If you have a Cricut machine then you are going to need to become familiar with lots of different materials- including card stock. Cardstock projects are fun, inexpensive and so versatile. Check out our complete guide on everything you need to know about cardstock for your Cricut maker machine.
I don’t know about you, but I love using cardstock with my Cricut machine for various projects. But over the years, we’ve definitely discovered that not all cardstock is created equally. Thankfully, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to go through trial and error like us!
Not all cardstock is created equal. If you like making projects with a cutting machine then you are going to want the best printer paper available to ensure your projects are top notch and high quality.
There are so many projects you can make with your Cricut Machine using a variety of materials. But using cardstock paper is one way to make quick, easy, and cheap projects.
How to Choose the Right Cardstock
Deciding on what kind of paper materials you want to buy might seem overwhelming as there is no shortage of options. Especially if is your first time working with cardstock.
There are a few great ways to narrow down your search to make sure you get the best results. A lot of people consider the following factors when making their choice between all the different kinds of paper.
Cardstock comes either smooth or textured and it really is up to you and what you prefer. If you are in need of something specific and you aren’t familiar with the different terms, you may want to head over to JoAnn’s or Michaels to check the paper out in person.
If you prefer a smooth cardstock you will want to stay away from a textured material.
If you want to use a textured paper and plan on writing with your Cricut pen on the rough side you may notice some interruptions in your flow pattern. It may skip with textured paper but will write with a smooth flow on smooth cardstock. You should always do a small test project when working with a new cardstock you haven’t used in the past to make sure everything cuts the way it is supposed to.
With finer cuts of paper you may notice the peeling of the layers on textured cardstock is a bit trickier.
You have the choice between white core and solid core. Simply put, white core means that the paper is colored on both sides with the inside being white- not dyed.
With this type of light cardstock you will most likely see more imperfections or nicks. It is also thought that white core cardstocks are a lower quality than solid core because it is more inexpensively made.
Solid core means each colored sheet shows off its hue without any white showing through, even when folded. because everything blends in more with a solid core cardstock small imperfections are not as noticeable.
The fiber quality will determine how it cuts in a Cricut machine. Cardstock that has shorter and weaker fibers doesn’t’ always cut all the way through and can tear off the sticky mat.
Your best choice is to choose a high quality cardstock with long fine fibers that are tightly packed to ensure a crisp and clean cut.
You should always do a test cut before diving into your project- just to be on the safe side to make sure it is going to work properly.
Cardstock comes in many different colors. It really comes down to your preference and what you are wanting to use the cardstock for. You will want to make sure to check that the color is on both sides of the paper.
There is also glitter cardstock which is sometimes made of thicker materials that you will want to take into consideration, too. It really is all about what you like and what you want your final project to look like.
Most cardstock or other kinds of specialty or even regular paper, like scrapbook paper are sold by weight.
The weight of cardstock can vary between 65 – 110 lb. Typically somewhere around the 80 lb. mark makes a good thick cardstock for Cricut because it is not too thick or thin- it is just right.
If you were to buy the Cricut brand cardstock it is 80 lb. which should tell you right there that it is the ideal cardstock weight. You can expect your Cricut to produce a clean cut without issues and you can use it for many different projects.
If you choose a lower weight opposed to a heavier cardstock it might be too thin- and if you go with a more heavy duty 100 lb. it is most likely going to be too thick for most projects.
However, the Cricut can handle the different weights regardless. One of the best ways to figure out your sweet spot is to play around with the different weights and see which one produces the best quality.
What kind of projects can you make with cardstock?
You can make so many projects using cardstock.
Just a few that come to mind are:
- business cards
- gift tags
- paper flowers
- 3d flowers
- wedding\birthday\anniversary cards
- cake toppers
- party decorations
- embellished envelopes
You can check out even more Cricut project inspiration here.
Where can you buy cardstock paper?
You can find regular cardstock at most major craft stores like:
- Hobby Loby
Most retailers will carry the brand of paper you are looking for, though specialty craft stores tend to have a great variety. I love going to JoAnns to walk up and down their cardstock aisle to pick the perfect cardstock for my projects.
You can also find some of the best cardstock on Amazon. There are often some amazing deals to be found. Just make sure you read the reviews!
What are the best brands of cardstock?
Now that you know what to look for you’ll want to start accumulating cardstock. Having a nice stash of paper on hand is definitely useful and it is nice to always have something available for when you need it!
A lot of the time the cardstock you decide on is purely preference based so play around a little and choose for yourself which cardstock works best!
American Crafts AC Cardstock
American Crafts cardstock is widely known as the best cardstock for Cricut. It is high quality and the paper cuts beautifully. They come in 60- sheet packs of white, textured paper that are 12×12 in size. It comes in the 80 lb. size which we have already established is the best weight for Cricut.
it is acid-free and archival-safe .It is the preferred choice to use for die cuts as the paper fibers in AC Cardstock are designed to give wonderful results in die cutting machines without the fraying. This paper is not only great for die-cutting but also embossing, card making, scrapbooking,etc.
Aside from the beautiful, vanilla white color it also comes in a variety of different colors, too.
You can find the white AC Cardstock on Amazon for around $19
American Crafts Primary Colors Pack
If you are looking for something more vibrant and colorful then you should check out the AC Cardstock packs.
This upholds the same, high quality as the premium white cardstock and you will find that it cuts just as brilliantly.
With this pack you will get 48 12×12 sheets on 80 lb smooth cardstock in a pad. The sheets come in12 vibrant colors that are colored on both sides with a solid core. Not only that but It is archival meaning it is acid-free and guaranteed to be durable and won’t turn brittle over time.
You can find this pack on Amazon for around $29
Recollections Cardstock Paper
This pack comes with 200 pages of 20 colors on sheets that are acid-free and come in the size of 8 1\2 X 11 . It comes in at the 65 lb. weight range which is a popular weight for many Cricut projects.
To avoid tearing use the light tack mat and make sure you adjust the settings to a thin cardstock because it is not as sturdy as the 80 lb. This is a great option because it does come with so many papers. 200 sheets will get you really far in your crafting and you will be able to try out tons of different projects with your Cricut.
The colors are vibrant and come as described and are smooth and matte.
You can find this pack for around $18 on Amazon.
Best Paper Greetings Glitter Cardstock
Glitter cardstock definitely has its place. People love to use glittery cardstock for cards or envelopes and if you are looking for something high quality and beautiful then you will love this Gold Glitter Cardstock.
This packs comes with 24 8×12 sheets and won’t leave a trail of glitter behind. It can easily fold and bend and can glide through your Cricut with ease. A strong grip Cricut mat might be needed to help stop it from repositioning but otherwise this shimmery paper cuts easily without fraying and produces clean, cut lines.
You can buy this pack on Amazon for around $14
Die Cuts With A View Premium Cardstock
This is a pack of colorful 12×12 pages that are acid-free and have a white core which makes it optimal for sanding, tearing or destressing. It is a textured woven material perfect for all your crafting Cricut needs.
The quality is relatively high and although the weight is not listed it is higher than regular copy paper at 65 lb. You can feel good about using this cardstock because it is known to cut flawlessly with your Cricut.
You can buy this pack for around $21 on Amazon
You cannot go wrong purchasing and using cardstock that comes directly from Cricut.
This paper is designed to work on a Cricut and you can almost guarantee a beautiful, clean cut every time. Most of their standard papers come in at 12×12 and are acid-free, lignin-free, and buffered.
Cricut cardstock comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes at different prices. Check out their website for all the options.
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Cindy Maudsley lives in Utah with her husband and five children. Aside from writing, her passions include her family, faith, and spreading infertility awareness. She also loves a good book or podcast, true crime documentaries , Netflix binge, diet Coke and Target run
Looking for even more Cricut help? Be sure to check out our Cricut Tutorials guide which has all of our best tips, tricks, and tutorials for mastering your Cricut machine!