Trendy Tuesday – Paper Tearing

Trendy Tuesday – Tear it up!
by Katherine Elliot

 Ready to relieve some stress while you are papercrafting?  Maybe that”s not exactly what inspires everyone to try this, but paper tearing is a trendy technique that has been around a long time and remains very popular.  Judging from the works I found from an array of talented, international paper crafters, it is one trend that is appreciated globally, too!   Now get ready to tear it up!

Torn & distressed edge card featuring stamps from Stampin” Up! by Trina Kuriger

Paper tearing is the perfect technique for vintage styles or shabby chic projects.  Tear edges of paper delicately or with gusto to create a perfect vintage look.  Sponging a bit of ink to the torn edges is a distress technique that is fashionable as well.

Scrapbook page by Helena Johansson, image source Willeasscrap

Scrapbook page and shabby edges tutorial from Helena Johansson, image source and info at Willeas Scrap

Of course many of us love to cut a perfect shape around our stamped images using dies or punches, but just tearing the paper around your stamped image adds an artistic flair as seen in this stylish card by Julie Gearinger.


Card with torn, distressed edge elements featuring stamps from Stampin” Up! ,  image source Stamping with Julie Geringer

 You don”t have to distress your paper much (or at all) to achieve a very attractive look.  The next two cards show some torn paper layers on a fairly simple card and a more highly embellished card.

Card by Toni Storie, image source Splitcoast Stampers


Torn edge layer card, image source Petaloo blog

 Patterned paper is also easy to tear and layer for a unique layout.  A bit of white edge showing along the tear line adds a bit of flair, too.  Janneke de Jong demonstrates a clean look to her torn paper projects with no additional sponging or distressing, just simple paper tearing.

Torn layered paper card by Janneke de Jong,  image source  Elphine House

Recipe book/journal cover by Janneke de Jong, image source from Janneke”s Creations

This simple patterned paper tearing technique is also great for scrapbook layouts.

 Torn layered paper scrapbook page by Jana Eubank , image source My Mind”s Eye Blog

 Torn paper layers also make perfect beach, sand, water and snow scenes!  Check out these examples of creative faux landscapes…

Beach scene card, image source and card by Neva McMullen at Neva”s Crafty Cave

Card by Joan Ervin, image source Stamping with a Passion  

White torn paper snow scenes are a personal favorite.  Crisp, white paper torn in curving shapes creating snowy drifts and hills with a bit of flocking or glitter make stunning winter scenes.

Pink Sky Snow Scene card by Kittie Caracchiolo, image source Kittie Kraft

Snow scene card by Colette Smith, image source Digi-re-doo-dah

Of course there are products available to help unleash even more torn paper creativity,  such as Core”dinations ColorCore cardstock papers.   Core”dinations cardstock have a variety of choices,  some with a matching color core or a surprising color core that is shown when you tear, distress, emboss and/or sand the cardstock.


Core”dinations color core cardstock, image Simon Says

Tim Holtz Core”dinations Distress Color Core Cardstock , image source Simon Says

Paper tearing can also lead to some fun embellishment making! Torn circles of cardstock or strips of torn patterned paper can be made into different types of rustic style flowers, as seen in the card and scrapbook page featured below.


Torn paper flower card & instructions for making flower at Little Birdie Secrets

Instructions on how to make torn paper flower from paper scraps, & image source at Club Creating Keepsakes

 Even if you aren”t using a torn paper layer on your project, there are many ways that paper tearing is useful in the creative papercrafting process.  Michelle Zindorf, well known for her beautiful brayer techniques and cards, demonstrates using a torn piece of paper or Post-It note as a guide for the inking process to create this lovely mirrored lake landscape…



Still Winter Card (and tutorial) by Michelle Zindorf.  Find tutorial and image source at Freedom in Creating

 Here”s a clean & simple card that used a very similar paper tearing technique to create an interesting sponged edge on the one layer project.

One layer card using torn edge sponging technique by Susan Goetter,  image source  Keeping in Touch

Want some more information on paper tearing?   Check out the simple instructions on easy tearing techiques found at Scrapbook 101 .   If you struggle with tearing stiffer cardstock to achieve the look you want, try and mist the paper with a little water then let your stress dissolve as you rip away.  There”s no wrong way to tear paper, so try your own technique and let your creativity be your guide.

scrapbook project Go ahead, tear it up!  image source Scrapbook 101

There are a lot of ways to incorporate paper tearing in your projects.  The technique is super simple.  Anyone can do it!  From simple to elaborate projects, it”s a fun way to paper craft.  If you are not yet inspired to try it, maybe sharing this amazing piece of torn paper art will do it…  All I can say about this art project is, wow!


Torn paper Owl Sculpture by Australian artist, Anna-Wili Highfield, image source It”s Nice That

 Now I”m sure you” re ready to start tearing it up!  Get at it and have fun.

As always, happy crafting!


6 replies on “Trendy Tuesday – Paper Tearing”

  1. I love the added texture and interesting lines torn edges give. Thanks for the extensive lesson on using the technique more fully.

  2. Wow – that owl at the end is just amazing. Seems like tearing was popular for a while, stopped being popular, and is now back in style! They come and go so quickly – great article!

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