Best Cardstock for Painting, Drawing and More – ARTnews.com

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Sometimes you need thicker paper than your inkjet printer has. Maybe you plan to make a design with high pigment markers and don’t want to risk bleeding through, or maybe you want to create a sign that won’t blow away in the wind. Maybe you’re looking for a fun arts and crafts project to do with your kids. Either way, card stock is a great alternative to paper on many occasions. This single-ply paper is durable yet still bendable and easy to cut. From rainbow tones to classic bright whites, find the best card stock options by considering our picks below.

1. Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Premium Cardstock

This is a great card stock from a respectable art supply company to keep on hand as it has a versatile weight for most projects. At 100 pounds, it’s slightly heavier than other options, so it prevents frustrating bleeding, and it’s totally opaque. It’s not quick to tear, but it’s easy to cut with scissors. It’s still thin enough to load into most desktop printers, so you can slip letter-sized sheets into the paper tray and inkjet directly onto them with ease. The surface is glossy white, matte and uniformly smooth.

To buy:
Ultra-smooth Spectrum Noir premium card stock

$26.50

2. Neenah White Index Heavyweight Cardstock

This card stock is heavier than most, including our top pick, at 110 pounds. Each of the 300 crisp white sheets measures 8.5 x 11 inches. Although the paper is particularly heavy, it can still be used in most inkjet and laser printers and whether you use it for printing or coloring there is little or no risk of overflow. . It’s also very smooth, making it a great choice for projects like inking, gluing, stamping, and cutting (but not so much for illustrating with colored pencils).

Best Cardstock for Painting, Drawing, and More

To buy:
Neenah White Index Heavyweight Cardstock

$15.99

3. Crayola Cardstock

Why opt for solid colors when you can get your hands on brightly colored printed designs? This cardstock includes 25 sheets of assorted designs, from rainbows to chevrons to polka dots, all featuring equally colorful hues. Although they’re too busy for writing or coloring, they’re ideal for crafts that require cut-out shapes or for other projects in an elementary school classroom. As such, they are an excellent choice for teachers and parents of young children. We only wish they came in bigger packs.

To buy:
Crayola Cardstock

$16.39

4. Pacon Array Cardstock

This card stock comes in packs of 250 in a range of 10 assorted colors. While perhaps best suited for kids’ craft projects, this card stock offers a bit more stability than regular paper if you’re building with it. The colors make everything fun, and the vibrant tones are sure to turn heads if you use these sheets for signs or announcements. It’s an easy way to amp up every craft project you get into, no matter how old you are.

To buy:
Pacon Array Cardstock

$35.35

5. X-Press IT Blend Card Paper

This card stock was designed with illustrators and designers in mind. Made of 92 lb paper, it’s thick and stiff and expensive, but you’ll make a worthwhile investment. The ultra-smooth surface tolerates alcohol markers very well, including the beloved Copics, resisting pilling even with multiple coats of color. The colors blend beautifully and look more vibrant on this glossy white surface. Plus, it’s acid-free.

Best Cardstock for Painting, Drawing, and More

To buy:
X-Press IT Mix Card Paper

$21.99

6. Cardstock Warehouse Recycled Cardstock

This recycled option is a smart way to stay eco-friendly while working with paper. Due to its production process, the 100-pound letter-size card stock comes in three tones – maroon, oatmeal, and wine – perfect when you’re looking for an earthy background rather than a plain white. Each sheet also bears natural grains and visible speckles to provide a yarn-at-home feel. It’s easy to print, but getting the colors to appear the way you want them on this paper is a little trickier than if you were working with white; be prepared to spend time (and leaves) experimenting. We’re fans of how easy it folds and scores.

Best Cardstock for Painting, Drawing, and More

To buy:
Cardstock Warehouse Recycled Card Stock

$26.50

7. Darice Cardstock 50 pieces

This lighter card stock sits right in the middle of ultra-heavy and classic letter weight. It weighs 65 pounds of card stock, making it ideal for professional projects, structures that require minimal full support, or a sign that promises no leaks even with the heaviest manufacturers. This set includes 50 sheets, all in glossy white, measuring a standard letter size of 8.5 x 11 inches.

To buy:
Darice Cardstock 50 pieces

$7.34

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