Craft Essentials - Cardstock

I have been thinking for a while about doing a Craft Essentials series of blog posts and then recently I have been receiving a lot of questions about Crafting essentials so I decided that now was the perfect time to do it. 

For the first part I thought I'd cover the thing I get asked about the most, card stock. 
Before I start what I want to say is a lot of this is down to personal preference, and also trial and me I have had some BAD card stock experiences. 

Card Bases

So you spend ages on creating an awesome card, you want that card to be able to be displayed and enjoyed, for that you need a good strong card base that will be able to stand and be displayed well. Don't get what i mean, check out the image below.

Both are shop brought card bases, the one on left is very thin and flimsy and is struggling to stay up, and that is without anything added to it, the one on the right you can see is thicker card and standing up with no problems.
You have two main options when is comes to card bases- 

Pre made card bases: You can buy these in a huge range of sizes and colours and they often also come with envelopes. But still check if they are up to the job. I have purchased so many card bases (as shown above) over the years that had to go into the bin because they bent, or warped. 
I have linked below some of the better pre made card bases I have used. 

Make your own: This may sound scary but it is what I tend to do. I mainly make American A2 sized cards which i make from Neenah Cardstock which is white.
If I want to create a coloured card base I tend to use-
Simon Says Stamp, Papermania, Lawn Fawn, Crafter's Companion Kraft Card & Matt Black......All of these are linked below.
My main advice if you are going to create your own card bases is too invest in a bone folder and score board to make the job easier, again I have linked below to what I use/have used.
 Also if you tend to make the same sized cards then make up batches of them so you always have them to hand.  

Card for Alcohol Markers

I get TONS of emails regarding this and my answer is always the same, Neenah Solar White. 
I have used ALOT of card stock for Markers over the years and in my personal opinion Neenah is the best for me. 
It is a good price and easy to buy here in the UK. 
One thing i get asked a lot to is "do I have to use a special card ?" The answer is YES. 
Due to the nature of Alcohol Markers a card stock that is not designed to be used with them won't give you the best results. 

Water colour Card

I think water colour card is definitely a personal preference. 
The ones I use are listed below, but I highly encourage you to try some different brands if you are not getting the results you want from your card. 
Water colour card is also what I recommend for use with Pencils, 
You can use other card but water colour card tends to have "tooth"...which basically means texture, this texture allows for you to build up more layers of colour. 

I have also been asked about hot and cold press. 
To put it simply Cold press has texture and will suck up the water more quickly. 
Hot press is smooth and doesn't tend to soak the water up as press due to its smooth surface is great for stamping. 

Coloured Card

Most of us crafter's use coloured card and there is so much choice out there. My main advice with this is try and use one specifically made for crafters. 
I know it is easy to go for the really cheap stuff...who doesn't want more money to spend on other craft items, but here is some of the things I have found when using cheap non craft card- 
  • Colour has run when glued
  • Not Acid and Lignin free...we want out projects to last for as long as possible, especially those with photos. Card that is not acid and lignin free will cause your projects to disintegrate alot quicker and in general just aren't good for crafting projects. 
  •  Is only surface dyed....this means when you cut the card for your projects from the sides you will see the white core and it does not look good at all. 
  • In general doesn't cut well. 
 Now I am not saying all cheap card will do the above, there is some good cheap card out there, but in my experience it is hard to find. 

Also think what you will be using the coloured card for. 
Core'dinations is a great card if you are going to be using embossing folders as it tends to have all sorts of different core finishes so you can sand back your distressing and do some fun techniques, but it does have a texture to it, so if you want to use it for matt and layering you might want a smooth card. 
I have listed below the brands  that I have used with success, but i do highly encourage you to shop around.
I know there is some brands out there which a lot of people highly praise...Papertrey Ink seems to be the main one a lot of people recommend, but I have yet to try it so cannot comment. Another one is Gina K . Here in the UK PapermillDirect is I have tried this and it is nice card, but for me their shipping costs are high (they now offer free shipping if you spend over £60), but it is one I would recommend for people to try if they don't mind the shipping costs.  

I hope this has helped answer some of the questions. If you feel that I have missed anything, or if you have some brands you would recommend then please comment below. 

In the next Craft Essentials I will be covering Adhesives. 

Have a great day and happy crafting 


  1. Tracy many thanks for this useful information. I am sure will benefit from{aNNie}

  2. Brilliant lot of info!
    Dawn xx


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