Distressing Digital Paper

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Distressing Digital Paper

This tutorial is done using Photoshop CS6.

With the main background of the paper already done,

I’ve got the layer I’m going to work with above it selected. This is the layer I’m going to distress.

First, click on the icon to “Add Layer Mask” in the layers panel. This is a great way to do some editing without actually harming the original art.

A white box will appear to the right of your layer in the layers panel.

Make sure you click on the white box so it is selected.

Now choose the eraser from the tools panel, and pick a brush. The best types of brushes to use for distressing are brushes that are, themselves, already grungy or distressed. I’m going to use brushes I’ve created (see end of tutorial for links).

Now click around on the art in your layer - and you’ll see parts of it being deleted. You should also notice the white box to the right of your layer is now showing some black areas. This is what you’ve deleted.

Then I added my final layer on top of non-distressed art to finish off this paper.

If you make a mistake or think you’ve deleted too much, you can change the eraser brush color to white, brush back over where you have deleted (making sure the white box is selected so you aren’t accidentally deleting or painting on your actual layer).

You can find brushes I used:
coffee stains
grunge brushes
splatter brushes

note: if you’ve seen this paper from the Dad’s Kit - the distressing might look different but was done with the same technique. I created this tutorial after I had already finished the paper (luckily I still had my “working layered paper”).

Awesome tutorial, thanks Brooke!

Thank you! After some fiddling about I was able to follow along in PSP smiley

Thanks for the tutorial but now I have secret agent man stuck in my head!

Thank you for the tut,i did leave a message wanting this tut somewhere for you.
Not sure if you've ever read my message or not,i am greatfull for this tut tho.

Thank you for this tutorial. I love that paper, I just downloaded it two days ago.

@Mersija, I did read the message. You left it in the comments for the paper. I sent you an email through your contact message/email letting you know that I made the tutorial and gave you a link to it. smiley

@Brooke=Thanks sweetie!!

Wonderful tutorial! Thank you so much!

Cool beans. I'm so excited to find all of these tutorials. smiley

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am just getting started making digital paper, and this was so helpful!

That's a good idea.

Thank you so much for this tutorial!! Love it!

Wonderful tutorial Brooke! Thanks so very much! smiley

Awsome!! the brushes are great!

Thank you - great info!

Awesome! Thanks!

Tutorial was great Brooke, it answers a lot of my questions that I had in making distressed papers.

gracias por el tutorial y por los pinceles

I've wanted to know how to do this. thanks so much!!!!

Great tutorial! Can't wait to try this technique!

A million thank yous smiley I've never even thought about doing it this way, how awesome!

Gracias me ha encantado

Very helpful. Thank you.


Thank you for the great tutorial!

thanks, this is a neat technique!

Thanks smiley

Thank you Brooke!

Just what I was looking for. Thanks Brooke

Awesome! Thanks for sharing!