Design & Development

A Guide on Choosing The Right Cardstock Paper


A Guide on Choosing The Right Cardstock Paper

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You’ve probably come across inspiration for your next cardstock project. The challenge could come in when it comes to choosing the right paper. Given the myriad of options that are already available, it is important that you’re doing research so that you’re getting the right quality. In this guide, we’re going to take you through the process of choosing the right cardstock paper. It doesn’t have to be that much of a challenge if you know what you’re looking for.

What Is The Difference Between Card and Cardstock?

Depending on where you live, the two terms could be used interchangeably to mean the same thing. In the UK, the word ‘card’ is often used to refer to crafts and handmade items yet it could mean so many different things. In the US, it will in most instances be referring to cardstock. If you intend to buy online, there will be a need to have a distinction between normal paper and cardstock paper.

Cardstock Size or Paper

There is a standard range of sizes to select from when searching for cardstock. You’re most likely familiar with the A4 which is one of the most popular printing sizes. It is important that you know the exact size when buying cardstock. A guide hack would be to pin the images to your board so as to have an idea of the exact measurement of the card.

Understanding Cardstock Weight

Another thing that is worth mentioning is that paper and cardstocks come in different weights.  The weight is measured in GSM which stands for Grams Per Square Meter. The higher the GMS, the heavier the card. Just because the weight is lower doesn’t necessarily mean that the paper is cheap. For a luxurious and sturdier base, it is usually recommended to go for 280gsm – 350gsm. You might have to pay more but it will be worth considering the quality that you’ll be getting.

Cardstock Finishes

Not only do cardstock come in different sizes and shapes but also finishes. The type of finishing to go for will mostly depend on the effect that you’re trying to achieve with the project. It will not be a bad idea to try different finishes so as to get the right one depending on your needs. Die-cutting and embossing could result in an entirely new look when you try different types of finishes.

Plain Cardstock: Just as the name infers, you can get a variety of plain-textured cards in different colors. The most common option you’re likely to come across will be a blank canvas. This provides a base to be creative and try out different things without having to worry about limitations.

Smooth Cardstock: This is one of the best options if you’re looking for a solution for embossing and coloring. There is no bleeding and will result in high-quality prints.

Mirror Card: This card has a reflective finish to it. It can be used to including sparking elements to your card if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary and stands out straight out of the box. It is mostly used to make Christmas and celebration cards.

Textured and Embossed Cards

With such cards, you can expect beautifully embossed finishes. The process of making such cards will involve passing them through a big mangle with patterns engraved to aid with the finishing.

Where Can You Buy Cardstock Paper?

This is a question you’re likely to ask yourself if you’ve never gone through the process before. You’re likely to get the cardstock paper at the local stationery store but shouldn’t expect a big variety. In order to have a selection to choose from, you can check out online stores. It will be easy to go through a wide range of products while comparing the features and the prices. You shouldn’t base the purchase decision solely on price alone. As they say, you get what you pay for.

The quality of paper will obviously have the biggest impact on the price. If you’re printing in large quantities, you can research an affordable option to reduce the overall costs. Ultimately, you’ll have no option but to settle on the paper that fits your budget.


The thicker the cardstock paper, the more durable it is. Make sure to research the quality of paper if you’ll want the card to last for a long time. With the information that is readily available, it shouldn’t be that much of a challenge to find the paper that suits your needs.

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