10 Best Embossing Paper For Beautiful Cards & Invitations In 2021

cards made with embossed paper using different embossing techniques

Paper embossing dates back to the 15th century when the wealthy wanted to flaunt their wealth by personalizing stationery. Besides adding a professional flair to the stationery, embossing eventually became a way of ensuring a person’s identity.

In this review, we rounded the best embossing paper to use in card making. We also covered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding paper embossing for newbie crafters.

Our Top Picks

Strathmore Mixed Media Vellum Card Set
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Best for Cardmaking - Strathmore Mixed Media Vellum Card Set

• Pre-cut vellum card & envelope set
• Acid-free paper
• Best to use for heat embossed cards

Neenah Paper Astrobrights Black Cardstock
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Best for Metallic Heat Embossing - Neenah Paper Astrobrights Black Cardstock

• Acid-free paper
• Colorfast dye
• Solid color pack

Best for Luxury Cards and Invitations - Southworth Parchment Specialty Embossing Paper

• Smooth, vellum finish
• Elegant ivory parchment finish paper
• Acid-free, lignin-free paper

1. Tru-Ray Color Wheel Construction Paper

 Tru-Ray Color Wheel Construction Paper
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 Pros Cons
  • Fade-resistant
  • Acid-free paper
  • Tear-resistant
  • 100% vat-dyed paper
  • Sustainably sourced recyclable paper
  • No blacks or browns

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

According to crafters and teachers who have tried this embossing paper, the Tru-Ray Color Wheel is excellent. It is lighter than cardstock but very strong and resistant to tearing and cracking when doing projects.

The pack comes pre-sorted per set, not per color, as you can usually find in other construction paper. It makes sorting easier if you have many kids in your class, according to one art teacher. 

Tru-Ray Color Wheel Construction Paper review

Why We Think It’s Great

Each pack of Tru-Ray Color Wheel Construction Paper has 12 colors - yellow, gold, orange, festive red, holiday red, magenta, violet, purple, blue, turquoise, holiday green, and brilliant lime. The pack comes in 12 colors per set, making it easier when assigning one set per child. 

It has the right thickness at 76 lbs (205gsm). It is sturdy enough for craft projects like origami, embossing, and quilling. It is also acid-free, so your artwork can last for years without notable deterioration.  

Remember not to expose the construction paper to direct sunlight to prevent fading. However, if you keep it in a cool and dry place as recommended, the colors remain vivid as each batch is vat-dyed, maintaining the steadfastness of the colors in the paper’s fibers. Even if you tear it, you won’t see a white core common in most construction papers. 

The brand comes in two size formats. This pack has 144 sheets measuring 9x12 inches. If you want a broader and longer format construction paper, you can get the 72-sheet pack of 12x18-inch.

Who Should Buy It

We recommend this best embossing paper to earnest crafters who prefer their work to remain in pristine quality over the years.

2. Paper Junkie Watercolor Stationery Paper

twelve watercolor design paper for paper embossing
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 Pros Cons
  • Pastel watercolor
  • 12 designs in one pack
  • Easy to emboss
  • Compatible with any ink, pen, or marker
  • Double-sided design
  • Only 100gsm
  • Not for base or outer cards

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Amazon customers loved this stationery set because it is printer-friendly, the ink dries well and does not run, and it makes a pretty background for cards and invitation letters. It is also an excellent paper for planners.

The Paper Junkie Watercolor Stationery Paper is easy to emboss at 100gsm. It is thin enough to make a deep impression but thick enough not to tear with the pressure.

 Paper Junkie Watercolor Stationery Paper review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Paper Junkie watercolor stationery paper has 96 sheets per pack. The paper measures 8½x11 inches, and each has a pastel watercolor design that works with any ink and printer. It is straightforward to emboss because of its adequate thickness. 

We love using it as an insert or embellishment for our cards and other papercrafts. It has a double-sided design which makes modern art creative. It gives a different character to the flat sheet of brown kraft paper or vellum board.  

If you do not have time to make your card, we suggest adding a personal touch to ready-to-use all occasion cards. Make a heat embossed message on a 3x4.5-inch piece of watercolor stationery and glue it inside the card. The watercolor flowers on these greeting cards keep up with the pattern on your Paper Junkie stationery.

Who Should Buy It

The Paper Junkie Watercolor Stationery Paper is the best embossing paper for crafters who want to give an easy and ready-to-use adornment to their cards and other embossing crafts.

3. Neenah Paper Astrobrights Black Cardstock - Best for Metallic Heat Embossing

Neenah Paper Astrobrights Black Cardstock
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 Pros Cons
  • 176gsm for papercrafts
  • Colorfast dye
  • Acid-free
  • Double-sided printing
  • Product certified for sustainability 
  • No other sizes available
  • Inconsistent colors

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

One user made an embossed gift bag using the Astrobrights Black Cardstock. The colors are vivid, perfect for dry and heat embossing when making cards. 

Another user said she got addicted to making black flowers using die-cut machines. The black cardstock is also great for fluorescent art with black light and gel pens. Using this cardstock as place cards in black-tie events is a great idea.

Neenah Paper Astrobrights Black Cardstock review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Neenah Paper Astrobrights Black Cardstock, as its name implies, is an all-black cardstock pack that works best for embossing using metallic ink, metallic foil, or embossing folders. 

Most construction paper sets do not include blacks and browns, so if you need these colors for your crafts, solid color cardstock packs like Astrobrights will work best for you. 

However, it is smaller than usual construction paper, measuring only 8 ½ x 11 inches with a thickness of 65 lbs (176gsm). Each pack has 100 sheets. 

Aside from embossing crafts, black cardstock lends an elegant vibe to your cards. It is acid-free and lignin-free to keep your papercrafts for a long time. We love using Sakura Gelly Roll Moonlight Pen as an improvised embossing pen on this black cardstock.

Who Should Buy It

The Neenah Paper Astrobrights Colored Cardstock is the best embossing paper for greeting cards, invitations, cupcake toppers, and place cards for formal occasions.

4. Kidepoch Vintage Embossing Paper

vintage print stationery for your themed cards and invitations
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 Pros Cons
  • Vintage design
  • 120gsm matte paper
  • 6 designs in one pack
  • Printed with soy-based ink
  • Made from 100% recycled materials
  • No other sizes available

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Many customers were elated by the results made from these vintage embossing papers. Harry Potter, vampires, and warriors are the most popular themes for the artworks.

One of the recent users even made a wall art print of the Jedi code, which looks incredible. Another one wrote a murder mystery invites with this paper, claiming it is one reason that his party was a success.

Kidepoch Vintage Embossing Paper review

Why We Think It’s Great

Give your scrapbooks, invitations, and announcements a vintage look by using the Kidepoch Embossing Paper. Although it looks like parchment paper, the designs are prints made with soy-based ink on recycled paper. Be gentle when working with this one, though, since recycled paper is easier to tear than virgin paper.

The embossing paper is printable on both sides using a standard laser jet or inkjet printer. It is also smooth and thick enough for calligraphy and similar arts without fearing smears and blotching. Embossing and adding die-cut designs on this paper adds charm to your cards, invitations, and even school projects. Print a black and white map on this paper, and wow your teacher.

We tried giving the paper edges a slight torching treatment for that “salvaged from fire” look to provide more character to our handmade diaries and journals. Using black embossing powder to write our headings completed the look.

Each pack contains 120 sheets of 8 ½ x 11 inches matte finish paper in 6 different designs. It is slightly thicker than book paper at 56 lbs (120gsm), making it perfect for embossing projects. 

Complete the vintage vibe of your letters and cards by using vintage-style envelopes or hemp rope for your invitations. Try copper metallic cardstock for your cards for a more stunning finish. 

Who Should Buy It

Everyone who loves themed craftsthink Harry Potter books, Bridgerton invitations, and Enola Holmes, will find the Kidepoch the best embossing paper for their vintage projects.

5. Strathmore Mixed Media Vellum Card Set - Best for Cardmaking

Pack of ready-to-use cards and envelopes for DIY cardmaking
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 Pros Cons
  • Pre-cut vellum card & envelope set
  • Acid-free paper
  • Suitable for wet and dry media
  • Thick cardstock
  • All-occasion card
  • Too smooth for watercolor 

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Many users recommend this mixed media vellum card set because they work with almost any wet and dry medium. However, other artists do not recommend it for watercolor since the cardstock is too smooth to hold in the colors. Aside from this one glitch, practically anyone who loves DIY cards will love this set.

The envelopes were plain paper which works fine, though some customers wished that you can also paint on them to keep up with the theme on the card.  

Strathmore Mixed Media Vellum Card Set review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Strathmore mixed media vellum card is too thick for dry embossing, but it’s an excellent cardstock to use for powder or foil embossing and stamping. It is perfect to use as the base for your cards because of its thickness. The 300gsm vellum won’t buck during the drying process if you use gouache on it, and it can support the thinner paper you’ll use to decorate your cards. 

Although it gives fantastic results with gouache, acrylic, pastel, graphite, and ink, it does not perform very well with watercolors. We recommend these watercolor cards instead if you prefer that medium.

The full-sized cards measure 5x6 ⅞ inches, while the envelopes measures 5 ¼ x 7 ¼ inches. Each set contains 10 cards that you can use as invitation and announcement cards for every event - anniversaries, shower parties, birthdays, and graduations. 

It is acid-free, so you’re sure that your papercrafts will last, and you don’t need to worry about deterioration even if you keep several of these card sets for future use. 

If this size is too big, you can always go for the smaller versions of these cards in the same quality cardstock. The smaller announcement size cards measure 3 ½ x 4 ⅞ inches and come with corresponding envelopes. The slim size that’s best for placeholders for formal occasions is 3 ⅞ x 9 inches and also comes with envelopes. Both alternatives have 10 cards and envelopes per set. 

Who Should Buy It

We recommend this embossing paper for DIY cardmakers who love to do mixed media cards decorated with embossing and die-cutting.

6. Bargain Paradise Brown Kraft Paper

brown kraft paper for your vintage and rugged-themed crafts and designs
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 Pros Cons
  • 120gsm premium embossing paper
  • No bleach or chemicals added
  • Compatible with laser and inkjet printers 
  • Makes lovely embossed cards, product labels, other DIYs
  • Doesn’t bleed when doing calligraphy arts
  • Recycled paper

 

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Many customers use the Bargain Paradise Brown Kraft Paper for their organic tags, labels, and product information. The natural brown color of the kraft paper ties with the organic and natural vibe that the users want to go for their brands.

One bride got it for her bridal party, and she loves that it’s not too stiff and not too flimsy either. The typewriter font on the invitation goes well with the kraft paper. For art teachers, using this kraft paper for their origami classes is better than using ordinary printer paper.

Bargain Paradise Brown Kraft Paper review

Why We Think It’s Great

Who said that white and cream paper should have all the glory when it comes to embossing? Anyone familiar with brown kraft paper should try it for cards instead of using it for boring gift bags. With a bit of dry embossing and heat embossing, you can make gorgeous gift bags and even vintage invitation and greeting cards. 

Each pack has 120 sheets of brown kraft paper, sized 8 ½ x 11 inches, and weighs 120gsm. It is compatible with inkjet or laser printers but is also great for DIY projects like cardmaking, scrapbooks, and other papercrafts. 

It also makes a lovely DIY journal by stitch binding folded kraft paper. For the cover, grab a smaller piece of the kraft paper, preferably giving a half-inch border around the journal, add an embossing, and you have a lovely journal you’ll enjoy using or sharing with your friends. You can also use this paper as a gift wrapper, then add a strip of embossed kraft paper for a tone-on-tone design.

If you want a thicker alternative, you can try the 216gsm brown kraft paper or grab the kraft paper roll for bigger projects. Use a larger embossing machine to add folder-embossed designs, or simply whip out your embossing pen and decorate your gift bag with some lovely heat embossed patterns.

Who Should Buy It

The Bargain Paradise is the best embossing paper for every crafter who loves to add a rustic or vintage look to their projects. The possibilities with kraft paper are endless, and you only need your imagination to keep going.

7. Southworth Parchment Specialty Embossing Paper - Best for Luxury Cards and Invitations

ivory parchment paper for invitations, cards, and certificates 

 

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 Pros Cons
  • Durable 120gsm paper
  • Smooth, vellum finish
  • Elegant ivory finish
  • Acid-free, lignin-free
  • Compatible with laser and inkjet printers
  • No bigger sizes available

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Remember those lovely embossed and die-cut wedding invites in the 90s? Well, they’re coming back thanks to designed papers such as the Southworth Parchment Specialty Paper. It’s not actual parchment paper, but customers love it just the same because it gives a high fashion vibe without the expense and hassle of using parchment paper.

Other users were not satisfied with the gold color since some claimed that the paper is beige or dull yellow. It is also thicker than an ordinary printer paper, so customers who expected it to be thin were disappointed.

It worked perfectly for period-themed projects. One crafter tried that burned effect on the edges of the paper for her pirate-style documents, and she was pleased with the result. 

Southworth Parchment Specialty Embossing Paper review

Why We Think It’s Great

Feel that luxurious vibe on your menus and wedding invitations with the Southworth Parchment Specialty Paper in ivory. It is also perfect for framed documents like certificates, diplomas, and awards. Calligraphy art and inspirational quotes also make lovely wall art with this paper. Cinch the look with a custom wooden or ornate finish frame

Each pack of this specialty paper has 250 sheets of 8 ½ x 11 ivory parchment design paper that you can use for various projects. It has enough thickness (120gms) to make impressive dry embossing designs for wedding invitations, certificates, and awards. It can also withstand heat embossing for certificates, menus, and other documents and crafts.

We love that it is acid-free and lignin-free, which means your important documents will not turn yellow as opposed to ordinary paper. Nothing is more annoying than a discolored diploma, knowing you spent so many years earning it.

Southmore Parchment Specialty Paper is also available in various colors - gold, copper, blue, and gray. Choose the best color to go with your theme without losing the parchment effect. Each is available only in 8 ½ x 11-inch format and comes in 100-sheet boxes.

Who Should Buy It

We highly recommend this best embossing paper for luxury cards, invitations, and menus.

8. Cridoz Translucent Vellum Embossing Paper

 translucent vellum paper for various crafting projects
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 Pros Cons
  • 115gsm translucent paper
  • Versatile use
  • Compatible with laser and inkjet printer
  • Strong and high-transparency
  • Thicker than most vellum paper
  • Poor packaging

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Numerous customers recommend this embossing paper because it is thicker at 115gsm than 65 and 93gsm from other brands. 

One bride used it as an overlay to her wedding invitations. She loved it because it is thin, so the photo behind it is visible yet strong enough to prevent easy creasing and tearing. 

Another crafter used it to print her planner divider. It works perfectly with her Canon Pixma printer, though some Epson users complain of the print quality.

Cridoz Translucent Vellum Embossing Paper review

Why We Think It’s Great

This translucent vellum embossing paper has the right thickness for embossing and die-cutting. You can use it as a DIY envelope for your cards. You can also easily personalize it by printing on it before making it into an envelope.

Each pack has 50 sheets of 115gsm translucent vellum paper sized at 8 ½ by 11 inches. However, because of its fairly thin structure, weigh it down before heat embossing it since it tends to curl up when applying heat to it.

You can use this translucent vellum for dry embossing or heat embossing for your cards, invitations, and other papercrafts. For thicker translucent vellum (180gsm), try the Clearprint Heavy Vellum Pad.

Who Should Buy It

This is the best embossing paper for invitations, scrapbooks, and photo overlays. It is a must-have for professional cardmakers as it lends sophistication and class to your cards. It also makes lovely photo overlays for “save the date” invitations or as tissue inserts to your cards.

9. Art-n-Fly 100% Cotton Watercolor Embossing Paper

a pad of Art-n-Fly watercolor pad
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 Pros Cons
  • Medium-heavy watercolor pad
  • Semi-rough surface 
  • Acid-free
  • Budget-friendly 
  • Made from 100% cotton fiber
  • Double-binding may cause ripping

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Most newbie watercolor artists who tried this paper prefer it over other brands because it is very affordable. It is slightly rough, making it very versatile for professionals and beginners in watercolor art.

However, some users worry about ripping the paper when removing it from its double binding. Also, some glue from the binding stick to the watercolor paper. Overall, customers love it for its versatility, strength, and pliability.

Art-n-Fly 100% Cotton Watercolor Embossing Paper review

Why We Think It’s Great

Elevate your watercolor paintings by overlaying them with clear heat embossing. You can also try watercolor-resist embossing, which lends a different look to your cards. Either way, watercolor paper plays a role in making this art a success.

The Art-n-Fly watercolor paper comprises 100% cotton fibers, making it ideal for serious watercolor artists. It is also acid-free, so your masterpieces, no matter how small they are, stay true to color and do not deteriorate with time. It is medium-heavy at 140 lbs (300gsm), so if you want to do the wet on wet technique, you’re assured that your paper won’t disintegrate but dries beautifully.    

After your watercolor dries, you can add highlights using an embossing pen or stamps. Apply an even layer of clear embossing powder on it, then use a heat embossing gun to dissolve the powder. The good thing about the Art-n-Fly watercolor pad is that it maintains its quality even after both very punishing techniques.   

If you don’t want to use your heavy watercolor pad for cardmaking, you can always opt for the more affordable Arteza watercolor pad. The 200gsm watercolor paper of this brand is good for the watercolor-resist embossing technique. 

Who Should Buy It

Watercolor and heat embossing can take a toll on your paper if you don’t choose wisely what medium and technique to choose. The Art-n-Fly watercolor pad is the best embossing paper for this wet and heat art technique. It won’t bunch when you dry it after applying watercolor and curl after applying heat embossing.

10. Hygloss Products Velour Embossing Paper

multi-colored velour paper 
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 Pros Cons
  • Acid-free and lignin-free
  • Colorfast and versatile to use
  • Compatible with inkjet printers
  • Soft flock gives more texture
  • Made from cotton fiber
  • Flock may cause allergic reactions

 

 

What Customers Have To Say 

Numerous crafters have tried it for various projects, such as die-cutting, embossing, card making, flower making, dollhouse decors.

When embossing or die-cutting, the flock doesn’t interfere with the machine’s work or the dies and embossing folders. However, when working with soft pastel, you cannot make erasures. 

Hygloss Products Velour Embossing Paper review

Why We Think It’s Great

The Hygloss velour paper has soft flocks that add texture and body to the paper. When embossed, the pressed parts of the design “sink” to the paper, allowing the unpressed elements to stand out. The effect is a lovely raised design that looks darker than the recessed parts.

The set comes in packs of 20 sheets and has two sheets for each color - red, green, dark blue, yellow, orange, pink, light blue, brown, black, and white. However, you can also get 10-sheet packs of solid colors from the 11 colors available. Each sheet measures 8 ½ x 11 inches, and only one side has flocks; the other side is plain, following the color of the flocking. 

Many crafters use it for scrapbooking, ornaments, memory albums, and greeting cards as an art material. Even with its flock, it is still compatible with most inkjet printers.  

Artists prefer using velour paper when doing animal art using soft pastel as media. The soft fuzz on the paper works great to bring out the natural texture of animal fur. We recently saw a fantastic realist velour art of a dog, and we believe it does justice to animal portraits. 

Who Should Buy It

We recommend the Hygloss velour paper to crafters who love to add a new texture to their embossing projects.

Best Embossing Paper Buying Guide

  • Weight

To get the best result in your embossing projects, go for paper weighing 65 lbs (176gsm). If your paper lists the weight in pounds and you are more familiar with grams per square meter (gsm), use these factors to convert from lb to gsm: (a) for printer paper: 1 lb = 1.48gsm and (b) for cardstock: 1 lb = 2.708gsm.

Paper that is less than 67 lbs or 100gsm is easy to puncture when embossing. However, do not attempt to emboss any cardstock more than 110 lbs (300gsm). You won’t be able to make an impression on this thickness unless you use an industrial-type embossing machine.

  • Fiber Count

Another thing to consider is the fiber count. Recycled paper has shorter fibers. Thus it is easier to puncture or tear when making your embossed patterns. 

  • Color

Crafters recommend light-colored papers when doing dry embossing to appreciate the embossed patterns. School and government-issued documents usually use gold foil to seal over the light-colored paper to emphasize the seal and add distinction. 

You can use both light and dark colored paper for heat embossing. Metallic powders and foil work best when contrasted with the paper, like gold or silver on black, reds on white. You can also use thick tracing paper for heat embossing.

Embossing Paper FAQ

1. What is paper embossing?

Paper embossing involves the use of a raised die. This process creates a three-dimensional effect after applying pressure to the die and the paper. A school dry seal or foil seal in a school document is an example of a paper embossing. 

In modern embossing, crafters use an embossing stylus, a stencil, an embossing machine, and an embossing folder. You can also use embossing inks, stamps, embossing powders, and a heat gun to do heat embossing. 

2. What are the types of dry embossing?

Manual Embossing - It requires an embossing stylus and a die or stencil. 

  • Tape the die and the paper to the work table. The paper or cardstock should be on top of the die. 
  • Gently rub the embossing stylus on the design in the die. Keep the embossing stylus at an angle so it doesn’t damage the paper.

Dry machine embossing - The crafter needs an embossing machine and embossing die.

  • Prepare your embossing machine, embossing folder, and cardstock.
  • Put the cardstock inside the embossing folder, then sandwich it between the embossing plates.
  • Place the “sandwich” on top of the platform, then roll the sandwich under the embossing machine. 

3. Can you emboss with glitter?

No, the glitter does not melt when applied with dry heat. On the other hand, embossing powder is made of thermoplastic polymer that reacts with embossing ink and rises from the paper when applied with dry heat. 

4. How do you color embossed paper?

You can use the following: (a) chalk ink and a paper stump; (b) distress markers, blender pen, or brush pen; or (c) stamp ink and a blender pen to add color to your embossed paper.

  • To use the chalk ink and paper stump method, rub the paper stump on the chalk ink and apply it to the raised part of the embossed pattern. Keep the stump at an angle while using the colors. 
  • To use the distress marker and blender pen method, rub the distress marker on a paint palette, then, using the blender pen, take some of the paint from the paint palette and apply it to the embossed paper. 
  • For the stamp ink and the blender pen, dip the blender pen to the ink pad and lightly apply it to the embossed paper. Keep your hand light at all times to prevent running or blurring. 

5. How do you emboss parchment paper?

  • Using an embossing machine, emboss your parchment paper just like you will emboss construction paper or cardstock. 
  • However, if doing manual embossing, rub a colorless candle on the wrong side of the parchment paper to lessen the friction. The parchment paper is naturally rough and textured so that you may damage it during the embossing process.     
  • Use rubber matting to use under the parchment paper. Put your pattern underneath the parchment paper and start tracing the design using a 2mm embossing stylus. 
  • Exchange for a 1mm or smaller stylus to make the pattern clearer and raise the paper better. 

Conclusion

Did you enjoy reading this review? We sure had fun putting it together. All the items on our list are excellent, but our best vote goes to the Strathmore Mixed Media Vellum. It boasts a thick cardstock that’s best for heat embossing and making all-occasion cards. Each set comes with 10 cards and 10 envelopes which makes it a perfect choice.

The vote for the best embossing paper for metallic heat embossing goes to Neenah Paper Astrobrights Black Cardstock. We love how it contrasts with metallic embossing powder and foils. It also makes an elegant backdrop for greeting cards, invitation cards, and place cards. 

Lastly, the best embossing paper for luxury cards and invitations is the Southworth Parchment Specialty Paper. At 120gsm, it makes lovely embossed impressions, is acid and lignin-free for lasting crafts, and has an elegant ivory parchment finish. 

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