Paper and Card Sizing

Paper sizes vary around the world.  There are two main standards for basic printing paper sizes and these are A4 and Letter.

In Australia, UK and many other countries A4 is the commonly used paper size, where as in the US and Canada the standard size is Letter.

There is not much difference in the sizing, but when it comes to making templates for printing greeting cards you need to make sure the correct paper size is used and set up in your printer.

When making homemade greeting cards you tend to start with card and paper that comes in the standard paper size for the country you reside.

So lets take a look at the breakdown of each paper size separately so we understand the terminology.

Derivations of A4 paper sizing.

It is very simple to understand paper sizing when starting with A4 size as a reference point.  In general each time you halve the paper the “A” number gets larger:-

(Measurements in Portrait view)
A4 is 210 mm wide x 297 mm high
A5 is half A4 (148 mm x 210 mm)
A6 is half A5 (105 mm x 148 mm)

so to be complete Double A4 is A3 size (297 x 420mm), etc. right up to A1.

Greeting Cards from A4.

To get the standard size greeting card that I refer to in the Paper Punch Flowers workshop, simply cut a piece of A4 paper in half across the length (i.e. halving the 297mm length), you will then be left with 2 x A5 size pieces of card.

When you fold the A5 card in half (across the length) you get an A6 size card greeting card.

Paper Sizes Derived from A4

Some Envelope Terminology.

Sometimes the A6 size is referred to as C6, this is because the envelopes are referenced with a “C”.

An A6 card fits inside a C6 envelope.  Similarly a larger A5 card will require a C5 size envelope.

When you fold a standard A4 piece of paper in thirds, this will fit into a DL business size envelope.  The DL envelope measures 99mm x 210mm.

You can also make greeting cards in the DL shape, simply cut 1/3 off the length (99 mm) and then fold the remainder of the card in half.  This leaves you with a card that when folded in half measures 99 x 210mm.

Note: If you are going to post non-standard envelope sizes you need to check whether your country will process them normally or whether there may be a surcharge for non-standard.

Derivations of Letter Sizing.

Countries such as US and Canada use Letter size paper as their standard.

When making handmade greeting cards from Letter size paper I’ve made the assumption that the same principles apply as used above for A4.

The base size paper is cut in half and then that piece is then folded in half again as in the image above.

The actual dimensions of Letter paper

Letter         8.5″ × 11″    (216 mm × 279 mm)

Making Cards from 12″ x 12″ Card Stock.

Now to be complete talking about paper and card for craft I need to mention the scrapbook paper size.

Scrapbook Paper is 12″ x 12″ (305 mm x 305 mm) and it too can be cut down to make greeting cards.  For example cut in half giving you 2 x 6″x12″ sheets, then fold in half again to give a 6″x6″ card.

These will make non-standard card sizes and may have mailing issues, but perfectly fine to give to your friends.

 

 

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