phoney retro ticket embellishments with stamps in red, green and black - 100% handmade

Retro tickets – it’s easy to make them

You know that I am very much about minimizing materials in the craft space, especially in the paper crafter’s craft space. Less materials equals less mess and more creativity. And also – less money spent. It is not necessary to buy something, if you can make it yourself, is it?

retro looking tickets with stamps and colours - all fake :)

I really enjoy making my own card and journal elements, and in this article I will show you how easy it is to make your own retro looking “tickets”, instead of buying them. This is part of the Capsule craft concept I started following. If you are curious about it, I recommend to check my book Capsule Craft collection.

Start with simple white paper

First you need white paper. Not a great quality one, but you can try two different types – thicker and thinner. Cut different size rectangles – sized to suit your needs.

white paper rectangles, blue round edge cutter and a paper guillotine

After that I made some perforations, using my old little perforation cutter…

two rectangles from white paper with round edges and a little knife for paper perforation

… and some holes, using the hole cutter.

folded rectangular piece of paper whith a punch hole, punch hole maker, perforation knife and edge punch

Cut some pieces if you want to give your future tickets a more realistic appearance.

white paper rectangles with cut perforation

These 3 actions are not really necessary at this stage, you can also do them later. For me was just easier to do them now, because this immediately started giving me ideas about the next stages.


Now is the time to make from the normal simple white pieces something which will look realistic. Aging first!

After all this cutting and punching, I coloured my white rectangles with Earl Grey black tea. Probably you can do it with any strong black tea that you have. I just love the smell of Earl Grey and also had only this type of black tea at home. So, I made a very strong tea and soaked the pieces of paper in it, while it was still hot.

paper rectangles soaking in coffee

After about 5 minutes I took the pieces of paper from the tea and dried them in my microwave oven. You also can dry them in the sun – I am sure it would add even more aged appearance to the paper. Although, drying them faster in the microwave oven creates wonderful spots and shades of colour.

dried coffee tinted pieces of paper

And because I was using cheap paper, I also got these very interesting “pimples”.

heat and coffee "pimple" spots on the paper

Colouring and stamping

You know, some tickets have strong colours, most of them don’t, but we are making false tickets, which must look more like real tickets. Funny paradox. So I added some “official” colours like red and green. I did not use bright red, but orange, to create the idea of a faded colour. The brown was also to give the impression of faded dark red or black.

The colouring I did in two ways. In the left side of the picture you can see colouring with an alcohol-based marker. In the right side of the picture with a watercolour marker and water container brush. You can decide which one you like better.

colouring part of the paper rectangles with orange alcoholic marker and water markers and water container brush

You also must be careful, if you are making folded tickets, to colour the inside parts too.

opened double "ticket" - painting inside parts too with faded red

You can add more colours, by rolling the perforation cutter in ink to create contrasting perforations.

adding more colour by rolling the perforation knife in ink

After that you can begin to explore the territory of your imagination. You can stamp, write, draw and make contrasting perforations wherever you want – whatever fulfils your ideas.

stamping with rectangle stamp and dark red ink

From my point of view the best way is to combine geometric stamps and stamps with letters, numbers and post marks. If you have post mark stamps, you simply must use them!

rectangle piece with pyramid post mark stamp, letters MON stamp and "Baltimor" stamp. The combination doesn't mean anything, just looks good :)

After all the stamping, blend the edges to make them look older, shabby and used.

blending the edges with brown ink to make them look older and used

Final touches

Don’t forget to tear some pieces a little, or to roll some edges between your fingers for more aging effect.

tearing edges a little and rolling to make them look older and used

In the end, it would be good if you put some handwriting – numbers, “VIP pass”, “One way”, even some incomprehensible combinations of letters which presumably some official put on the ticket. This will give your ticket some “history”.

adding some numbers and "VIP pass" handwriting to give the tickets a "history"

And you are ready! You have an entire collection of unique, old and realistic looking retro tickets. I bet, you’ll become addicted and will continue making more and more new designs!

phoney handmade retro looking tickets

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