My wife and I are rarely “crafty” people, but when the mood hits us, we can really do some cool stuff. And the mood hit us last weekend.

As I’ve shared in the past, a fellow geek-dad and me have started a D&D campaign among our sons — all under the age of 11. He’s the DM, and I’m a character, playing along with the boys. We’ve had a lot of fun sharing our love for the game with the kids — and they’ve really taken to it.

So when one of the friends of my 11yo said that he wanted a D&D starter set for his birthday, we decided to do not only that, but invite him to our regular D&D group. And that’s where it all started… with my wife saying, “Y’know, we could fake-age some paper with tea and then make the invitation look all archaic and junk.”

And we were off to the races. We stained some drawing paper, and then we dried it on a sheet of tin foil with a hair dryer. Then I did a little fake calligraphy and burned the edges to make it look like it had a run-in with a dragon. We sealed with with candle wax. Next we faux-distressed some more paper to act as wrapping paper, wrapped the book up and assembled the entire gift which included all of this plus some dice and a dice bag.

We were both pretty proud of how it turned out.