Ink Pads are a are one of my favorite crafting products (along with dies). I love all the beautiful shades and colors and want them all! If you are new to stamping, you need to understand that Ink pads are personal to each crafter, meaning, what I want in an ink pad may not be what you want. So you will see many different opinions online. Personally, what I want in an ink pad is for it to produce a solid, crisp and clean image as well as having a good selection of colors.
There are several types of inks including dye inks, pigment inks, embossing inks and hybrid inks. I use dye inks the most so let’s start there.
Basic Black Ink Pad
Every stamper needs a good, basic black ink pad in their stash. I have had a favorite black ink pad this year (which I will share with you in a minute), but there is new one that was recently released and is quickly stealing my inky heart. It is the Gina K Amalgon Ink. This ink works perfectly with Copic Markers, Watercolors and Colored Pencils with Gamsol. It’s an all-in-one ink pad.
My other favorite black ink pad is the one I’ve been using for quite some time now and it is also works with both watercolors and alcohol markers. (I’m not sure if it works with Gamsol because I’ve not tried it). But it is the Lawn Fawn Jet Black Ink Pad.
There are other black ink pads that work really well too. Ranger Archival Ink works great with watercolors (but not alcohol markers. Memento Tuxedo Black works great with alcohol markers (but not watercolor).
I’ve also heard GREAT thinks about Inkon3’s black out ink which works with both watercolors and alcohol inks. I’ve ordered this ink but haven’t had a chance to stamp with it yet so I can’t personally vouch for it but I can tell you that a lot of stampers are talking about this ink with excitement!
Dye Ink Pads
Dye ink pads dry quickly because the ink soaks into the paper. When you first stamp with a dye ink, it may be splotchy for a few minutes, until it dries. Most dye inks will even out and dry solid in a short time period. These are some of my favorite dye ink pads:
Altenew ink pads stamp solid EVERY time I use them. They are made especially to use with layering stamps, as their ink pads come in sets of four color shades that will combine for beautiful layering. They are adding new colors all the time! Definitely my favorite dye ink pads.
Below is a video review I did a few years ago on YouTube, showing how well these inks stamp:
My Favorite Things (MFT) makes some of my favorite dye inks. Another reason that these are some of my favorite inks are the huge selection of colors that are available. Here is a color chart from MFT:
Lawn Fawn Inks are some of my favorites not only because of the quality of the inks, but also because I love their ink colors. They have the best basic colors in my opinion. Here is a checklist of their current colors.
I made a video several years ago demo’ing the Lawn Fawn Inks. You can watch it below or at this link.
Gina K Designs
Gina K Designs Ink Pads – Another of my favorites, they are very similar to Lawn Fawn and WPlus9 ink pads, but they have a lovely color selection as well and their inks match their cardstocks! (my all time favorite cardstock!)
Wplus9 doesn’t have very many ink colors to choose from but they have some unique colors that you won’t find elsewhere. Below is a video I did a few years ago to show how they stamp.
Pigment Ink Pads
Pigment Ink Pads take awhile to dry because the ink sits on top of the paper and don’t “sink in” as fast as dye ink. This makes it perfect for heat embossing. There are white pigment ink pads, clear pigment ink pads for embossing, and colored pigment ink pads. Let’s start with White.
White Ink Pads
Which white ink pad is the best? Good question! There is one thing I’ve learned about white ink over the years and that is, “there is no perfect white ink pad” yet! The answer really depends on what you are looking for in a white ink pad. Are you looking for even coverage or a bright white? Well a few years ago, I posted a demonstration and comparison video for you below comparing 5 of the top white ink pads on the market. (Still the top 5 ink pads on the market as of June, 2018).
First let’s take a look at how each ink pad stamped out on my (messy) chart!
(Click the image to view full size)
They are all pretty similar but you can see the subtle differences in the example above and in the video demonstration below. In this example, if you were looking for a bright white for stamping a sentiment, my choice would be Memento Luxe Wedding Dress. However, if you were looking for solid coverage, I’d go with Hero Arts Unicorn White. What do you think?
Clear Embossing Inks
I shared my favorite embossing inks in my Heat Embossing post, but I’ll copy it here as well.
There are many good embossing ink pads on the market today including Nuvo, Inkon3, etc. but I am still using my trusty Versamark. It is a clear sticky ink that takes longer to dry so it’s perfect for heat embossing. It is also great for tone on tone stamping. Similar to a watermark on an image.
Colored Pigment Inks
I use colored pigment inks when I want to heat emboss in color. I find it less messy (and less expensive) than having 20 or 30 different colors of embossing powders. My all time favorite pigment inks are Memento Luxe. They are juicy ink pads that stamp solid, crisp, clean images and I’ve had mine since they were first released and have only had to reink one pad out of all 24 colors! These are really high quality ink pads.
Specialty Ink Pads
The best gold and silver inks I’ve ever used are Delicata Inks. They stamp beautifully and almost as good as heat embossing in my opinion. I don’t believe there is a better solution on the market for gold and silver ink pads.
Distress & Distress Oxide Inks
Distress Inks have been one of my favorite inks for blending techniques and distressing for years. They blend pretty easily (when using a good blending sponge and paper) and come in a large variety of colors. They are water reactive and there is so much you can do with them. These inks are a must have for any card maker! They now come in full size ink pads and mini sizes as well. (I still use the full size ink pads).
Distress Oxide Inks have a different look than regular distress inks. They are a hybrid ink, meaning part pigment and part dye inks. They blend like nobody’s business and have a velvety finish. When used with water, they leave you with an “oxidized” look that can be absolutely beautiful. I still refer my distress inks most of the time, but oxides come in a close second.
All of the (available) products have been listed and linked below for your convenience.
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