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Scrapbooking Techniques: Distressing Effects

Distressing papers or embellishments for scrapbooking layouts has been done for some time. But distressing in various forms is still popular. A friend and I were recently talking about some new and interesting ways to alter or distress your paper for layouts. Here is a summary of the ones we came up with. If you have some to add, please either email me ([email protected]) or put a comment in on this post:

Sanding – Use an emery board if you don’t have any sandpaper around the house. Gently sand the edges of your paper and even the whole surface if desired. Don’t press too hard at first and make sure to check your paper to make sure you haven’t taken off too much of the design. Sherelle Christensen often uses sanding (and inking) in her layouts.

Tearing – Tear the edges of your paper instead of cutting it; or what about after cutting out something, make little tears on the edges using your fingers. After you do this, roll the edges a bit and then press down.crinkledflowers.JPG

Crinkling – Scrunch up your paper in a ball then open it up and flatten it out again. You can also make the paper slightly damp before doing this. This will create more ‘hills and valleys.’ Take a look at sample at left or Teresa Collins’ text flower to see a wrinkled paper look.

Fringing – cut tiny little strips on the edges of your paper. An alternative is to fold every second strip up so it looks more 3D.

paintededges.JPGPainting – Roughly paint the edges of your paper (see sample at right.) You don’t have to use a paintbrush for this. You can get a rough look by using a q-tip to dip into your paint and apply to the paper. This effect looks particularly interesting on transparencies. Remember the mini baby announcement by April Peterson? Another idea is to take a bit of paint and dab it on the end of a toothbrush. Then holding toothbrush in front of your paper at an angle, gentle ‘flick’ some paint onto your paper using your finger , a plastic knife or some other tool.

coffeestain.JPGStaining- Stain your paper with alcohol ink, coffee stain it or tea stain it. (Coffee stain at left showing thicker mixture on cover than inside edges.) You can also use walnut ink. Walnut ink often comes in powder form and you need to add water to it. If you put it in a spray bottle, you can get an interesting effect. Make sure you don’t put too much water on it or your paper will become wrinkled – unless you want this to happen!

Beeswax – This exciting technique is spreading from the mixed media art world into scrapooking! Take a look at this CraftTV Weekly’s episode hosted by Bethany Fields for a demonstration on how to do it. For a more in depth look, Claudine Hellmuth also has a brand new DVD out called, “inkededges.JPGCollage- Beeswax Collage with Claudine Hellmuth” which can be previewed here and purchased here.

Inking – One of the most widely used techniques for distressing is inking the edges of your paper using a stamp pad. Just hold the paper at an angle and rub the inkpad against the edges of the paper. (See layout sample at right.)

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