Today is National Send A Handwritten Letter Day! Or as my offspring think of it – analog texting. There’s something special about taking the time to put pen to paper, and it’s a treat to get a handwritten letter in the mail. Even one that doesn’t come from your grandmother and have birthday money in it.

This is a way to make your letters even more special. You can also use this technique in other paper crafts – for example, my daughter and I are doing an art journal together and we’re looking forward to trying this out in an entry.

Coffee stationary 5

Is it weird that my 9 year old is sending her aunt a letter on coffee stained paper, as if she swills espresso on the regular? We don’t care.

Here’s how to make artfully coffee-stained stationary personalized with your own pictures.

You’ll need:

  • Paper – I used lined binder paper because that’s what I had and I thought it looked cool
  • Instant coffee
  • Water
  • A straw
  • Tissues
  • A printer

First, sprinkle some instant coffee on your paper, like so:

Coffee stationary 1

Next, using a straw as a dropper, apply the water to the coffee:

Coffee stationary 2

Coffee stationary 3

Blot the paper with the tissues and let it dry. While this is happening, go to your computer and pull up one of your favorite pictures. For this next part, you’ll need photo-editing software such as Photoshop, Pixlr, or Gimp (which is free) because you are going to adjust the opacity of the image. You’ll want it to be faint but still distinguishable. I went with 25% opacity, but you may want to experiment. I sized it to 5×7 and set it to print centered on the paper.

Take your now dry paper and insert it in your printer (make sure you know which side the image is going to print on). If you used binder paper like I did, it’s going to be crinkly – I wanted that effect – so that means you’ll have to keep an eye on it as it feeds into the printer. Print that baby.


Coffee stationary 4

Grab your pen and start writing.

Coffee paper 6





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