This is a good place to start, feel free to improvise of course!
- Good high rag content paper - Typical laser printer or copier paper will just turn to mush.
- Writing materials that are not water soluble - I use either a laser printer or ink jet with waterproof ink, because my handwriting is horrible. Test your ink if you're unsure of its water solubility.
- A big Ziploc bag - for treating the paper.
- Dirt - just a few tablespoons worth.
- Water color or acrylic paint (optional)
- A steam iron and an old towel (optional)
- Matches (optional)
- A mug or cup (optional)
It's best to do this someplace that's easy to clean up, as it can be a bit messy. I generally do the messy bits outside on the back porch.
- Create your document using your writing tools and paper.
- Crumple up each page then flatten it several times. You can also fold and crease them if that's the look you want.
- Place the pages in the Ziploc bag, insuring there's enough space for liquid to get between the pages. Don't overcrowd!
- Add dirt and at least a cup of water to the bag. You want to end up with dirty water, not mud.
- Seal tightly and shake carefully to get all the pages wet.
- Soak pages for 30 minutes to two hours.
- Remove pages from bag and spread on a flat surface to dry.
- Once pages are dry rub them to remove excess soil that may have accumulated (or not).
Before putting the pages in the Ziploc:
- Iron them flat by dampening your old towel and placing the pages between its folds. Iron using high heat.
- Carefully scorch the edges of the pages with matches (have water handy).
- Using your mug, create some ring stains on the pages (coffee works quite well for this).
- Apply some diluted paint (earth tones or greens work well for this) using a Q-Tip or crumpled up paper towel, allowing the stain to spread over the wet surface of the page. Warning: acrylic paint will permanently stain surfaces!
- Add more ring stains with your mug.
- Re-fold, re-scorch or re-iron if desired.