Welcome to Technique Talk for August 2017—Topic: Cardstock
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By Sean Fetterman, CardMaker Magazine Contributor

Welcome to Technique Talk! This is a monthly segment that I will be hosting as a contributor for CardMaker magazine on each Tuesday of the month. We will have one topic that we cover with blog and social media posts, video tips and tricks, a video card project, and Facebook Live sessions with subject matter experts and designers.

I will kick off the topic with a blog post that will lead into more progressive and interactive posts and engagement with you. I will host a Facebook Live session on the CardMaker page that will be interactive with me discussing the topic and asking for your thoughts and opinions on whatever we are discussing. What does that mean you ask? During the Facebook Live session, I will invite people into the video to talk about their experiences and expertise that will add more fun to the session and give us all an opportunity to learn more about friends that share our passion for card making.

The topic for the month of August is cardstock. We will look at a variety of types of cardstock. Whether you are new to card making or you are a seasoned card maker, we all recognize the importance of having the right paper for our projects. Cardstock is a card maker?s staple in their stash. Cardstock is heavier than standard paper and can be used for a variety of crafts. For this blog, we are focusing on cardstock as it relates to card making.

In the past, card makers had limited options for colors and sizes to choose from when card making. Now, there are new colors coming out all the time. Today, cardstock is available in a variety of weights, textures, and colors. There are so many options that it can be overwhelming unless you know exactly what you need.

Stiff, smooth, and thin, the line is blurred between paper and cardstock. Cardstock is a medium-weight paper. It is heavier than printer paper and thinner than cardboard. Cardstock is often used for card making, scrapbooking and other crafts. This paper comes in a variety of textures and colors.

Types of Cardstock

In creating various types of card projects, we are not limited to using only one type of paper. In fact, most of us seek out multiple types of paper to make this possible. There are many types of cardstock available. Below are a few cardstock types:

  • Matte: This cardstock does not appear shiny, but has a normal coat and is a flat color.
  • Glossy: This cardstock has a glossy coating that makes the cardstock to appear shiny.
  • Iridescent: This cardstock has a shimmery coating that displays a variety of colors that shimmer and change as you move the paper.
  • Vellum: This cardstock is a fine paper (think of parchment paper) which can range from almost transparent to opaque.
  • Textured: This cardstock is made up of different fibers that give it a unique texture. A common textured cardstock would be linen cardstock.
  • Glitter: This cardstock is typically a heavy weight and is coated with colored glitter.

Coated & Uncoated Paper Finishes

Whether a paper is coated or uncoated can affect its finish. Coated cardstocks are treated with a sealant that lends them specific characteristics, such as a high level of glossiness and a stiffer feel. This coating gives papers a waxy finish with a varying degree of shine, provides protection from wear and tear, and reduces the level of ink that a sheet can absorb. By inhibiting ink absorption, the coating creates a crisper, higher quality image.

Uncoated cardstocks have an untreated surface and are often less reflective than their coated counterparts. These papers usually lend a softer look to projects because the ink is absorbed into the paper, which diffuses its vibrancy. An example of uncoated cardstock is envelopes.

Most Common Types of Paper Finishes


The embossed finish has a raised design that is pressed into the paper with a unique pattern. It lends an unusual texture to cardstock, making it ideal for use in cards and scrapbooking.


A glossy finish has a high level of shine, allowing it to reproduce colors beautifully. It is ideal for images with lots of detail, clarity and sharpness.


Linen finish has the look and feel of linen cloth. It adds a luxurious touch to your card projects.


A matte finish has a subtle sheen that shows colors well. It adds a soft, professional look to images and eliminates fingerprints.


Metallic finish adds a touch of ?pop? to your projects. It ranges from a subtle shine to bold sparkle.


Satin finish is a cardstock in between glossy and matte. It provides a higher level of readability than gloss and a more uniform smoothness than matte while also enhancing the colors.


Vellum finish has a slightly rough texture and is designed to imitate the animal skin paper for which it was named. It lends a traditional, classic feel and a touch of class to your card projects.


Common Cardstock Weights & How to Use Them

Choosing the right weight for your project can impact its durability, convey quality, and influence the first impression your intended audience has of your project.

Here are some of the most common cardstock weights:

  • 65 lb.
  • 80 lb.
  • 100 lb.
  • 110 lb.
  • 120 lb.

The lighter the weight, the thinner the cardstock will be. My personal choice for card bases is 120 lb. and for layering cardstock, I use 80 lb.

Did you know?

The custom of sending greeting cards can be traced back to the ancient Chinese, who exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year, and to the early Egyptians, who conveyed their greetings on papyrus scrolls. By the early 15th century, handmade paper greeting cards were being exchanged in Europe. The Germans are known to have printed New Year’s greetings from woodcuts as early as 1400, and handmade paper Valentines were being exchanged in various parts of Europe in the early to mid-15th century, with the oldest Valentine in existence being in the British Museum.

Tell me about your experience with choosing cardstock and what you like most of what you use and what you don?t like. This is a time to share with your friends in the comments section.

Next Tuesday, August 8, I will be hosting a Facebook Live at 7 p.m. Central Time on the CardMaker Facebook page. Come to Technique Talk next week and let?s chat about cardstock. I want to hear about your likes and dislikes about cardstock and the type of cardstock that you love to use and why.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach me via e-mail at sean.m.fetterman@comcast.net.

Thank you!

Sean Fetterman

Magazine and Social Media Contributor

CardMaker Magazine

3 Responses to Welcome to Technique Talk for August 2017—Topic: Cardstock

  1. Karen Knegten says:

    Sean- Very informative and I am sure will be so useful for many crafters. Well written article!

  2. ShariW says:

    Great article! I LOVE the “Did You Know” section. Hope you are able to always have that! Happy stamping!

  3. Beverly Boyles says:

    I an new to the blog and love the Technique Talk!!! This is a great article on cardstock…the part on the different weights is great and I really enjoy the “did you know”…looking forward to every week!!!

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