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How to Score Paper: 5 Tricks Every Card Maker Should Know

Have you ever wondered how people get such nice crisp folds in their paper craft projects? Scoring paper ensures accuracy when folding, and prevents the paper from cracking or crinkling. Once you have the hang of scoring and folding paper or cardstock, creating cards (and matching DIY envelopes!) will be a breeze. 

Want more tips and tricks for free? Check out our free paper craft mini classes!

How to score paper 5 different ways:

how to score paper#1: Invest in a bone folder

A bone folder is an inexpensive paper crafting tool, and a necessity when it comes to scoring your paper. They are widely available at craft stores and come in all shapes and sizes. Bone folders have a firm pointy tip used for creating score lines on paper. The long flat edge of the bone folder can be used to flatten out the crease on your paper, creating the perfect folded edge.

tips for scoring cardstock - use a scoring board

Fancy Folds: 4 Fun Tutorials for Folding Cards

Fancy Folds: 4 Fun Tutorials for Folding Cards

Create smile-spreading cards with just a few simple folds with expert tips and insider tricks to make your loved ones feel extra special.Get My FREE Guide »

#2: Use a scoring board

The simplest and most convenient way to score is to use a scoring board. These boards come with pre-measured lines, allowing you to score up to a 12”x12” sized piece of paper, with score lines spaced 1/8” apart.

To use the score board, line your paper along the straight edge. Run your bone folder along the desired pre-measured line to score the paper. This tool is most handy when you have to make multiple score lines down a piece of paper at once.

tips for scoring cardstock - use a scoring blade

#3: Use a paper trimmer and scoring blade

If you already own a triple track paper trimmer, you most likely have the option to purchase a separate scoring blade. This non-sharp blade is meant to create score lines in the paper rather than cutting entirely through it.

To score this way, simply pop the blade onto the track of your trimmer, line up your paper and use the blade just as you would when cutting paper.

tips for scoring cardstock - use a paper trimmer

#4: Use a paper trimmer and bone folder

Don’t have it in your budget to purchase a separate scoring blade? You can still use your paper trimmer for scoring. Simply open the cutting arm of the trimmer and expose the recessed line where the cutting blade runs. Line your cardstock up and run your bone folder down the recessed line. This line will guide your bone folder along the paper leaving you with an even score line every time.

how to score cardstock using a ruler

#5: Use a ruler

You can always achieve score lines by going back to basics and using a basic ruler. Use the lines on your ruler as a guide for lining it up straight along your cardstock. Run your bone folder along the straight edge of the ruler, applying firm and even pressure to create a score line. For best results, try using a T-ruler that lines up against the edge of your paper.

Fancy Folds: 4 Fun Tutorials for Folding Cards

Fancy Folds: 4 Fun Tutorials for Folding Cards

Create smile-spreading cards with just a few simple folds with expert tips and insider tricks to make your loved ones feel extra special.Get My FREE Guide »

10 Comments

Cyd

It seems obvious that you would fold the paper with the indented side of the score line to the inside but I wanted to find confirmation of that. I don’t mean to be snarky at all but you covered the scoring part very well and left out the folding part.

Reply
Cyd

I went to a website that sells cardstock and apparently what seemed obvious is incorrect. They said you should fold the raised side of the score line to the inside. This information is key if you are working with a right side and a wrong side.

Reply
Pandora

And put a piece of wax paper on top of the area you plan to score then make you score line.

Reply
Joy

I score my cards with the tip of a paring knife run along a ruler. Just don’t press hard enough to cut right through. I fold the paper with the score to the outside.

Reply
Lotekgirl

I was looking for info re which side to score on – thought it was opposite of what seems obvious but wanted to be sure. Thanks Cyd for your comments – none of the places I looked covered this part. For the actual scoring, I just used a staple remover – the blade kind – and my ruler. Perfect fold!

Reply
Andy

Can you score laminated paper with a bone folder?

Reply
Grayce

And do u think u can make a scoring mark with a butter knife by any chance? I’m new at this so sorry if this is a dumb question. 🙂

Reply
Dee

Grayce – Yes you can use a butter knife to make a score. There is a YouTube video that shows using one, it’s called “How to score your Paper or Cardstock without a scoreboard” – YouTube. Remember when you fold your item (after you score it), the ridge (bump) should be on the inside of the card. Another tip – if your not sure about how cards are scored or folded, take a look at the cards sold in the stores (ie hallmark cards). These are professionally manufactured, so that provides pretty good guidelines for the personal home creators. Have fun.

Reply
Sarah Turnbull

Yes, you can use a butter knife (no serrations) or use any knife that has a rounded part that isn’t serrated.

Reply
Jen

I’m so glad I found this–I didn’t know about the scoring blades for a trimmer (I can get one for mine! going to try that out) OR about folding with the bump on the inside!

Reply

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