Monday, 15 May 2017


Hi there, today the team are having a chat about cardstock and what we prefer to use when creating...

Claire: I like to use a mixture of sizes when it comes to scrapbook layouts. Although the traditional 12x12 is a favourite, I also use 8.5x11 (A4) and even 6x12. I use a mixture of textured and smooth cardstock and it really depends on what my layout contains as to which one I use. I tend to find you get better adhesion when using smooth cardstock so any heavier embellishments such as resin pieces or metal charms would better suit a smooth piece of cardstock. Using textured cardstock gives different media different effects. So when using Gelatos on textured card it will give an almost patterned look, whereas you don't get that on smooth cardstock. I use Bazzill Marshamallow cardstock for any heavier mixed media work, especially when using lots of water for things like watercolours or using the packaging technique as this gives less warping of the card. I like to use a higher gsm cardstock so generally 250-300gsm as I scrap a lot on white and use the patterned paper on top of this. This helps to keep the layout rigid and buckles less when putting on lots of paper layers or heavier embellishments.
Pol: I usually use a 250gsm smooth white 12x12 cardstock for my pages. It's strong, and is perfect for hand stitching as it doesn't warp. For cutting in the cameo I use a 160gsm smooth white card, as it cuts much better than a higher gsm. I'm a firm believer that you get what you pay for with cardstock, and the higher quality the more you'll pay, but it's one of those things you can't skimp on. Some things you just can't get away with buying cheaply - like toilet roll, and baked beans! Base cardstock is one of them!
Susan: To be honest I'm not too fussy about my cardstock, tending to look for the right colour first and foremost, I do agree with Pol however, in that you get what you pay for. I always scrap using 12x12 but that's really my only stipulation. Smooth or textured, I don't mind unless I am stamping directly onto the base card then it needs to be smooth. American Crafts cardstock tends to be slightly cheaper than Bazzill but I like them equally. UK shop Hey Little Magpie offers a super matching service with the patterned paper collections they sell. The other place I buy 12x12 is Paper Mill Direct - they have considerably increased their colour range in this size and are a great supplier if you want a lot of cardstock in one colour. And last from me a tip - beware the cardstock with a bar code strip! If you don’t spot it until it’s too late to chop it off it won’t fit in your album!
Maria: I used to scrap in 8x8 pre-bound scrapbooks so for a long long time I never bothered about cardstock. When I finally moved to 12x12 a new world appeared in front of me. I could use pretty much anything as my base! I was not tied to the pre-bound pages any more! I love using textured Bazzill white cardstock, as it gives so much interest, even if you are leaving it like it is without adding any media on it. At the same time, if I don't have textured cardstock I don't mind that much. I bought a pack of economy smooth cardstock a couple of months ago and I must confess that I love it. I don't know why it's called ‘economy’ as I believe it is great quality! White backgrounds are all the rage at the moment and I am guilty of following the trend. However, I also love using other colours as my backgrounds. There are tonnes of manufacturers and suppliers out there to suit every taste!
Lisa-Jane: Cardstock has a bit of a chequered past with scrapbooking doesn't it? When I first started scrapping coloured card stock was all the rage and patterned paper was only for using on top of it, never as a base layer. Then they started playing with the core of the paper so you could emboss or tear or distress to reveal a different colour. Then kraft cardstock was the only ‘thing’ to use. Then cardstock of any colour seemed to be old hat because the weights of the patterned paper were heavy enough to use on their own. Now it's all about white card stock! I do use mountains of white myself because of my die cutting. I use a lower weight smooth cardstock for most of my cutting unless the customer requests the heavier weight for stitching or mixed media. I only use smooth cardstock because that way most of the designs can be reversed/flipped etc. I really like to have a mixture of patterned paper and solid colours for my backgrounds so I tend to use a lot of borders at the moment. This is where my ‘oops’ pack comes in ... if I have cardstock that has been damaged by light or dirt or is just a hideous colour you can't imagine using ever, then I keep them in my ‘oops’ pile. If I'm building a page from a 6x6 pad or using strips or gutting some precious patterned paper etc, or if my base layer has got warped then I'll use stuff from my ‘oops’ bag as a backing. It can help to keep your designs to 12x12 when you are piecing together a background and it provides stability because it is a solid piece. I also use a piece from the ‘oops’ bag when I'm using the apertures of my die cuts - I draw through the apertures onto the waste cardstock, remove the die cut, cover the individual shapes that I've drawn with patterned paper or Washi etc, and then replace and adhere the die cut on top. I rarely throw anything away, even if it is the ugliest shade of purple! (Ed: Oi!  I've just made a purple layout!! x)
Jess: I'm predominantly a pocket scrapbooker and more recently a Traveller’s Notebook scrapbooker so I have very little experience with cardstock. I use Project Life cards or patterned paper in my scrapbooking. I have only just started doing traditional scrapbook layouts and using mixed media so I'm kind of learning as I go along with some help from the subscription kits I am a part of. I recently created my first 8.5 x 11 layout and commented on social media that I didn't have any pockets or an album in that size. A helpful UK scrapbooker suggested I create A4 layouts that fit in basic folders and plastic wallets. Since then I have done a few layouts in that size and the card I have used for my white background has been from Poundland. See, you can tell I am no expert in this particular field. It is the cheapest place I've found that does A4 card and the quality suits my purpose. The page warps slightly when I add acrylic paint but once the layouts are in the folder they straighten out. Maybe if I start creating more of these traditional layouts I will purchase good quality card stock. For now, though, my Poundland stack suits me well.
Laura:  I think everything I have to say has been said already... textured, smooth, heavyweight, cheap and premium all have their uses.  I can only add that watercolour paper is fabulous for taking lots of wet media and rarely warps.  I find it hard to get 12x12 which is my preferred size, but I've found 16x12 cuts down to one 12x12 and two 4x6 postcards.  I prefer Winsor and Newton Cotman paper for scrapbooking.

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