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Red River Paper Company

Please welcome new reporter Kelleigh Ratzlaff!


Kelleigh Ratzlaff is a Work At Home Mama to two wonderful little boys, and wife to a fantastic, handsome man. The “work” part of her job title may be a little misleading, though, because she enjoys every minute of her crafty job. Kelleigh designs papercraft templates and sells them electronically in her virtual boutique at The Digichick. She enjoys sharing her adventures in papercraft on her blog where she also expounds on her love of decorating with garage sale finds, getting her groceries for free, digital scrapbooking, becoming a runner at age 33, playing with “not yo mama’s” funky fabric and so much more. Her blog is a dumping ground for her creative thoughts (to her husband’s profound relief!), so you never know what you might find there!

Reported by
Kelleigh Ratzlaff

As a hybrid papercrafter and digital scrapbooker who likes to print out pages at home, it is important to me that I print my projects and pages on top quality paper. I learned through much trial and error that choosing the wrong paper for printing can turn a “Wow!” project into an “Eh” project. Since I like to go for the “Wow!” factor, I always print on matte photo paper rather than cardstock.

When Red River Paper Company sent me a sample box of inkjet paper to test out, I was super excited! And, when I opened it, I was even MORE excited! I couldn’t believe all of the options they carry! I typically print my projects on matte double-sided photo paper, so I was expecting to see some of that in there, but I was NOT expecting to see the lovely textures, the slight gloss or the natural (off-white) color option.

Of course, I was super excited to print a project on the paper to see how it measured up to my old stand-by paper. I chose a matte double sided (just to compare apples-to-apples), and fell in love!!

Check out my project!

Digital paper by Karen Lewis (The Digichick), template by Kelleigh Ratzlaff (The Digichick), traditional supplies by Close To My Heart

I followed the suggestions for printing that Red River included, and set my printer to “Fast Normal” which uses less ink than “Normal” and the quality is still wonderful! I also love that the box is so nice and sturdy! This paper is much thicker than my regular “go-to” photo paper.

I was anxious to try some of the natural colored paper, because it is just a little bit off-white, rather than stark white. My printed image did turn out a little bit darker (which makes sense, right?), but I was pleasantly surprised with the results! I like this option because when I make hybrid projects it is nice to have a bit of color on the inside of a project.

Digital paper by Kelley Mize (The Digichick), Template by Kelleigh Ratzlaff (The Digichick) flower by Prima, ric-rac, felt piece and pin by Close To My Heart

I had the most fun testing out the textured paper options. I have never printed on textured photo paper before, and I was so excited to see the results! Red River Paper Company sent me a box of pre-scored cards in many of their most popular papers, so I chose the Glossy Cordovan for this card.

You can see the details in the Glossy Cordovan on this photo in which I printed digital papers onto the card base:

I also tried out the Linen textured paper on these digital elements. Can you see the texture? So beautiful!

Here is a close up of the textures:

I love seeing the different textures on the same card!

Digital paper and elements by Jennifer Fox (The Digichick), brads by Making Memories, font is SP For You.


Pros:

  • The paper is nice and thick! Perfect for cards, printing digital layouts, hybrid boxes, photos and more!
  • There are many textures available, which is super fun.
  • Using paper specifically for inkjet printers will help me save on ink costs, especially since it is recommended that I print on “Fast Normal”
  • Fast drying time. I was able to touch my project right after it was printed! However, I didn’t actually try to smear the ink on the glossy paper until about 10 minutes later. I just didn’t want to risk it!
  • My papers printed out exactly as expected. No washed-out colors!

Cons:

  • Not as readily available as my old stand-by inkjet paper.
  • Shipping costs can be rather high. The lowest cost for 1 pack of paper was $11.48. Yikes!

Cost:
There are so many paper options to choose from, and just as many price options, but I would be most inclined to buy:

60lb Polar Matte Double Sided (50 sheets) = $16.95

I usually use Epson Premium Presentation Paper Matte Double-Sided, however the quality of the Red River paper is so much better that the closest comparison is probably:

Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Paper (50 sheets – but NOT double sided and not as thick) = $16.00

Bottom line: I love this paper, and I will be very sad the day I run out of my sampler pack!

So, tell me – Would you spend extra money on shipping costs to have higher quality paper, or would you just swing into Staples to pick up some Epson? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Disclosure

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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9 Responses to Red River Paper Company

  1. Avatar
    Swr4him May 2, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    I totally agree about everything you reported on Red River Paper Co. I found them one night in sheer desperation trying to get settings for my Epson. I found so much information on that site as well as wonderful paper. I have not purchased any paper but just the info on that site makes it tops for me. I always recommend it to those searching for paper info for Epsons which I love.

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    sunghee May 2, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Woo hoo Kelleigh!!! Great article, and congrats!!! I LOVE Craft Critique and Red River Paper!

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    Bluemoon May 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Fab article, beautiful paper and projects wow! thank you. I’m sure you could also order Red River paper from a printer in a 250 pkg and that could be cheaper??just an idea (we used to do it with Linen for cs).
    I would love to see an article on how much ink it would cost to do these digi’s. That is more concern to me than paper, however, you need a good canvas.
    What type of printers do people use, types of inks, how much do they go through? I just have a 3 in 1 Canon which I love! but am afraid to use a ton of ink on a few pieces of paper (even if I do luv the printed paper)LOL.
    t

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    Anonymous May 2, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Considering none of the three office stores in my town consistently carry Epson double-sided matte paper, and NO ONE carries 12×12 paper, I would pay the extra costs for a decent source of 12×12 matte paper.

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    Nicole Seitler May 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Great article, Kelleigh! I love seeing that texture on your paper. I would definitely pay for higher shipping to get that. It’s gorgeous all on it’s own.

    Bluemoon, I would say that you certainly will go through more ink printing digital papers, but it would balance out when you consider that digital paper packs are so inexpensive! Many packs run $2-$3 for a set of 10 or more papers. You could spend $2-$3 on 2-3 papers at a scrapbook store! Plus you can use digital papers an infinite number of times.

    But that’s a really interesting idea for an article! I’d love to hear the opinion of someone like Kelleigh, who’s making hybrid papercrafts all the time, and what she thinks about what the cost of ink is… how much faster she goes through a cartridge and all that. Probably helps to find your ink on-line if you’re a hybrid fan!

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    Melanie May 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    Well, I would admit the shipping cost is a bit prohibitive … but I love that texture! Wow.
    But for my wide format Epson, I have to have it shipped, so I will definitely be checking into this company next time I order some!

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    Anonymous May 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm #

    i haven’t used the red river product line,but, i really love the diefference in it compared to my hp paper. i am on a very tight budget due to being disabled but, you bet i will be saving up for some.i do art therapy,and that paper will make my projects really come to life. yes,it is triple the cost of what i use now, but seeing your different projects,and how sturdy the paper is,not to mention how vibrant the colors are i will be heading to the red river site as soon as i finish my posting. thanks for sharing this new product information with us.
    barbara hopkins
    nanniespiperdayle@yahoo.com

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    stampertina May 2, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Thanks, Kelleigh! I need to check out some Red River! What kind of printer do you have?

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    billiejo May 3, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    No, I would not pay that kind of price for shipping! Outrages fees for shipping tell me the company isn’t organized well enough to charge based on actual cost. How can I trust my order to them when they send this kind of message?

    I love the vibrant results and textures, but again, I don’t feel I can trust a company that cannot get all their ducks in a row.