How to Make Old Fashioned Newsprint

Written by madigan talmage-bowers
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How to Make Old Fashioned Newsprint
Add vintage detail to craft projects with old-fashioned newsprint. (old news image by mark smith from

Old-fashioned newsprint adds a vintage editorial touch to craft projects including invitations, scrapbooks, album backgrounds, and collages. While authentic historic newspapers are available from antique sellers and online specialist retailers, the same effect is possible at home without the collector's price tag. Personalise homemade newsprint with names and photos of family or friends, special dates, or custom headlines.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Word-processing or illustration software
  • High-quality laser paper
  • Laser or inkjet printer
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Baking tray
  • Instant coffee crystals
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Design the layout of your newsprint pages using word-processing or illustration software. Decide whether your newsprint will be a front page or an inside section. For a single page, use a portrait-page orientation. To imitate a two-page spread, use a landscape orientation with a dividing line down the middle.

  2. 2

    Divide the page into headlines, columns, and photo or advertisement blocks. To achieve an old-fashioned look, follow the styles of early 20th-century newspapers. Front pages should include the paper's name in large text, the date, a main headline, a large photo, and four to six vertical columns for body text. Inside sections should include the paper's name in smaller text at the top, text columns with medium headlines, and one or two photos.

  3. 3

    Fill in the layout with personalised content. Choose a date for your paper that has special meaning to you. Headlines can be real or fictional, serious or humorous. Insert grayscale personal or stock photographs if you like.

  4. 4

    Apply vintage text fonts to complete the old-fashioned look. Some fonts that may already be installed on your computer include Playbill or Bernard MT Condensed for paper names and headlines, and Baskerville Old Face and Bookman Old Style for body text. Many websites offer Old Newspaper and Vintage Typewriter fonts for download, which will also lend an antique aesthetic to your type. Headlines should be much larger than body text.

  5. 5

    Print your faux newsprint on high-quality paper stock through an inkjet or laser printer. Allow the ink to dry thoroughly.

  6. 6

    Treat the paper to lend an authentic aged look. Lightly rub fine sandpaper over parts of the paper to fade the text. Place the paper on a baking tray and soak it in a mixture of water and instant coffee crystals to produce a browned, worn effect.

Tips and warnings

  • Search through electronic newspaper archives at your local library to find examples and style inspiration from a particular decade or paper.
  • If your old-fashioned newsprint will be used for any commercial purpose, avoid using any copyright-protected text or images in its design.

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