Paper Tearing

Paper tearing is a fantastic scrapbooking technique. Remember how you used to tear up pieces of paper as a kid? You can now “legally” indulge in tearing paper for your scrapbook layout.

It’s a popular technique because no special tool is needed. It’s also popular because it’s easily applied and one of the simplest scrapbooking techniques.

Within quick minutes, you can add textures, dimensions and interest to borders of your cardstock, patterned papers, vellum, photos and more!

Of course, different types of papers will affect the texture of the paper when torn.


How Different Papers Affect the Tear

Scrapbook layout about my birthday celebration with friends

Thinner paper doesn’t mean that it’s easier to tear. Cardstock can be easier to control.

When paper is torn, there’ll be a smooth and a rough side. So if you have a paper that’s double-sided, you can choose to have the smooth edge or the rough torn edge. For a smooth edge, tear the paper away from you. For a rough edge, pull the tear towards you.

Some paper have the same color core throughout while some have a white core when torn. If you like to reveal the white core, remember to tear the paper toward you.

Not sure how your paper tear will look like on different papers? Just grab a few pieces of scrap paper and try out different tears and see how you like them.


Tearing Variations

There’s a few variations to tearing that will give you various looks to the torn edges.

Soft and Fuzzy Edge
For a softer and fuzzier edge, fold the paper to form a good crease. Then use a cotton swab or your fingertip to apply a trickle of water down the crease to wet it slightly. Then tear away along the wet crease.

Wide Torn Edge
For a long tear with a wide torn edge, simply hold the paper with your fingertips and start tearing with both hands in opposite directions.

Controlled and Jagged Edge
If you want a controlled jagged edge, lay the paper on a flat surface. Then hold down the paper with your non-dominant hand and start making slow and small tears towards with the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand as seen in the photo below.

Photo showing the paper tearing technique.

This is such a simple technique that will bring different effects to your scrapbook layout. Once you get the hang of it, you can even tear out the outlines of shapes like a heart to use as a page accent. Have fun!

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