This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosures here.
Cardstock projects are fun and practical, and a great way to get started using your Cricut. However, not all cardstock is good for using with a Cricut, and just like everything else, you get what you pay for. Also, paper crafters have different preferences, and it may take some experimenting to find cardstock that you like to use.
White Core vs. Solid Core
You may have heard about “white core” and “solid core” cardstock. White core cardstock has color on both sides of the cardstock, but is white in the middle. This is a cheaper way to make cardstock, and so white core cardstock will typically be of lower quality. The white will be visible when the cardstock is cut, and it will be particularly noticeable with intricate cuts. Therefore, solid core cardstock is best for Cricut projects, as it is dyed the same color all the way through.
If you are in a tight spot, and you only have white core cardstock on hand, you can use an ink pad or marker to make the white edge less visible.
Those $5 cardstock pads are tempting, but in my opinion, they are a terrible buy. Your time is valuable, and you will waste time and get frustrated with poor quality cardstock.
There’s always an exception, and for me this is Cricut Deluxe Paper, which is usually patterned on one side and a coordinating solid on the other. The Cricut Deluxe Paper is white core, but is high enough quality that it will do well for straight cuts.
Textured vs. Smooth
I generally prefer textured cardstock because I like the look, but if I’m going to be using the write/draw or print then cut features, I like smooth cardstock better. Textured cardstock is usually smooth on the other side, and so it’s easy to just put it textured side down on the mat if you want to use the pens with your Cricut. Check out this post to learn how to write on the inside of your cards.
Cardstock weight can vary from brand to brand (even when the number is the same), but in the U.S., the most common weights are 65, 80, 100, and 110 pound. I usually use 80#, which is what Cricut cardstock is. I find 65# to be a little too thin for my projects, but it can be great for layering. “Heavyweight” cardstock (100# or more) is almost like posterboard, and that’s the setting I usually use to cut it. Cardstock this heavy can be challenging to fold, and I use the double scoring wheel when scoring it with my Maker.
Cardstock Brands I Recommend
These are my favorite brands that cut well on a Cricut. They are all solid core.
Cricut cardstock is designed to be cut on a Cricut and cuts intricate cuts beautifully. I like to wait for it to go on sale on Cricut’s site and stock up.
AC Cardstock is good quality and is widely available. They have bulk packs of single colors as well as variety packs. The cardstock is packaged in boxes with tear-away tops for easy storage.
This brand is my go-to for projects where I am making large quantities of the same thing, like teacher gifts. Clear Path Paper comes in a wide variety of colors and weights and is usually smooth textured. It’s available on Amazon, and I can often get it in two days.
The above post contains affiliate links. For more information, please see my disclosures here.