Cardstock Comparison

Reported by Taylor Usry

Everyone loves cardstock! It is definitely a product I cannot get enough of, and I am always interested in comparing different types, colors, textures, styles, and weights. I have found such a terrific variety of cardstock available to purchase, and thought I’d share a little about them. Pictured above are samples of Prism’s Prismatics textured cardstock, Stampin’ Up’s line of cardstock, Bazzill textured cardstock, and Georgia Pacific White cardstock (the kind you can buy at Walmart). Here are some basic facts about these samples:

  • Prismatics – 70# weight, available in a wide variety of colors, textured on one side, smooth on the other, can be purchased at a number of online and retail stores.
  • Stampin’ Up – 80# weight, available in four color families with matching ink, as well as specialty colors, can only be purchased through a demonstrator.
  • Bazzill – 65# – 80# weight, available in a large variety of colors and textures, can be purchased online or at retail stores.
  • Georgia Pacific White – 110# weight, available in large packs, can be purchased at Walmart or other office stores.

Not pictured above:

  • Coredinations Chocolate Box – 80# weight, available in individual sheets or coordinating packs at retail and online stores, has a gauze like texture and is multi-colored with a white core that is perfect for sanding and distressing.
  • Neenah Solar White — 80# weight, available in packs of 25 sheets from both online and retail stores.
  • Papertrey Ink Stamper’s Select – weight 110#, available in packs of 40 sheets from PapertreyInk.

These are a small sampling of neutral cardstock colors and how certain effects look when applied to them. Each piece of cardstock was sponged with Tim Holtz Ranger Distress Ink, distressed with a distressing tool, and punched with a Martha Stewart edge punch. Additionally, I used a Copic marker to color a small square on each one to illustrate the different finishes on each sample. Stampin Up’s Whisper White and Georgia Pacific’s white do not take to Copic coloring well at all. The Prismatics sample looks a little rough but that is because I colored on the textured side – when Copics are used on the smooth side it is absolutely flawless. The Bazzill textured stock takes coloring well, however you can see the grain of the texture through the marker. The Georgia Pacific white did not punch as smoothly as the other cardstock, and left a rougher edge in the design.

This darling digital paper, A Little Love by Lizzie Anne Designs, was printed on Stampin’ Up’s Whisper White. In my opinion it does a wonderful job for printing paper. I have used Georgia Pacific in a pinch, and the designs come out grainy. I have not tried printing on any textured cardstock, since I just don’t think the texture would work well for printing. I did not have any on hand, but the Papertrey Ink cardstock (in white) is also excellent for printing digital paper. If you’ve tried a different cardstock, I’d love to hear the results of your experiments! What works? What doesn’t?

My sample above is made with all Prismatics cardstock. The colors I used were: Spring Willow Medium (G431-D), Suede Brown Medium (BR291-D), and White. I stamped my sentiment with Tim Holtz Ranger Disress Ink, and made the mistake of not heat setting it. It smudged (it takes awhile to dry on this paper if it isn’t heat set) so I sponged the entire panel as opposed to just the edges. I think the texture is gorgeous and lends itself well to simple cards. One of my favorite little bonuses about this cardstock is that it does not curl up or warp when you use a heat gun on it, either for embossing or just to heat set some ink.

This small love note features Bazzill cardstock that is available in a custom pack from Lizzie Anne Designs (they call it their French Floral pack). Their website provides an excellent close up picture of the texture on this cardstock. The colors I used were Juicy Plum and Moss. The textures of the Bazzill are much different than the texture of the Prismatics – Bazzill has a weave (sort of gauze-like), or stripes where Prism just has a texture, almost a bumpy look to it. I personally am not a huge fan of the Bazzill – I like it mostly for layers and small notes like this one. It just seems a bit to thin as a card base for me.

My last sample uses all Stampin’ Up cardstock. Two of the colors (Groovy Guava and Soft Sky) are no longer available; the Basic Black and Whisper White can be purchased through a demonstrator. One advantage to Stampin’ Up is their built-in color coordination – my ribbon was also made by them and matches the Guava perfectly. As far as stamping goes, the Whisper White takes color amazingly well for both line art images and solid images. It is difficult to color on though – no matter what media is used. Their colored cardstock is solid core and very heavyweight. Cards hold up with lots of embellishments, which is nice.

So that wraps it up for what I have to share with you today! I’d love to hear about your cardstock adventures (successes and mishaps!). Please leave a comment and let me know what your favorites (or non-favorites) are!

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17 Responses to Cardstock Comparison

  1. Avatar
    Swr4him January 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Thank you for your comments on cardstock. I love Copic markers and I have found that Neenah has been my best option. I practice strokes and shading on Walmart’s paper mainly because of location. I agree with you on strength of Stampin’ Up paper and going to try the other options you mentioned just because it will give me a reason to buy more paper. Going to try your suggestion for digital printing.

  2. Avatar
    Siri Fjørtoft, Fjørtoft Design January 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    I haven´t tried the Prismatic paper, and StampinUp! and Walmart is unavailable in Norway… My first buy of cardstock was a huge super assortment pack from Core´dination. I have never looked back since. I have tried some Bazzill, but the only ones I use from them now is the dotted swiss and the bling (and some black and white). I love how you can do so many different techniques with it and get different results. I also think that the depth of the colors are so much nicer than Bazzill.

    I use Tria markers (basicly the same as Copic and ProMarkers), and I like to use them on the Letraset paper that is made for the markers.

    I must try to print out digital papers though. I´ve never thought of uing cardstock…

    I love your review! Thank you!

  3. Avatar
    rush8888 January 14, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    i LOVE paper…GOOD paper, that is. since i have found the ocean pacific, i actively seek it and haven’t gone back. it is smooth and more elegant than other less expensive paper! it makes a substantial card base. i wish i had known this way back when. i purchased those awful paper packs at michael’s. flimsy, rough-textured (not in a good way) i haven’t been priveledged enough to try copics, so if i do, i may have to seek out another more appropriate paper.

  4. Avatar
    Anita January 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    I liked how you showed the differences in papers. I have been wondering this myself. I love Sparle Blanc that can be found a It works wonderfully on printing digital paper because the sparkle shines through. I use Sparkle Blanc for coloring with Twinkling H2O’s and it works great. It does curl a little if you use the text weight. The cardstock weight does much better. Paper Temptress has other papers that work well with digital printing. The irridescent line and column line work great too.

  5. Avatar
    Kay January 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Great critique!
    I just want to say I’m a die hard Papertrey Ink cardstock fan. I used to use Bazzill (for scrapbooking), but after the first time I tried the Papertrey Ink, I was hooked! 110 lb. weight in all colors, not just the white. They have a GORGEOUS color assortment as well.
    Must stop now, could gush about them forever!
    BTW, there is a release party on their forum tonight.
    Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Papertrey Ink, I am merely a rabid fan!

  6. Avatar
    Amber January 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    I love the colors that Stampin’ Up comes up with. I stopped using it when I discovered (to my dismay) that their colors are not light fast. I had a few cards sitting in a room with no direct sunlight that had pullouts in them. A few months after they were made, a friend picked them up and pulled on the pullouts. The outside of the cards had faded considerably.

  7. Avatar
    Debbie H January 14, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    I am also a huge fan of Paper Trey Ink, I love their white cardstock for use with my Copics and all stamping, and it’s quite reasonable. I love their colored cardstock for card making and small projects, I also really like Stampin’ up card stock for cards and small projects.

  8. Avatar
    Debbie January 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    I’m a big paper HOG and have tons of it. I used to work for a large volume printing company and was able to get a lot of the scraps, most of it textured and cream colored.
    I love using pure luxury white (120#) from Gina K Designs. It’s wonderful for Copic marker coloring.
    I just bought some white cardstock (110)Wausau Exact Index at Office Max. It’s wonderful for printing digital paper (from Gina K Designs). The paper is very smooth (smoother than the Georgia Pacific from Wal Mart…plus I heard Wal-Mart was not going to see this anymore. My store is out of it now.)
    The Wausau is only a few cents per sheet more than the Georgia Pacific and is waaaay smoother. I think you’ll like it. I haven’t stamped on it yet but will try that today.
    I love paper…can you tell?

    have a great day!

  9. Avatar
    Maryellen January 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    Thank you for this review. I have
    been wondering what cardstock to
    buy to make sturdy bookmarks. I have Georgia Pacific White which I
    having been using but I would like
    other color choices.
    By the way, there is a new online
    store called Cardstock Couture, maybe you can check them out too.

    Thanks so much, love the reviews
    as they help me decide what to
    purchase when papercrafting.


  10. Avatar
    Katherine January 14, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing this information. I am new to stamping and card making and so appreciate the insight into the right cardstock for the job

  11. Avatar
    Betty Benton January 14, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Gina K. Designs has fabulous paper. 80 lb layering weight and 120 lb. heavy weight. The name of her paper line is Pure Luxury and the paper stands behind its name! Although I don’t have Copics, everyone says that they color beautifully on Gina’s paper. I use colored pencils, spread with baby oil, and much prefer Gina’s paper for that. And they are introducing different colored papers each month. Give them a try — you’ll be glad you did!

  12. Avatar
    Jen January 14, 2010 at 6:49 pm #

    Cardstock- so many choices, and yet sometimes I get frustrated by what seems to be a lack of what I want!

    In terms of colour choice, quality and value for money I personally think you can’t go past Papertrey Ink’s CS.

    I buy very heavy weight smooth cardstock for my card bases made by a company called Roman. Don’t know if it is available outside Australia.

  13. Avatar
    Gina K. January 14, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Thanks for the Gina K. Designs Pure Luxury card stock shout out here in the comments section. We are very proud of our card stock and know how many of you love to make one layer Copic cards!

  14. Avatar
    Jennifer Priest January 15, 2010 at 3:41 am #

    Interesting. Bazzill actually has alot more textures, such as dotted swiss and crisscross (my fave) than what you listed here. I am a big fan of Bazzill but I am more of a scrapbooker and the weight is nice for scrapbook pages. And as for Copics, Neenah is the best. I don’t even bother testing them on other papers any more! I also use Neenah for my card bases.

    There are some other really cool eco-friendly paper companies like French Paper that would have been nice to see included. And Creative Memories cardstock cuts beautifully in diecut machines–it would have been nice to see how these cardstocks work in an electronic diecutting system–Bazzill wears out my Silhouette blades like crazy.

  15. Avatar
    sandi_serge January 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    My local crafting store sells only Bazzil cardstock but I have recently found that the newer Bazzil papers are tearing in my cricut machine and have tried all different settings, when I go to the lighter cardstocks at Walmart there is no problems in cutting. I have tried new blades and mats without success. I’m wondering if Bazzil has changed the newer lines in the “makeup” of their paper. Has anyone else had this problem?
    How did you resolve it, other than changing the type of paper?

  16. Avatar
    Etha January 18, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    love my wausau card stock 😉
    hmm, do try printing on textured card stock, it comes out beautifully and elegant looking!

  17. Avatar
    The Shop Around the Corner July 9, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Love Wausau 110lb from Office Depot for most of my stamping. Love the smoothness. Printing digital images works well too, but I’m browsing online to gather more tips. You have one result from a hand stamp and another from a digital print. It really involves some trial and error before we find what we’re comfortable with.

    Thank you for posting this. Very helpful.