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4 EASY Ways To Create The Distressed Scrapbooking Look

One of the fastest growing trends in the world of scrapbooking is the distressed scrapbooking look.

This quick-start guide to ageing and distressing will give you some simple techniques that you can start using today!

# 1 Ageing Backgrounds.

• Brown Paper Bags.  One of the most effective ways of creating a distressed background is to use a brown paper bag (the size that groceries comes in) or brown packaging paper.  Crinkle up
the bag several times, so that it creates all sorts of creases and folds.  When you are through, flatten out the paper and adhere it to a scrapbook backing.  This will give an overall look of an aged background.

• Solid Scrapbook Paper.  Fold a piece of solid scrapbook paper, using different angles and size folds.  Flatten the paper and adhere it to your scrapbook backing.  Using a darker shade of glitter or glitter glue, trace some of the indented folds.  This will give an overall aged look.

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# 2 Distressing Photo Mats.

Creating a distressed look for your photos can bring a lot of appeal to your layout.

Choose a piece of patterned scrapbook paper or wallpaper and cut it to form a 1″ border on all sides of the photo. Using the blade of your scissors, rub along each edge. This will cause tiny tears in the paper.

The harder you rub, the more ragged the edges will be come.

When you are through, paint the edges with brown distress ink.

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# 3 Distressing Journal Blocks.

Distressing journal blocks can be done in a number of ways. Begin by cutting cream color cardstock into blocks or use price tags that are made out of manila cardstock and have a hole punched near the top. Here are a few ways to distress the journal blocks.
• Distress Ink Pads. Using an ink pad that is designed for distressing journal blocks and a blending tool, distress the edges of the journal block by making circular motions along the edges. If you have a craft mat be sure to place it under your work. As you make the circular motions you'll be partially on the block and partially on the mat. If you don't have a craft mat, place a piece of wax paper or scrap paper under your work. When you're through going around all the edges, your journal block will look as though it's aged. To add to the vintage look, tie a piece a ribbon through the top of the block if you're using a tag and add a scrapbook charm.

• Washable Markers. A super easy way to distress a journal block is to use a washable marker. Choose a color that is close to the card of your cardstock. If you're using cream colored cardstock, then use a yellow or brown marker. If you want to go with a colorful journal block, pale green is a good choice for the cardstock along with dark green for the marker. Place your journal block onto a craft mat or piece of scrap paper and scribble back and forth along each edge, covering about 1/8 or ¼ inch of the journal block. Then use your finger to smudge the scribbling. This will cause an uneven darkening effect to the edges.
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Distress ink pads work a treat!
• Tea Bags. To create a unique overall distressed look, soak three or four tea bags in boiling hot water. Using a pan, pour enough tea to just cover the pan. Soak journal blocks made out of white or cream cardstock in the tea mixture for two or three hours. Blow dry the blocks with a heating gun. Using the tea bags, press randomly onto the journal blocks and blow dry again. When you are through, you'll notice dark and light markings on the journal blocks. For an even more dramatic contract, scrunch up your journal block, flatten it, and then brush on distress ink. The ink will make the creases turn darker.

# 4 Aging printed text.

If you plan on adding printed text to your layout, such as the inside wording of a greeting card or a phrase from a magazine page, you can age the text with the use of distress ink, a small paint brush and water.

Wipe the edges of your text block onto a light color distress ink, such as pink or orange. Dab your paintbrush into the water and tap it so that the bristles are barely wet. Use the paintbrush to pull the ink in towards the text.

Keep pulling in the ink until the entire text is lightly coated with the ink. Using a different color distress ink, such as brown or green, use a dry paintbrush and paint along the edges.

Pull the ink partially in with the paintbrush. When you are through, you'll have a two-tone aged text.

As you experiment with ageing your layouts, in addition to these techniques, you might also want to try using sandpaper, steel wool, coffee, a nail file, spray mist or even chalk.

One of the key things to keep in mind is not to overdo with the distressing.

If you're going to use a distressed background, then you might only want to age a couple other elements. If you're ageing your journal blocks, then perhaps you won't want to distress your photo mats.

Want more help creating that "old world" look on your pages? Check out our other article that shows you how to create a vintage scrapbook layout that looks authentic.

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