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Your Guide To Paper Weight, Thickness & GSM For Crafting

Your Guide To Paper Weight, Thickness & GSM For Crafting

, by Tammy Harris, 4 min reading time

Scrapbooking Papers sold by RQC Supply Canada located in Woodstock, Ontario

Picking the correct paper for your projects can make all the difference in the outcome. Paper weight, thickness, and GSM (grams per square meter) are all essential factors you should consider before starting your crafting project. Many people don't realize the differences between these terms, and that's why we're here to clear up all the confusion. In this post, we will break down each term and what it means and how you can determine which paper will work the best for your crafting project.

In this blog, you'll learn:

What the term 'paper weight' means
All the types of paper weights for crafting
What paper weights are recommended for your particular project/use

What does Paper Weight Mean
Paper weight is defined as the measurement in pounds of one ream (500 sheets) of the paper's uncut size. Simply put, the more extensive the paper, the heavier it will be. The thickness of the paper typically increases with its weight. Therefore, 20 lb. paper is thinner than 24 lb. paper. For most crafting projects, the four significant types of paper for paper weights range from 20 lb. to 32 lb.

Equal Weight = Equal Thickness?
The thickness of the paper is a significant factor while selecting paper for crafting projects. It is measured in mils (thousandths of an inch), where 1 mil equals 0.001 of an inch. Thicker paper is generally more robust and stiffer and can hold up better when folded or manipulated. Thicker paper makes for excellent cardstock, and it offers extra security for delicate paper crafts like origami, quilling, and more.

Just because you love the thickness of one brand's 110lb cardstock does not mean it will be exactly the same as a different brand's 110lb cardstock.

GSM (grams per square meter)
GSM stands for grams per square meter, which is the paper's weight per square meter. Metric measurements are prominent in the crafting world, so you need to familiarize yourself with this measurement. GSM can determine the thickness of the paper as well as its opacity. Typically, an inexpensive copy paper is 80-90 GSM; the weight ranges from 120-170 GSM for cardstock. As the weight increases, so does the thickness, sturdiness, and quality of the paper.

20lb / 75gsm

  • Thin, light, and perfect for everyday printing, 20lb/75gsm paper is the go-to choice for home and office projects. From jotting down quick notes to creating intricate origami designs, this versatile paper is a great option. Plus, thanks to its thinness, it's easy to layer and add depth to any project. Get your hands on this standard paper weight today!

35lb / 132gsm

  • Print with ease without worrying about ink bleeding through with our 35lb / 132gsm thin paper. Although it's not suitable for heavy-duty purposes, it works wonders for photo mats, card layering, and die cutting. Avoid using it as a card or layout base.

65lb / 245gsm

  • Step up your paper crafting game with thin patterned papers, perfect for die cutting and embossing. These lightweight cardstocks, scrapbook papers, and drawing papers typically weigh in at 60-65lb coverweight. While these papers are thinner, don't let that stop you from getting creative with embellishments and liquid adhesive.

Selecting the Perfect Paper
When it comes to selecting the perfect paper for crafting, three things come to mind: the project, the printer, and the ink. The first thing you need to decide is the sort of project you will be working on. After you determine this, make sure the paper you choose will work with your printer. Some printers require lighter paper to avoid jams, while others can print on heavier paper with ease. Lastly, think about the ink you will be using. If you're unsure of how the paper will respond, test it by printing a sample on it.

In conclusion, having an extensive knowledge of paper weight, thickness, and GSM can help you decide which paper will work best for your crafting project. By understanding the differences between paper weight and thickness, you can select the perfect paper for your project. Additionally, learning about GSM can assist you in choosing paper with the right blend of thickness, sturdiness, and quality for your crafting needs. Finally, when purchasing paper for crafting, always think of the project, the printer, and the ink, and remember to print a sample page beforehand. Happy crafting!

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