Water Distressing Tutorial

Distress your papers using water!

A photo tutorial by: Robin Schelin









Lay out your basic design







Mark around the larger shapes so you know how far into the paper you need to distress.  I used the leaves to point to where I marked, so you can see it on the dark paper.







Trim the paper  with the larger paper in the back, getting a little smaller with each paper layer.  Edge distress and ink all the edges.







 With your fingers, wet the edges of the paper.  Run your fingers down each side wetting it as far in as you want the distressing to be.  Don't put the paper directly under the faucet, it gets too wet and runs all over the paper.  You only want the distressing area to get wet, otherwise your paper will bulk up  too bad.








By the time you get the last side wet, the first side  will be pliable enough to work with.  Start  gently moving, bending, scrunching, tearing folding etc. the paper, moving around till you get it distressed the way you want it.







Now you have all the sides done.







At this point you need to gently lay your distressed paper on top of the next layer to make sure you have distressed far enough in so the next layer will show.  If you need to, lay it back down and scrunch it up some more.







Once everything fits, you  start drying.  I like to use a heat gun, because it doesn't blow the paper around like a hair dryer does, but you can use that too.  Be sure to flip the paper over and dry the back, too.  Hold down the edges as you are drying, this helps to keep it flat.








Use the same technique with the small white papers shaping them into an arc to use as a ruffle on the coers.  I don't have a coer punch, so I just punched it straight, then shaped it when it was wet.






After you have shaped the paper, do a try in to make sure it fits and that the ruffle will show.  After you have the coers done, dry them with the heat gun.







Do the same thing with the next layer. Shaping it as you go.  Place the top layer on it, when you are done to make sure it fits right.  You should be able to see the second layer peeking out from the under the first one.






Place the white paper on top of the pink background paper.  Attach the coer pieces that you shaped.  I used a MS punch to punch out a strip to use for a lace effect for those 2 coers.  I just folded them accordian style and layed them on top of the rufles.






Place the brown paper on top that and you're done.  Now you're ready to start your layout!

So now you know how to water distress in 17 easy steps!!  lol!!  It's NOT hard!!  You just have to play around with it till you get what you want.  I found that it works best on heavier weight paper, and it's very imortant to hold the paper down while drying it.  Less lumpy that way!!!   The heat gun gets hot, so you can use  your tweezers or something else to hold it.

I have also found out that using zip dry (by accident!) to glue it down works better than a tape gun.  I ran out of adhesive in the middle of doing this tut, so I HAD to use zip dry because that was all I had, and I'm glad I did!!!  Smear it all over the back of the paper, then start pressing it down from the center of the paper out.  Works much better to control the lumps and bumps you can get with the paper.