Basically there are two things to remember when you tear paper edges:
1. Tear toward you for a rough white edge.
When you tear toward yourself with the colored part of the paper facing you, you will get a course edge that shows the core of the paper. If the core of the paper is white, you get the white edge. Some types of card stock have the pigment all the way through, so that you get a rough edge, but it is the same color as the front of the paper.
2. Tear away from you for an irregular edge without the white.
When you tear the paper away from you, it puts the torn side on the back. This makes for a jagged edge, but you cannot see the core. This is a really good technique for when you want to roll the paper edges for an even more textured look. (Use this technique on frames in which you want to really accent the picture inside!)
A couple more pointers:
Using water to draw your design may make it easier to get the effect you want. Lay your paper on the table and use your thumb to make more intricate tears. Extra Tip: Chalking the torn edge gives you further dimensional quality! Torn paper edges accept chalk very well. And last but not least, don't forget vellum. It tears very nicely!
Try paper tearing to make the elements on your pages stand out! It can make Journaling Blocks, Borders, Mosaics (with torn cardstock pieces), Mats for photos, and even Letters, look fabulous.
Use your imagination and tear your paper into cute embellishments and additions such as:
Give paper tearing a try. I am sure you will love the dimension it gives your layout! The best thing of all is you can do it today. There are no special tooks required!