Techniques: Torn Edge Box, Burnt Edge; Using a Slide Mount
Torn Edge Box: lots of the photos and papers here were cropped with the Torn Edge Box crop. To do this, click on Crop. Now click on Pull or Adjust Pattern, then click on the box down arrow to display the drop menu. From the menu, select Torn Edge Box. Place your cursor on your photo, and hold down the left button to drag out the box. You can adjust the box by moving your cursor over the rope until the directional arrows appear, then hold down the left mouse button to move that side of the crop rope. You can also move the whole crop box by moving you mouse over the crop until the move arrows appear and then hold the left button to move the whole box.
To crop the papers, simply add the papers to your collage and use the Torn Edge Box as above to crop. Now if you would like all of your cut papers (or photos) to be the same size you can keep the same crop rope and just move papers under it to crop. Choose the Keep Crop Rope option in the crop box and the rope will remain after you crop. Then change back to Correct mode and click on the cropped paper to move it out of the way. Select a new paper, bring it under the crop rope, click on Crop and crop it.
Burnt Edge: This is a filter effect that is applied along a rope so if you want a burnt edge, you should make sure you check Keep Crop Rope when you crop. Keeping the rope lets you apply the burnt edge along it. Here is what you do: chose shape and crop. Now click on Correct and go to Filter Effects. Select the Burnt Edge (Rope) filter effect. Move the Edge Feathering slider to about 15 and click apply. Voila - burnt edge.
Using a Slide Mount: Slide mounts are a great way to include smaller photos in you layout. And they are quite easy to use. First, you will need to make sure your photo fits under the slide mount or you will need to crop it to make it fit. Now click on the slide mount to select it, then right click. From the drop menu choose Show Image on Top. This will let you put the slide mount over the photo.