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Getting Started With Scrapbooking: Paper Basics
Choosing the right paper for scrapbooking can be difficult, only because there are so many cute papers to choose from! Selecting the right paper can enhance your scrapbooking layouts. Understanding different paper types can help you make informed decisions so you can choose paper that is going to be perfect for your paper crafting projects. We are going to break down how papers are made and why paper weight matters.
How is paper made? Paper is made from wood fibers. The fibers are ground into a pulp. The pulp is passed through a rolling machine where excess water is squeezed out. The wet paper is shaped and textured if desired. The paper is then pressed and dried. In the final steps, papermakers decided whether to add a finish or sizing to the paper.
Handmade papers are created using the same general process. The papermaker will create a special pulp using a variety of materials. These can include wood fibers, cotton, and recycled paper. The pulp is then spread over a wire screen, pressed and dried, Handmade paper is beautiful. Each sheet is unique. A handmade paper can add a special touch to any project.
Have you ever looked at a pad of paper and wondered what paper weight means? How is that relevant to your crafting projects? You will typically see two types of measuring standards on paper packages. The first is the U.S. calculated in pounds (LBS) based on different categories of papers. Imagine that you placed 500 sheets of the same paper in its uncut form in a large stack. This paper stack is then weighed. For example, imagine that stack of 500 sheets of paper weighed 40 lbs. The uncut papers are then trimmed to size for sale. The final paper weight that you would see on the label would be 40lb paper. This can be confusing because higher lbs don’t necessarily correlate with thicker paper. There is no standard size for the uncut paper. Most paper packages will include the metric measurement to help the confusion. The metric method is grams per square meter (GSM). This method has a sheet of paper cut to a standard size of one square meter. This sheet of paper is weighed in grams. Imagine the one square meter sheet of paper weighed 90gsm. The uncut papers are then trimmed to size for sale and the final weight on the paper label would be 90gsm.
Understanding paper weight is important for your creative projects. Here is a quick reference guide.
10 to 55 lbs: Paper in this range is lightweight. These papers are good for taking notes or making copies. These papers can’t hold much weight.
55 to 85 lbs: Paper in this range is heavier than copy paper. These papers can’t hold liquid glues or many embellishments. Drawing papers, light cardstock, and light scrapbook papers are common to find in this range.
85 to 120 lbs: Paper in this range is heavy weight. Papers in this range are similar to a business card. It can be used for cardmaking, liquid glues, and embellishments. This paper weight can also handle light mixed media and watercolor.
120 and Up: Paper in this range is heavy duty. These papers can hold watercolors, texture paste, ink and heavy embellishments. Chipboard can also be found in this range.
Understanding different paper types can help you make informed decisions so you can choose paper that is going to be perfect for your paper crafting projects. The right paper can enable you to make the perfect Christmas card or scrapbook layout. Country Craft Creations has all the paper you need to get started.