Monday, September 15, 2014

Paper Weights..Makes my head hurt!

65 pound.....................80 pound......................110 pound...................Walmart.......Stampin Up.....
Hobby Lobby.............Joann's.............Michael's................Gina K.............Owwwwww!!!!!

When it comes to paper I think we all get "HHEADACHES" and then when you realize that the poundage is not always the same its a whole nother ball game!  Here are some typical paper sources and their weights which we shall review One by One.

Georgia Pacific (Wal-mart) white is 110 lb.

Paper Studio (Hobby Lobby) is not listed

StampinUp is 80 lb.

Recollections (Michael's) is 65 lb. (50 sheet pack)
Recollections (Michael's)  is 110 lb.  (Large 100 sheet package for $12.99)

Joann's is 65 lb.

Gina K is 100lb

Ok.....lets start with  Georgia Pacific from Walmart.  While the price is a deal with 100 sheets for approx $6.99, the weight of this paper is deceiving.  The packaging states 110 lb weight but honestly is seems pretty flimsy to me.  I have only seen this paper in white and cream so you do have a limited range.  I'm sue this is just fine for die cuts but to hold up for a base of a card it acts more like its 65 lb competitors.  I have not tried coloring in a stamped image on this brand so I cannot remark on that but if you were only stamping a colored ink image with no detail coloring I'm sure it would be fine.  This is probably an ok paper for digital cards.  It can be run through the printer...printed out..fold..& send.

Paper Studios from Hobby Lobby...This paper doesn't actually state the weight on it's package so it's a guess.  Many people have  stated that it's 65 lb also.  But as you continue reading you'll find not all 65 lb paper feels the same, making it difficult to determine which brand is the "REAL TRUE BLUE" 65 lb paper!  That being said.....I have found that it does not feel quite as sturdy as the Michael's 65 lb paper but it is thicker than the Joannes Core-dination 65 lb paper.  This paper comes in limited solid color packs and only a few of the multi color packs.  Michael's has a bigger selection.  This paper is also available in limited 12 x 12 packs too.  The plus of having some 12 x 12's available does not outweigh the fact that the paper is still kind of flimsy.  I would use this in a pinch (Like if my local Michael's suddenly ran out of ALL their papers) but even then it would be for layering and not for a card base.

Stampin Up...........At 24 sheets for about $6.99 its by far not the most economical but the most versatile.  At 80 lbs it makes great bases and the plus is you don't have to stick to white or cream for your card bases.  You have an entire rainbow of colors to use.This paper can give you very clear crisp stamped images and holds up well to markers (Stampin Ups, Tombow, Tim Holtz) as well as Gel pen coloring and Copics.  If you watercolor you do need to be sure you don't over saturate the paper because it will start to pill. (For your information even certain watercolor papers will pill if totally soaked)  With all the colors this can be used for bases, mats, die cuts and punches.   Be aware though that some people (me included) have had some problems using the Martha Stewart punches with this paper.  Her punches prefer thinner card stock. 
This card stock is also available in 12 x 12 sheets. The 12x12 and the 8.5x11 paper packs can be bought in all the solid colors as well as assortment packs.  All papers need to be purchased through Stampin up.  It is not available in local craft stores.

Recollections from Michael's....First and foremost let it be known that Michael's carries 2 different Recollection lines.  The first being 65 lb paper packs with 50 sheets for $3.99.  These packs are all multi color packs.  There is a wide assortment in the colors but you cannot buy a pack of just lime green.  It would have to be a pack of assorted greens.  A bit of a pain if you needed 30 sheets of bright red and you have to buy 3 entire multi packs to get your 30 reds.  Solid packs are available in Black white and cream too.  This paper can be used for card bases but it is alittle flimsy, your cards will still look great but the feel just seems off.  Personally I use it any way for alot of my 3x3 cards or tags.  I have also used it and still occasionally do, for my card bases.  But truth be told I'm preferring Stampin Up for my bases.  Difficult to use with the electronic die cut machines since often the paper won't release from the sticky mat.  Michael's Recollection also has some printed card stock packs for the same price and they are also 65 lbs.  I will have to say that alot of times I love what I see and since the weight is fine for layering I buy these often.  Especially the seasonal ones!  Some of the Christmas packs are awesome!  These are single sided but for layering who cares!
The second Recollection line is their 110 lb 100 sheet paper packs.  These packs are $12.99 and until recently only came in white or cream.  It is now available in Black! YAY!  If I want a white , cream, or black I tend to use this card stock.  You really need some pressure when scoring.  Huge difference between the 110 Georgia Pacific and the 110 Recollections!  I am a huge fan of the Recollections 110 lb.  Wish it came in more colors.  This too has a real hard time though with Martha Stewart punches which saddens me because I love some of the border punches and had quite a few ideas for some card bases with borders.  Paper Studio punches from Hobby Lobby had a hard time too.  Some Ek success punches had to be used with 2 hands but when used with your Cricut, Brother scan & cut, Cameo, Slice or dies it worked just fine.
If you are a light handed marker user you can color on the 110 lb or use gel pens.  Excessive water can make it pill.  The 65lb paper does not color well with markers or watercoloring.  Paper seems to pill quickly. 

Core-dinations from Joann's....Though I was somewhat excited when I saw this paper I was quickly disappointed.  First of all the paper has that textured look to it like Bazzil but a must thinner quality.  Though it claims to be 65 lbs it is a much thinner feeling than the Michael's brand.  The packs are 40 sheets for $3.99 and mostly come in assorted color packs Like Michael's brand.  They do have some basic solids like cream,
black, white, and a few others but not many.  This paper makes terrible bases in my opinion.  For example a simple tent card will not stand up but rather fall flat.  It has no problem however with any punches that I have tried.  Do not use this paper on your sticky mats for any electronic cutters.  The paper sticks so tightly that you have to pry it all off resulting in terrible die cuts.   You cannot color on this paper.  Texture makes it awkward and if you did use markers or watercolor it would definately pill.

Gina K..............At 100 lbs this is a beautiful card stock pretty much like Stampin Up.  You get 25 sheets for $6.95 and can only be ordered on line.  This too comes in solid paper packs in an entire rainbow of colors.  It hold up really well for card bases and gives you quality card results just like Stampin up.  This paper seems to do well coloring with most mediums.  This card stock is not available in 12 x 12 sheets.

So what do I like?  If I want black, white or cream base cards I'll go for the Michael's Recollections 110 lb.  Mainly because its the best bang for your buck.  The heaviest, sturdiest and economical.   Michael's Recollections 65 lb Printed card stock packs gets my vote for really nice seasonal pattern packs as well as some of the everyday pattern packs.   For other color bases and mats I'm definitely leaning more and more to Stampin Ups.  I love that you can get an entire pack of a solid color and I like that I can get 12 x 12 sheets to use in my Cricut and Brother Cut & Scan.    
I probably would never bother using the Georgia Pacific because it does not meet all my needs.  As for the 65 lb Recollections and Joann's brand......I do keep those on hand mainly for my granddaughter to use in her crafting and if by chance I need just a small mat of a certain color I will definitely use it as a layer or for punching with a Martha Stewart Punch.  The Hobby Lobby Paper Studio is also a no.  Though I do have some on hand for my granddaughter, it's limited color packs make it not worth my while.

Well there you have it!  My opinion.  Understand we all have different quality expectations.  Mine happen to be pretty high for the most part.  I do sway every now and then if a certain pack catches my eye.  I wish you all luck in trying to find what works best for you.  I hope my reviews can help you in your decision making.  Many of us prefer going to the stores instead of online or through Demonstrators.  I was exactly the same way and ALWAYS bought my papers at Archivers until they had the nerve to close ALL retail stores!  The nerve of them!  LOL  SO my recommendation if you want to store shop ................ MICHAEL'S for the RECOLLECTION line.

I'm getting WORDY!  So.................Later and......................


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