The right paper can make all the difference in your crafting projects, especially if you are coloring or ink blending. However, when it comes to card bases however, there are so many great cardstocks out there and my guess is that many of them come from the same paper mill. So even though I have favorites that I use regularly, I encourage you to try out any of the cardstocks sold by stamp companies because for the most part, they are the same quality. There are a few exceptions but most of those cardstocks are very similar, if not the same.
The first tip I will share with you is that you need to understand the difference in paper weight. For example, 110lb is perfect for card bases because it’s thick and sturdy. and 80lb is not quite as thick so it’s great when layering. Personally, I don’t use anything less than 80lb unless it’s a specialty paper, that’s just my personal preference. The inexpensive colored paper from Michael’s or Joann’s is usually 65lb paper, however, Michaels does carry 110lb cardstock now but it’s not one of my favorites personally. (Because it’s not smooth)
The following are the cardstocks/papers that I believe to be the best available for each purpose. But remember that things like this are really a matter of personal preference and budget, etc.
If the product(s) are available online (usually where I purchased it), I will be list and link for you. I do use affiliate links when possible (at no cost to you), but none of the products I’m listed were provided or sponsored by anyone. These are simply my personal favorite products that I use when crafting. Full Disclosure Here.
Kat Scrappiness has recently come out with acetate for shaker cards and they are pre-cut to an A2 card size. The acetate is thick and sturdy and crystal clear! The fact that they are pre-cut to A2 size makes it so much easier! They are available in 10 piece or 25 piece packs and the price point is very good!
Ink Blending Cardstock
Anytime I want to ink blend on a card or project, I always use Bristol Smooth Cardstock. The cardstock is very smooth and therefore, the ink just glides on and blends beautifully. I usually use this cardstock for top layer of a cards but if I’m doing a one layer card, then I use it for the entire card. (I rarely make one layer cards).
Many crafters will agree that this is the best cardstock for ink blending.
Alcohol Ink Paper
I use two different papers when I’m working with alcohol ink. The very best in my opinion is Yupo paper which is actually a synthetic paper. It is waterproof, stain-resistant, and extremely strong and durable. It is also pricey. This is why I use TWO papers instead of just one.
When I’m testing colors or just playing around and experimenting, I use Tim Holtz Alcohol Ink Paper because it works extremely well AND it’s less expensive than Yupo paper. When I’m actually making a project such as a card and I’ve already tested the colors, I use Yupo.
Cardstock for Colored Pencils
This is my favorite cardstock for coloring with colored pencils. The Artist’s Choice cardstock from Gina K has more tooth and absorption, therefore it is able to “grab” the color more than other cardstocks. I love the way the colors blend on this cardstock. Much easier than others I’ve tried.
When I need quality vellum, I reach for Essentials by Ellen, 40lb Vellum. It comes in a pack of 25. However, if I’m doing a project in bulk or if it’s for kids or something, I just use inexpensive vellum that I buy at Hobby Lobby. I save my good vellum for important projects.
Card Bases/Die Cutting Cardstocks
The weight of your card base is really personal preference. My personal preferences are 110 and 120 lb cardstocks. I have and use cardstocks from the following companies:
- Gina K Designs 120lb Pure Luxury Base Weight Cardstock – This is the thickest, smoothest paper I’ve ever used. It is my all time favorite.
- Neenah Solar White 110 lb Cardstock – Very good quality cardstock – My second choice for card bases.
- Gina K Designs 80lb Layering Weight Cardstock – I use this for creating a layered card and for die cutting.
- Neenah Solar White 80lb Cardstock – This is the same quality as the Gina K in my opinion, I have both and use them each equally. It just depends on which one is closest when I’m crafting.
The following cardstocks are all the same quality in my opinion. So I’d purchase them based on color choices and price point. These are the ones I use.
- Gina K 100lb Colored Cardstock – You can buy this in individual colors HERE or in Assortment Packs HERE.
- MFT 100lb Colored Cardstock – You can purchase this cardstock HERE.
- Lawn Fawn 100lb Cardstock – You can purchase this cardstock HERE.
- Papertrey Ink 100lb Cardstock – You can purchase this cardstock HERE.
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