How to Distress Paper | Use this easy and fun distressing technique to create vintage style DIY Hand Lettered Art Prints and more!
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How to Distress Paper
I love the vintage-y look. Today, I’m going to show you how to distress paper using this easy and fun technique to create a vintage-style DIY Hand Lettered Art Print. My print was inspired by the following quote from J.R.R. Tolkien. I thought it was quite fitting for the distressed paper look!
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
― J.R.R. Tolkien,
- Smooth Heavy Weight White Cardstock
- Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Colors: Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, Walnut Stain)
- Mini Ink Blending Tool
- Water Mister (optional)
- Tombow Dual Tip Brush Marker in Black
- Paper Towel
Let’s Get to Distressing the Paper!
Note: I work on a piece of wax or parchment paper to avoid staining my desk/workspace.
- With your Blending Tool, pick up some of the darkest ink. I used Walnut Stain. Hold the Blending Tool at an angle to do the edges of your cardstock paper. Use sweeping circular motions to add color, grabbing more ink as need.
- Do the same thing with the medium shade, Vintage Photo. Pull some of this shade into various parts of your page using the circular blending motion.
- Now fill in the remainder of your paper with the lightest shade, Vintage Linen.
- Play around with all the colors, adding to your page until you’re happy with the overall look.
You can see mine in the work-in-progress steps below…
Want it to look even more aged? Let’s add water spots!
I did! And it’s really easy to add the water spots.
I used a mister but it’s really not necessary, I just happened to already have one. Just put a bit of water in your hand and splash some drops quickly onto your paper. Pat dry with a paper towel right away. The color pulls up pretty fast.
If too much ink pulls up, just add a bit more of the lightest color ink with the blending tool. I did this on mine.
After it dries, it’s time to add our brush calligraphy lettering! You can find a lesson on brush lettering including some free practice sheets on my Hand Lettering 101 page. If you want more in-depth instruction, check out my Brush Calligraphy Guide + Workbook with the button below.
I always start by sketching ideas in pencil and then I do my brush calligraphy. After I was happy with the layout of this quote, I used my Tombow Dual tip to letter on the distressed paper.
Pretty fun, right?
Have fun creating with this easy technique that adds a ton of character to your arkwor!