Card Stock Thickness Guide

color paper samples #9 image by stassad from

Card stock, also known as cover stock, is paper that is thicker, heavier and sturdier than usual writing or copy paper. It can be used for business cards, greeting cards, scrapbooking and other business and art projects. Card stock comes in a variety of weights, sizes, colors and textures.

Weight and Thickness

Card stock thickness is commonly classified in terms of the weight of 500 large sheets. Most card stock is in the range of 50 to 110 pounds. In contrast, standard copy paper is 20 pounds. While the paper’s density also affects the weight, making precise conversions impossible, an 80 pound paper is approximately .01 inches thick. Outside the United States, card stock weight is typically measured in grams.


Light to medium card stock is flexible and easy to fold. It is a popular choice for cover sheets, flyers, scrapbooking and other art projects. Heavier card stock of 80 pounds or more is used to make greeting cards, postcards, calendars and business cards.


Colored and patterned card stock is perfect for scrapbooking
Retro turquoise background image by Sophia Winters from

Card stock is manufactured in hundreds of different colors and patterns. Finishes range from matte to glossy, and a variety of textures are available. Most computer printers and copy machines have settings to adjust for paper weight and finish to ensure high quality printing on card stock.


About the Author

Chutney Johnson has been writing and editing successful grants and other materials for a nonprofit hunger-relief organization since 2003. Her work has appeared on Johnson has a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Photo Credits

  • color paper samples #9 image by stassad from