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Often overlooked, scoring is essential for neat, well-made products and crafts.

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Be assured that our opinions are based on our direct experience after purchasing the product. We have not been gifted any of the products reviewed. 


Paper, especially printed paper,

does not fold neatly and can easily crack along a crease. To counter this, paper can be scored using simple tools that you already own. Scoring creates an indentation or line in the paper which guides a crease.

Comparison of paper folded without scoring, which is cracked, versus paper folded after scoring.


Various household implements can be used to score paper.

To score, you need a straight edge, a tool that will indent the paper, and a cushioned surface. Scoring tools can even be found around your house.

Craft room essentials include:

  1. A straight edge.

    • A good ruler is a versatile tool for your arsenal. Two features are important: a cork backing and metal. The cork prevents the ruler from slipping while you cut or score. And the metal is necessary for cutting uses. While a 12-inch ruler will serve many purposes, it is helpful to have a smaller and larger size as well. You will cover all bases with these three:

  2. A scoring tool.

    • Use an empy (this is important!) pen or the back side of a butter knife.

    • bone folder can be found in craft stores in the paper craft section.

    • scoring or embossing stylus can also be found in craft stores in the paper craft section. This is our preferred tool for scoring! We like that the set has various heads. The small heads work better on matte photo paper, for example, while the larger heads are more effective with heavier coverstock. It is always good to have options!

  3. A surface so that you don't scratch your furniture.

    • You can use a pad of paper or a magazine as a surface for scoring.

    • We use a cutting mat since we often are cutting something after it is scored. A good self-healing (important!) mat will last a long time. Ours is from college years, a long time ago. When not in use, make sure you store the mat flat. We keep ours on a table with a few things on top to prevent warping.


Visual tutorial showing the steps to scoring paper.
  1. Grab a ruler and your scoring tool. You will need to use a cutting mat or magazine underneath your paper to protect your work surface.

  2. Lay your paper on the cutting mat or magazine. A dashed line on our products indicates a crease. Place the scoring tool along the dashed line you wish to score. 

  3. Set the ruler against your tool. Make sure that it is parallel to the dashed line.

  4. Press the tool into the paper and pull towards you, drawing against the ruler so that your line is straight. 

It can take a few tries to figure out the right amount of pressure needed to indent the paper enough for a clean fold.


Cheerful crafts accordian folded after scoring on a scoring board.

scoring board makes scoring anything on a 1/8-inch increment a breeze. And with our architecture background, everything we design is on a 1/8-inch increment – we just can’t help it!


The ridges in the scoring board are very helpful if you are scoring things freehand, like when you are making an accordion fold.


You will need a scoring tool to use the scoring board. The board we purchased came with a bone folder that has sharper edges than other bone folders we own. The included bone folder fits perfectly in the ridges on the board, so use it! You will want to score before cutting so that the paper is still squared.

Visual tutorial showing the steps to scoring paper on a scoring board.
  1. Place your paper in the upper left corner of the scoring board. The exterior or side with the design should be facing upwards.

  2. Place your scoring tool over the line you wish to score and pull the tool towards you.

  3. Press firmly enough so that the paper is indented but not cut.

  4. Fold!

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