CB21-074 - how to score cardstock

How to score cardstock

How to score cardstock?

Score cardstock with a scoreboard,  bone folder, or Cricut. You can also score cardstock with tools around the house like a ruler and a butter knife. Make an indention down the paper, so the card folds more neatly. For best results, fold away from the score.

Many crafters like to make their own cards, invitations, and other craft items out of cardstock. That will involve scoring the cardstock, and you can’t overlook this simple procedure after putting so much effort into the rest of the craft. 

Luckily for you, I’ll show you the best ways to score cardstock. I’ll show you different tools available and how to avoid your paper from cracking. You’ll be scoring your cardstock in no time!

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Why Scoring Cardstock Is Important

Cardstock is thicker paper, and a fold can look a bit crumpled and uneven without scoring it first. Making a smooth indentation down the cardstock ensures the fold will be precisely where it should be, and the card will lay neatly. Scoring the cardstock makes the card look professional. 

Folding a card may seem like a simple thing but scoring it first makes a real difference in how the fold looks. 

Which cardstock is best for scoring?

Certain cardstocks are better for scoring than other types. You can use scoring well on 65-pound cardstock and up to the 120-pound stock. Going with heavier stock over 120-pound could lead to cracks along the fold. 

What can I use to score cardstock?

Scoring cardstock is best done with a scoreboard, which measures and scores precisely where you want. Alternatively, you can use a bone folder, stylus, or your Cricut machine to score.

1. Scoreboards

Those who want to put their all into crafting should invest in tools that make it easier. Most crafters love scoreboards because they allow you to measure the card exactly for the fold. They come with long grooves and a stylist tool to make straight indentations without using a ruler. 

How to use a scoreboard to score cardstock:

  1. Place your cardstock on the scoreboard and look at the top measurements to determine the middle.
  2. Take your tool and find the groove under the measurement.
  3. Now move the tool down the groove to score your cardstock.

2. Bone Folder

Bone folders are a longer tool that resembles a knife, except it has a rounded edge and doesn’t cut. It gets its name because some were once made of bone. While many still may be made of bone, most are made from other materials like wood and plastic now. 

How to use a bone folder to score cardstock:

  1. Measure the card width by exactly half along the top and make a slight indentation. Then, do the same along the bottom.
  2. Next, align your ruler lengthwise between the two points. Using your bone folder, run it down to score the cardstock. 

Bone folders are great tools if you are only doing a few cards of crafts. Those who plan to mass-produce items for an event or holiday should probably use another tool like a Cricut.

3. Stylus

An alternative to a bone folder is a stylus. These pencil-like devices with rounded tips work well for depressing cardstock into a scored piece. Hobby stores have scoring styluses, and some come with scoreboards and Cricut machines.

4. Cricut Machine

Cricut is a machine to cut, but it can also score by using one of the two attachments for scoring cardstock. There is the scoring wheel and the stylus that come with the machine. 

The scoring wheel allows you to adjust the pressure and has different tips for different types of paper and cardstock. It works best with thicker cardstock as it can overlap lines in lighter stock.

Those who want the most precise scoring lines should use the scoring stylus. It uses single strokes to draw the lines. 

The Cricut Design Space is an app that allows you to score your cardstock wirelessly. You control the machine through the app. 

To use your Cricut machine and Cricut design space to score cardstock:

  1. Upload your file.
  2. Move the control from cutting to a scoring thumbnail. It is under the layers tab. 
  3. Go to the top of the app’s screen and change it from “cut” to “score” on the Linetype Menu. 
  4. Hit the “make it” button to do the scoring. 

Using Household Items to Score Cardstock

Inspired crafters who want to make a few cards or test the waters on cardstock crafts can use household items they already own to score their cardstock. All you need is the cardstock, a ruler, and a butter knife or skewer. 

The principle remains the same as when using the bone folder. Measure where you want to put the fold. Use the non-serrated side of your butter knife or even a wooden skewer to make indentations at the top and bottom of the cardstock. 

Place your ruler or another straight edge between the two points and run your butter knife or skewer down the middle to create the fold. You won’t need to apply extreme pressure. Moderate pressure will work. 

You can use any number of items to make the indentation on the cardstock. Things like a nail file, a cuticle tool, and even a cheese spreader will work. 

Just make sure none of the items you use have a sharp edge, or you will cut your cardstock.

Folding Scored Cardstock to Avoid Cracking

After scoring cardstock, the best way to fold is away from your score. Folding cardstock with the score on the inside may result in your paper cracking. Your paper will fold easier if the score is left on the outside of the folded cardstock, without cracking.

The scoring may make newbies nervous, but your work isn’t done until you fold the card. It may not be as simple as it seems. You do have to fold the cardstock a certain way to keep the fold looking neat. 

Your card will have one side with the indentation you created in the scoring. The other side will show it raised. One would think you should fold it into the indentation, but that isn’t the case. 

Folding it into the indentation will force the cardstock to go against fibers stretched when you score it. That can result in paper cracking. 

Experts advise folding the cardstock into the raised side, where the raised side is in the middle of the card and the indentation is on the outside of the card. 

FAQs: Scoring cardstock

Below are some of the most common questions when it comes to scoring cardstock.

How do you keep cardstock from cracking?

Scoring your cardstock will help prevent it from cracking. It allows a clean fold along the grain and results in a clean-looking fold. For best results, fold your paper so the score remains on the outside of the fold.

Why does my cardstock crack?

Your stock may be too thin, or you may have folded the card wrong. Folding it into the indentation can cause too much stress on the grains and crack. More surface area exists on thicker cardstock, which means the fold can be more gradual, and you’ll see less cracking.

Summary: How to score cardstock

As you can see, it is important to score cardstock for a professional finish. Scoring cardstock is required as cardstock is a thicker paper, which may crack without scoring.

You can use a scoreboard, bone folder, stylus, or cricut machine to score cardstock. A scoreboard is the most preferred option, but the other options work well. Alternatively, you can measure two points on your cardstock and use the flat edge of a butter knife to score.

The best way to fold scored cardstock is away from your score. Folding your cardstock into the score may result in your paper cracking.