Different Types of Paper for Arts and Crafts

Colorful thank you card with different colored 6x6 patterned scrapbook paper

6x6 Blends Cardstock Paper Pack

Crafting paper comes in all sorts of colors, weights, and textures. It can be used for a variety of paper crafting projects, from scrapbooking to card making. No two craft papers are the same, and each has its own unique set of characteristics that make it perfect for specific crafting endeavors. 

In this blog post, we'll take a look at the different types of paper and their uses. We'll also discuss some tips on choosing the right type of craft paper for your project. So whether you're just starting out in the world of paper crafting or you're looking to expand your repertoire of materials, read on to learn more about the different kinds of paper available to crafters!

3D floral layering dies made with gradient cardstock paper for crafts

Gradient Cardstock Paper for Crafting

What Is Craft Paper?

Craft paper is a versatile type of paper specifically used in arts and crafts. It is durable, thick, and strong, making it ideal for folding, cutting, gluing, bending, etc. Crafting paper typically comes in different:

  • Colors
  • Sizes
  • Shapes
  • Weights
  • Textures
  • Styles
  • Uses

Different types of paper and envelopes for paper crafting

Different Kinds of Paper and Envelopes for Crafts

Types of Paper

There are different types of paper to use for your projects - from cardstock and colored construction paper to scrapbook paper and crepe paper. Each type of paper can be used for a different purpose, so it's important to know what your craft project requires and how to best use it. Let’s take a look at some of the most common kinds of paper as well as some arts and crafts with paper.

Pre-cut white cardstock paper for card making and paper crafting

White Cardstock Paper for Paper Crafting

Cardstock Paper

Cardstock paper is a staple in every crafter’s kit and is the best paper for card making because it lends itself to a wide range of techniques such as folding, curving, bending, cutting, gluing, molding, stitching, or layering. Using too much liquid or applying heavy embellishments will cause regular paper to warp or tear. Since cardstock is thick and heavyweight, it is a popular choice for various arts and crafts with paper.

DIY greeting cards made with blue and green colored cardstock and 3D dies

Polish Papercuts 3D Die

Nowadays, there is an array of textures, weights, and colors available for different types of crafts. Some are matte; some are glossy. Some are smooth; others have unique textures. Here are some of Altenew’s popular cardstock for paper crafting.  

Type Size/Quantity Color Weight  Features
White Cardstock -The popular ones are 12” x 12” and 8.5" x 11".
-There are also pre-scored ones cut into standard card sizes like 4 ¼” x 5 ½”.
White 80lb - 110lb This cardstock is the best paper for card making and scrapbooking. It is smooth but not glossy. It comes in different sizes.
Black Cardstock

Size: 8.5" x 11"
Quantity: 15 sheets per pack

Jet Black 80lb Jet black very closely resembles true black that is hard to find in heavyweight card stock. It looks and feels sturdy and is made in a mill that has produced fine papers in the countryside of England since 1753.
Woodgrain Cardstock

Size: 8.5" x 11"
Quantity: 5 sheets per pack

-Woodgrain Powder
-Woodgrain Bark
-Woodgrain White

93lb All our Woodgrain Papers have a rich texture and the feel of the raw materials that make up the urban centers that we live in. This paper is manufactured in Germany and made to mimic the everyday architectural details surrounding us.
Birch Wood Cardstock

 

Size: 8.5" x 11"
Quantity: 5 sheets per pack

Birch Wood is a natural product; colors and patterns may vary. 100lb (12pt) Birch Wood is one of the most exciting types of paper today, as its surface is genuine wood! The wood is cut so thin it is nearly translucent. The smoothness of its surface allows for stamping, and because it is strong yet pliable, it can be used for pretty much any application that standard paper can be used for, including die cutting, heat embossing, etc.
Glitter Cardstock

Size: 3” x 6” 
Quantity: 8 sheets or 4 sheets in 4 colors (total of 16 sheets)

It comes in 4 different shades from the same color family. Glitter on one side and plain white cardstock on the back.

110lb Create dazzling embellishments (without the mess of loose glitter) with our color-coordinated glitter cardstock! Easily select colors to use with our Layering Dies, or simply use the cardstock for glamorous accents on your projects.
Gradient Cardstock

 

Size: 3” x 6”
Quantity: 8 sheets in 4 colors (total of 32 sheets)

It comes in 4 shades from the same color family. 80lb To make crafting easier, Altenew has come up with gradient cardstock sets. Each set comes with eight sheets in three different shades from the same color family. These color-coordinated cardstock sets will make creating embellishments easy peasy! You can use them with 3D dies, layered stamps, and dies, or simply use them as colorful accents on your project.
Gold Mirror Cardstock

Size: 8.5" x 11"
Quantity: 5 sheets per pack

Gold 100lb (12pt) This is a brilliantly colored gold paper that reflects like a mirror.


Colored cardstock
is another popular type of crafting paper. It comes in a wide variety of solid colors, and some even have matching envelopes. When it comes to cardstock crafts, colored cardstock is a must-have.

Colored cardstock paper for different types of paper crafts

Colored Cardstock Paper

If you’re looking for fun and easy things to do with colored paper or cardstock, we’ve got a few right here!

  1. Die cut floral layering dies to create a colorful garden in your papercrafts quickly.
  2. Create your own quick embellishments by fussy-cutting shapes or stamped images on colored cardstock paper.
  3. Use it as a card base if your design is too “clean and simple” and needs a pop of color!
  4. Create a border for your scrapbook or journal pages using your favorite colored paper.
  5. Make unique sentiments by die-cutting alphabet dies or word dies out of colored cardstock.
  6. Use it to frame or highlight elements in your handmade card or scrapbook layout.

The video above shows a few awesome cardstock crafts using black cardstock!

Handmade card with shiny and glittery circle die-cuts made from Glitter Cardstock Paper

Shiny Card Made with Glitter Cardstock

Specialty Craft Paper

Altenew offers different kinds of paper which are ready to use and comes in a wide variety of styles, textures, and colors. Specialty paper may not be as sturdy and heavyweight as cardstock paper, but they add uniqueness, texture, and flair.

Stenciled leaves on a white cardstock with vellum paper overlay and gold hello sentiment

Hello Greeting Card with Vellum Overlay

This type of crafting paper is very thin and translucent. It used to be made out of calfskin but is now made of cellulose fibers from plants or trees. Because of its minimalist and elegant look, vellum is often used in wedding invitations. Over the years, crafters have creatively incorporated vellum paper into different types of crafts.   

Here, Erum heat-embossed some florals onto vellum using Peach Embossing Powder and colored them with alcohol markers.

Handmade card made with patterned scrapbook paper and vellum paper

Verdant Walk 6x6 Paper for Crafts

  • Kraft Paper

The brown paper bags used in grocery stores are made out of Kraft paper. This coarse paper is available in rolls or sheets and can be bleached to produce lighter shades. While it is not as popular in card making as other kinds of paper, it’s a great choice for various scrapbooking and DIY projects like gift wrapping and paper flowers. Kraft paper isn’t a high-quality paper since it is made of leftover pulp from paper production.

DIY mini gift bag made using Kraft paper and stamped with floral images and words

 DIY Gift Bag Made with Kraft Paper

What is special about Kraft paper?

If you’re looking for some fun arts and crafts with a bit of texture and interest, go for Kraft paper. Kraft paper might not be 100% lignin-free, but it has reduced lignin content - making it great for scrapbooking, card making, and journaling projects. 

Looking for an easy DIY gift bag? Kymona decorated her mini Kraft bag using a stamp set, pigment ink, and some scrapbooking ephemera. 

Ice cream cone and ice cream bar images stamped on Kraft cardstock and colored with color pencils

Coloring Embossed Images on Kraft Cardstock with Color Pencils

Up for some coloring? Give this card making idea a try! Debby stamped some images with clear embossing ink on her Kraft cardstock and used coloring pencils on them. This gives a tone-on-tone look that is easy to see but makes the lines fade away as you start coloring with the pencils.

DIY greeting cards made with parchment cardstock, stamps, inks, and dies.

Stamping and Masking on Parchment Cardstock

Because of its properties, Kraft paper works well with various types of paper crafts - from card making and scrapbooking to DIY bookmarks and boxes. In Lydia’s handmade card, she stamped and ink blended on a Kraft cardstock, adding more texture and interest to the overall design. Watch the video below to see how she created her card.

Commonly used in baking, specifically to line cake molds, parchment paper is a silicone-coated cellulose-based paper. It has a non-stick, grease-proof, and heat and moisture-resistant surface. 

Did You Know? Parchment paper is an inexpensive and disposable alternative to a crafting mat (especially for ink-related techniques) and drawing paper! 
What is parchment paper used for in craft?

Parchment paper is a transparent kind of paper that is usually between 90-120 GSM. It is heavier and thicker vellum. Its unique features make it ideal for stamping, card making, scrapbooking, journaling, and even gift wrapping.

Greeting card with washi tape background and gold "thinking of you" sentiment

Thinking of You Card

If you want to make attention-grabbing arts and crafts with paper, gold foil paper (or any kind of foil paper) is a great choice! It is made out of a thin layer of aluminum foil and can hold different shapes well. Gold foil laminated sheets are perfect for hot foiling and die-cutting techniques. Die cutting words or sentiments out of gold foil can add a wow factor to any handmade card or scrapbook page.

 Galaxy themed scrapbook layout made with 6x6 Celestial Patterned Paper Pack

Celestial 6x6 Patterned Paper Pack

Scrapbook Paper

Although cardstock is a popular choice for scrapbooking, patterned paper (or designer paper) is a must-have. It is thicker, durable, and sturdier than regular paper but not as thick or heavyweight as cardstock paper. Scrapbook patterned paper is fun to work with because it comes in a wide array of colors, styles, designs, and sizes.

DIY Hanging Ornaments made with dies and scrapbook paper for crafting

DIY Hanging Home Decor

Before you go scrapbook paper shopping, here are a few things to remember.

  1. Scrapbook paper pads can be single-sided or double-sided. It’s better to opt for double-sided pads like these ones from Altenew.
  2. Patterned papers can be used as embellishments or as a background. Each scrapbook paper’s beautiful pattern or design can be fussy cut and used as decorative elements on a page.
  3. What is the best scrapbook paper weight? It varies depending on the manufacturer, but the common ones are between 60 to 65lb.
  4. Most patterned papers are 12” x 12” or 6” x 6”, so find the right size for your scrapbook album. Altenew paper packs come in sets of 12 or 16 or complete bundles like these.
  5. Never hesitate to reuse those paper scraps! You can create arts and crafts with paper by turning them into a DIY embellishment or making confetti out of them.

Construction Paper

Construction paper is one of the most inexpensive types of paper that is often used for children’s crafts. Since the late 19th century, construction paper has been mainly used as a drawing media canvas in classrooms. Paper is exposed to aniline dye (exported by Germany) while it is still a pulp during the paper manufacturing process. This process results in an even distribution of color, therefore creating construction paper or colored cardstock paper. 

Known for its thickness, rough texture, and durability, construction paper is available in a wide range of colors but isn’t ideal for cardstock crafts that are meant to last long because the colors fade quickly.

Fun Fact! In the late 19th century, industrialized paper and synthetic dye technology were combined, paving the way for the first construction paper. The term "sugar paper" was coined because construction paper was used as bags for sugar. Back in 17th century England, confectionery bakers used “blue paper” in baking “Regency ratafia cakes (or macaroons).” This was how construction paper became known as “sugar paper.”

Coordinating crafting products with some metallic thread, ink blending brushes, and pink tissue paper

Craft Your Life 4-in-1 Project Kit

Tissue Paper

Light, airy, and extremely thin - these are some of the well-known characteristics of tissue paper. And we’re not referring to the tissue paper used in your bathroom - this crafting paper is the fancy crepe-like paper commonly used in filling up gift bags, boxes, or parcels. It is printable, foldable, and comes in various colors and patterns. 

Among the different types of paper, tissue paper is possibly the most delicate and thinnest. While most would use it to line DIY gift bags, here are other things you can do with it.

  • Tassels
  • Pom-poms
  • Lanterns
  • Piñatas
  • Paper flowers
  • DIY home decor

Floral wide washi tape with sample cards and DIY notebooks

Wild Flora Washi Tape

Washi

Washi, also known as traditional Japanese paper, is an organic and delicate paper made of various fibers from the Misumata Shrub, the Mulberry bush, the Gampi tree, bamboo, hemp, and rice. Unlike other types of paper, washi is entirely handcrafted. It was traditionally used in screens and lamps and is now ideally used in origami crafts, lanterns, and blinds.

Crepe Paper

Crepe paper looks just like tissue paper, but it is slightly thicker, sturdier, and has a crinkled surface. This is a widely available crafting paper found in local arts and crafts stores. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and comes in various colors and patterns. 

What is crepe paper used for?
  • Paper flowers
  • Covering or dyeing Easter eggs
  • Party streamers
  • Pom-poms
  • Props and other costume accessories

Cold Press Watercolor Paper Pads in different sizes, with watercolor 12 pan set

Cold Press Watercolor Paper Pads

Watercolor Paper

Even if you’re not into watercolor painting, you can still use watercolor paper for different types of paper crafts. While most crafting papers have a smooth texture, watercolor paper has what is known as the “tooth” side. This extra texture gives this paper advantage and makes it perfect for water-based mediums. It can be opaque or translucent and absorbs water well. 

Cold Press Watercolor Paper vs. Hot Press Watercolor Paper

There are two types of watercolor paper: cold press paper and hot press paper. The former is pressed without heat and has more “tooth” or is more textured. On the other hand, the latter is pressed using heat, taking the texture out of the paper. It still has “tooth” but is relatively smoother than cold press paper.

Newsprint Paper

When it comes to crafting paper, newsprint might not be the first choice for some. However, this inexpensive paper is perfect for paper mache, collage, journaling, and decoupage projects. This versatile paper is mainly used for printing newspapers, hence the name. It is sturdy and tears easily, making it great for journaling, scrapbooking, and even card making.

Origami Paper

Origami paper is the paper used in origami or the art of paper folding. Ideally, this type of paper is thinner than regular paper, easy to fold, and can hold multiple creases. One side has designs, while the other side is just plain. Here are a few different kinds of paper used for origami.

  • Kami or koiy paper
  • Chiyogami
  • Washi
  • Banknotes    

Slimline card made with stamps, dies, and alcohol ink background patterned scrapbook paper

Alcohol Ink Backgrounds 6x6 Scrapbook Paper

Find the best type of craft paper for your crafting needs!

So, what kinds of paper are you looking for today? Whether you’re in the market for some new scrapbooking paper or just want to find a good cardstock for your next cardstock craft, this list has it all. Remember, it all starts with a piece of paper and your imagination. 

Explore different types of paper – from standard white cardstock and patterned scrapbook paper to gold foil and vellum. With so many options available, you’re sure to find the perfect crafting paper for your needs!

Learn more about various kinds of paper for crafting in our All About Crafting page.