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Cardstock vs Construction Paper

cardstock vs construction paper

Two materials come to mind when doing arts and crafts: cardstock and construction paper. But what is the difference between these two? In this article, we will discuss and compare cardstock vs construction paper and what it brings to your paper projects.

Feature Cardstock Construction Paper
Quality High-Quality Standard Quality
Weight Heavy Light
Durability More Durable Less Durable
Coatings 2 Types 4 Types


Cardstock is known for its durability and sturdiness. It has the ability to retain colors for a long time. However, just like any other type of paper, this color will eventually fade when exposed to the sunlight. The lifespan of the color will stay a little bit longer if it is sealed or comes with a UV protectant.

When paints or inks are applied to card stock, expect it to remain in the place where you want it to, but it still depends on the quality of the paper. Also, acid-free cardstock is recommended when making greeting cards or other paper projects. Using this type of cardstock will look valuable and will probably last much longer.

Another upside in using card stock is it does not fold quite easily. It will be better to use a bone folder to have a nice and crisp fold when folding. Cardstock’s quality is impressive with its features but is more expensive compared to construction paper.

Construction Paper

Construction paper is softer and has some absorbent properties comparable to the one being used in the newspaper. Its ability to soak up paint and ink is comparable to a sponge. This disadvantage makes it difficult to control the application of ink and paint like a sponge.

In addition, constant exposure to sunlight makes the construction paper fade fast. Too much exposure to UV rays can visibly affect its colors very quickly. You will notice a pale and washed color on the surface quickly.

But the best thing about construction papers is it comes in a variety of colors. So, you will have plenty of choices when doing your paper projects. Its softness also makes it easy to crease and fold easily. And it’s affordable too, which makes it ideal for children.

Differences Between Cardstock and Construction Paper

differences between cardstock and construction paper

Cardstock and construction paper can be differentiated easily on several factors below:


Cardstock comes with more quality as it is more durable and heavier compared to construction paper. Also, with its durability, cardstock usually is more long-lasting, which is a perfect material for paper projects that comes with value and importance to the user.

On the other hand, construction paper is intended to be used for common purposes such as normal art projects and art crafts. Its surface is not that high-quality compared to a cardstock. Construction paper is also rougher than cardstock as it probably contains acid similar to the one used by normal papers.


The weight is one notable difference between cardstock and construction paper. Understandably, construction paper is lighter because it is more or less similar to regular paper. Even the other variations and versions are almost identical in weight.

Meanwhile, cardstock is heavier than construction paper, making it perfect for specialized projects such as business cards, invitation cards, and other paper projects. In addition, cardstock also comes in different weight categories which proves that it is heavier compared to the construction paper.


Comparing the durability of cardstock and construction paper is quick and easy. Cardstock, with its quality, usually lasts longer compared to construction paper. It’s high-quality and thickness helps in enhancing its durability.

In terms of application, the cardstock will be used in printing specialized projects such as printing out credit cards, playing cards, and catalog covers to name a few. Meanwhile, construction paper is best used for smaller-scale projects that only need standard paper such as construction paper.


Construction paper and cardstock can also differ through the quality of the paper’s finish. For construction paper, it’s either a smooth finish or no finish at all on the surface. On the other hand, there will be different coatings you will find in cardstock paper.

For a cardstock paper, it’s either uncoated, gloss, matte, or high-gloss UV finishes. When you find that the surface is not that smooth but still thick and durable, it is probably an uncoated cardstock. When the surface is smooth to touch with a shiny surface, the cardstock is perhaps with a gloss coating.

If you find a cardstock with a super glossy finish with accentuating colors that makes the colors more bright, it’s probably a high-gloss UV cardstock paper. Meanwhile, matte cardstock is usually used in catalogs as it provides a smoother finish and looks very good.

Price Point

The features, durability, and overall quality of cardstock paper are excellent indicators that it is more expensive than construction paper. All the different finishes and types of projects using the cardstock paper will tell that it is more valuable and costly.

On the other hand, if you have normal paper projects, construction paper is an excellent choice. It is more affordable and cheaper compared to cardstock. Simple projects that need large volumes will benefit from using construction paper with its affordability.


Comparing cardstock vs construction paper is a must to know the types that fit well in your project. If you have a paper project or arts and crafts that need a high-quality paper, then cardstock is an excellent option. Projects that need volume but only need standard quality paper can choose the construction paper as the material.

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