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Paper Distressing Techniques

Paper Distressing Techniques

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Distressing can be done on a whole slew of items from a second hand dresser to a coffee table or picture frame. You can even distress your jeans, t-shirts or old boots for a trendy wardrobe alternative. One form of distressing involves creating faux finish on paper for a unique craft tool. Crafters distress paper as a fun hobby or even as a small home business. The end results make great stationary, greeting cards, and scrapbook paper.

Here are a few paper distressing techniques

- The most popular way to distress paper is to crumple the paper into a ball. This breaks the fibers, making it more receptive to the distressing techniques. Next, spread ink from an inkpad randomly throughout the paper. Spray the surface with a light mist of water and crumple again. You can leave as is or spray and crumple a few times until you get the desired pattern or result.

- Use an inkpad to color the edges or cracks and creases in the paper

- Sand paper the edges or sand down some of the paper surface to remove some color and expose the white stock beneath. Then lightly rub ink onto the revealed cracks for an aged look. These effects can also be done with an emery board.

- Use a scissors to curl edges like you do with gift ribbon

- Crumple the paper into a ball. Then you can smooth it out with your hand or iron it on the reverse to permanently set in the creases.

- Tear a small strip of the paper against the grain. You will see that a line of white feathered paper remains at the edge of the paper. Use this as your background or adhere both pieces to another piece of card stock, leaving a space between the strip and the bulk of the paper.

- Use a candle to burn the edges

- Try the plastic bag method for distress paper that is too stiff or delicate to crumple on its own. Crumple a piece of plastic and dab it into ink (an ink pad or ink well will do). Stamp the ink onto your cardstock over and over again until you've created the desired effect or pattern. You will probably need to re-ink frequently. Spray an ever so slight mist of water over the paper, and quickly dab away excess water with a paper towel.

- Curled up edges are beautiful, especially when used in multiple layers of paper. Run your finger nail along underneath the edge of the paper to raise the edge slightly. Press down the edge and fray it in and out with your nail. This gives a hint of three-dimensional effect to the paper.

- Special edge distressors are also available. These are contained blades in a plastic holder made for distressing paper edges. A scissor-edge can be used to achieve the same results.

- You can also add ornamentation to your paper to further the theme, style and look.

- Use doilies to create unique patterns within your distressed paper.

Experiment on scrap papers to see how each distressing technique will come out. Choose which distressed finish you like the best, and get started creating personalized paper products. Now you can display photos, write letters or create labels against this beautiful backdrop. Not only are you having fun while creating useful paper products, but every piece of paper with a distressed finish leaves you with a totally unique result. If you really like the way a particular distressed finish comes out, you can also scan it into your computer and print out copies to enjoy over and over again. Is this cheating? A little, but if you are having fun then just remember "All's fair in love and crafts"!

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