How to Score Cardstock


Cardstock adds a deluxe touch to handmade greeting cards, school crafts, party invitations and folded brochures. Give the projects a professional look by scoring each fold in the cardstock before creasing the heavyweight paper. Score the cardstock -- that is, create an indented line to act as a guideline to produce a straight, crisp crease -- by using a paper trimmer outfitted with a scoring blade or a blunt object to generate the line.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Paper trimmer and scoring blade
  • Eraser
  • Mouse pad, magazine or self-healing cutting mat
  • Mechanical pencil, butter knife, bone folder or embossing stylus

Paper Trimmer Method

  • Measure the cardstock with a ruler and use a pencil to make a light, 1-inch-long mark where you want to fold the paper.

  • Replace the cutting blade in your tabletop paper trimmer with a scoring blade.

  • Insert the cardstock beneath the cutting arm on the paper trimmer. Position the cardstock along the end of the trimmer, butting the edge up against the guide bar to ensure the paper is straight.

  • Press down the lever with one hand to run the scoring blade across the cardstock, while resting the other hand on the paper to keep it from shifting.

  • Remove the cardstock from the trimmer and erase the pencil line. Bend the cardstock along the line and run your fingertip over the fold.

Blunt Object Technique

  • Mark the cardstock with a pencil where you want to fold it.

  • Place the cardstock on a semi-soft surface such as a rubbery computer mouse pad, a magazine or a self-healing cutting mat.

  • Hold a ruler on top of the cardstock with one hand. Line the ruler up with the pencil mark to ensure you’ve positioned the edge of the ruler exactly where you want the fold to be.

  • Run an object such as a mechanical pencil with the lead retracted, the back of a butter knife, the edge of a bone folder, or a metal-tipped embossing stylus along the edge of the ruler to score the cardstock.

  • Erase the pencil line and fold the cardstock along the scoring line.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you find yourself tearing the cardstock with the scoring blade as you try to create the guideline, reduce the amount of pressure you use when drawing the scoring blade across the paper. You can also place a piece of regular typing paper on top of the cardstock as you score it -- the paper will act as a “cushion” for the scoring blade. The blade will still score the cardstock, but not tear it.
  • Give the fold an even sharper crease by running the edge of a bone folder across the fold of the scored cardstock.
  • Do not attempt to score an expensive piece of cardstock or a blank card before you’ve perfected your technique. Practice with the scoring blade or blunt object on pieces of scrap cardstock first until you know how much pressure to place on the paper.

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