Does anyone have recommendations for paper types/thickness they use for handmade postcards? I've tried sending some in the mail, but suspect they need to be thicker (I'm using Strathmore printmaking 400 series 200 g/m2). The thicker ones tend to have more texture, so they are sometimes harder to print on. I like the idea of sending open postcards also so the mail folks can also enjoy mail art.

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Hi, TanushreeV. I use 100 lb bristol. I’m using Strathmore brand. Also, I use scrap cardboard that comes from the Usps with the postage stamps I order on-line. If I read this right, you’re using your printer. Yes? The Bristol should be able to go through the printer.

Hi Mim, thanks for your recommendation. By printing, I actually mean hand-printing, like relief prints. But a good weight like the one you mentioned should help with that. I too use the scrap cardboard that comes with the USPS stamps, haha - they make great templates for envelope shapes and other sizes and formats I need to remember and reuse.

Postcard Thickness Question.

Besides the "Printmaking" Series 400 produced by Strathmore  who also produces "Mixed Media" pads that are slightly thicker and 'smooth'. (A little bit harder to find)

Card stock paper is fine for ATCs but a bit thin for postcards. One solution is to add "Pressure Sensitive Stock" to the back. This material (Mactac / Starliner brand) is designed for labels and stickers. It is available in office supply stores. This is a good writing surface for address and message side.

Poster board is thick enough but the colors may fade.

This is exactly my problem - the printmaking series one isn't smooth enough to print thin archival inks (that I use for ATCs), though it catches the thicker printmaking inks well enough. Thank you for recommending the mixed media pads; I'm going to look into those.

I use 140 lb watercolor paper for my postcards.

I use the junk mail postcards that come in the mail daily. Some of them have weird surfaces. Make sure whatever you are using to make the mark, sticks. Reuse is the best kind of recycle.



I paste my artwork on thinner surfaces to reuse cardboard from packaging. 

Hi TanushreeV! I see you're in California, and the US post office has some thickness specs:

Minimum .007" thickness for standard postcards, and maximum .016". Oversized postcards can be .009" to .25".

I use a micrometer to measure (useful for letterpress printing) but if you aren't so obsessive, you can also estimate thickness by stacking a certain number of sheets, like a ream or a pad, measure with a ruler, and divide by the number of sheets. Strathmore 100 lb. (260 gsm) Bristol is about .013" thick, so good for either size card. Your 200 gsm paper is probably kind of on the borderline of being too thin, but you might duplex it to something else. And you can always put on extra postage (for non-machinable) and hope for the best!

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