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This guide aims to help you get to grips with the basics of paper and card, looking at the different types and finishes available, size and weight comparisons in your crafting, and we even touch upon card blanks and envelope measurements!
Plain card is the most popular base for cardmaking and other papercraft projects because it's an entirely blank canvas for you to cut, shape and decorate. This type of card is available in a huge variety of colours and shades, so you're sure to find the exact tones to match your designs. You can even buy project-specific plain card for use with particular techniques, such as stamping card, super smooth and Adorable Scorable, each giving your project a different edge.
Patterned paper is especially useful for scrapbooking as it provides a decorative base to offset your focal decorations. Each patterned paper pack comes in a specific theme so that you can easily coordinate your pages – from vintage, floral and nature-inspired to art deco, oriental and travel-inspired papers, you're sure to find a colourful patterned paper sheets to match your project's theme beautifully!
Textured/embossed card is specially designed to give your projects greater depth and dimension, featuring raised patterns for an embossed finish. This card is available in a variety of different textures, such as Hammered (lots of little indentations - replicating the look of being hit by a hammer), Linen (a semi-rough woven appearance emulating the look of linen) and Hemp (a crisp, rustic texture made from natural hemp fibres).
Pearlescent card has a gleaming, pearl-like finish, with one of the most popular type amongst crafters being centura pearl. Available in a wide range of colours, pearlescent card is a little shinier than matt card, but not as shiny as mirror card. Resembling the lustre of mother of pearl, one side is generally left plain white to give you more design opportunities within your projects.
Foiled card is perfect for giving your projects a glamorous, luxurious feel. This card has a beautiful base colour with a gold, silver or bronze foiled design on top. This foiling is available in a variety of patterns – from flowers and butterflies to swirls and geometric shapes – each gracing your projects with a truly opulent feel.
Glitter card looks exactly how it sounds it should – featuring a considerable coating of glitter on one side! Meanwhile, the other side is left blank for you to write special messages, decorate in other ways, or simply stick onto another layer of card. If you want to add extra sparkle when announcing a celebration, glitter card is definitely the answer!
Mirror card (or 'Mirri' card) is a metallic reflective sheet with a high-sheen mirrored effect. Perfect for adding an extra shine to your crafts, and especially ideal for the festive period, mirror card is available in a variety of colours to suit a variety of projects.
Satin card is delightfully smooth with a fine, silky, satin-like coating on one side. Available in a large variety of colours, this elegant card is the ideal base for pretty, delicate projects, adding a subtle edge to your work.
Holographic card has a shiny, shimmery, holographic coating on one side, while the other side is left blank. With a 'space-age' effect, this card is perfect for out-of-this-world cards and craft projects for kids. Holographic card can be found in traditional silver or a range of other colours, each changing tone as the light bounces off in different directions.
Mulberry paper is perfect for artisan-style projects as it's incredibly lightweight and delicate, leaving fluffy, feathered edges when torn. Similar to soft tissue paper, this paper has strands of fibre entwined within it. Mulberry paper is generally torn when slightly damp to produce a unique, irregular tear every time.
Kraft card has an earthy brown colour and is the perfect base for trendy vintage-chic or rustic crafts. Made from recycled material, this strong card is extremely environmentally friendly and is exceptionally popular with crafters due to its versatility.
Vellum is a very thin and delicate, yet incredibly luxurious, adding a touch of class to your projects. Made from a plasticised cotton material, vellum is usually translucent and often comes with heart-warming sentiments or simple designs printed across it, making projects for weddings or celebrations that little bit more special!