Scrapbook and personal card crafters are always looking for ways to enhance the quality and uniqueness of their finished creations. Paper tearing is one of those simple, yet very effective ways to add that uniqueness to their cards and pages.
The reason this technique is so popular is because of its simplicity, and there are not tools required to make your creations–just paper and your fingers. In a matter of just a few minutes you can turn your cardstock, photos, vellum and other papers in to useful and interesting additions to your projects . . . adding varied dimensions, textures and interest as you go.
As you begin this simple technique you may want to experiment on scrap pieces of paper to see what effect your tear will have, and that this effect is what you’re looking for. Tearing gives you two separate textures: a smoother side and a rougher side. You get the smoother side by tearing the paper towards you, and the rougher look by tearing away from you.
Some papers have different colored cores–some card stock for instance. If you are looking to reveal that core you may want a more rough looking tear, so tear the paper away from you. Remember to experiment a bit with some scraps to see what the end result will be, and if that results is what you want.
A controlled jagged edge can best be made by placing the paper you wish to tear on a flat hard surface. With one hand hold your paper on the hard surface, and with the other hand–using only your thumb and index finger–begin the tear in small sections working down the paper to what ever length you wish. This slow small tear approach allows you to control the size and length of the tear.
For a wide tear effect, hold your paper with both hands and tear in opposite directions with each hand. The speed of your tearing will help determine how much control you have on the width of the tear. This techniques is best suited for longer paper tears.
If you’re looking for a more soft, fuzzy and delicate tear you’ll need to crease your paper where you want the tear to be. Then add a bit of moisture to the creased area using your finger moistened with water, or use a soaked cotton swab, or a sponge (not overly wet). Wipe the creased area to add a bit of moisture to the paper. With the crease moistened begin your tear–on a solid flat surface to help control the tear. Tear the paper down and towards you. The completed tear, when dry, will have a soft fuzzy appearance.
Another soft tear technique is to use a straight edge down on your paper and pull the paper towards you. The end product will be similar to the wet method above with a soft straight tear line. There are tearing guides that will also give your a patterned tear like the deckle or scallop edge.
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