How to Create Vintage Sheet Music Christmas Decor

A gorgeous and affordable DIY project you can do at home this Christmas season

If you’ve been following me on IG @the_styled_ivy you’ve seen my recent reel with an inexpensive and simply gorgeous Christmas decoration for your home. If you’re stuck on how to decorate a fireplace mantle or perhaps open shelving for the holidays, this vintage Christmas sheet music project is oh so easy!

While the decor style in our home is leaning more towards transitional these days, Christmas in my home takes on a more traditional look and feel. Fluffy cedar garland, white taper candles, touches of silver and gold adorn every corner of our home. This brings about memories of my childhood and that old world Christmas we had the opportunity to experience as a family while living in Europe.

So once I spotted this easy DIY on Pinterest, I knew it was perfect to complete the front sitting room of our home and compliment the faux fireplace mantle. For less than $50, and a little bit of

Vintage Sheet Music Christmas Project

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Wooden Frame (any size and style will work)

Two Black Tea Bags

Boiling Water

Sheet Music PDF (Here’s the site I used)

Office Depot enlarged blueprint (mine is 18×24)

Adhesive Spray

Foam Board for mounting

Printing Your Sheet Music:

The first decision to make with this project is what type of sheet music you’ll use. Since I completed this project as part of our Christmas mantle decor, I went with a page from my favorite hymn, “Oh Holy Night“. Here is the website where I pulled the PDF music from and there are literally hundreds you can choose.

The size frame you plan to use will of course determine what size enlarged print to get. This part was a little tricky, since I wanted to ensure the internal decorative part of the frame would not cover any part of the music. Ultimately I went with 18×24 and ended up trimming the paper edges so it fit perfectly inside the frame.

A quick trip to your big box office supply store should achieve a fairly inexpensive ($3.50) enlarged print. I had my sheet music uploaded to Office Depot’s website under Services – Printing – Large Prints – Blueprints.

The store was hesitant to print my sheet music on blueprint paper, but with a little coercing and charming, I made it happen. I suppose they’ve had a lot of DIY’ers like myself come in and request this engineer-specific paper for non-engineer projects ha!

The store clerk may try to encourage you to print on poster paper. If this should be the case, be sure the paper is NOT glossy. This will impact the antiquing process in not a good way. Simply put, the tea won’t absorb properly into the paper.

Antiquing Your Sheet Music:

Once you’ve received your print, it’s time for the fun part of antiquing it! There are several different ways to antique paper using tea bags. For this particular project where we have freshly printed text on paper, I will recommend the pour method. I’ll explain why in a bit…

The number of tea bags you use will be dependent on how dark you wish to antique. I used two black tea bags and was very pleased with the result. In a regular coffee mug, pour boiling water over the tea bags and wait for 5 minutes.

Remove bags from mug and set aside. The other method of antiquing paper that I chose NOT to do requires wiping down the paper with your cooled tea bag. When I attempted to do this, it smeared the freshly printed text, ack!

Therefore, instead of the wipe method, I decided to pour tea directly from the coffee mug onto the paper. Yes, my kitchen countertop was a mess – but this method worked much better and also made the sheet music looked less “manufactured”.

With my fingers, I gently (so as not to smear again) smoothed the cooled tea around until the paper was covered. In areas where the tea pooled, I smoothed around some more. Pooling can cause tears!

Lastly, I took the strained tea bags and gently blotted around the perimeter of the paper. This really gave it that antique ago old look I really wanted.

Drying Time:

Once you are happy with the coverage of tea over your sheet music, lay out some parchment paper in a low traffic area of your home. Be very careful when handling, as wet paper can rip easily. Place carefully on the parchment paper.

After 2-3 hours, you’ll notice the paper beginning to dry, and maybe even curl a bit on the sides. I laid some heavy coffee table books directly on top and that did the trick. If you wait too long for this step and place books on top of your fully dried paper, it may cause unwanted wrinkles.

The Final Steps:

Depending on the type of paper you chose, you may or may not need to mount the sheet music. In my case, with the light and airy blueprint paper, mounting it was a must. I grabbed some adhesive spray and foam board from Michaels’.

With one gentle coat on the back of my sheet, I carefully laid it on top of the foam board and pressed down.

The next step was to fit the board into my frame. This gold traditional frame was purchased at a special vintage market in Spain. We purchased four of them but haven’t been able to decide on a spot in our new home. This Christmas project of course was the perfect fit.

How do you like the final result? If you decide to try out this project, or if you have any questions during the process, be sure to leave a comment below. Happy Holidays all!