Faux Torn Mosaic

by Carole Burrage

Create a fun and funky background that adds texture and depth to your designs!


  • One 4.25” x 5.5” piece of cardstock, any color

  • One 5” x 7” or larger piece of patterned paper

  • Two colors of dye ink from the same color family, one lighter, one darker (Adirondack Latte and Memento Rich Cocoa used here)

  • Sponge

  • Sponge dauber

  • Mod Podge™

  • Sponge brush or makeup sponge

  • Paper trimmer


  1. Step 1

    Tear up patterned paper into a bunch of random shapes. They don’t need to be the same size, just don’t make them too large (that would make for a dull background) or too small (you’ll be inking them forever).

  2. Step 2

    Take your sponge and dab the lighter ink on your pieces.

    Then, take your dauber and ink the edges of each piece with the darker ink.

  3. You will end up with a pile that looks like this:

  4. Step 3

    Rub Mod Podge™ on each piece and adhere to your cardstock.

    Overlap the pieces to completely cover the cardstock.

  5. When you finish, you’ll get something that looks like this:

  6. Step 4

    Using your paper trimmer, trim background to desired dimension (mine is 3.75” x 5”).

    Then, using your dauber and darker ink, ink around the edges of the background.

  7. Step 5

    Drizzle some Mod Podge™ on top of the background, and smooth out with your foam brush or makeup sponge. Let dry.

  8. Step 6

    Accessorize and embellish background as desired to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece (sometimes mistakenly referred to by civilians as a ‘card’).


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Faux Torn Mosaic. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

This is a great tutorial, and I love your masterpiece, but why is it "faux"? You really tore the paper, and you really mosaicked it together - that would be a real torn mosaic, not a faux one.
Juliet A  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 9:33 AM
This is a really neat look. I can't wait to try it!
Sandy  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 9:58 AM
Just exactl what I was going to say. It IS torn; it IS a mosaic!
But certainly pretty whatever you call it.
blue-spruce  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 10:00 AM
Love this! I can hardly wait to put the idea into use. I am always looking for something different, I am already thinking of different ways I can use this.
Cindy Kokensparger  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 10:15 AM
What a fun, fun idea!! My head is spinning with possibilities. TFS!!!
Stephanie Perry  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 10:50 AM
My first thought - - I love it. My second thought - a lot of work - and yet I'm game. Thanks for sharing. I love the result.
Cindy  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 10:51 AM
Very interesting background!!!! Will try this today and get started on some Christmas cards with this background.
Marylin Ehlow  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 10:55 AM
Nice tutorial and a fun way of getting rid of some leftover scrap paper.
Elly  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:11 PM
Darn! I thought that the sponge in your picture was a cookie! Great tutorial. Can't wait to try it smile
Connie  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:22 PM
I think you did a beautiful job, and think that you can call it whatever you like..considering you did the tutorial! Great job!
Patience  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:50 PM
What tool does Beate use to apply ink to the edges of the card?
patty little  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 12:58 PM
Hi Patty,
I am using Ranger's Blending Tool. I love it! I have several....one for every color group and several for browns (light, medium and dark).
Hugs and smiles
beate  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 1:02 PM
Just seen this done on TV, a little differently. Great tutorial. Many people will love to have a go at this. Will put a link on my blog
Spyder  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 1:53 PM
Great idea...can't wait to try it.
Diane  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 4:25 PM
This looks fun. I always liked the look of real mosaic stones with grout. Now I can achieve the look. Thanks!!!
Sally  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 4:51 PM
Your masterpiece looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing this idea.
Sandra K  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 4:58 PM
I'd LOVE to know what stamp that is with the pregnant lady! can you email me with where the stamp is from? please please please??? LOL thanks so much!!
LuAnn  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 5:08 PM
Great video, Beate! If only we could see your beautiful face!

As for the 'Faux' title... you're right Juliet and Blue Spruce. I guess we were thinking of traditional mosaic materials like tiles or stones when trying to put a name to this technique. I'm all for accuracy, and thus happy to have the title changed to 'Torn Mosaic' if the Brass feel like doing so. smile
TruCarMa  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 5:14 PM
Where in Oklahoma are you? I grew up in Oklahoma City. Small world!!!
True Rascliff  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 6:32 PM
Thanks for the great tutorial. Could you please advise if I can substitute normal pva glue for the mod podge? Thanks.
Shanti  |  Wed Nov 18, 2009 at 7:43 PM

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