Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Digi Stamping; Papers and a new release

Paper choices

There are many paper types out there and it can be overwhelming to choose.  How you work, what type of media you prefer and how much are you willing to spend are factors in your decision making.

Reams of paper vary in weight and price.  In the US we measure by lb.  GSM (gram per square meter) is the Euro weight.  The heavier the paper weight the more substantial the paper.  Paper is measured in the weight of printer's sized sheets (not the size you put in a home printer).  Depending on the paper type printer's sheets can vary in size so it can become even more confusing!  

While I like a heavyweight cardstock many home printers do not.  I have printed up to 110lb and preference a 100lb. paper.  I find a 65-80 lbs. weight acceptable, this compares with about a 150GSM.

I have tested four papers with Copic markers and Prismacolor pencils and this is what I found.

Hammermill Paper, Color Copy Digital Cover, 80 lb, 8.5 x 11, Letter, 250 Sheets

This is my personal favorite.  It is a bright white very silky smooth paper.  The paper takes the printing ink very well and gives you a crisp image.  Copics blend very well with no feathering and maintain true colors.  Prismacolors go down smoothly.  It is a very reasonable price at about $10-12 a ream.  The heavier stock costs a little more.  I had switched to 80lb. just to take a little stress off the printer and it does the job. Personally I prefer this white over the other samples.

***Neenah Premium Cardstock, 96 Brightness, 65 lb, Letter, Bright White, 250 Sheets

Neenah is my second choice, although I think all these papers you will find suitable for digi stamp printing and coloring.  Neenah Bright White takes both Copic and Prismascolors well maintaining true color and vibrancy.  Ink prints crisp and clear. The 65lb. weight does not give the substance of the heavier weight but it works and can also be found for a few dollars less.  The white has a bit of a yellow cast to it when compared with the other samples.
Many crafters preference the Classic Crest Super Smooth Solar White 80# Cover 8.5"x11" 250/pack.  this paper is about $36.00 a ream.  I had ordered the wrong paper but was still happy with Neenah quality.  The Classic Crest Solar White does get great reviews but I do not have it to compare.  I have read that people love it or hate it for Copics so I suppose it depends on the artist.  For 1/3 the price I found the Premium Card Stock a decent paper.               

Copic Markers Blending Card by X-Press It, 25 Sheets (250GSM) **110lbs US 

This is a bright white smooth surface paper designed by Copic for Copic markers.  The white has a bit of a blue- gray cast.  It is a pricy paper at about $15-$16 for only 25 sheets.  While the markers blend very nicely on the paper's slick surface I found that color loses a little vibrancy and washes out unless you add multiple layers.  The paper is designed for alcohol markers so pencils are not compatible for my tastes, I like a little more tooth to grab the pencil.  Not much of a fan for these reasons: cost, too white, not good for combining your media.

Georgia-Pacific White Cardstock Paper, 8.5" x 11", 110 lb, 150 Sheets 

If you are new to digi stamping or on a budget this is a great starter paper.  Many crafters use this paper.  You can pick up a ream for about $5.00.  This cardstock keeps colors very true but is a little trickier to blend with alcohol markers.  It will leave a little streaking if you aren't careful. It's a nice bright white and closest to the X-Press It in hue. The surface is not as smooth as the Hammermill or X-Press It. It does have a little more tooth which makes it better for pencil.  If you like combining the two on your images this paper is a fair choice.

I have the above mentioned papers from experimenting while searching for a good all-purpose paper for my digi stamps.  The Hammermill is my go-to and pretty much the only paper I use lately. Choosing the right paper is a matter of preference and how you work.  There are other papers available that I have not reviewed, therefore this review is limited to the above products.

If there is a paper you prefer please mention it in the comments.

New release Monday: Lost in Space

Lost in Space features three quirky alien creatures and a flying saucer.  Two sentiments and a library of optional antennae will provide you with many options for your paper crafting.

Resize for ATCs, art journals, planners and cards.  Let these crazy little guys man the flying saucer or have our other characters at command!

I just adore these journal pages that our design tem member Mischelle Smith created for us!
Join us next week for a few words on printers and printing inks! :)

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