The Distressed Look

Adding the distressed look is a particularly good way of creating an aged and weathered appearance to your paper, cardstock or even your photos ( copies of course! ).

I'll be adding images and videos to this page soon to show you how to create the distressed look on your pages, so visit again in the future.


  • Tearing your paper or cardstock can give a decorative edge.
  • You can also get cardstock that has a colored core that contrasts with the color of the cardstock.
  • Tearing your paper toward you with your left hand will leave a white edge on the right hand torn edge.
  • Tearing paper with your right hand toward you will leave a coloured edge.
  • Dampening the paper with water in the area you want to tear will vary the torn edges.

The Crumpled Look

You can get this look with your paper using a dry or wet technique:-

  • Dry - Crumple or scrunch your piece of paper into a tight ball then gently unfold, then use an iron to flatten the paper.
  • Wet- using a water spray bottle, mist your paper or cardstock with warm water. The crumple it into a ball and then gently unfold. You can let it air dry or you can iron it once it has dried a little.

This technique can cause the piece of paper to shrink slightly so keep this in mind.


  • Chalks can be used to create an antique look.
  • Chalk can be used to color the white edges of torn paper.
  • You can use brown or black chalk on the edges of photos.


  • Burning the edges of paper also can create a antique look.


  • Lightly sanding the edges of photos with a fine or medium piece of sandpaper or sanding block will expose the layers underneath the surface.
  • Sanding the edges of paper will create a worn look.

Wire Brushing

  • Using a wire brush or even stainless wool in a gentle one way direction is another great techinique. You just have to be careful not to create holes in the paper.


  • Staining is not an acid free way to create the aged look so you will have to use an archival mist to buffer the paper or other material.
  • You can dip your paper in tea or coffee to create an aged look.
  • You can also dip white ribbon, lace or fabric in tea or coffee to add the aged look.


Another way to create the aged look is with ink. There are suitable inks available in many different colors that are great for scrapbooking:-

  • Distress inks by Tim Holtz. Tim's company has a fantastic range of inks such as Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain, Worn Lipstick, Spiced Marmalade, Broken China and Seeded Mustard
  • Tim Holtz also has a new range of distress markers
  • Ranger Inks also have fantastic inks available.

Here is a great video showing you how to create the weathered look with ink.

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