There are so many "futuristic" interfaces out there. Sometimes it's nice to go in the other direction. You will add some nice guns to your arsenal with this tutorial on worn paper.
a new document, and paint the background brown. If you want to get a little more depth, use a gradient.
Now that's nice, but it's too smooth. Add just a touch of noise ( > Noise > Add Noise). I used "Uniform" and about 1.5%.
Cool, so you have a nice background to start with. This will help sell this effect.
Now we will draw our paper. Make a new layer, get out the marquee tool, draw a square almost as big as the canvas, and fill it with another gradient. Add the noise again as well. We want this to look rough and worn.
Pretty simple so far eh? The fun part is coming up.
Now we want our paper to have nice torn edges. Zoom in to about 300%. Get out the lasso tool, and using a technique I can only describe as "El Shaky Hand," make a zig-zaggy selection around the edge.
It might help to select a little bit at a time, then move your canvas, then SHIFT select another piece - working your way around the whole square.
Now that you have your selection, cut it, and you should have a nice rough edge. That's nice, but it still needs something else.
a new layer above your paper, then ALT click between the layers. This will make the paper layer a "mask" for your new layer.
Now get out the ol' paint brush (a soft one - about 100px) and paint around the edges in your new masked layer. Use "El Shaky Hand" again for this one. It will add a nice touch to the edge.
You might want to add a nice drop shadow, or a few tears like I did here.
To review, this is what we learned today:
• Gradient Fills
• Adding Noise
• El Shaky Hand