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Card stock paper is thicker than standard writing paper, but it's not as thick as poster board and cardboard. Use the paper for crafts, postcards, business and greeting cards and even homemade playing cards. Card stock is available in various sizes, colors, materials and finishes. Staples carries many types of card stock paper, including environmentally friendly options.
Finding the Right Card Stock Paper Weight and Size The weight rating of card stock is determined by the weight of 500 sheets that measure 20 x 26 inches each. Since card stock sizes differ, the weights of different styles can vary. Light card stock weighs between 100 and 200 grams per meter.
Finding the right size paper depends on the project. Brands offer card stock paper in sizes that include 3 x 5 inches, 4 x 6 inches and 8.5 x 11 inches. Some sheets for home printers have perforations so you can easily separate them after printing. This is useful when you're designing postcards as well as business, greeting and playing cards. Since they are all smaller than a standard piece of paper, you can print multiples on one sheet. For businesses, medium weight card stock is smooth enough for printing brochures but durable enough for menus, booklet covers and file folders.
Choosing Different Colors of Card Stock Paper For crafting projects, such as handmade scrapbook pages, classroom decor pieces and mini boxes, you can use any color. When printing on card stock, white is a good choice for ensuring that the ink colors you select will be vivid and not altered by the paper color. Most home printers can't print in white ink, so you will need to select a different color for printing on black card stock. You can also write by hand on black paper using brightly colored gel ink and other mediums. Card stock paper is available in all colors, such as shades of purple, yellow, red, green, blue, brown and orange.
What Are the Options for Card Stock Paper Finishes? An important consideration is the paper's finish. Various coatings provide both protection and style. You can choose from several finishes, including aqueous, ultraviolet, glossy, matte and textured. Aqueous finishes are thin and transparent, with high to medium glosses to resist fingerprints and scuffing. For a very shiny look, consider ultraviolet coatings that are chemical and scratch-resistant and have hard finishes. Glossy card stock is ultra shiny, but it doesn't absorb ink well. Matte finishes have a coating that is dull, but protective. Textured card stock made with canvas or linen has a distinctive look and is excellent for formal use.
Should You Use Unfinished Card Stock Paper? Card stock that doesn't have a finish is more permeable and absorbs ink better than coated paper. You can use unfinished stock card paper for hand-printed pieces, such as professional letterhead, envelopes and personal greeting cards.
What Are the Environmentally Friendly Options for Card Stock Paper? Some card stock contains 30- to 100-percent post-consumer waste. You can also choose card stock that's recyclable.