The Ultimate Guide to Card Stock: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re a paper crafter, artist, or printer, you know how important it is to choose the right paper for your project. Card stock is a versatile and popular choice for a wide range of creative projects, from greeting cards and invitations to scrapbooking and packaging. In this ultimate guide to card stock, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this popular paper type, including its weight, texture, finish, and best uses.

What is Card Stock?

Card stock, also known as cover stock or pasteboard, is a type of paper that is thicker and more durable than regular printer paper. It is commonly used for printing, crafting, and other paper-based projects. Card stock is available in a range of weights and textures, making it a versatile choice for a variety of creative projects.


One of the most important factors to consider when choosing card stock is weight. Card stock is measured in pounds (lb) or grams per square meter (gsm). The weight of card stock typically ranges from 50 lb to 110 lb or more. The higher the weight, the thicker and sturdier the card stock.


The texture of card stock can range from smooth to heavily textured. Smooth card stock has a sleek and polished finish, making it a popular choice for printing and card making. Textured card stock, on the other hand, can add dimension and interest to your projects. Common textured card stock options include linen, felt, and canvas.


The finish of card stock can also vary, with common options including matte, glossy, and metallic. Matte card stock has a non-reflective finish and is often used for printing and crafting. Glossy card stock has a shiny and reflective finish, making it a popular choice for photo printing and creating high-impact designs. Metallic card stock has a shiny, reflective finish and can add an elegant touch to your projects.

Best Uses

Card stock is a versatile paper type that can be used for a wide range of creative projects. Here are some of the most common uses for card stock:

Greeting cards and invitations: Card stock is a popular choice for creating handmade cards, invitations, and other stationery items.

Scrapbooking: Card stock is a staple in any scrapbooker’s collection, as it can be used to create photo mats, frames, and other embellishments.

Packaging: Card stock is a popular choice for creating custom packaging, such as boxes, bags, and envelopes.

Home décor: Card stock can be used to create wall art, photo frames, and other home décor items.

Business cards: Card stock is often used for creating professional-quality business cards that are sturdy and durable.

Book covers: Card stock can be used to create covers for handmade books and journals.

Crafting: Card stock is a popular choice for a wide range of crafting projects, such as paper flowers, quilling, and paper cutting.

Tips for Using Card Stock

Test your printer: Before printing on card stock, test your printer to make sure it can handle the weight and thickness of the paper.

Use the right tools: When cutting or scoring card stock, use sharp scissors or a paper trimmer for a clean and precise cut.

Store properly: To prevent warping or damage, store your card stock in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture.

Mix and match: Experiment with different weights, textures, and finishes of card stock to create unique and eye-catching designs.

Try different techniques: Embossing, debossing, and foiling are just a few of the techniques that can be used to add texture and dimension to card stock.

In conclusion, card stock is a versatile and essential paper type for any paper crafter, artist, or printer. It is available in a variety of weights, textures, and finishes, making it suitable for a wide range of creative projects, including greeting cards, invitations, scrapbooking, packaging, home décor, business cards, and more.

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