Strathmore Bristol Board: Heavy Paper for Art and Paper Crafts

Strathmore Bristol Board -- a Heavy Paper for All Kinds of Art and Paper Crafts
Strathmore Bristol Board — a Heavy Paper for All Kinds of Art and Paper Crafts

For Illustration, Painting, Drawing, Collage, Card Making, Art and Crafts

Strathmore Bristol Board is my favorite all-purpose paper for art and crafts. Whether I’m drawing, painting, making greeting cards, or creating collages, I keep a pad of Strathmore Bristol Board close at hand. Strathmore Bristol Board comes in a variety of weights and sizes, but the 300 series pads are the ones I use most often. These pads are affordable, and they are a fantastic value.

Strathmore Bristol board is a machine-finished paper board that does not have a coating on it. It comes in 2 different finishes: vellum and smooth (or “plate”). Unlike illustration board, which is typically one-sided, you can use both sides of Bristol board — which makes it ideal for comic book art or other book arts.

Available Sizes of Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board Paper:

Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Pads are available in the following sizes:

6″ x 6″
9″ x 12″
11″ x 14″
14″ x 17″
19″ x 24″

There are 20 sheets to a pad. If you need a larger size, sheet stock measuring 22.5″ x 28.5″ is also available. Strathmore also makes Bristol Artist Trading Cards and matching envelopes available. The artist trading cards measure 2.5″ x 3.5″.


Strathmore Bristol Board is acid free, and it can be used in projects that are intended to last for years. The paper is high quality.


Strathmore’s 300 Series Bristol Board is a 100 lb. paper. It is sturdy enough to withstand being painted, collaged, and embellished. Most cardstock paper feels wimpy compared to Strathmore Bristol Board. Cardstock will often buckle or warp if you attempt to collage with it or paint on it; Bristol Board is stronger, and can withstand more painting and collage.


Strathmore Bristol Board is available in 2 different finishes: smooth and vellum. The smooth finish is ideal for airbrushing and drawing with pencil, pen or ink. The smooth is my preferred surface for gouache painting, and for use with walnut inks. I’ve also used it with Lumiere Metallic Paints, acrylic paints, 7Gypsies Colorwash, Dr. PH Martin’s Brilliant Concentrated Watercolors, and Lyra watercolor crayons.

The vellum finish is ideal for use with graphite, colored pencils, pastels, charcoal, conte crayons, and other dry media. It would probably work with other art supplies too, but I haven’t tested it as extensively as I’ve tested the smooth finish.

I first learned about Strathmore Bristol Board when I was a student at Otis School of Design. I was taking a class in fashion design, and most of the class assignments involved painting fashion illustrations with gouache paints. Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board was the surface that the instructor recommended, so I bought some. I was impressed with the product, and have been using it ever since.

Country of Origin:

Strathmore Bristol Board is Made in the USA.


Strathmore 300 Series Bristol Board is the ideal all-purpose art and craft paper. It is versatile. It is affordable enough for art students, yet the quality is good enough for consistent use by professional artists. I am delighted to recommend this product to other artists and crafters.

Where to Buy Strathmore Paper Bristol Board Pads

There are bunches of places to buy Strathmore Bristol paper pads. The following online retailers typically stock them:

Project Ideas Using Strathmore Bristol Board:

Spin Art
Spin Art

Click here to find a complete guide to making spin art using Strathmore Bristol paper.

Click here to see step-by-step instructions for making a gorgeous piece of collage art using Strathmore Bristol Board.

Click here, here and here to find step-by-step instructions for making various Christmas cards with Strathmore Bristol board.

Click here to see more handmade greeting cards that you can create using Strathmore Bristol Board.

Click here to find more information about the best art and craft supplies you might want to try.

By Amy Solovay

About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile design. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a studio art minor; and she has also obtained another degree in textile design. Amy has been crocheting and making crafts since childhood, and knitting since her teenage years. Her work also appears at, and Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns and tutorials. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.

This page was last updated on 7-2-2019.

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