The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Perfect Cardstock at Michaels

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My Tips for Navigating the Massive Cardstock Selection

I have a confession to make: I’m a total cardstock addict. As an avid paper crafter and scrapbooker, premium cardstock is my weakness. The textures, colors and patterns absolutely mesmerize me whenever I step into the papercrafts aisle at Michaels. With entire walls devoted to cardstock alone, Michaels offers one of the most extensive and diverse cardstock selections I’ve encountered. But with so many options to choose from, finding the right cardstock for your project can also be downright overwhelming at times.

After years of trial and error working with different brands, weights and textures of cardstock from Michaels, I’ve learned a few helpful tricks for navigating the vast cardstock selection. Whether you’re looking for standard white cardstock or something more unique like glittered or metallic, read on for my complete guide to finding the perfect paper for any craft or DIY project at Michaels.

An Overview of Michaels’ Massive Cardstock Selection

Michaels carries cardstock from all the major papercrafting brands like RecollectionsBazzill, and Canson as well as their own exclusive house brands. Across these brands, they offer dozens of different weightstexturescolors and finishes of cardstock to suit any creative need.

The cardstock at Michaels is generally divided into the following categories:

  • Standard Cardstock – This is your basic white, black, cream or natural cardstock in smooth, matte or linen textures. It comes in a range of weights from 50 lb to 150 lb. Great for die cutting, stamping, and general papercrafting projects.
  • Specialty Cardstock – This includes metallic, glittered, mirrored, duo-tone, pearlized, frosted, translucent, velvet, and other enhanced finishes. Perfect for adding an extra pop of interest to cards, scrapbook layouts and more.
  • Designer Cardstock – Decorative patterns like polka dots, floral designs, ombre gradients and more. Many collections are coordinated so all the papers work together in a project.
  • Colored Cardstock – Choose from a rainbow of solid colored cardstocks for an eye-catching base for crafts. Often available in both matte and shimmer/pearlized finishes.
  • Textured Cardstock – Varied textured finishes like linen, suede, woodgrain and more. Great for adding tactile interest to DIY paper projects.
  • Printed Cardstock – Featuring images and designs like patterns, quotes, monograms, and full-sheet artwork.
  • Specialty Paper – Unique substrates like vellum, translucent papers, neenah cardstock, styrene sheets, and more.

Cardstock Prices and Bulk Options

Cardstock prices at Michaels can range from $0.59 for economy packs of standard white cardstock up to $3.99 or more for premium specialty papers. Their mid-priced cardstock packs tend to average around $1-$2.

I like to stock up when they run sales on cardstock – it’s frequently 40-50% off! To get the best deals, I watch for coupons and combine them with sale prices.

For big cardstock-hungry projects, they offer some bulk buying options:

  • Recollections 65 lb Cardstock Packs – 100 sheets for $9.99
  • Recollections 80 lb Cardstock Packs – 100 sheets for $14.99
  • Bazzill Cardstock Packs – 500 sheets for $49.99

These bulk packs allow me to buy higher volumes at a lower per-sheet cost. I store the extra sheets in magazine holders and pull them out as needed for future crafts.

Best Cardstock Brands at Michaels

Through much experimenting, I’ve settled on a few favorite cardstock brands that I turn to again and again for their quality and reliability:

  • Recollections – Michaels’ own brand offers fantastic quality at very affordable prices. My go-to for white and essential colored cardstocks.
  • Bazzill – A premium paper crafters’ brand with a huge range of beautiful colors/finishes. Worth the higher price tag.
  • Canson – A trusted brand known for acid-free, archival-quality cardstocks great for keepsake projects.
  • American Crafts – Fun modern patterns and textures at mid-range prices. Their black cardstocks are some of my absolute favorites.
  • Martha Stewart – Lovely specialty finishes like foils and duo-tones to elevate projects. Her glitter cardstock is stunning!

For the best results, I always start paper projects by swatching different cardstock brands and testing pens, markers and inks on them before committing to a purchase. This helps me understand the unique properties of each paper.

Cardstock Properties to Consider

Beyond color and pattern, there are a few key cardstock properties that I evaluate to determine if it’s right for specific papercrafts:

Weight

The cardstock weight, measured in pounds (lb), indicates the density and thickness. Standard weights at Michaels range from 50 lb to 150 lb. Some key uses for different weights:

  • 50-60 lb – Invites, greeting cards, decoupage, die cutting
  • 65-80 lb – Foldable cards, scrapping, stamping, embossing
  • 100+ lb – Sturdier structures, boxes, decor, covers

I prefer 65 lb for most paper crafts as it strikes a nice balance of being substantial yet still easy to cut and fold. But I stock up on a range of weights to have options for each project’s needs.

Texture

From ultra-smooth finishes to deeply textured suede papers, the array of cardstock textures at Michaels is just amazing. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Linen – Classic ribbed texture, a bit vintage-looking. Love for scrapbooking.
  • Matte – Smooth, but not shiny. Shows vivid color true-to-tone. Great for embossing.
  • Shimmer/Pearl – Subtly iridescent, pretty for special occasion cards.
  • Suede – Soft velvety finish, fun for tactile accents on DIY papercrafts.
  • Woodgrain – Mimics wood beautifully. I use it for decorative boxes, faux book covers and other authentic-looking crafts.

Thickness

Thickness indicates how many sheets are glued together. Basic single-ply cardstock is sufficient for most paper crafts. But for handmade envelopes, boxes or decorative accents I prefer 2-ply or 3-ply for added structure and durability. Canson and Recollections XL offer nice, thick 2-ply options.

Color/Pattern

Whether I’m looking for a perfect rainbow of cardstock colors or playful designer patterns, Michaels never disappoints. I could spend hours staring dreamily at all the options!

When selecting patterned papers, I pay attention to the print quality and ensure the patterns are precisely cut so there’s no awkward mismatching on assembled projects. Premium brands like Amy Tangerine generally meet these standards.

Specialty Cardstock Offerings

Beyond the basics, Michaels carries some fun specialty cardstock options to provide extra interest to DIY paper crafts:

Metallic

The metallic cardstock selection absolutely makes my magpie heart sing! There are glittery golds, rose gold, silvers, and other shimmering metallic shades to elevate any handmade card or scrapbook page. They’re perfect for special occasions or adding a touch of elegance to projects.

Pro tip: Use strong liquid glue when adhering metallic papers – they resist absorption.

Mirror

Add a flashy reflective touch with mirror cardstocks! Available in classic silver, bold colors, and even prismatic rainbow mirror finishes. I like to use them sparingly as eye-catching accents on cards and scrapbook layouts. They’re quite delicate so handle with care.

Flocked

Flocked papers have a velvety feel thanks to the fuzzy texture. Michaels has flocked paper options in a spectrum of vibrant colors plus pretty pastels. Makes any craft project extra-touchable! I love flocked papers for kids’ creations or holiday projects.

Foil

Michaels carries some swoon-worthy foil cardstocks from brands like Martha Stewart that look like they were ripped straight from the pages of a couture magazine. Available in gilded metallic foils, rose gold, jewel tones and more, they’re perfect for ultra glamorous papercrafts and gift wrap.

Vellum

Vellum is a staple supply for paper crafters and one I buy in bulk. Michael’s wide selection ranges from general purpose translucent vellums to printed and colored specialty vellums. It adds a gorgeous dimensional look when layered in cards and DIY paper projects.

Finding the Right Size Cardstock

With so many card making and paper craft projects, having a variety of cardstock sizes and formats on hand is essential. Here are some of the most versatile options I make sure to keep stocked:

12 x 12 Scrapbooking Paper

These full-size 12″ x 12″ sheets allow for maximum flexibility in designing scrapbook layouts, frames, cards, decoupage and more. They provide the most surface area for layering and playing around with different arrangements before cutting pieces down to size.

8.5 x 11

The standard US letter size is perfect for basic cards, invitations, gift labels, tags, coupons and so much more. It’s easy to print and write on. I stock up on letter size cardstock in an array of colors and textures.

A2 (4.25 x 5.5 inches)

This is the standard size for postcards and greeting cards. It’s large enough for a nice message while still fitting easily into envelopes. I always keep plenty of A2 cardstocks on hand for quick cardmaking.

A7 (2.5 x 3.5 inches)

Gift tagsgift card envelopes, and accents are easy to cut from A7 size cardstock. It’s also a nice compact size for flash cards, notes, and kids’ crafts. The smaller format means less waste.

12 x 12 Cardstock Pads

These pads contain multiple sheets of coordinating cardstock in a convenient flip-pad format for easy project portability. From basic white/black pads to designer collections, they offer quick access to my favorite papers.

Crafting a Cardstock Collage Canvas

Now that we’ve covered the essentials on Michaels’ fabulous cardstock selection, I wanted to share a fun DIY project example showcasing several different cardstock varieties and techniques:

For this abstract collaged canvas, I started with a 12 x 12 canvas board. Then I pulled out various colored, patterned, metallic and mirrored cardstocks from my stash along with some translucent vellum.

I used a razor knife and steel ruler to cut the papers into random geometric shapes. For added interest, I inked the cardstock edges with colored distress inks. Once I had a variety of pieces, I began layering and adhering them to the canvas with collage medium.

I kept the arrangement very organic and textural while alternating matte and shiny pieces. The flocked papers add fun tactile dimensions while the mirrored cardstocks give it a flashy, kaleidoscopic look.

Finally, I finished it by outlining certain pieces with gel pens to help define the sections. The end result is a vibrant, multimedia collage full of color, pattern and texture showcasing the limitless possibilities with cardstock.

Key Takeaways for Choosing Cardstock at Michaels

After reading my expansive guide to the selection at Michaels, these are some key tips to remember:

  • Swatch test papers with your art supplies first to confirm compatibility.
  • Select the appropriate weight for your cardstock project’s needs.
  • Consider the texture and finish – matte, pearl, linen, etc.
  • Standard sizes like letter, A2, and 12×12 are versatile starting points.
  • Take advantage of bulk packs and sales/coupons for the best deals.
  • Stock up on a range of colors, patterns and specialties like vellum, metallic, mirror, flocked and more.
  • Allow time to browse and explore all the options – it’s such a treasure trove!

With the right cardstock for your creative vision, you can make magic! Michaels selection offers endless inspiration. I hope these tips help you find your perfect paper match for any DIY papercrafting project. Now get out there and start crafting your cardstock dreams!

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