Cardstock Basics

Cardstock Basics


Cardstock is the palette of our scrapbook pages. It is where we create our unique and colorful art form. It’s heavier than most papers, so it supports the items that we add to it. It has varieties of weights, textures and colors that gives the scrapbook artist a lot of creativity.

Cardstock Sizes

Cardstock comes in a variety of sizes that are cut for varieties of scrapbook and paper craft uses.  All cardstock sizes are measured in inches.  The 6×6 inch size and the 8 x 8 inch size are good sizes for matting.  They can also be used  as a paper for a 6x 6inch mini scrapbook. The 8 x12 inch size is good for running through your printer or your electronic cutting machine. It can also be used to make greeting cards. The 12 x 12 inch size is the standard size used for scrapbook pages.

Cardstock Weight   

The weight of cardstock is determined by the weight of 500 sheets of paper that are 20 by 26 inches. The weight of cardstock varies from 65 pounds to 110 pounds. ( for comparison, an average business card is 80 lb. cardstock) The weight of the cardstock is stated on the outside of the cardstock. You will want heavier paper to support your scrapbook pages.

Types Of Cardstock   

  • Double sided- It has either a pattern on one side and a solid on the other or has two solid sides
  • Iridescent– Has a shiny coating that shimmers and actually changes color when viewed
  • Glitter- Has a coating that is made up of glitter particles
  • Glossy– Has a coating that is shiny
  • Matte- Has a dull coating
  • Pattern – Has a specific pattern printed on the paper
  • Single sided– Has a print or color on one side
  • Textured-Is made from various fibers and other materials that give it a special feel or texture
  • Vellum- A fine parchment paper that goes in thickness from almost clear to opaque

How  Cardstock is Packaged

Cardstock is generally sold in plastic packages, in pads or as single pages. It often is solid in a color hue (different shades of one color, a single color, multiple colors or themes of printed paper

Tips For Using Cardstock On Your Scrapbook Pages

  • Create Titles Using Cardstock- You can cut cardstock into letters by hand, on a die cutting machine or on an ekectronic cutter
  • Mat Photos on your pages with cardstock. That way the picture stands out in your design
  • Create a frame around pictures or around the entire scrapbook page
  • Make borders using cardstock and punches

How To Buy Cardstock

You will want to get started with some basic colors. It’s easiest to start with a pad that has multiple colors in it. As you start moving along, you can purchase pads of individual colors to add to your stash. You can always buy specialty papers as individual items. Remember that you get what you pay for, so invest in the best paper that you can. I have often been disappointed to get a pad home and realize how thin the paper is. Take a part of the corner of the pad in your finger, so you can get a feel for the weight of the paper.  Pads of paper often have a preview on the outside so you can see what you are getting.

I also keep smaller sized cardstock- letter size and 6″ x 6″ in my craft space. I use it to make die cuts and embellishments.
There are coordinating theme pads that have designs that work very well together. These pads often have borders, sayings and journal cards. They are themed for occasions, seasons and colors. There are florals, nature, wedding, baby, birthday, ect.

What To Do With Paper Scraps

I very rarely throw away any paper scraps. Since I use my electronic cutter a lot, there is always something that I can cut out from my bits. Lets face it, paper is not cheap and we sure do use a lot of it. I store my scraps in a desk file draw by color. I use everything right down to the last bit.

  • Use the scraps to cut die cuts- it only takes a bit of paper for each die cut
  • Use them to cut small items with your electronic paper cutter
  • Use them to cut out items with punches
  • Use them to make borders if they are big enough
  • Use them to make mats for your photos and titles
  • Use them to make items for your mini scrapbooks