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How to Identify Quality in Colored Cardstock Paper

How to Identify Quality in Colored Cardstock Paper

Colored cardstock paper is a medium that exhibits truly amazing versatility. It can be a practical tool for creating portfolios, itineraries, envelopes, packaging, and so much more - and it can also be a creative medium for crafting, decorating, and creating unique, novel accents.

While the ideas you can come up with are limited only by your creativity and your imagination, not all colored cardstock paper is created equal. Being able to identify quality in colored cardstock is a preliminary step in ensuring the same quality shows through in your finished products.

We here at Cardstock Warehouse have several decades of experience in this industry, and we’ve developed quite a hold on quality and how to identify it. If your next project involves colored cardstock, here are some of the ways in which our cardstock differentiates itself from the competition.

  • Look for solid core coloring

Not all colored cardstock paper is created equally. Have you ever cut a piece of cardstock and a white center layer shows through the color? Many colored card stocks are produced by a process that only applies a thin layer of color to the surface, leaving most of the fiber underneath a bright white. While this is desirable in white cardstock, it’s not desirable for colored paper.

Our colored cardstock paper features what is called solid-core coloring, which means that the color is true throughout the entire sheet. You can tear, cut, or fold our colored cardstock without ever having to compromise on the vibrant color. No white will ever show through, because there is no white underneath! See our Paper 101 Guide on Paper Color for more information on buying colored cardstock paper as well as CMYK color-matching for all of our papers!

  • Paper should not crack or tear when scored properly before folding

Paper and cardstock all vary in weight, which will affect how easily it can be folded. Light-weight text paper can normally be folded without scoring, while cover weight cardstock usually requires scoring before folding. The heavier the paper, the more this is true. Attempting to fold cardstock without proper scoring will result in the paper cracking or not producing a crisp clean fold. Visit our Paper 101 Guide - Score and Fold for additional guidance on simple tools and proper methods to score cardstock paper.

  • Paper should be compatible with printers

If your paper project requires printing, you’ll be happy to know that we have a paper for that! All of our papers are printer friendly, however, it is important to know what type of printing application a specific type of paper is compatible with. For example, some papers will print on both a laser and inkjet printer, while others will only print on laser, and still others only on inkjet.  Paper weight and thickness is also a necessary consideration. Paper that is too thick for a printer can jam the printer, cause ink to smear or smudge, ruin the paper, or even damage the printer. You can learn more about the compatibility of our cardstock and papers on our product listing pages. Our Paper 101 Guide on Printing also contains a wealth of valuable information on the different types of printing, as well as some helpful tips.

  • Versatility is key: you should be able to die-cut colored cardstock paper

You can make some useful cuts on cardstock with scissors or shears, but to create beautiful, finely intricate patterns and decorations, you’ll probably want the help of a die cutting tool. Just like all of our paper is printer friendly, all of our paper can be die cut using either a manual die-cutting machine and metal dies, or an electronic die-cutting machine. There are several brands on the market to choose from. .

If you use an electronic die-cutting machine, we recommend the use of brand-name blades made for your machine. We do not recommend using generic die cutter blades as these lack the consistent edge geometry and overall quality to produce crisp, clean cuts that are necessary for creating clean, intricate patterns. It is also important to condition your mat prior to it’s first use to prevent paper from sticking to the mat too hard, which will cause the paper to tear, separate or curl when you lift it off the mat. To condition your mat, place your hands, palm down, all over the surface of the paper and repeat a few times. The natural oils from your hands will reduce the stickiness just enough to make the paper easier to remove from the mat. To learn more about conditioning your mat and other die cutting best practices to achieve amazing at-home results, visit our Paper 101 Die Cutting page.

  • It should be able to receive some liquid adhesive

While it’s nice to use a paper that can receive liquid adhesives, it’s important to keep a couple of things in mind. First, while liquid adhesives can be used with our paper and cardstock, it is important to use it sparingly and to use an effective glue pattern as well; to prevent you from using too much glue.

If you do use too much glue, the paper can absorb some of it, which can cause a variety of problems. Overuse of liquid adhesives can also cause problems like rippling and buckling, so  it’s best to use the minimum effective amount. We recommend using “dry” adhesives for bonding larger pieces of paper together in order to avoid some of these issues. Foam squares and foam tape are used to both adhere elements and to provide height and dimension. Read more about adhesives on our Paper 101 - Adhesives page.

  • It should be available in a wide range of weights and sizes

Finally, no two colors, styles or weights of paper will behave in exactly the same fashion, and not all paper or cardstocks are suitable for all projects. That’s why we offer such a wide range  and variety of colored cardstock paper here at Cardstock Warehouse.

Whatever your project, we have a color or a weight that will suit your needs, ranging from light-weight papers that are more suitable for printing and flower-making, to heavy and extra-heavy cardstock that can be used for card-making, creating portfolios, gift tags, and even making custom gift boxes and packaging.

Better customer service comes from offering a wider selection of products, and we carry the selection you need to complete your craft. Speaking of which, here are some creative uses for our colored cardstock.

Creative Uses for Colored Cardstock Paper

Depending on the weight and thickness of the cardstock, it can be suitable for a wide range of creative crafting and functional applications, including but not limited to the following.

  • Create invitations, greeting cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, and other seasonal and special occasion niceties

One of the greatest uses of colored cardstock is creating your own custom thank you cards and seasonal greeting cards for holidays, birthdays and so much more. If you’re looking to put a personalized touch on a special occasion or event, cardstock is ideal. Create your own personalized wedding invitations, programs, menus, place cards, and table markers with beautiful specialty cardstock, the right tools, and a little bit of inspiration.

  • Paper crafts - paper quilling using colored cardstock paper!

Paper quilling is created using thin strips of paper, and rolling them into shapes to embellish cards, scrapbook pages and even make pictures and artistic pieces. Depending on the complexity of the project, not all weights of cardstock will be ideal. However, our high quality archival cardstock is ideal for most quilling endeavors, and with it you can create lasting designs and decorations that will last for years with proper care. Paper may be fragile, but with the right handling, care and protection, you can create art from paper that will surprise you with its beauty and durability.

  • Create pinwheels, flowers, paper beads and other decorative accents

Paper flowers have become very popular as home decor as well as special occasion items. Our 65 lb. colored cardstock and lighter text-weight papers are perfect for this. Cardstock can also be an amazingly effective medium for creating a wide array of decorative trinkets. It can be artistically folded and cut to create bright and beautiful pinwheels, trim and patterns, paper beads and even wreaths - the possibilities of what you can create are endless! You just need to key into your creative side or take some inspiration. Need ideas? Check out our Blog for weekly how-to’s and project ideas!

Paper is unique as a medium because it suggests delicacy but can still be crafted into beautiful items that can be used as accents for parties, holidays, and gatherings such as place cards, centerpieces, signage, banners, wreaths, garlands, and so much more. Not only can you create a perfectly themed event that can be as dressed up or down as you would like, they can be easily and affordably made, too.

  • Add class and personality with your own custom envelopes

Looking for a way to add a personal touch to your invitations to some upcoming event or party? Not only can you print or cut the invitations themselves from colored cardstock paper, but you can also use our paper to create the envelope liners and envelopes themselves. It’s a great way to make a custom design that can’t simply be bought, but can be made with care and attention.

At the very least, creating your own envelopes and liners will add a unique touch to your invitations or thank you cards that can’t simply be imitated and will leave a lasting impression on anyone with an appreciation for visual art! For occasions where ready-made envelopes are more appropriate, we offer a complete line of envelopes in a wide selection of colors and popular sizes to match and coordinate with our colored cardstock paper.

  • Make your own gift boxes or bags, gift tags and other paper accent

You can also create a personalized touch for your gifts and trimming with cardstock paper. Instead of buying gift tags or paper accents, you can craft, print and cut them yourself from cardstock. With a Cricut or Silhouette and the many design options available, you can print and cut beautiful, original designs that will impress the recipients - great for birthdays, holidays and other special occasions. Paper has a lot of utility and enables unending artistic freedom when it comes to gifting, which is not limited to creating cards and tags. You can also develop your own gift bags and even gift boxes using card stock; remember that many gift boxes are made with paper as it is. With our beautiful heavyweight colored cardstock, you can make your own!

  • Create business cards, tags, packaging and collateral for products and services

If you are a business owner who utilizes packaging for your products, we know how important it is to present a quality presentation. Cardstock Warehouse paper has been a popular choice for professionals who make their own packaged specialty goods. Our paper has been used by jewelry designers to hold their gorgeous creations. Soap and candle makers have used our paper to create packaging to hold their products or as a backdrop when using clear packaging or clear lids. Our paper has been used as a paper “wrap” around soft merchandise such as clothing or hand-made articles. Another must-have for any business is an impressive business card. Our papers are also popular with hotels, restaurants and any organization that utilizes collateral as part of their operations. Since all of our papers are printer compatible (see above), your business cards, packaging and collateral can be imprinted with your company and product information, as well as embossed, debossed, foiled and screen printed - just to name a few. For those who desire splashes of color, Cardstock Warehouse offers cardstock papers in every color of the rainbow. Our many recycled and “green” papers are particularly popular with companies who choose natural and down-to-earth shades to convey “earth-friendly” messaging through their products. Have a product that needs some shine or shimmer? Our metallic papers are sure to provide just the right amount in the shade you desire. With over 165 shades and finishes to choose from, you will surely find just the right cardstock paper for your business needs.

  • Get crafty with scrapbooking creativity

If you enjoy scrapbooking, cardstock and creativity go hand in hand. Make beautiful scrapbook page layouts, borders and embellishments to preserve your most precious memories. Those little paper pop ups, lettering, accents and decorations are wildly expensive; but with the right tools and ideas you can design your own at home. You can potentially save money and gain much satisfaction in creating completely custom paper decorations that reflect your truly unique style and can’t be bought elsewhere.

  • Let your creativity reign

Finally, the only limit on what you can make or do with cardstock comes from your imagination. If it can be purchased or made using paper, there’s a good chance that with the right tools you can replicate it using our cardstock. Investigate some of these ideas we’ve passed along and if you have questions or would like tips or recommendations, feel free to get in touch with us.

The Cardstock Warehouse Difference

Whether you’re here for a bright white sheet of 8.5 x 11 inch paper for a basic printing job, or you need heavy weight cardstock in a hard-to-find color that reaches all the way through the medium, you’re in the right place.

History and Experience

We have over 40 years of experience putting our customers in touch with high quality cardstock and paper for all of their commercial, recreational, and creative needs. Selection and customer service are defined by our team’s experience. Whatever you’re looking for, if you don’t see it or can’t find it, just give us a call!

A Commitment to Green Processes

Our products exhibit quality that you won’t be able to find in big-box stores that sell mass-produced low-quality products. Many of our products are produced using green energy and recycled materials, and all of them are free of chlorine, lignin and acid-free for long-lasting archival results.

Finally, customers in need of larger quantities can contact us to inquire about wholesale pricing. If you have any questions about pricing or products, give us a call at 610-882-2071 or visit our About Us page where you can fill out a query form regarding wholesale pricing opportunities. Minimum order quantities apply. You and Cardstock Warehouse - Make Something Beautiful®.

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