Friday, April 4, 2014

Paper Comparison - Price List & Availability & Final Thoughts

Now we come to the real test....
the one on our pocketbooks and wallets!

I searched out each of the various papers and got a current price at several different retailers (if possible) to give you a range of prices to compare.  The list of retailer web-sites are at the bottom...I didn't put a link to each individual product but once you get to the chosen web-site you can just do a search for the particular paper you're interested in.

Bazzill Basics - Card Shoppe 100lb Smooth - Marshmallow 10-1083 - 8.5x11

  • Frantic Stamper - 1.99/5 sheets
  • - .35 - .50 per sheet depending on qty ordered
  • Amazon - 9.30/25 sheets
Canson Mixed Media Paper - 9x12
  • Dick Blick - 6.50/60 sheets
  • Amazon - 11.00/60 sheets
  • Hobby Lobby - 15.00/60 sheets (they have great half off sales & coupons)
CC Designs Copic Quality White 80lbs - 8.5x11
  • CC Designs - 3.00/10 sheets
Copic Xpress-It Blending Cardstock 80lb - 8.5x11
  • Copic - 22.00/25 sheets
  • Ellen Hutson - 10.80/25 sheets
  • Amazon - 13.21/25 sheets
  • 7 Kids College Fund - 9.99/25 sheets
Crafters Companion Ultra Smooth Premium White Cardstock - 8.5x11
  • Crafters Companion - 6.95/20 sheets
  • Simon Says Stamp - 6.99/20 sheets
  • Amazon - 6.85/20 sheets
  • Custom Crops - 6.29/20 sheets
Georgia Pacific 110lb Cardstock - 8.5x11
  • Wal-Mart - 4.93/150 sheets
I'm sure this is available at other stores but nobody else listed the price.

HP Photo Paper 

There are so many options on this paper it is hard to price...from sizes to finish to paper weight it varies greatly.  It is widely available at most office stores.  I actually got mine free when I bought my printer ink.

JudiKins Matte Kote - 4.25x5.5 (Postcards)
  • JudiKins - 10.00/100 postcards
La Blanche Specialty Stamping Paper - (see list for sizes)
  • Staples - 10.00/20 sheets 8.5x11
  • Staples - 67.00/100 sheets 8.5x11
  • Simon Says Stamp - 4.50/20 ATC Blanks 2.5x3.5
Neenah Classic Crest - Solar White (97) - 80lb - 8.5x11
  • Simon Says Stamp - 6.00/25 sheets
  • Simon Says Stamp - 40.00/250 sheets
  • Ellen Hutson - 35.00/250 sheets
  • Amazon - 23-35.00/250 sheets 
  • 7 Kids College Fund - 4.80/25 sheets
  • Staples - 39.00/250 sheets
Neenah Exact Index - White (94) - 110lb - 8.5x11 
(NOTE: I did check with the manufacture - this IS acid free)
  • Office Depot - 16.00/250 sheets
  • Amazon - 20.00/250 sheets
  • Costco - 7.00/250 sheets
  • Wal-Mart - 9.00/250 sheets
    (Here is a link to this...WM Neenah Exact Index - you can have it shipped to your local store for free local pick-up.)
Ranger Specialty Stamping Paper - 8.5x11
  • Amazon - 10.00/10 sheets
  • Simon Says Stamp - 8.00/10 sheets
  • - 8.00/10 sheets
Simon Says Stamp White - 120 lb - 8.5x11
  • Simon Says Stamp - 5.00/12 sheets
Strathmore 300 Series Bristol - Smooth Surface - 100lb - 9x12
  • Dick Blick - 3.50/20 sheets
  • Hobby Lobby - 9.00/20 sheets (remember sales & 40/50% off coupons)
  • Amazon - 8.00/20 sheets
  • Staples - 9.00/20 sheets

Retailers Web-Sites

A Few Final Thoughts.....

First I wanted to address the Neenah CC Solar White 80lb cardstock vs. the Neenah Exact Index papers. Since I had never used either of these papers before I had no idea how it would handle or if there would be any differences.    

There are in my eyes only three differences between these two papers....  the first being a very slight difference in the color of the paper.  The Solar White is rated at a 97, the regular Index paper is 94 - yes, side by side in direct sunlight you can see a faint difference.  Inside normal room light I couldn't tell the difference at all.

The second would again be a very slight difference and that would be weight wise.  I say slight because if you look back at the Paper Weight Comparison I shared on Monday you will notice that 80lb cover/card is almost identical to 110lb index.  To me, these papers feel almost identical - the CC being slightly more stiff than the index.

The third difference is a huge one...price!  If you buy the Classic Crest from a scrapbook or stamping store you will pay anywhere from $0.14 - 0.25 a sheet.  The Index on the other hand is anywhere from $0.02 - 0.08 cents a sheet!  QUITE a difference.

The other thing I wanted to address is how so many people slam Georgia Pacific cardstock saying how inferior it is compared to "Better Quality" cardstock.  Let me start by saying just because it's more expensive doesn't mean it's better... this unbiased comparison proves it.  Some of the most expensive cardstocks I tested were the poorest quality as far as finished results goes.   

When paired with alcohol markers the results on the Neenah cardstocks (both) were slightly better because it is a bit smoother than the Georgia Pacific cardstock.  That being said the Georgia Pacific outperformed the Neenah cardstocks because it warped about half as much as the Neenah did.

I have used Georgia Pacific for years and years without complaint.  Virtually every project you've seen on my blog, in magazines or in my book were made using the very same Georgia Pacific cardstock.  So when people start going on about how cheap and second rate GP cardstock is I would agree, it is cheap - I'm not ashamed to admit that's why I started using it but it is in no way, shape or form second rate.  It's all in the hands of the artist.  If you have it set in your mind the cardstock isn't good enough then you're not going to put forth your best effort.

Finally, I was totally surprised how cheap the Neenah Index paper is when bought through Wal-Mart.  It's actually $0.01 cheaper than the GP is!  Now that I know that when I run out of this ream I will be ordering another and having it shipped to my local WM store.    I will use this cardstock when I am using my alcohol markers and save the GP for my watercolor projects.

That being said if money were no object I would hands down use the Simon Says Stamp cardstock for most everything.  It preformed better than any of the other cardstocks I tested by far.  It worked super on all of the tests and is nice and thick which I love.  

But alas, money doesn't grow on trees and since I don't have a supply fairy I have to purchase all of my own supplies.  I use far too much paper for all of the cards, techniques and other paper based projects here on the blog to be buying premium cardstock...if I did I wouldn't be able to buy all the other paints, inks, mediums, supplies, etc. needed to keep this place running.   So, it's a trade off...GP and the Neenah Index will work just fine.

However, when I make my son's wedding invitations (not for another year or two) I would invest in the SSS cardstock because he better only be doing it once - LOL!!

So there you go.... 
Paper Comparison complete!

I will be putting a few different watercolor papers to the test in the near future so be sure to stay tuned! 


  1. thanks for doing this Roni. great information. thanks as always for sharing.

  2. Wow! Thank you for doing all of this research! :)

  3. Thanks Roni for the wealth of information and research. It just made my wallet all the much more better and happier... ;-)

  4. Thanks again for all of the work you put into this project. I rarely shop at Wal-Mart but this may change my mind. Guess I do need to try some GP paper. Also will order some of the Simon Says Stamp paper to try it out. Will be interested to see what you find out about watercolor paper as I've been using more of that lately because I've been working with more wet media. Anne, yourmainestamper

  5. Roni, this was amazing comparison and a wealth of information. I was amazed to see how some of these truly did perform when compared and the price comparison and shopping information is invaluable! I did not know you could get Neenah Index at Walmart.

  6. Thanks so much for all this great information!! I appreciate all your time and effort and your sharing the results. I definitely need to try the SSS paper.

  7. Thank-you for the information. so great to see these comparisons. I enjoy you efforts very much, I was thinking about trying out Neenah but never have due to expense, now I know to look for it at Wal-Mart.
    thank-you again

  8. wonderful information. thanks so much for these postings!

  9. Thank you for all the great information. I would like to add that GP is also available at Sam's Warehouse, for those who have a membership. It is about 7$ for 250 sheets. Great Price!

  10. My WalMart does not have the Neenah Index but does have the GP. I will have to see how it compares to Wausau Index card that I was buying at Office Depot because it cuts nicely with my cutting machine. I now live further away from an Office Depot but did find an open package that was almost full at a thrift store for under $4.

  11. I have been using GP for many years and have been happy with it's performance. However I do not have alcohol makers.. Roni thanks for your paper comparison!!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!