the (cooled) beverage solution or rolled up in a scroll. Steeping may last up to 5 minutes or so.

Once the paper has been thoroughly soaked, the paper can be carefully opened out a little, pegged out or placed on a non-absorbent surface to dry. For an extra crisp effect, place the paper in a medium preheated oven for 5 minutes or so, keeping an eye on the paper for when the edges begin to curl. Of course adult, supervision will be required here. Once the paper has been through the aging process, children may touch up their creations by adding further imperfections such as foxing or blemishes by painting on a concentrated beverage solution onto selected areas of the paper.

Parchment Effects

Children may create parchment effects by artificially aging their creations. Coffee will bring a dark tinge to the paper; tea, a warmer, brownish hue. Various stages of steeping will create different tones to the paper. Creasing the paper will encourage further staining in various areas of the paper and less in others. Strategic tearing off of edges will suggest wear and tear, as will puncturing holes or painting blemishes. Children may experiment with these techniques before trying it out on their illustrations.

Articles on Art Lessons

Kids' guide to creating maps
Guide to good quality art materials for kids
Colour behaviour in art
Building confidence in painting

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