Paper size? Is there really that much variance?

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Posted 2/13/2013 by scrprgirl in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 404,040
December 2008
Posts: 548
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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:53:23 AM
Over on the Studio Calico board there is a discussion about the 4x6 cards not being truly 4x6 and one of the members is saying that is an expected variance. Then some people are posting that that is not true, while others are posting that papers vary all the time and that 6x6 is not really 6x6 and 12x12 is not really 12x12.

What do you all think? Does anyone else have paper that is as off by as much as 1/4 inch? Does anyone else think 12x12 really, truly means 12x12?


PeaNut 325,160
July 2007
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Posted: 2/13/2013 12:01:09 PM
I don't know that I've ever noticed papers being off by a whole quarter inch... but I do notice a variance of about an eighth of an inch quite often. Sometimes going both ways, other times just in the width. It generally only irritates me when I'm cutting a page into specific sizes and then get to the end only to find that my last strip isn't a full inch wide, or whatever.

Do I think it *should* be 12x12 on the money? Sure, in a perfect world. But I guess I don't really expect it.

(I get a lot more annoyed by my photos not measuring exactly 4x6 or 5x7... not that I have any control over that, either. )


PeaNut 311,175
April 2007
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Loc: Miami {the one in Florida, not the one in Oklahoma}

Posted: 2/13/2013 12:03:57 PM

What do you all think? Does anyone else have paper that is as off by as much as 1/4 inch? Does anyone else think 12x12 really, truly means 12x12?

I have a very exact paper trimmer (Rotatrim M15). Since buying it, I have noticed a lot of variances in papers - paper is rarely truly square & often not perfectly 12"x12".

That being said, I've never seen anything off by more than 1/8" and I would not consider 1/4" normal.

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PeaNut 114,614
November 2003
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Loc: Ontario, Canada

Posted: 2/13/2013 12:09:13 PM
I remember when I first started scrapbooking there was a lot of discussion about "12x12" vs "true 12x12" sizes for both paper and page protectors. I think 9 or 10 years ago most papers/page protectors weren't really 12x12 inches, but more like 11.75 square. I have not heard of this being a problem since then.
I do agree that sometimes paper does seem to be a fraction of an inch less than 12 inches.

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PeaNut 260,218
May 2006
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Loc: Missouri

Posted: 2/13/2013 12:35:22 PM
There may be a variance, but I never noticed anything as drastic as what she posted in the thread. That would seriously annoy the OCD person in me.


PeaNut 243,916
January 2006
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Loc: Texas!

Posted: 2/13/2013 3:06:44 PM
I had a 12x12 paper pad from J's be off by 1/4 of an inch. It just happened the one time but it was the whole paperpad at 12x11.75 and made the entire album a pain because I had to add borders to every page so the layouts wouldn't float around the protector. -- A few times I've noticed papers being off by 1/8th and that hasn't bothered me. Ideally of course, I'd rather the measurements be accurate.

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PeaNut 477,798
August 2010
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Posted: 2/13/2013 3:14:30 PM
I remember a few years after I started scrapbooking that some companies started labeling their paper "true 12x12" because there really was a variation.

I'm much more bothered by my prints not being true 4x6 and having the company not post that anywhere on their site. I think it's okay if you get to choose, or if they tell you they'll be cropped... *rant over*


PeaNut 417,421
March 2009
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Loc: Alexandria, VA

Posted: 2/13/2013 3:29:00 PM
I've had paper be off by 1/4 inch before (can picture some particular Cosmo Cricket paper) and it was a pain in the rear since I like to do borders or strips of paper across the page. I had some the other day that was 1/8 short and it wasn't as noticeable but was still annoying....yes, I am a bit OCD. I don't like it and don't consider it "expected".

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 395,153
October 2008
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Loc: Here

Posted: 2/13/2013 4:39:51 PM
I haven't really noticed it with paper. What bothers me are page protectors that are not true 12"x12" so I finish a LO and have to trim an 1/8" or more off the side to get it to fit in the page protector.

Paisleys Garden

PeaNut 464,263
April 2010
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Loc: MinneSNOWta

Posted: 2/13/2013 4:47:13 PM
Drives me nuts! I have a 6 x 12 trimmer so if I want a 7" cut, I cut at 5" (that gives me a 5 12 piece and a 7x12 piece). If the paper isn't 12 x 12 I have to adjust for it and sometimes I forget to measure it before cutting. Actually I usually forget. Grrrr

Just Me the Pea

PeaNut 468,574
May 2010
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Posted: 2/13/2013 4:56:50 PM
I still have some old paper that is under 12 inches. Back when I started scrapbooking in the 90's a lot of people were using CM so true 12x12 wasn't such a big deal. I like that the companies don't print their names on the paper anymore, but trimming that strip off sometimes is a pain.


PeaNut 65,877
January 2003
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Loc: So CA

Posted: 2/13/2013 6:43:53 PM
Well CM used to not be true and a couple of other companies 10+ years ago seemed to follow suit but today if I buy something that is supposed to be 12x12 or 6x6 and it isn't I would be upset. If I ordered something and it was supposed to be 4x6 and it was off by a 1/4 inch I would be very upset as it would be really noticable. A little less like maybe 1/16 of an inch ok but 1/4 inch on something that is only 6 inches or 4 inches that is huge.

There are reasons why I only buy a couple of brands of product these days. I want quality - meaning quality paper, no misprints or typos, stamps that actually stamp and paper that are the proper size.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 26,836
January 2002
Posts: 19,090
Layouts: 86

Posted: 2/13/2013 8:39:06 PM
I've definitely noticed it. More in my early dys of scrapping than now. Because back then I was buying a lot of inexpensive packages of cardstock and such, and they all tended to be smaller than say Bazzill or something.

I would notice it when the page floated around a bit in the protector or when a LO done on better cardstock wound up back to back with one of lesser quality.

And it did annoy me.

I've been away from scrapping and buying for a few years now, and am just getting back to it, and so now I'll have to relearn who I can trust to be true 12x12 or 6x6 and who I cannot.

Rhonda in TX

PeaNut 339,706
September 2007
Posts: 775
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Loc: Houston, TX

Posted: 2/13/2013 8:40:08 PM
I was putting layouts in page protectors the other day and several didn't line up with each other. I could see the back of one layout from the front of the other. That's the only time it bothers me.

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Homeschool mom of 2 - DS (16) and DD (15)


PeaNut 93,695
July 2003
Posts: 4,316
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Loc: Do you know the way to San Jose?

Posted: 2/14/2013 12:38:17 AM
I know in other industries, there is an "allowed" variance. For example. I sold draperies. We were told by the vendors, that an 84" drapery panel could vary anywhere from 82" to 86" and still be called 84" (2" in either direction.) Then add in there, where they start their measurement. Some companies included the header (part above the pocket), some did not.

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