Types of Paper


Are you a Paper Addict? You know, someone who loves paper of all kinds? You’re not alone! After all, paper is one of the basic supplies you need for stamping, so let’s take a look at some of the most popular kinds you’ll find.

  • Glossy paper
  • Cardstock
  • Patterned paper
  • Vellum
  • Plain paper
  • Kraft paper
  • Mulberry paper
  • Glimmer paper
  • Tags

Stamping on Glossy Paper

Glossy paper is otherwise known as “coated” paper. It looks somewhat shiny (but not holographic) and comes in various weights, from lightweight to stiff, and in all kinds of colors. White glossy paper is a staple in a stamping stash. It gives crisp, clean impressions and ink colors look their brightest and most vivid.

Glossy paper is not absorbent, so while dye inks will air-dry, pigment inks will not. If you stamp with pigment ink on glossy cardstock, you’ll need to heat-emboss the image.

Glossy paper is slick—which means your stamp can slip easily! Place your stamp straight down and press gently to prevent slipping and smearing the image. Lift the stamp straight up from the paper.

Stamping on Cardstock

Cardstock doesn’t have the coating that glossy paper does, making it highly absorbent and perfect for stamping with any kind of ink pad. You can find cardstock in a variety of colors, textures and weights.

Some cardstock is smooth; some is textured. You can stamp on both kinds, with different effects. Textured cardstock will affect the stamped image—which you might like! Some cardstock is one solid color, while others have a marbled effect.

Stamping on Patterned Paper

Stamping on patterned paper is a great way to get a personalized look. You can stamp images, quotes or words on faux-textured or lightly patterned papers. Paper that’s patterned with a high-contrast design or bright patterns, however, can make text difficult to read—you might be better off stamping onto a plain paper or cardstock and then putting it onto a patterned paper. Because patterned paper is printed with rich, colorful ink, be sure to stamp with a juicy inkpad to get the best impression.

Stamping on Vellum

Vellum is a transparent “paper” that comes in a variety of colors, patterns and a range of weights. They’re an elegant touch to any paper project. You can stamp on vellum, but because it’s not porous, be sure to use a dye-based ink. Let the stamped image sit until it’s completely dry. To speed drying time, heat briefly with an embossing tool. Because vellum is transparent, you can color on the reverse side with chalk and colored pencils for a muted effect—or use colored markers for a stained-glass look. You can also stamp and color on the same side.

You can emboss on vellum. Vellum often curls a bit after being heated with an embossing gun. Let the paper cool down, then place it under a heavy book to smooth out. Take care not to over-emboss.

Layer white vellum over bright colors instead of pale or very dark colors. Put colored vellum over a patterned sheet of the same color for a deeper shade; place it over a lighter solid of the same color to brighten the shade.

Stamping on Kraft Paper

Plain brown kraft paper is a fun stamping surface, especially if you like the old-world look. It also tears nicely. Kraft paper comes in a variety of weights and colors, from “lunch bag brown” to light tan. Some kraft paper is acid-free—but check the label before using it in a scrapbook.

Stamping on Mulberry Paper

Mulberry paper is a specialty paper available in a range of colors, either smooth or textured, and sometimes has inclusions of petal and leaves. Mulberry is perhaps best known for its easily-torn edges; when wet, these edges can be torn for a feathered effect.

To tear mulberry paper, you can either fold the paper where you want to tear it, then use a damp sponge to get the edge wet. You can also use a wet cotton swab or paintbrush to “draw” your tear lines on the paper. This is great for getting a curved edge. In either case, simply tear the paper while wet. As you pull the paper apart along the wet tear line, you might need to cut any thick fibers that won’t tear apart on their own.

You can stamp on smooth mulberry paper—just use a dye-based inkpad. Stamping on very textured mulberry paper can result in uneven images, though.

Stamping on Glimmer Paper

Glimmer paper has a slightly metallic or pearlescent look—it’s a beautiful specialty paper. It’s coated, so you will need to let your stamped image dry thoroughly before handling. (Use a heat gun to dry it more quickly.) The ink looks crisp and colorful on this paper, and won’t feather or bleed.

Stamping on Tags

Tags are great for all kinds of stamping. They’re often made from manila paper or white cardstock. Use them as a card focal, an accent on a scrapbook page—or stamp one up and tie in on a gift package!