What is Construction Paper?

Construction paper is characterized as a rigid, heavy, inexpensive matte or non-durable lacquer paper. Made of ground wood, it is available in a variety of colors, and its primary application is the children’s arts and crafts and school projects.


An important feature to keep in mind is that the color of most construction paper fades very quickly. This can be used if you want to use paper to make sun prints, but if the project needs to go on, look for the words “light stable” or “fade.” Another feature that may prove important is that while some construction paper is flame retardant, most are not. In addition, some are noted as laser and inkjet compatible, but this is not a common feature. Most easily accessible brands are acid-free and lignin free.


This essay is added to many and varied uses, including cutting and pasting projects and projects involving drawing, sketching, or coloring. Some other uses make posters, collage, tablecloth weaves and baskets, picture frames, napkin rings, Christmas decorations and ornaments, gift tags, bookmarks, paper sculptures, fingertips, masks and mobiles.


Individual colors or multi-colored 25 or 50-sheet packages and classroom packages containing as many as 2,000 sheets of design paper are available. The color range includes light 8-chalk-box colors, as well as fluorescent lamps, multicultural skin colors, pastels, two-color marble colors and integration paper with embedded glitter.

Weight Paper is described in several ways: by point sizes that measure the thickness of a single sheet in thousands of inches, and by weight, a measurement in pounds of 500 sheets of standard paper size, no matter what may be. Because the size of different types of paper is not consistent, comparing the weights is complicated. Nevertheless, this is the system chosen by most manufacturers to describe their construction paper.

The International Standardization Organization (ISO) Paper Industry Standard is considered to be the most consistent way of comparing paper weights. ISO measures the weight in grams per square meter (gem).

Virtually all construction papers are described as “heavy” paper, and they vary in basis weight 65-80 lb. The 80-gram paper gives its ISO weight as 120-130 gem, so using the above chart, we can estimate that lower weights are about 100 gem.


Building paper comes in some basic sizes either in sheets or tied to pads. The typical sizes are:

  • 9 x 12 inches 229 × 305 mm
  • 12 x 18 inches 305 × 457 mm
  • 18 x 24 inches 457 × 610 mm
  • 24 x 36 inches 610 x 914 mm

Building papers are available in different colors and are often used in children’s arts and crafts.

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