Card Stock vs. Cover Stock

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Cover and card stock provide sturdy texture to scrapbook pages.
Cover and card stock provide sturdy texture to scrapbook pages. (Image: Kasiam/iStock/Getty Images)

Paper that is sold as either "card stock" or "cover stock" is thicker and more durable than standard drawing or construction paper, but thinner and more flexible than cardboard. While these heavier mediums are sold under different weights, thicknesses and labels, they serve basically the same purpose in crafting projects and could be used interchangeably.

The Differences Between Card and Cover Stock

The differences between card and cover stock are subtle, but they are there. Card stock is typically smooth to the touch and is measured and sold according to its basis or pound weight. This measurement is equivalent to the weight of 500 sheets of 20-by-26 inch paper. Cover stock, on the other hand, is often coated and textured, and is typically measured by caliper, or thickness, in points. One point is equivalent to 1/1,000 inch. In comparison, card stock that is labeled 80 pound -- or 80# -- is roughly the same as a cover stock labeled 10 point.

Which One To Use?

A textured piece of cover stock may lend structure to a greeting cards, for example, and a printed card stock may make a good frame on a scrapbook page. While the thickness and weight will obviously play a part in your selection -- a heavier paper, for example, works best for a handmade birthday card -- the best way to choose between card and cover stock is often simply by its feel between your fingers.

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