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Old 05-07-2020, 01:47 PM   #1
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Question Designer Paper Pad Weights: GSM vs Pound Confusion

Recently have been scanning through some Youtube box videos by a really great UK crafter. Came across a video of hers today that finally got me inspired to post about something that has been really bugging me for a while.



So, when working with 3d projects that require "wrapping", like a box, thinner paper is better than thicker paper for the basic box "wrap" or background. The reasons for this are varied, but in the end, the main issue is the fact that the thicker the paper, the harder it is to wrap an item, and it's easier to make mistakes, have messy corners, etc.

Now I don't get out much and I buy mostly online. At this point, I have a small collection of super great designer paper, including Graphic 45, Stamperia, DCWV (bought at Tuesday Morning) and Tim Holtz. All of these HEAVY. Right around 190 GSM, or GM (the Stamperia and Graphic 45 pads have this printed on the front page, and the paper pad I link below lists it on the Amazon description). The other pads feel like the same as the G45 and Stamperia ones. Now this is not an American designation, at least I don't think so. And I am not sure how that translates into Pounds.

I've been using 65lb cardstock to use as hinges for boxes, and also for "wrapping" when it's needed. This is pretty thick stuff, and I am having issues with it. It's much "lighter" than the Designer paper Pads I have. There is no way I could use any of these Designer Pads to wrap a box. I'll be cutting this stuff into pieces and putting it on TOP of something else.

Recently bought some high end wrapping paper to check out and hoped some would be suitable for my box projects (up to a point, it is). Some of this is made in the US, and some comes from Italy. The US stuff is around 45lb, and I would guess the Italian paper is about that as well.

But today I saw a UK paper pack this UK crafter used in the video tutorial. This is a link to it on Amazon UK. It's a bit lighter than the designer pads I have, at 150 GSM. Just wondering if lighter paper packs are more a regional thing, or if I just haven't been paying attention and there actually IS lighter paper packs around that I could be ordering.

I'm asking because I would really like to find a source for vintage floral 12 x 12 paper pads that are light enough in weight to use as backgrounds on my boxes. If anyone in the US has any of this stuff, please post a brand and link. Thank you!

And if you know anything about this GSM vs Pound thing, I'd love a translation!
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:13 AM   #2
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And if you know anything about this GSM vs Pound thing, I'd love a translation!
Here you go: US to International Paper Weights - Equivalent Weights & Conversions

Of course the weight designation (in any system) is not an absolute guarantee of how thick or stiff a paper will be, the composition of the paper will play a part too (wood pulp? cotton fibres? etc) but it’s a pretty good guide.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:28 AM   #3
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Here you go: US to International Paper Weights - Equivalent Weights & Conversions

Of course the weight designation (in any system) is not an absolute guarantee of how thick or stiff a paper will be, the composition of the paper will play a part too (wood pulp? cotton fibres? etc) but it’s a pretty good guide.
Oh my goodness, thank you Joanne!
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:17 AM   #4
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From the examples I have seen, Graphic 45 papers are mostly applied to objects as panels attached to something that is neutral-coloured or painted in a matching colour. I think they are the thickest scrapbooking papers on the market.
If you look at Clare Charvill's lovely designs with G 45 and Stamperia , I think she wraps the edges of her constructions with black tape.

Some publishers sell sets of wrapping paper in book form: it is pretty thin and may be suitable for what you want. They tend to be based on historic styles like William Morris etc.
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:54 AM   #5
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From the examples I have seen, Graphic 45 papers are mostly applied to objects as panels attached to something that is neutral-coloured or painted in a matching colour. I think they are the thickest scrapbooking papers on the market.
If you look at Clare Charvill's lovely designs with G 45 and Stamperia , I think she wraps the edges of her constructions with black tape.

Some publishers sell sets of wrapping paper in book form: it is pretty thin and may be suitable for what you want. They tend to be based on historic styles like William Morris etc.
I've watched several G45 project tutorials, and yes, they often paint or tape the edges. And yes, designer Paper Pads like G45, Stamperia and many others are meant to be applied as panels. This is why, in my post, I mention I am looking for background paper, because I would rather do that then tape....I do plan on painting eventually.

As for those publishers who sell wrapping paper in book form...THAT is what I am after..anyone have a link to a similar product, that is in the US can be ordered from a US seller?
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Old 05-08-2020, 09:36 AM   #6
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I can't answer the question regarding the wrapping paper in book form, but I can offer a different suggestion: wallpaper. We used to make bags and boxes and books with wallpaper from discarded sample books "back in the day". There are SO MANY styles out there that I'm sure you could find some vintage-looking patterns to suit your needs. An added plus is less restriction on size (if you buy a roll as opposed to discarded samples). It's also more durable than scrapbook paper, given that it usually has some type of backing. Since you're not using it with photos for a scrapbook or something, there is much less need for it to be archival-safe, acid-free, etc. It might be a more cost-effective option, as well, if you wanted to make matching sets or duplicates or something.
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:10 AM   #7
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I can't answer the question regarding the wrapping paper in book form, but I can offer a different suggestion: wallpaper. We used to make bags and boxes and books with wallpaper from discarded sample books "back in the day". There are SO MANY styles out there that I'm sure you could find some vintage-looking patterns to suit your needs. An added plus is less restriction on size (if you buy a roll as opposed to discarded samples). It's also more durable than scrapbook paper, given that it usually has some type of backing. Since you're not using it with photos for a scrapbook or something, there is much less need for it to be archival-safe, acid-free, etc. It might be a more cost-effective option, as well, if you wanted to make matching sets or duplicates or something.
I do remember those books, and had some at one point, though from where I have NO idea. Actually thought of this and looked around. Apparently, these books are not really available at a basic consumer level unless you can find them "used". I will be keeping my eyes open though. Lots of great vintage wallpaper prints out right now. As for rolls, this is on my "need to research" list. Hehe.
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Old 05-08-2020, 11:22 PM   #8
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I found a couple by doing a quick search for "giftwrap" on doverpublications.com
They are having a Mothers' day sale so the website has slowed to a crawl, but they have Morris and Tiffany style books for about USD $8, possibly others.
Tuttle is another US publisher of such things, but mine are mostly from obscure European publishers and ended up in Australia as remainders.
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Old 05-09-2020, 07:25 AM   #9
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I found a couple by doing a quick search for "giftwrap" on doverpublications.com
They are having a Mothers' day sale so the website has slowed to a crawl, but they have Morris and Tiffany style books for about USD $8, possibly others.
Tuttle is another US publisher of such things, but mine are mostly from obscure European publishers and ended up in Australia as remainders.
I actually browsed through Dover, Tuttle and a couple of others. on Amazon yesterday. Gosh, I remember those books. I wanted them even back then, though I had nothing to use them for.

Having said this, after looking, non of them are remotely what I am looking for at this time. At some point, I may want to do something Art Deco or Art Nouveau, at which point those books will come in handy.
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Old 05-09-2020, 07:31 AM   #10
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Default Found Some Light Weight Paper

Update...Pad came this afternoon. Heavy as all hell, huge!



My K&Company wish list on Amazon is crammed with stuff from 2-4 years ago. Back (yes, this AGAIN, jeez when does this end?!!) 2-4 years ago, they had a couple of Designers who did some really nice vintage things.

That stuff is still around, not as expensive as retired G45. Realized yesterday that a nice 360 (not a typo) page pad I had in the list was actually LIGHT WEIGHT paper, not cardstock. For $25+ free shipping I said YES and ordered. Icing on the cake, it's coming today, which is beyond weird, but whatever. It's funny to read the review section for this pad. The Description does clearly state the paper weight, and the cover sheet image does not say CARDSTOCK anywhere. But wow, lots of people thought they were getting double-sided cardstock. LOL.

I also found that Joann Fabrics was having a paper sale, and they had the paper pack shown in the video I listed in my original post in this thread. I ordered that and a cardstock pad of DCWV. Got both, + shipping, for around $23. Not to bad.

I spent WAY too much money yesterday.
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