Okay, new technique. Actually this is very basic. There are other versions of this, but this one is quick and simple. To get the faded text background in my "Childhood" ATC (yes, that's me), I simply applied masking tape to a page from a book (a rather trashy novel that happened to have a nice font found at the dollar store).
Then peel away. Repeat as you like.
Here's the end result - a little worn and faded looking, perfect for a background affect.
Speaking of finding cheap materials, I popped into the used bookstore the other day and found this amazing star guide that has this brilliant blue color in many of its illustrations.
I used it to make this background:
I also picked up a basic thesaurus. Look at all those words!!! Just begging to be clipped and pasted onto an ATC.
And here's a French dictionary and an old literature book. I purposefully looked for the books with aged pages.
Still looking for more entries for our landscape-themed challenge (scroll below)!