You Keep em Busy Series: Treasure Map

Here is a little activity handed down to me from my Father.

Making “Old Paper” then using it to make a Treasure Map for Treasure Hunts, or Quests.

**First Ageing the Paper


Take a sheet of ordinary A4 paper and place it in a baking tray big enough for it to lay in and deep enough to hold a cm or so of water. Put the kettle on and get yourself a couple of tea bags with black tea.

Place the tea bags in the baking tray and pour in the boiling water until the paper is completely covered. Use a wooden spoon to stop the paper from floating and once it is wet enough it should settle on the bottom of the tray. I stir around the tea bags effectively making a tea that I cant drink (who would have thought).

Leave everything to cool down to room temperature. I find that if I leave the tea bags on top of the paper this can make nice stained patterns on the paper which adds to the ageing effect.

When everything has cooled down I carefully remove the paper and hang it up to dry using some string and two small clothes pegs directly on the paper. Leave this till the paper is completely dry.

WARNING: Keep them away from it! It rips so easily and giving in to the request of “Can i just touch it” can lead to the ripping of the paper, sitting on the kitchen floor drinking paper soaked tea and wondering “Why do I bother?”

Once the paper is dry turn on the oven and let it warm up to 200°C. I used the same baking tray I used to soak it in tea, (minus the tea of course) and put it on the top shelf of the oven.

Keep an eye on it until the paper has the texture that you want, slightly ridged, a little browned and not too crispy! All done!

X Marks the Spot

With our new ancient paper, I used a fine liner to draw a map of our apartment using the blueprints of the flat.

I created a separate “X” marks the spot using another piece of paper which I cut out and then place on different parts of the map using White-Tack. This lets you use the same map again and again.

Finally I added a few finishing touches using a lighter to burn a few edges and a few holes in the paper.


I hid some chocolate gold coins and presented the treasure map to him rolled up with a ribbon tied around it.
I didn't have a pirate hat but a large oven glove works just the same

Happy Hunting

Keep em Busy Series: Snake Twirler

⇦ Discover more of my work