Scrapbooking Paper 101 - How to choose Cardstock Paper

Hello, fellow Crafters! When I was scrapbooking as a beginner, the first time I walked down the paper aisles of Hobby Lobby and Michaels, I felt so overwhelmed by all the papers.  There are several rows of papers that seem to be the same colors but the prices per page are so different.  Why do different brands cost a different price?  Usually, it is because of what we call GSM.  (grams per square meter)  Quality and Thickness of the paper. Today, I am comparing CrafTangles scrapbook paper to other brands that I own from the USA.  As a design team member for CrafTangels this year, they generously sent me samples of all their colors.  I will post photos below so that you can see all the shades they offer.  But how do we compare this brand and other brands of scrapbook cardstock?  When do you use each brand?  I'll give you some examples.

GSM - Grams per Square Meter

Generally speaking, the higher the number of GSM means the thicker the scrapbook paper.  So, I will list some popular brands of solid cardstock below so that you can see the measured differences.

Bazzill 270 gsm
CrafTangles 250 gsm
American Crafts 216 gsm
Recollections 176 gsm

How do you choose which scrapbook cardstock to use?

Bazzill and CrafTangles are a heavy, thick weight.  They are great for mixed media layouts since they can handle liquid sprays, modeling paste and paints.  I also like to use these papers on my Cricut or Silhouette if I want to cut out a custom template.  This paper is very thick.  It will eat up your blade on the cutting machines, so I don't use this paper if I have a lot to cut out. I really like this type of cardstock for the base of my greeting cards. It will score for a fold without tearing. American Crafts is my favorite to use for Project Life backgrounds in pocket scrapbooking.  They are not too thick, so I can add embellishments without worrying about it being too thick to fit into the pocket page protectors. This is also my preferred cardstock for cutting out titles and embellishments for scrapbook layouts.  It's not so thick that it will eat up my blade, but it's not too thin to where I have to worry about my letters in the title getting torn. Recollections serves it's purpose even though it's not my favorite.  I use this brand when I'm creating objects in bulk for parties.  For example, I will cut photo booth props and laminate them for parties.  Or I will buy a certain color in bulk to match a baby shower and then cut out party favors on my Cricut.  A word of caution, only use the light grip mats for this paper.  It has a tendency to stick to the mat and rip. Use an old, used mat if you want to use this in a machine.

Watch the below video to see the comparison of each brand:

Price Comparisons of Scrapbook Paper per sheet

Bazzill 59 cents (OR 4 for $1 when on sale at 25 cents)
CrafTangles 23 cents (149 rupees = $2.31 for 10 sheets)
American Crafts 33 cents (60 sheets for $20)
Recollections 20 cents (sometimes less if using a Michaels Coupon)

CrafTangles Scrapbook Paper Colors

For the quality and the thickness of the paper, CrafTangles is a great value for the price.  It's very smooth to the touch and the variety of neutral shades allow for a large array of background colors for mixed media layouts.  Visit their website and see the value of their products for yourself!

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  • Colleen Hollis