To read the cardstock conversion chart, determine the size of the element that you want to cut. Let’s take 1 7/8” x 3” for example. Find 1 7/8 in the 8 1/2” column and 3 in the 11” and multiply those two numbers. You come up with 12. This number indicates that if you make your 3” cuts on the 11” side you will yield 12 elements from one sheet of paper. Now let’s switch it up and find 3 in the 8 ½” column and 1 7/8 in the 11” column. This time when you multiply those numbers you will come up with 10 which means making the 3” cuts on the 11” side is the more economical way. Not only will the chart give you the most economical way to make the least cuts possible, it will also help you to find out how many pieces of paper you will need to use to meet your quota. You may want to test on a scrap piece of paper (like a piece of junk mail) before you start cutting the cardstock.
A few of you noticed that the example with the red circle really could net 5 rectangles if the paper was turned and two more 3” x 4.5” pieces were cut. This is in fact true, but when one is mass producing cards, it is all about the fewest cuts possible. In order to save money AND time, the example on the right will do the trick. As a matter of fact, you could cut multiple sheets of cardstock and save even more time. The more intricate your design is, the more time you will want to save. If you do have more time (or some willing helpers!) and are very concerned about saving money, take some time to see if other options might work – like turning the paper for example.
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