Looking for the best paper for your craft projects? We have you covered. We are sharing the different types of paper and what works best.
There are different types of paper that work better for certain craft projects than others. We are going to share all the types of paper and what makes it different.
Crafting makes us HAPPY! To help in making sure you are all set when crafting, we have put together a few other guides to help with crafting including: 101+ Easy Craft Ideas for Kids, How to Pick the Best Craft Glue For Your Craft Project, Different Types of Glue, Different Types of Craft Paint, Different Types of Scissors, and 25+ Must Have Craft Supplies.
Feature of Paper
There are four different features of paper products that make each paper different. There are many technical features that are part of how the paper is manufactured, manufacturing process, or mechanical properties. We are not going to get that detailed, but can give our best thoughts. The four features include:
- Weight - The weight of the paper is measured in grams. The heavier the weight of the paper, the thicker it is.
- Opacity - This is another factor when thinking about paper. The thicker the paper, the more opaque it is.
- Coating - Paper can be uncoated or coated. Uncoated paper is a raw material and tends to be rougher paper and more porous, so ink soaks and can spread easier. I like to think of paper back book paper when I think of uncoated paper. Coated paper has a thin layer which gives it special properties like matte or glossy finish.
- Brightness - Just like when you think of paint, there is a brightness scale for paper. The brighter the paper, the more high quality the print.
Size of Paper
There is also the paper size to take into consideration when determining what sheet of paper you should use for which project. Paper size can range from small scrapbook pieces to larger rolls of Kraft paper.
Different Types of Paper
When it comes to paper and crafting there really is not a one size fits all type of paper. While there are some projects that could use a few different types of paper, there are some crafts that really should only be done with one specific paper.
We are breaking down all the different types of paper and sharing what types of crafts work best with that paper.
Printing paper is your typical paper that you have hanging out in your printer throughout the year. Otherwise known as copier paper, or bond paper. It is thin, lightweight.
There are slight nuances between different types of printer paper based on your printer (inkjet, laser printer, etc.) Most printer paper is acid free, and has a matte coating that makes for the ink to absorb and dry quickly.
Purchase: Printer Paper
Construction paper is a kid crafting favorite. It is inexpensive and comes in a ton of different colors.
It tends to be rougher material and does not hold its color for extended lengths of time. If you are looking for a keepsake project, then you may want to try another paper as it is likely to fade.
The paper is light to medium thickness, but because of the rough nature, it doesn't always fold very great.
Purchase: Construction Paper
Cardstock is a thicker high quality paper that comes in many different shades and textures.
Due to its thickness, it is not always great for folding projects, but is ideal for greeting cards, business cards, scrapbooking and printer projects.
We tend to use it as our go to craft paper as it is bright when going through the printer and ideal for long lasting projects.
Projects with Card Stock
Purchase: Card Stock
Kraft paper is a thick coarse paper most often made from recycled paper. It is typically brown in color, but can be bleached and or dyed additional colors.
Kraft paper comes in sheets or more often rolls. It can be used for wrapping packages, recycled projects, and any paper crafts that are in need of brown paper.
Purchase: Kraft Paper
Newsprint is a inexpensive, low quality paper made from coarse wood pulp.
It is was originally made for newspapers, but has many uses within kid crafting. It is great for decoupage paper mache projects because it tears easily.
We also use it to protect the tables during certain projects. It is great to have kids practice their drawing or painting on it before they start on their final project.
Crepe paper is a thicker crinkled type paper that comes in all different colors and patterns.
You typically see it in the thin strips and are used as streamers for parties. It also comes in larger sheets which are great at making fun flower project or piñatas.
Projects with Crepe Paper
Purchase: Crepe Paper
Scrapbook paper in many cases is a patterned cardstock. It comes in thousands of colors, patterns and textures.
Many scrapbook papers typically comes double sided and in pads that are 12 inches by 12 inches.
It is great for many projects including crafts, scrapbooking, bookmarks, and hundreds of other projects.
Projects with Scrapbook Paper
Purchase: Scrapbook Paper
Tissue paper is a thin soft delicate paper that comes in all different colors and patterns.
It is typically used for wrapping presents or in the store when wrapping delicate items.
Because it tears so easily, it is great for decoupage crafts, paper mache, and suncatcher crafts.
Projects with Tissue Paper
Purchase: Tissue Paper
Water Color Paper
Watercolor paper is a thicker mixed media type paper. It is made from wood pulp and has a coarse textures.
The surface of the watercolor paper has a layer that is great for water color paints and dyes.
If you have any budding artist in your midst, I recommend grabbing a pad of watercolor paper for their master pieces.
Purchase: Watercolor Paper
Origami paper is made with the art of origami in mind.
It is a thinner paper that is easily foldable. Origami paper comes in all kinds of different colors and patterns and typically in a square size.
The patterns are quite ornate on some origami paper. One side is typically washi paper and the other is a plan color.
The thin paper can be used for many other projects including origami including decoupage and paper puppets.
Projects with Origami Paper
Purchase: Origami Paper
Cardboard is a thick and stiff. It is made of two thin outside layers and the inside is made of a fluted corrugated middle.
This is what boxes are made of and because it is so thick it is very hard to cut. We recommend using a box cutter or x-acto knife.
Its great when crafting more strutures like forts, rocket ships, cars, and anything your imagination can create.
It also great with scrapbooking and giving things a more 3D effect.
Projects with Cardboard
Poster board is a thick display board that can stand on its own. It is great for displaying projects (think science project board) or for signs (think lemonade stand)
Poster board does come in various thickness. The thinner boards are great for costumes and other craft projects where you need something that can curve.
Projects with Poster Board
- DIY PUNCH PIÑATA ADVENT CALENDAR
- DIY INSTANT POT HALLOWEEN COSTUMES
- STARBUCKS UNICORN DRINK DIY COSTUME
Purchase: Poster Board
Transfer paper is used in textile crafts. It is a thin paper that comes in a roll and is a paper coated with wax and pigment. Heat transfer paper takes any image or design from an ink-jet printer and transfers it to a textile survace. Like T-shirts, canvas, etc.
Vinyl transfer paper is used on vinyl projects. It has one side that can be peeled back like a sticker and then the sticky side is placed on your vinyl project. You then can take remove the sticky side of your vinyl project onto whatever surface you are transferring it and then remove.
I like using a clear transfer tape (vinyl transfer paper) for our suncatcher projects. It makes for a great medium to stick tissue paper and other thin papers.
Project with Transfer Paper
Purchase: Transfer Paper
It comes in all different colors, patterns and textures. Vinyl is a more of a flexible sticky material that make labels, stencils, window clings, removable wall décor and other temporary crafts.
Projects with Vinyl
Paper Bags are not always what you think of when you think of paper, but they are great to craft with.
They are typically made of a thin Kraft paper and make for fun crafts including puppets and other kids crafts
Projects with Paper Bags
Purchase: Brown Paper Bag
Vellum is a thin translucent paper with a rougher surface. It can go through the printer. You will typically see it in wedding invitations, scrapbooking or in a fancy greeting card.
Lined paper is your run of the mill writing paper. It is also called ruled paper with its straight lines used to guide your handwriting. It is used in school work for notes and for writing.
Purchase: Lined Paper
Believe it or not, paper plates are not only for your back yard BBQs. These babies have lots of different uses and there are lots of different paper plate crafts. It depends on the plate, but the simple white paper plates
Projects with Paper Plates
Purchase: Paper Plates
Here are some questions you might have now that you have read through each type of paper.
We have identified 15+ types above. The main types of paper that are used in crafting the most, I would say fit in 7 of the types.
We get asked this question a lot, but it is sort of a loaded question. It truly depends on the craft that you are doing. For easy kids crafts, we prefer construction paper or colored card stock.
Cardstock is a great quality craft paper that can be used in most craft projects. It comes in many colors and is thicker allowing for sturdiness in your project.
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