How-To - Hand Torn Paper

With wedding season here, I've been getting a lot of questions about how I give my escort cards that beautiful, rustic, deckle edge. Though giving your paper that hand-torn treatment isn't rocket science, I have found that I prefer a certain method, which I'm sharing today!

First, a brief background on the hand-torn paper look. Back when paper was made by hand, papermakers used a frame called a "deckle" to mold and shape sheets of paper to the right size. In this process, as the slurry of materials that make paper dried, some would fall through the frame to create a rough edge. The deckle edge stood out, compared to smooth edged paper, as being a status symbol or representative of a more refined papermaking process. Today, this look is manufactured and is typically what you see when you purchase hardcover books.

Hand tearing gives paper a faux deckle edge look that is so stylish and sought after. Below is my step-by-step process for creating that look.

Photo May 06, 2 04 45 PM.jpg

Materials: 

  • Watercolor paper or heavy card stock (140lb or heavier)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler/straight edge

Step 1: Draw out guidelines for your cards.

Here I'm making flat escort cards that are 2"x4". It helps if you give yourself a good margin around the edges so you have something to grip as you tear the paper.

Step 2: Line up your straight edge to one of the guidelines you just drew and tear!

Put pressure on your straight edge and pull the corner of the paper up against the ruler. I like this method better than folding/ripping because the edge always looks a little too worn and creased that way. 

Step 3: Repeat for all guidelines

Step 4: Marvel in the beauty of your new cards!

You'll notice that this method will provide you some nice rough edges without being too creased.

I'd love to see you try! Feel free to comment with your Instagram handle or tag me on Instagram for a little love. Questions? Feel free to post those below. Can't wait to see what you do!