Technique Thursday - Distressing Papers

Thursday, November 04, 2010
First we want to start out with a nice paper like I’ve shown here.  And for an added bonus, I’ve included this as a download along with the brushes I created for this mini tutorial in our Artist’s Studio Forum where our registered and logged in users can get for free.  If you’re not registered and playing with us in the forum, you are missing out!
I created this paper very easily.  Here are my steps I used.
I opened a new document 12x12 300ppi
Filled the background with a color.
Choose a floral brush (I used Jodi Patterson’s, CU Antique flower brushes for this example).
Create a new layer and call it floral overlay (or whatever you want).
Then I set my brush options for spacing, scatter, jitter and size and simple brushed across my canvas on my floral overlay layer a few strokes.  It does take practice and adjusting your settings to find what you like.  cmd/ctrl Z to undo if you don’t like it or just start a new layer. ;)  LUV those layers!
Save to a jpg and close.  
Open your jpg file you just created.
I first texturize my paper using my Texturizing Tool.  I chose a nice canvas texture.  You can learn indepth about how to texture your papers with my Designing with Textures in the shop.
Create a layer below your floral paper layer.
cmd/ctrl click on the New Layer icon in your layers palette to do this. 
Fill with a light cream or white color.  Texturize the same as you did the floral paper.  (cmd/ctrl F) to repeat the texturizing.  OR, you can even bring in another paper for a total new look!
Load your distressing or grunge brushes into your brush palette.

Choose your Eraser Tool (E) and choose one of the grunge brushes included with this download or one of your own.
I prefer to use a non-destructive layer mask and paint with my brushes in case I don’t like how it turns out. With your floral paper layer selected, click layer mask in your layers palette.
Choose your grunge brush and make sure your foreground color is set to default black. (D)

Now begin by just “erasing” or “masking” around the edges first of your paper just slightly inside the canvas to reveal the paper below.  See the paper to the right above with just the edges touched for distressing.

Remember, you can adjust your flow or opacity of your brushes also. 
(The amount that the erase or paint being applied).  See your tool options just below your top menu.

Another reason I like to use the masking option.  If I reveal too much, I can fill it back in by clicking X (to change my black to white foreground color) and brush back over certain areas. 

From here you have many options.
Choose a different brush and continue distressing the edges, coming into the center a little more.
Place some distressing in the center of your paper.
Use a creasing brush to put some well placed creases in your paper. Or use an overlay if you like for creased paper and change the layer blending mode.
No limits, no boundaries, it’s all a matter of taste.
Save your paper to a jpg when you are happy with it.

NOW, for those of you who want to go farther with this new learned technique...
Instead of erasing or masking your top paper:
Start a new file.  Fill the first layer with a color so you can see what you’re doing.
Create a new layer above that with the floral brushes only.
Create a new layer above that one and use your grunge or distressing brushes and paint as you erased previously.  Use black, grays, white and cream... any of these work well.
Turn off your filled color layer and save as a png file.
You’ve just made your first overlay.  
Lay this on top of any papers you have, change the layer blending mode and done!  A whole new paper! 

Have fun with this and be sure to share your new creations with us in the Challenge Gallery or in our forum!

And no I didn't forget our winner from last week's comments!
#2 JODY!  
Send me an email at cileniac at yahoo dot com so I can find out your shop email and we can give you your $ credit in the shop so you can get the kit of your Inspired Kit (or a different one if you already bought that one).

And of course we will choose a new winner next Thursday from all the comments here in this post.
Want a peek at the new kit being released tomorrow?

Till next time! Hugs, 


  1. Jody said...:

    I so look forward to Thursdays when I can learn a new technique! THank you so much for sharing how to create items. I picked up more new tips in today's lesson :)

    Blue Winter looks like a real winner to me!

  1. lawyerlyn said...:

    thanks again for a great tutorial!

  1. Debi Putnam said...:

    Awesome technique! i LOVE learning from you.

    Blue Winter is definitely my colors!!!! I adore it.

  1. Jocelyn said...:

    C I loooooove the new kit, just gorgeous. And the tutorial is great too. Will have to head off and play now.

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