Sometimes you need a heavier paper than what’s in your inkjet printer. Perhaps you plan to make a drawing with high-pigment markers and don’t want the risk of bleed-through, or maybe you want to craft a sign that won’t blow around in the wind. Possibly, you’re on the hunt for a fun arts and crafts project to embark on with your children. Regardless, cardstock is a great alternative to paper on many occasions. This single-ply paper is durable but still foldable and easy to cut. From rainbow tones to bright white classics, find the best cardstock options by considering our picks, below.
1. Spectrum Noir Ultra Smooth Premium Cardstock
This is a great cardstock from a respectable art supply company to keep on hand as it has versatile weight for most projects. At 100 pounds, it is slightly heavier than other options, so it prevents frustrating bleed-through, and it is totally opaque. It is not quick to rip, yet it is easy to cut with scissors. It’s still thin enough to load into most office printers, so you can slip the letter-size sheets into the paper tray and inkjet-print right onto them with little fuss. The surface is bright white, matte, and consistently smooth.
2. Neenah White Index Heavy Cardstock
This cardstock is heavier than most—including our top pick—at 110 pounds. Each of the 300 bright-white sheets measures 8.5 by 11 inches. Though the paper is particularly heavy, it can still be used in most inkjet and laser printers and, whether you are using it for printing or coloring, there is little to no risk of bleed-through. It’s also very smooth, which makes it a great choice for projects like inking, gluing, stamping, and die-cutting (but not so much for illustrating with colored pencils).
3. Crayola Cardstock Paper
Why opt for solid colors when you can get your hands on brightly printed patterns? This cardstock includes 25 sheets of varying patterns, from rainbows to chevrons to polka dots, all featuring equally colorful hues. Though they might be too busy to write or color on, they are ideal for home crafts requiring cutout shapes or for other projects in an elementary school classroom. As such, they are an excellent choice for both teachers and parents of young children. We only wish they came in larger packs.
4. Pacon Array Card Stock
This card stock comes in a pack of 250 in a range of 10 assorted colors. Though perhaps best suited for children’s craft projects, this card stock offers a little more stability than regular paper if you’re building with it. The colors make it all fun, and the vibrant tones are sure to turn heads if you’re using these sheets for signs or announcements. It’s an easy way to amp up every craft project you embark on, no matter what your age.
5. X-Press IT Blending Card Paper
This cardstock was designed with illustrators and designers in mind. Made of 92 pound paper, it is thick and rigid—and costly, but you’ll be making a worthwhile investment. The ultrasmooth surface tolerates alcohol markers very well, including beloved Copics, resisting pilling even with multiple layers of color. Colors blend beautifully and look extra vibrant on this bright white surface. Plus, it’s acid- free.
6. Cardstock Warehouse Recycled Cardstock Paper
This recycled option is a smart way to stay eco-conscious while working with paper. Due to its production process, the 100-pound, letter-size card stock comes in three tones—brown, oatmeal and wine—perfect when you’re seeking an earthy background rather than plain white. Each sheet also carries natural grains and visible flecks to deliver a homespun feel. It is printer-friendly, but getting colors to appear as you wish on this paper is a little trickier than if you were working with white; be prepared to spend some time (and sheets) experimenting. We are fans of how easily it folds and scores.
7. Darice 50-Piece Card Stock Paper
This lighter cardstock sits just in the middle of the ultra-heavy and the classic letter-weight. It boasts 65 pounds in cardstock weight, making it ideal for those professional projects, structures that require just the slightest amount of integral support, or a sign that promises no bleed-through, even with the heaviest of makers. This pack includes 50 sheets, all in bright white, measuring a standard letter size of 8.5 x 11 inches.