Crafting with Confidence: Selecting the Ideal Cardstock Weight

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The Ultimate Guide to Cardstock Paper Weights: Choosing the Perfect Thickness

Cardstock paper is a versatile material used in various crafts, stationery, and printing projects. When it comes to selecting the right cardstock, understanding paper weights is essential. Cardstock paper weight refers to the thickness and sturdiness of the paper, and it plays a significant role in determining the suitability of the paper for different applications. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore cardstock paper weights, their measurements, and how to make informed choices based on your project requirements.

Understanding Cardstock Paper Weights

Cardstock paper weight is measured in pounds (lb) or grams per square metre (gsm). The weight represents the mass of a ream of paper (typically 500 sheets) at a specific size. It is important to note that paper weight does not directly correlate with its thickness. However, it provides a useful indication of the paper's quality and durability.

Common Cardstock Paper Weights

Lightweight Cardstock (60-80 lb / 160-216 gsm)

This is the thinnest and most flexible type of cardstock paper. is perfect for creating delicate and airy designs. Its thinness allows for intricate paper-cutting, origami, and other fine details. The lightweight nature of this cardstock makes it easy to fold, manipulate, and layer, enabling you to add depth and dimension to your projects. It is ideal for projects like scrapbooking, decorative embellishments, and delicate floral arrangements.

Medium Weight Cardstock (80-100 lb / 216-270 gsm)

This range strikes a balance between flexibility and durability. This type of cardstock offers versatility, making it suitable for a wide range of projects. You can use it for making greeting cards, invitations, gift tags, and other paper crafts. Medium weight cardstock is sturdy enough to hold its shape, yet still flexible for folding, embossing, and scoring. It allows you to experiment with different techniques while maintaining a professional look and feel.

Heavyweight Cardstock (100-120 lb / 270-324 gsm)

This type of cardstock paper offers excellent sturdiness and thickness. This type of cardstock provides a solid foundation for more robust applications. It is ideal for projects that demand strength and durability, such as business cards, postcards, packaging, and tags. Heavyweight cardstock provides a premium look and feel, making it suitable for professional applications. Heavyweight cardstock can withstand frequent handling, ensuring your projects maintain their integrity over time.

Extra Heavyweight Cardstock (120 lb+ / 324 gsm+)

The thickest and most rigid option available. For those seeking to make a bold statement, extra heavyweight cardstock is the ultimate choice. This cardstock offers exceptional thickness and rigidity, making it perfect for projects that demand maximum durability and impact. Whether you're designing high-end invitations, book covers, or intricate 3D crafts, the extra heavyweight cardstock adds a premium look and feel. It provides stability and substantiality, giving your projects a sense of elegance and sophistication.

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Choosing the Right Cardstock Paper Weight

Selecting the appropriate cardstock paper weight depends on the specific project and desired outcome. Here are some key factors to consider:

Project Type

Determine the purpose of your project. For intricate paper-cutting or delicate designs, lightweight cardstock is suitable. If you need sturdiness and durability, opt for heavyweight or extra heavyweight cardstock.

Printing Considerations

If you plan to print on the cardstock, consider the printer's capabilities and recommended paper weights. Ensure that your chosen cardstock weight is compatible with your printer to achieve optimal printing results.

Folding and Manipulation

Consider the level of folding and manipulation required for your project. Thicker cardstock may be more challenging to fold neatly, so choose a weight that allows for easy manipulation while maintaining structural integrity.


Keep your budget in mind when selecting cardstock paper weights. Generally, heavier cardstock is more expensive due to its higher quality and durability. Consider your budget constraints and the value you want to achieve in your project.

Experiment and Explore

One of the fascinating aspects of working with cardstock weights is the opportunity for experimentation and combining different weights. Don't be afraid to experiment with different cardstock paper weights to discover new possibilities and creative outcomes. Mixing and layering different weights can add depth and dimension to your projects. Some projects may benefit from combining lightweight and heavyweight cardstock to create contrasting elements.


Understanding cardstock paper weights is essential for choosing the right paper thickness for your projects. By considering the weight, you can ensure the durability, flexibility, and overall quality of your final creations. Remember to take into account the project type, printing requirements, folding needs, and budget when selecting the appropriate cardstock paper weight. Remember to experiment, combine weights, and let your creativity soar. Embrace the endless possibilities that cardstock weights offer and bring your crafting projects to life with confidence and flair.

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