How to print on cardstock [Tips To Print Custom Card Sizes]

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

 But isn’t cardstock just really thick paper? Technically, it is. But its thickness will change the way the cardstock is loaded into the printer, and it will change how the printer prints ink on the paper. So printing on cardstock can be a headache, especially if you have never done it before.

But printing on cardstock can be hassle-free as long as you practice it a few times. So here is a complete guide on how to print on cardstock. In this article, you will find an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide, a section on tips for issues and problems, and an FAQ section. So keep on reading and learn how to print on cardstock in less than 20 minutes!

The Step by Step Guide on How to Print on Cardstock

Here is how the basic cardstock printing process should work.

Turn on your computer and printer and check the ink levels

Before you start any printing job, you should always check the ink levels in your printer to ensure that you have enough ink to get the job done. It is also a good idea to purchase more ink than you need in all colors. Most printers do not allow black and white printing if one of the color inks is low. 

Load the Cardstock and Select the Cardstock option

Once the ink levels have been checked, now it is time to load the cardstock into the tray. Be sure to remove the regular printer paper if you are printing on more than a dozen cardstock papers. If you are only printing on one or two papers, then leave a few regular papers in the tray. On certain printers, the user will have to select a button indicating it is now printing cardstock.

Resize the margins in page setup

After loading the cardstock paper, you must now select the design that you want to print and set its size. If you have card stock paper that is not the size of regular computer paper, you will have to resize the margins, so your printer does not print as if it is printing on basic white paper. When you open your packet of cardstock, its size should be on the front of the packet.

If there is no size, or you lost the packet details long ago, then bust out an old-fashioned ruler and measure it by hand. 

You will either have to change it manually or use the drop-down menu in section paper size on the page setup window.

After you have altered the settings, it is now time to print a test paper.

Print a test paper

Every good printing job requires a test paper so you can see how the ink looks on the paper and if the margins are correct. If the design you are printing on the card stock paper is in color, then you will want the test paper to be in black and white, so you do not waste too much ink.

If the print came out correctly, don’t change any of the options you have set up and continue printing. However, if something is wrong, experiment with the setup options until you get it right.

Cardstock Printing Tips

Here are a few tips to consider when loading cardstock into a printer.

  • Check the cardstock for discoloration. Cheap cardstock will not hold its off-white color. It may begin to discolor and turn yellow. Better cardstock is more expensive, but it will last much longer.
  • If you’re having a particularly difficult time printing on cardstock, check the printer’s model number and see if there are any specific instructions for printing on cardstock.
  • When the printer is finished, gently pull the cardstock out of the tray and set it down gently somewhere so they can dry. Cardstock is not a type of paper that can immediately go from a printer tray to a backpack or a pile of papers.
  • If you will need to use a specific size and setup in the future, save the setup on your printer’s software. If your printer does not have this feature, take a screenshot of all of the windows you changed. Doing this will speed things up in the future.

Hopefully, these tips will help ease the cardstock printing process!

You may also be in buying some cardstock printers? then check this guide: The 8 Best Printers for Cardstock in 2021


Does cardstock keep jamming up your printer?

Some printers cannot handle cardstock that is very thick. If you need to print on cardstock, but you don’t know which size works best for your printers and you don’t want to buy a bunch of packets of cardstock to test the thickness in order to find the perfect size, you will have to contact your printer’s manufacturer and send them an inquire about the recommended sizes and brands of cardstock that your printer can handle.

Do I need to update my printer’s software to print cardstock?

The purpose of a software update is to remove any bugs that were left on the original programming, add new features and options, and improve the software to make it more user-friendly. So if you have a problem printing on cardstock and your printer needs an update, then it is in your best interest to allow that update to download onto your printer. You can also go to your printer’s manufacturer’s website and see if there are any updates available that your printer does not know about yet. You should also update your printer’s drivers whenever an update is available.


The best method to print on cardstock paper without giving yourself a headache is by taking the time to practice on a few designs that you don’t need on a day when you’re not busy. Do not wait until you have to print on 100 cardstock papers due in an hour to use the cardstock option for the first time. All you need is the right type of card stock paper, the right settings on your printer, and plenty of ink, and you’ll be ready to go.

See also: How to Buy a Printer Without Getting a Migraine: Home Printer Buying Guide

2 thoughts on “How to print on cardstock [Tips To Print Custom Card Sizes]”

Leave a Comment