Traditionally used to wrap meats, butcher paper can also be used for crafting. Given their origin, these smooth papers are designed to withstand moisture, and many can be used with materials like paint and ink. Butcher paper is often lumped into the same class as kraft paper, and in fact the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they are not identical, and different products will have different compatibilities with art supplies. Keep this in mind when shopping for paper, and also consider weight, opacity, and width. Handily, all craft and butcher paper is sold in rolls so you can customize the length to fit your project. Browse our top picks below.
1. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel Paper Roll
This is the most reliable crafting paper in our book, having a satisfying thickness, opacity, and texture. Its uniform, unwaxed surface can take all kinds of media, from liquid markers to poster paints to watercolors. The paper is also heavy enough to prevent frustrating bleed-through, and it is totally opaque. While designed for kids—and intended for use with the Melissa & Doug Easel—this is a great paper for adults looking for general-use kraft paper. We also like that it comes in a two-pack of slim, 75-foot rolls, making it easier to work with than larger ones.
2. Bryco Goods White Kraft Paper Roll
This durable white paper holds up well to rough handling and abuse. It is not quick to rip, yet it is easy to cut with scissors. We also like it because it is very large, with a 36-inch width—much wider than all but one of our other picks—providing ample space for drawing or painting. Keep in mind that it is quite translucent, so it is not the best choice if you need it to conceal something.
3. LiveWell Brands White Kraft Paper
This paper is relatively heavy and doesn’t easily crinkle, making it a great option for mounting on a children’s easel or similar support structure. Like our top pick, you get 150 feet of paper, but it’s sold in a single roll, making it quite bulky. It presents a consistently white surface that can handle all kinds of crafting materials, including chalk, watercolors, crayons, glitter, and poster paint. Artists of all ages can express themselves freely without worrying about the paper tearing or disintegrating under pressure.
4. Pacon Art Street Easel Roll
Although not as heavy-duty as some of our other picks, this paper presents a bright white, totally matte surface that can tolerate most classroom crafting supplies. It’s perfect for use with crayons and colored pencils, but it does tend to buckle with wet media like watercolors. Because it is quite thin, it is very easy to cut, making it an excellent option for intricate paper art.
5. Creative Paper Co. White Kraft Paper
If you need supersized crafting paper, go with this super-wide roll, which measures 48 inches across—the widest on our list—and 100 feet long. That means it’s large enough to use as a photo backdrop, but you also have great freedom to trim sheets to your ideal proportions. The clean white paper has a good weight and resists tearing, yet it folds and bends easily. Plus, there’s no bleed-through, even with the inkiest markers.