Greeting Cards And precut paper or cut yourself??? And Die cutting advice.


I am new to letterpressing and I have designed some greeting cards.
My first question is, do I print on a standard size sheet and then score and cut the greeting card myself or can I find the commonly used paper for letterpress pre-cut and scored? I would prefer the later but not sure if it exists.

Second question, if I have a bleed then do I still buy the pre- cut greeting card paper? Is there a easy way to do the bleed with the pre-cut greting card paper? If not, how would you suggest that I get the paper scored easily?

Thrid question, some of the greeting cards will need a 3 x 3 square or 3 ” round cut out of it. How would you suggest I get this done? Do I go to a place where they do die cutting (laser or traditional) and then print, score, and cut? Would they have letterpress paper, or do I supply my own?

Basically, any one who has knowledge about the process and could offer advice on all topic above would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much

Log in to reply   11 replies so far

Unless your doing a long run i like to run the stock to size. You don’t say what press you are using. If you have a bleed you have to run it on an over size card then trim to size or you will get ink on the back of your cards. As far as die cutting and scoring you can do it on your press, most presses will handle a simple circle cut or a single score, why send it out. Good Luck Dick G.

Thank you. I have a 10x15 C&P.

Best to print the cards on over size stock with crop marks. The bleeds should be 1/8 inch over size so that when the cards are cut to size the bleed will not have color of the stock on the sizes of the bleed. Also, using pre-die cut or scored stock will require that you hold the card sock will side fingers. The stock on pre scored will be up a little and the type will not print sharp.

If it was me I would print the cards on over stock with crop marks, cut to size and score.

You don’t say what you are printing from, type or plate. If photopolymer plate, and using a larger base, you have to take the gauge pins and placement of base into account.
You can’t fill a 10x15 chase with a Boxcar base, center a card form on it, and run finished size stock without smashing the gauge pins, which must clear the base. There are several workarounds, but none with the flexibility of regular gauge pins and a base suited to the size of the job.

Just a caution against using pre-scored stock if it’s also pre-folded. I was lazy this past season and used some pre-cut and pre-folded cards from PaperSource to do a run of personal Christmas cards. The fold can really mess you up if you’re doing something with any registration and even if you’re not, you spend extra time fussing with feeding the paper.

When running pre-scored stock you must take a few sheets at a time and fold them backwards just a little, this helps them to lay flat, sometimes it doesn’t work well then you need to run small piles at a time. Dick G.


I was about to post a similar question today and saw this. DickG you mention simple scoring on the press, is this an actual plate that fits within your chase? Can you get these custom sizes?

Also, I was curious what everyone is using to cut and fold their oversized cards with. I just got a manual lever-actuated paper cutter and have been having a heck of a time getting it to work consistently. I am doing my folding manually and it really looks like it…

Any advice would be great.


Scoring is done with a steel rule locked in the chase, you can remove the packing behind the top sheet then tape a piece of chipboard on the top sheet, the scoring rule will put a dent in the chipboard, this works pretty good. The best scoring is done with channel matrix, i’m sure there is something on this site that explains this. Dick G.

I did find some instructions on how that works. Knowing that I can do this using chipboard helps as I think I have some scoring rule in one of the boxes of random stuff that came with my press, but I didn’t see anything resembling the matrix. Thanks for that, DickG!


i’m not sure but i think you can buy scoring matrix from NA Graphics, i used the chipboard for years, it will work on most stock but i ran into a stock that would crack when i tried to score it, using the matrix cured this. Dick G.

Thanks again, DickG.

You always seem to have the answers!