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Types of Ink Pads

Handmade Cards Ideas

Types of Ink Pads


There are many different inks to choose from to give a different stamping effect.

Lets look at the different types available in craft stores and understand what suits your stamping needs.

  1. Dye Ink
  2. Pigment Ink
  3. Permanent Solvent Ink
  4. Shadow Ink
  5. Chalk Ink
  6. Watermark

Dye Ink

Dye ink is normally quick drying and transfers its color quickly.  It is permanent and dries up quickly which makes it unsuitable for embossing purposes.

It is usually not waterproof, so it is not advisable to use water based coloring medium such as paint, marker or ink to color the stamped images as it will cause the dye ink to run or smudge.  It is also recommended to use it on less absorbent paper so that it is less likely to bleed.

With it’s quick drying property, it is best for quick stamping with the worry of smudging.

Even though it is permanent, the color tends to fade with time especially exposed to sunlight.  However, there are some dye inks claimed by merchants to be fade-resistant.  So it really depends on the brand.

Dye ink works better on lighter shade papers as it will bring out the color better.

My Personal Preference
I only use Tim HoltzDistress Ink from the Ranger Company and don’t invest much on them as I mostly use inks more suitable for embossing.However, this ink is great for staining the edge of the paper, giving a more vintage look.
Tim Holtz Distress Ink

You may also search other brands available by googling for “dye inks for stamping”.

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Pigment Ink


Pigment ink is usually richer in color and thicker in the intensity of the ink. There are slow and quick drying pigment ink.

Slow drying is very suitable for embossing, which further enhances the richness in the color. Quick drying pigment ink can still be used for embossing but you must really be fast in spreading the embossing powder to ensure the ink captures it.

Many colors are available and best effect is achieved on smooth surface paper especially if it is used for embossing.

My Personal Preference
I use VersaColor Ultimate Pigment Inkas shown below for embossing as the ink is rick, wet and very good for embossing. the quality surpasses many other brands I have used before and you will definitely not go wrong with this brand.
For quick drying pigment ink, I prefer Brilliance range due to the quality of ink and the firm ink sponge that inks well on the rubber stamps. I particularly like those colors with “pearlescent” as it adds shimmer to the ink. These are quick drying and not very suitable for embossing.

Both Versacolor and Brilliance are from the same Ranger and ColorBox.

You may also search other brands available by googling for “pigment inks for stamping”.

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Permanent Solvent Ink


Permanent and fast drying solvent ink, these are great for stamping on a wide variety of surfaces, such as wood, glass and metal. As it is permanent, it is a little more difficult to remove the ink stain from your rubber stamps.

Solvent Permanent Ink

Solvent Permanent Ink

My Personal Preference
So far, I don’t own any as I can’t bear to stain my rubber stamps.For home decor, you can use this type of permanent ink to stamp and not worried about being washed off.

You may also search other brands available by googling for “permanent solvent ink for crafts”.

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Shadow Stamp


Colors are usually soft hues of pastel, making it the best ink for background stamping to give a softer look. Great on lighter colored paper and doesn’t matter if the paper is smooth or texture.

Shadow Ink

Shadow Ink

My Personal Preference
This is an essential ink pad for my stamping to create a contrasting color between background and actual stamping of images.I find Hero Arts brands shadow ink to be of superior quality as well as Tsukineko. You can still see the light shades even it is of such pale tone.

You may also search other brands available by googling for “shadow ink for stamping”.

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Chalk Ink Stamp


Having the resilience of pigment ink, yet they stamp and blend like dye inks, drying quickly on most absorbent surfaces. permanent when heat set, they resist smearing, bleeding or fading even when air dried. These inks have a flat, muted finish and usually have a chalky effect.

My Personal Preference
I personally like Versamagic in Dew Drop Forms (as shown below).
You can also check out this online store as I normally find that they carry a good range of stamp pads and other rubber stamping tools.

You may also search other brands available by googling for “Chalk ink stamp pad”.

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Watermark Ink


Translucent watermark stamp ink that creates watermark images. Great for embossing as well.

My Personal Preference
Can’t do without the Versamark. I enjoy stamping over dark toned paper, emboss with glitter or hologram embossing powder. You can also use this to stamp design on dark toned paper. I tried stamping on the brown paper bag to add designs on the otherwise boring looking brown paper.
Tsukineko brand still tops the rest due to the quality and firm sponge for easy transfer of the ink to the stamp.

You may also search other brands available by googling for “Watermark Ink”.

There are a lot of online stores offering very good prices on these ink pads.  If you are getting a few items from the online merchant, it is a good idea to save shipping costs by stocking up more of your craft supplies.   You may also visit here to see a range of inkpads available for your stamping experience.

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