Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How To: Paper Distressing 101

Stress, it's everywhere. At the office, on the roads, at the pumps, and on the scale (now that's another story!). 
Sometimes, I cause stress. Or so I've been told! I'll admit, I don't set out to create stress unless it has to do with paper. In fact, I love distressing paper!!

One important thing to remember: De-stressing is what we do in a hot bubble bath. Distressing is what we do to alter the color or add texture to our papers.

Here are three easy methods and tools I use to distress:


Close To My Heart cardstock has a beautifully smooth surface with deep rich color.
All CTMH cardstock has a white core.
This is Cocoa.

Here is that same, smooth sheet of cocoa paper after a few distressing techniques were applied.

Edges: Once upon a time I used (and ruined) my scissors to rough up the edges. I was really happy to discover this nifty little, inexpensive tool from Close To My Heart. I can create a distressed edge in no time flat!

Close To My Heart 

Z1297 Edge Distresser $2.50

Safer than scissors! This is a great addition to your scrapbooking and cardmaking tools. Use any of the eight blades to safely and quickly distress the edge of our exclusive white core cardstock. (2 1/2" diameter)

Surface: If you purchase "white core" cardstock, you always have the option of sanding the color surface to allow a little, or alot of the white core to show through. Remember stone-washed jeans? Well, it's kind of like that! You'll be giving the paper a worn look that blends easily with all the other elements on your project. I used the little sanding block from Close To My Heart's sanding kit to soften up the white core Cocoa paper you see in the photos above.

Close To My Heart 

Z1294 Sanding Kit $3.50

Sanding gives items a worn, broken-in appearance. Create instant character for your projects with our handy and practical Sanding Kit. Four-sided sanding block features three popular grits: one rough 60 grit, two regular 100 grit, and one fine 220 grit. The emery board offers 100 grit on one side and 200 grit on the other. Three pieces of sandpaper (4"" × 4") come in rough, regular, and fine grits.
The ribbing you see was done by scoring the paper every 1/2" using a Score Pal* 

*There are several versions of scoring  tools available at most craft and hobby stores.

There are countless ways to distress paper and hundreds of tools to accomplish the task. I'm sharing what I've learned from the pros and talking about the tools that have given me the best results. Experimenting is just about the most fun you can have with paper, scissors, and adhesive. So, just go for it! You'll soon find what works best for you too!

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