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Distressing is a fun way to add visual interest and change the appearance of your scrapbook layouts. There are many ways to create distressed looks. Distressing techniques are fun, easy, inexpensive, and can be used singly or combined together to create unique effects. Shabby chic, grunge, and classic vintage are just a few of the popular and appealing results you can achieve by employing distressing techniques, many of which can be seen on the layout featured here.
Sandpaper, emery boards, steel wool, distressing tools, or the straight edge of scissors can be used to distress around outside edges of photos, journaling blocks, embellishments, stickers, patterned paper, and cardstock. Do as much or as little as you want. Papers with a white or light core give an interesting look when sanding through the surface or edges, as it reveals this core. Different looks can be created by using different grains of sandpaper. Fine-grain sandpaper will create a slightly distressed look, while sandpaper wih a medium or coarse grain provides a scratched look. Experiment with the sandpaper to create different effects. Here are just a few ideas: Try crumpling paper, then sanding the creases when the paper is opened up. Sand over computer-generated or handwritten lettering, or create crosshatching by sanding the surface in both directions.
If you love the worn, comfortable feel you get from vintage photos, ephemera, and memorabilia, chalking, inking, or painting can provide additional appeal. For added interest, try chalking or inking surfaces or edges after sanding. Inks and chalks are available at most craft and scrapbook stores. Just make sure they are acid-free.
Chalking: Chalk can be applied with a cotton swab or eyeshadow applicator. Chalk crumpled or folded paper, edges of patterned paper; die cuts, stickers, and chipboard: color in stamp, huffing on stamp once ready to stamp onto paper.
Inking/Painting: Ink pads are simple to use around outside edges of patterned papers, stickers, or embellishments: gently press ink pad onto folds of crumpled paper, or create faux burning by tearing edges and then rubbing with dark brown ink pad.
Crumpling and folding papers is a great way to make them look worn, old, and shabby. This technique is so simple and it doesn’t cost anything extra. Paper can be crumpled wet or dry to create different looks. Try sanding folded areas once opened. Crumpling paper dry: Crumple paper into a loose ball, then gently unfold paper. Repeat until desired effect is achieved. A warm iron can be used to flatten paper. Crumpling paper wet: Mist paper with warm water, then crumple paper and gently unfold, making sure not to tear paper. Allow paper to air-dry or use a warm iron to flatten. Tip: To iron, place several paper towels underneath and over crumpled paper. Iron until slightly damp. Allow paper to dry completely before using. Folding: Folding papers after crumpling them can add to the distressed look. To get the look of an old document, fold the paper and sand the folded edges. Paper will shrink slightly when crumpled. Try crumpling the entire sheet of paper, then cut to desired size and shape. For added effect, try sanding, inking or chalking after crumpling.
There are plenty of computer programs out there that can do this with your pictures, but nothing beats doing it by hand. Simply use a cotton swab or eyeshadow applicator with an acid-free ink pad and apply color desired to area of black-and-white image to be colorized.