Serrated Steak Knife: My favorite tool to use to distress edges of paper, by far, happens to not even be a scrapbooking tool! I discovered one day that a serrated steak knife from your kitchen drawer works almost flawlessly to get that random, torn, distressed look to your edges. I will admit it does take some practice to get used to it, but once you have mastered the knife distressing, you will rarely use anything else. First off I just found an older serrated steak knife from my kitchen. A non serrated knife will not really work, as the serrated edge gives the paper a more fuzzy, worn look and the smooth knife seems to just make cuts in the paper. Holding the paper in my left hand and the knife in my right, I go along the edge of the paper, only dragging the knife in one direction. If you try and go back and forth with the knife you won’t achieve the real distressing look you want. Going in one general direction keeps your distressing more consistent. LIGHTLY dragging the knife across the paper edge will give you a fuzzy worn look to your edges. The more pressure you use with the knife, the more worn and the more rips in the paper you will get. So just remember if you want more distressing, use more pressure.Sandpaper: Another one of my favorite tools is the sandpaper that you can buy from any local hardware store. Just cut off a piece of sandpaper about 3 inches by 3 inches and run that down the sides of your paper. Any grit sandpaper will work for this technique. The more coarse the sandpaper, the fuzzier the edges will be.
A Ruler: Another way to give the edges of your paper some distressing but having it be barely noticeable is using a 12 inch ruler and ripping your paper. Just line up the ruler on the paper and tear the paper TOWARDS YOU. This will give the remaining edge a more torn look, but if you use your fingernails to turn up the edges, it will be a very subtle distressing technique to try. One other technique I use before I distress is sewing along the edge of the paper BEFORE you use any of the above techniques. That sewing line will make sure that you don’t rip deeply into your paper and kind of acts like a ‘border’ for the distressing as well. Just practice on some scrap paper, and soon you will be an old pro at distressing!