The world of paper stocks can be confusing. If you just want gorgeous looking invitations without needing to earn a PhD in paper fibers this is the tutorial for you. Cover, Pound, Bond, Text, Matte, Linen, Laid, Silk…it’s enough to make your head spin. Just the basics here, though to get you from edit to send without a lot of hassle in between.
Paper stocks come in a bunch of different thicknesses depending on what you intend to use them for. For instance your traditional run of the mill printer paper is 28# bond, the card stock at your local craft store is around 50-65# cover, regular invitation paper is traditionally 110# cover and that super thick stuff they use for letterpress is 220#. I’m not entirely sure you’ll be able to get your home printer to cooperate with the 220#, but if you aim for around a 110#-120# cover stock, you’ll have some nice quality invitations when all is said and done.
Invitation stock can come in loads of different textures, ranging from gloss and matte to the more exotics like silks and canvas. If all these options are making your head spin, head on over to Zazzle, where they have an extensive collection of finishes and special processing (like scalloped edges) to give your invitations that special something-something without the hassle of tracking stock down and doing it yourself. Plus they have an awesome preview feature where you can see how your design looks in various stocks and finishes. You can either customize one of Purveyor of Geekery’s templates on the site, or customize your own according to the directions for professional printers and upload your finished files yourself.
Want to keep it simple? Look for a smooth cover stock for…you guessed it…a texture free finish and to make your printer ink go the distance. For smooth, a good choice is Neenah’s Classic Crest (like this 50 Pack in Natural White and yes, they also have other quantities, colors (how many shades of white are there? Hundreds) and matching envelopes.
Needed it yesterday? You have two options:
1. Head to your local printing company and ask them to purchase how ever many sheets you need (plus a few extra in case of mistakes) of their #110 Cover Stock for your “kid’s project”. They more than likely won’t sell it to you if they know you are skipping their services to DIY, so just pretend you need some thick paper for a diorama project or such. Lying, I know. It sucks. A better option:
2. Head to your local craft store like Micheals, but forgo their paper section. Their card stock is flimsy and NOT what you want for amazing awesome invitations. Instead head back to their painting department and grab a tablet of their thick watercolor paper. Take it home, cut it down to 11″x8.5″ and go voila! Instant, inexpensive invitation paper.
If you really want to impress, Cranes & Co. is the answer. They aren’t inexpensive, but you really can’t blame a company that boasts the United States Treasury (yes, that’s Crane & Co. stock in your pocket), every United States Presidential Inauguration since the Revolutionary War (so…um, all?) and the Queen Mum’s 100th Birthday Invitations. Check out a tour of their museum of papermaking over at OhSoBeautifulPaper.com, it’s completely drool worthy.
Check out Crane & Co. Lettra in Fluorescent White (25 Sheets), Ecro (25 Sheets), or Pearl White(25 Sheets) on Amazon for a cost effective way to get this amazing stock in your hands. They also carry additional colors, quantities and matching envelopes.
There are loads of printer friendly stocks out there, you just have to dig. Two of my favorite include this Hemp Heritage 110# Cardstock and the printable papers from Cards of Wood which are very thin…thinner than regular printer paper so will need to be paired with a thicker cardstock for sending, maybe with an invitation cover? They offer thicker invitations as well, you would just send the final printer files to them for printing.