Paper 101 - Paper Weight Guide

Paper Weight – Mystery Solved!

Are  you finding paper weights to be confusing?  Why is 80 lb. text lighter than 59 lb. cover?

The terms text and cover come from the paper manufacturing world.  There are also other paper types that include index and bond, for instance, but we will stick to papers more commonly used for paper crafting here,

    Lighter weight papers print easily and may be used to print information, and can also be layered onto a flat or folded card of a heavier weight. Heavier paper and specially coated paper may be more difficult for DIY printing, but make beautiful and sturdy flat card backs. Scrapbook pages, layered greeting cards and layered announcements may employ a combination of light, medium and heavyweight text and cover papers as well as embellishments. However, paper weights can be confusing. Here is a chart that reveals the mystery behind the math: 


    Light Weight Papers:

    • Light weight papers commonly used by crafters are referred to as text weight, as well as transluscent sheets
    • They are like pages of a book or regular copy paper
    • Can be folded without scoring
    • Very flexible and easy to manipulate
    • Print in most home printers*


       Medium Weight Papers:

      • Medium weight papers commonly used by crafters are called cover weight
      • They are like a standard greeting card, they range from 65 to 80-pound cover
      • Should be scored before folding
      • Print in most home printers*


        Heavy Weight Papers:

        • Cover also comes in heavier weights, typically anything above 80 pounds
        • Like a heavy greeting card with weights typically available in 100-pound cover and above
        • Must be scored before folding
        • May not print in some home printers – test first! *


          Extra-Heavy Weight Papers: 

          • Extra heavy weights are similar to gift box weight or chipboard

          • These weights begin at 110-pound cover and above


            *See Printing Guide