10 Card Ideas and Techniques Using Black Cardstock

Last Updated: June 28, 2022

Do you enjoy making cards? Cardstock paper is a great tool to create unique and standout designs on your next handmade project! We'll show you how to turn a simple piece of black cardstock into one of the most valuable tools for your paper crafting projects. Get ready to take an ordinary piece of cardstock paper and transform it into something that will allow for intricate die-cutting, stamping, embossing, watercoloring, or simply adding dimension with various coloring mediums. In this blog post, we’ll share techniques and black cardstock ideas that are sure to impress!

Gold heat-embossing on black cardstock paper

Wonder Clusters Stamp & Die Bundle

What Can You Do With Cardstock?

You can do so many things with cardstock - regardless of its color, weight, and size! If you’re new to paper crafting, you better stock up on cardstock. Believe us; it will make your life so much easier. Here are a few things to make with cardstock paper!

  1. Handmade cards
  2. Scrapbook layouts and albums
  3. Art journals
  4. Bullet journals
  5. Mixed media artwork
  6. DIY home decor
  7. DIY hanging ornaments
  8. Trinket box or bowl
  9. DIY Christmas decorations
  10. Party banners
  11. Wall art
  12. Gift tags
  13. DIY bookmark
  14. DIY gift box

Jet Black Cardstock Paper from Altenew

Jet Black Cardstock (25 sheets/set)

Which Cardstock Is Best for Greeting Cards?

One of the most popular things to make with cardstock paper is a handmade greeting card. Most card makers recommend using a smooth cardstock between 80lb to 110lb, with a GSM (Grams per Square Meter) between 200 and 350. Remember, cardstock with higher GSM will be thicker and heavier. Each cardstock weight is a specific thickness that will affect the versatility and longevity of your handmade greeting cards. Thick cardstock is ideal for greeting cards because it is sturdy and durable enough for various techniques and supplies.

Chalkboard wall art using black cardstock paper

Read: A Chalkboard Wall Art Using Various Altenew Stamps and Dies

What Do You Do With Black Cardstock Paper?

Black cardstock paper is commonly used as a background panel for lighter-colored cardstock, a border, or a sentiment strip. It’s a fantastic surface for white, gold, silver, and other metallic elements.  

Card makers, scrapbookers, and paper crafters are always looking for new techniques to make their handmade projects stand out. That’s where black cardstock ideas come in. With this darker cardstock, you can create different effects than what you usually see with white cardstock.

For example, using black cardstock paper in place of white will allow your design to pop out from the page or blend into it depending on how much ink (or what type of ink) you apply. You can use dark cardstock as a focal point for your whole project, make an accent piece, or even design your own embellishments! If you're looking for some inspiration for your next black cardstock art, then keep on reading!

Gold heat-embossed handmade card

Craft Your Life Project Kit: Lush Garden

1. Gold Heat Embossing - This is a no-brainer. Gold on black is the best way to achieve a beautiful and elegant look on your handmade cards and other paper crafting projects. Not only is it simple, but it’s also super quick and easy. In this blog post, Maryam created three majestic gold heat-embossed bookmarks!

Black cardstock paper with vellum die-cuts

Black cardstock paper with vellum die-cuts

2. Vellum - One of the most underrated black cardstock techniques is using vellum. In this technique, you just need to stamp your image on vellum using clear embossing ink, add colored or clear embossing powder; then heat set it. Adding vellum die-cuts on your dark cardstock will help make your handmade card pop off the page!

Sentiment die-cut out of black cardstock paper

Sentiment die-cut out of black cardstock paper

3. Sentiments - Another no-brainer! For most card makers, using a black sentiment strip is their ultimate go-to. Another must-try technique is to break the monotony of colors by die-cutting words and sentiments out of black cardstock paper. Here’s a fun black-on-pink-on-white card by our design team member, Emily!

4. Black Accents - There are a few ways to go about this fun black cardstock technique. For more detailed instructions, feel free to read Emily’s blog post here.

  • Go monochromatic. Have you ever tried black-on-black? Well, it’s about time! It’s super easy! First, die-cut a cover die out of black cardstock, adhere it onto black cardstock, and add some black floral die-cuts! Add some white gel pen accents, white sequins, or white iridescent gems.

Black cardstock idea using stamps and cover dies

Black cardstock idea using stamps and cover dies

  • Use black cardstock as a panel for your card front (this could be white or colored cardstock). Stamp your main image on some more black cardstock using white pigment ink. Next, use luminous colored pencils to add vivid color to the stamped image. Finally, flick some white gouache on the card front to add some artsy splatters. This will work beautifully with the vivid colors of the main image. This one used the “rule of three” (three of the same color or same element) and created a well-balanced look.

Handmade card with black cardstock and stamped florals

Paint-A-Flower: Camellia Outline Stamp Set

5. Chalkboard Look - If you have been card making for a while, creating the chalkboard look is a must-try! This is probably the best black cardstock art that you can quickly try. It’s great for handmade cards for teachers, students, or anyone related to education. There are two ways to create the chalkboard look:

  • You can do white heat-embossing or;
  • Blend white pigment ink on your cardstock

Black cardstock technique using stamps and white pigment ink

Poinsettia & Pine Stamp Set

6. White Pigment Ink and Colored Pencils - Stamping with white pigment ink and adding details using colored pencils is always a fantastic idea. In this blog post, Svitlana colored the petals and leaves with white ink using her Fantastix tool and a few colored pencils. The white pigment ink created a color barrier that allowed the pen coloring to stand out against the black background.

Stenciling on black cardstock paper

Watercolor Bouquet Stencil

7. Shimmery and Metallic Ink Sprays - If you’re looking for super quick and easy things to make with cardstock paper, get out your stencils and ink sprays! Altenew ink sprays are shimmery and very pigmented; that’s why they show up beautifully on dark backgrounds. On her mixed media art journal page, Zinia applied white ink spray through her stencil using a paintbrush first. After the white layer dried, she turned her stencil around and applied some red and green ink sprays through the smaller opening. The result is stunning, Pinterest-worthy black cardstock art!

Colored cardstock on black cardstock panel

Fancy For You Die

8. Colored Background - Do you find yourself having trouble creating quick backgrounds? Try this! Choose any colored cardstock, die-cut a background out of black cardstock (you can choose any of your favorite cover dies), then adhere it onto your colored panel! Easy peasy!

Floral handmade card with black cardstock accents

Mod Vases Stamp & Die Bundle

9. Flower Vase - When you’re using gorgeous flowers as the main element in your handmade card, it’s sometimes difficult to find a plain or neutral color for other components, such as your flower vase! To achieve balance on your card, stamp the flower vase in black or die-cut it out of black cardstock paper. The dark flower vase will look striking against the bright and vibrant flowers. Check out this fun DIY wall art by our guest designer, Colleen!

Wax seals on black cardstock

Summer Nights Complete Wax Seal Release Bundle

10. Wax Seal - When you think of card making, you probably never thought about wax seals! Wax seal stamps are the perfect modern interpretation of a classic tradition. Altenew’s modern twist on this tradition means that you can use our wax seals on any paper crafting project - not just to seal your envelopes! What better way to use bold and vibrant wax seals than on black cardstock art! In her quick and simple card, Lilith used a wax seal stamp and metallic watercolors to elevate her design. Here’s how to recreate her card!

  • First, paint a loose wash background on black cardstock paper using metallic watercolors.
  • Leave to dry.
  • Melt 3 Sapphire and 3 Enchanted Gold Wax Beads in the melting spoon.
  • Pour onto the card and press the Wax Seal Stamp (Just Thanks) on the wax.
  • Leave for a couple of seconds and lift the wax seal stamp off.
  • Add some sequins and a tiny sentiment strip to finish off the design.

With some creativity and ingenuity, you can make your own handmade cards using the black cardstock techniques we covered here! 

Metallic elements on black cardstock

Angled Mosaic 3D Embossing Folder

We hope you found these black cardstock ideas to be creative and inspiring. These are beginner-friendly DIY projects that anyone can do in a short period of time with simple supplies — just grab some colored cardstock, scissors, adhesive tape, decorative embellishments like sequins or glitter, and get crafting! If you want more inspiration for DIY crafts using different supplies other than cardstock paper, drop by Altenew’s All About Crafting page!


  • Jan

    Not only does Altenew have great products they go the extra mile to provide paper crafters with wonderful inspirations. Thank you Altenew!

  • Dorothy C.

    Absolutely the best post I’ve seen on what to do with black cardstock!!
    Thank you so much!!!

  • Kathy

    Great tips!!!

  • Barbara Edmondson

    Great ideas & inspiration! Thanks.

  • Barbara Edmondson

    Great ideas & inspiration! Thanks.

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