Thursday, August 13, 2009

Indiana Jones Invitations: Faux Burnt Edges

It's been birthday planning central around my house lately. Three of my four kids were born during the last week of August (no I didn't plan it that way, LOL!). It feels busier than the holidays around here as we run around coordinating birthday parties and family get togethers, while shopping for school supplies and taking last-minute summer vacations. But it's a fun time!

I enjoy planning their parties and thought I would share a little tip with you that has come in handy more than once . . . Faux Burnt Edges. I know that these samples aren't using a scrapbook page as an example, but just think how great this would look on a pirate page, a western page, a vintage page . . . or use it to make a treasure map! LOL!

Here's how you do it!

1. First a BEFORE and AFTER shot! "You can go from THIS to THIS in just a few minutes! WOW!!!" (that was my infomercial voice to get you excited about trying this! ;) ) If you are doing an invitation, copy your information onto parchment-type paper. Be sure to leave a generous margin around your type because we will be tearing the edges and you will be grateful for the room! :) (If you want the Indiana Jones style font you can find it HERE.. If you'd like to make your letters curve and have a color gradation like the movie title, I found directions on how to do it in Photoshop HERE.) I also copied an image of an old map onto the back of mine.

2. Next, carefully tear around each edge. You will notice that two of your edges will "tear" easier than the other two. That is because paper has a grain to it, just like wood. Makes sense! Since it's made from wood, right?! LOL! This is good to know if you are tearing something for a page . . . if you want a "cleaner" looking tear, tear WITH the grain. If you want it more jagged looking, tear AGAINST the grain. Same goes for folding in card making . . . you will get a cleaner fold if you fold WITH the grain.

How do you tell which way the grain goes? . . . Take a sheet of paper and hold it up parallel to the floor in front of you. "Bounce" the paper into a curve in both directions. The direction that has better "give" is the direction the grain is going. (Okay, sorry if that is more information than you wanted. My dad owns a printing business, and we had to know this stuff to plan for things sometimes, so I just thought I'd pass along my paper nerd "education". LOL!)

3. Pull out your supplies. You will need several different colors of brown Distress Ink (it has a longer drying time, and so it is easier to "smudge" around), a makeup sponge, and black chalk ink.

4. Dip your makeup sponge into a brown ink and start building up your colors working from the outside in. You can use just one ink, but building up more than one color brown looks more realistic. Be sure to protect your work surface. I like to use dollar store desk calendars . . . when my page gets gunky I just tear off the top sheet and I have a new, clean surface waiting for me underneath! (This is the perfect time to look for them at the Dollar stores and Target Dollar Spot sections, if you're interested! ;) )

5. Looking good!!! Finally, finish off your edges with a good coating of black chalk ink along the edges. This will make your torn edge look nice and singed! :)

6. Here's another shot of the before and after. :) Pretty fun, huh?! Tie a piece of twine around your invitation and send it out the door! Your guests are sure to be excited for your event when they open up their Treasure Map invitation! :D :D :D


  1. This is a GREAT tutorial Jana! I LOVE the idea about the desk calendar! Going to pick one up this afternoon! I desperately need it! :)

  2. that is a super great idea! you are a great mom for doing this for your kids :)

  3. This is fantastic!! Love it!! Thanks for the tutorial

  4. Jana you are such an amazing mom! They are always going to look back and love there birthdays and all the work you put into them.


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