different types of pens scrapbooking paper crafts

different types of pens scrapbooking paper crafts

Different Types of Pens for Scrapbooking and Paper Crafts

Are you overwhelmed with all the different types of pens that are out there for crafting?  Do you have too many choices overload?  Our goal is to help you make your passion for crafting easier and do the research for you so you can get back to indulging in your crafting hobby.  Crafting isn’t just fun, it’s a stress reliever too and we hope you are taking advantage of it!

With that being said, we want to delve into a favorite topic among paper crafters: pens! Pens not only allow you to personalize your crafts, but they allow your artistic side to come out as well. They give you the flexibility to draw, letter, or add as many embellishments by hand as you’d like. Today, we will review four of our favorite acid-free pens, their advantages, and when you should use them.

Perhaps you are wondering, why limit this post to just acid-free types of pens? Well, that’s because acid-free crafting materials are also considered “archival quality.” What does that mean? Not only will they never fade, but they also won’t eat away at your crafts. Over time, the acid in traditional pens and adhesive products eat away at your photos and paper projects. And that’s the last thing you want to happen to a craft you’ve dedicated so much time to, right?

So, with that being clear, sit back, relax, and enjoy learning about the different types of pens for paper crafting!

The 4 Different Types of Pens (Acid-Free)

In this article we plan to cover gel pens, felt tip pens, calligraphy pens, and Copic markers. As you’ll see in more detail below, these different types of pens vary in price point and utility. Depending on the crafts you like to do and your crafting budget, your pen preference might vary. Perhaps you’ll want just one type of pen, or perhaps you click “Add to Cart” on all four!  Whatever you choose to do, we applaud you for taking some YOU time to invest in your favorite hobby. Now, let’s dive into pen-type number one!

Gel Pens

Why We Love Them

Everybody loves a good gel pen! From kids to adults, gel pens are a great crafting option. Not only do they glide seamlessly across the page, but they also come in fun glitter and metallic colors too! Odds are, whatever color you have in mind, there is a gel pen out there to match it.

Appropriate Projects

So long as you select the proper pen color to stand out on your project, gel pens have few limitations. They can be used in scrapbooking, journaling, and card-making. Traditional crafting papers like card stock, crafting paper, and construction paper will all work well with gel pens.

However, there are a few exceptions. Extremely thin or thick paper, like transfer paper or foam sheets, won’t jive well with gel pens. Mostly because the ink of gel pens is made to flow smoothly with moderate pressure. This means the sharp tip could rip thin paper or not flow onto thicker materials like cardboard, foam, or felt. (For more tips and tools on working with crafting paper, check out our blog “10 Types of Crafting Paper Every Crafter Needs”.)

Pen Tip Size/Nib

While the recommended gel pens below are .5mm, you can find gel pens with .6mm or .7mm tips as well.

Our Recommended Product

This set of 8 Uni-ball pen bundle, available for purchase below, is a must in every crafters toolkit. The rubber grips make grasping the pens for long periods of time effortless. And the selection of colors is simply gorgeous (ranging from fluorescent pink to deep black). Additionally, these are a stand out option due to their high ink quality. While they glide across the page like butter, the ink dries almost instantaneously, which means no smudges!

Felt Tip Pen

Why We Love Them

Felt tip pens are known to be a favorite among sketch artists, and there’s no secret as to why. Felt tip pens never bleed or smudge and provide a solid, smooth line. Additionally, because the ink color of felt tip pens are highly saturated, they’ll give your project a bright, bold look.

Appropriate Projects

Because felt tip pens essentially function the same way as markers, they have fewer paper limitations than gel pens. Felt tipped markers will work well on all papers, as well as cardboard and foam. Because they come in so many different sizes and colors, the possibilities for felt tip pens are infinite! The only time a felt tip pen wouldn’t be recommended is in cases where you hope to shade. No matter what amount of pressure you apply to a felt tip pen, the color saturation will remain the same.

Pen Tip Size/Nib

Unlike gel pens, felt tip pens come in many different tip sizes. From as small as .15mm to as chunky as 3mm.

Our Recommended Products

Our first recommended felt tip pen set is by Sakura. In this set below you’ll get six assorted colored pens with .45mm tips.

These pens are reasonably priced and won’t bleed through any of your papers or cause smudging. Your scrapbooks and cards are sure to come to life with the colorful, bold lines created by this pen set.

Our next recommended felt tip pen set is by Zig. For the same price as the set above, you’ll get a set of eight colorful pens. Our favorite thing about this pen set is that you get double the markers for the price of one! How is that? These eight pens are dual-tipped, meaning each color comes with two tip sizes. You can test out fine line sketching with the .5mm side or use the 1.2mm side for bold lettering.

Calligraphy Pen

Why We Love Them

Calligraphy pens give your lettering a polished look, even if you’re not officially trained in the art. These pens are the perfect way to take your scrapbooking and card making to the next level. With calligraphy pens, say goodbye to the days of scratchy, ensure handwriting, and hello to smooth, impressive lettering.

Appropriate Projects

As you likely already know, calligraphy pens are meant to be used for handwriting and lettering. They can be the perfect utensil to add a cute short caption in a scrapbook or personalize a card. And, because the nib is made of nylon, it can be used on any kind of material. From thin tracing papers to thick card stocks, calligraphy pens will get the job done!

Pen Tip Size/Nib

Calligraphy pens can range in nib size from .4mm to 1mm. To be more specific, in the field of calligraphy, a .4mm tipped pen is considered “extra fine,” .6mm is considered “fine,” .8mm is “medium,” and 1mm is “bold.”

Our Recommended Product

Unlike our other recommended pens, this .3mm Sakura Pigma Calligraphy Pen is sold as a single unit. And believe it or not, that works out to be more cost-effective! More than that, it’s a great option for crafters who want to try a calligraphy pen for the first time. Or for crafters who’d rather choose their own ink pigments without being locked into a set of pre-selected colors. Most of all, however, we love this pen because it’s the first choice among beginners and professionals. So whether you’re just starting calligraphy or you’re already a pro, you’ll love this pen’s crisp, fade-resistant lines.

You can find these pens individually at JetPens.com or you can purchase the Sakura Graphics or the Sakura Brush line too which are sold in multi packs.

Copic Markers

Why We Love Them

Copic markers are everyone’s favorite environmentally friendly, chemical-free writing utensil. Invented in Japan, Copic markers do away with harsh smells and harmful plastic ending up in landfills. Because Copic markers have replaceable nibs and refillable ink, you’ll only ever have to buy them once. Consider them a long-term crafting investment that Mother Nature will thank you for.

Appropriate Projects

Copic markers blend like paint but work as a marker, so project possibilities are endless. Use them to add vibrant drawings to your scrapbooks or to create gorgeous designs on cards. The only downside to Copic markers are that they are notorious for bleeding through paper thinner than card stock. So, keep this in mind when you select paper for your Copic marker project.

Marker Tip Size/Nib

Copic markers are sold in Japan and don’t follow the same “measurement style” as other USA writing utensils. However, Copic markers are dual tip so you get the best of both worlds. While one side has a “fine” tip, the other has a bold chisel tip.

Our Recommended Product

Below you’ll find the original Copic marker set, although other variations are available as well. Aside from their amazing high quality and dual tips, Copic markers can also be upgraded! That’s right, if you fall in love with these markers you can always upgrade them to the Copic Air-Brushing System.
Copic Markers

Overall, we hope you enjoyed learning about our favorites of the different types of pens for scrapbooking and paper crafts!  We hope this makes it easier for you to decide and takes the overwhelm of the choices away. With knowledge such as this, we’re sure you’ll find creating projects more enjoyable and be happier with the final results.

If you have any other writing utensil suggestions for our fellow crafters, let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear your personal recommendations and favorite products.  For more suggestions check out our post about the Paper Craft Tools Needed in your Toolbox.

Thanks for stopping by and happy crafting!  Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and check out our Pinterest Boards and follow us on Instagram.

Crafting out!


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4 thoughts on “”

  1. Ohhhh, such a great giveaway. I need to figure out how to organize my paper packs. I have so many that I don’t can’t even read what I have.


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