Paper Tearing is an very easy technique which can add instant dimension and character to your layouts.

If you are using a cardstock that has a white core or if you are using a patterned paper, there are two simple steps to remember. Tear away from you for the same color of the surface paper. Tear towards you to show the white of the paper.

One great way to get the paper to tear exactly where you want is to dip a q-tip in water and drag that along the paper to wet it. This works especially well on mulberry and any handmade paper.

Adding Texture...

When you tear the paper towards you it leaves the soft torn center and chalking this edges gives the paper even more dimension.
Try using walnut ink for a shabby chic look.
You could even ink and emboss the edges.
Roll the torn edges for a 3D effect.

Uses...

matting photos, poems, titles, borders
making serendipity squares
simple paper shapes (a sun, flag, heart)