Don’t Stress, Try to Distress!

Ever wonder how to “distress” things on a card?  Here are a few different ways:

To start, I embossed some different leaves and cut them out.





The first way you can distress is just by crinkling up your paper, then straightening it out again.  I did this with all of my leaves.





Another way to distress is to use some sand paper, or a sanding/buffing block and scuff the paper.  I did this with a few of my leaves.  The reason I crinkled them first was so that only parts would scuff off and leave color on other parts.

A different way of distressing is to use some ink rubbed across the paper.  I crinkled the paper first so the ink would only show up in certain areas and only rubbed lightly, so there wouldn’t be too much ink.

On the rest of the leaves, I used the cracked glass technique.  I thought this might give the leaves the look of frost on them, as well as the distressed look.  I didn’t need to crinkle the leaves first for this technique.

To start, you need some embossing ink, embossing powder, and a heat tool.  It helps to have a piece of paper that has been folded in half and unfolded to pour your embossing powder over so you can get it back into your jar easily.  It also helps to have Ultra Thick Embossing Powder (UTEE) or Deep Impression embossing powder.  Regular clear embossing powder works, but you have to do more layers to make it thick enough to crack.

To start, I rubbed the entire top of my leaves with embossing ink (clear) and poured embossing powder over the tops.

Then you want to use your heat tool (you can try using a hair dryer on high heat and low air OR an iron underneath but not touching the paper) to melt the embossing powder.  Because my leaves were so small, I decided I needed to use some tweezers to hold the piece.  That way my fingers didn’t get burned and weren’t in the way while I worked.

While that layer is still hot, quickly add some more embossing powder right on top of the first melted layer.  Then heat again.





Add a few more layers until it is quite thick, then set it aside to cool.

These were my four leaves after I had gotten about 3 layers on using the thick embossing powder.  They already look a bit distressed because I had crinkled them first, but it gets better.  After your piece is cooled completely, you want to pick it up and crack the layer of embossing powder.  To do that, you will have to bend the paper up towards the embossed layer.





I did this with all of my pieces bending in more than one place to get more of a cracked look.

Here is my collection of leaves with the different types of distressing:

Then I added a greeting and a piece of ribbon to my base card and attached my leaves all over.  Because of the bends in the leaves, I did not adhere the entire surface, but only parts.  That way they would be attached to the card, but still have lots of depth to them.  The idea was a pile of fall leaves in the morning with the frost melting.

You can distress by running scissors along a cut edge, tearing edges rather than cutting, and sponging ink, too.  There are so many ways to distress, which gives a card a very unique look to it.  Try one of these, or something new.

Thanks for sharing some of your time with me today!

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I am a child of God, wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. My favorite things to do are: read, make cards and candles, share what I've learned.

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