1. Prepare base: I am using a book cover for the background.
I cut it off with a razor and then sanded the edges to make it look well...older..
2. Adhere the paper to the background, with glue. I used the Elmers school glue (and an old paint brush) Mod Podge can be used. It takes longer to dry but is 'sticker' and good for doing around a corner or a metal surface etc. Don't panic if the paper wrinkles it will flatten out upon drying.
For the paper - I like sheet music, or dictionary pages or even newspaper. (Newspaper is fragile and messier but looks great.) Any paper will do. I sometimes tear and use pieces or sometimes just one piece. The torn pieces add a nice raggedy look and 'age' with more contrast.
All glued down...notice I don't worry about getting an even layer of glue on the top...just overlap and slip slap it all down. I did keep the red book edge, and even went back and trimmed it straight with a razor. (If not "aging" the project put a couple of coats of the glue or Mod Podge on to seal the surface good.)
3. DRY DRY DRY...let it completely dry. Either wait - or dry with a blow dryer or heat gun.
4. Then the MAGIC - that brown shoe polish. Just start to rub in on...
Amazing, huh? The torn edges look great and it is blotchy. I didn't try to do the blotchy part it just happens all by it's self.
A couple other ideas...for my Valentine piece.
I put down just one piece of music.
Printed off on my inkjet printer the words for the song
Spritzed - with a sealer (any kind of clear spray varnish lacquer will work) - so the words wouldn't run
Glued it all down
Then washed with gesso to create washed out filmy looking words
THEN rubbed with the shoe polish
I love shoe polish. Clear can also be used for pieces. It gives a protective wax finish and is so soft and smooth to the touch.