You can use any type of paper in a craft project. That said, there are some papers that lend themselves particularly well to craft projects. A good craft paper comes in a variety of colors or has a texture that adds interest to the project. Hobby stores carry many types of paper for crafts. Check your office-supply store for even more options.
Scrapbooking is an immensely popular pastime. Hobby stores often devote entire aisles to lines of scrapbooking paper. The paper comes in an incredible variety of colors, patterns and textures. It is a relatively inexpensive option, as it is available by the sheet, enabling you to buy only the amount you need. The fact that the paper is labeled as scrapbook paper shouldn’t prevent you from using it for other projects. Use it for decoupage, sturdy origami creations, garlands, etc.
Tissue paper is a semi-translucent paper that comes in several colors. Normally it is available in a package that contains several large sheets. Specialty paper stores often sell tissue paper by the sheet. Although it is typically used to package gifts, it can add flair to craft projects that require thin layers of paper or a certain degree of translucence. It is very lightweight and should be applied to surfaces with spray adhesive for the best results.
The best paper for a craft project may be directly under your nose. Consider using candy wrappers, catalogs, pages from old books, maps or other paper that might otherwise be tucked away or thrown out. The print on repurposed paper can add visual interest to many craft projects. Use the page from a dictionary that has the definition for “love” on a Valentine’s Day card, for example. Many repurposed papers can be printed on, and others lend themselves to being woven, folded or otherwise manipulated into a new form.
Cardstock, also known as tagboard, is the grown-up version of construction paper. It is sturdy paper that comes in bright and pastel colors. It comes in reams, and is standard-sized—8 1/2 inches by 11 inches (see Note). Crafters can easily run cardstock through home printers and copy machines, provided the settings are correct. As expected, cardstock is often used as a basis for cardmaking. Use it with die-cut machines or as a background for collages, quilling and other projects. Since it can be photocopied, it is ideal for paper embroidery (see References).
Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.