There are many different surfaces you can stamp on, from card to acetate, vellum and fabric, and then there are fun variations like heat embossing. You can also use inks without stamps; as a colouring medium to add colour to the edges of card panels, for example.
As a result, different ink types have been created to help you get the best effect with each technique. Each ink type and its properties is described opposite but don’t be afraid to experiment either! The more you practise, the more you’ll discover which mediums you like best. So take out your scrap paper and start stamping today!
For the perfect stamped results every time it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different types, as achieving a professional finish often depends on using the right type of ink for the job.
Ask yourself these few questions to determine what type of ink you need for each project:
- What is the medium that you will be applying the ink to? (e.g. paper, wood, fabric, metal, glass, acetate, ceramics, plastic, etc.)
- What application technique will you be using? (stamping, direct to paper, brayering, sponging, painting, more on these in a later post)
- Do you the ink to be acid-free and archival quality for scrapbooking?
- Does the image need to be fade-resistant or permanent?
- Will you be embossing the images or does it need to be fast drying?
- How would you be adding colour to the image?
Tsukineko Impress, Memento, Kaleidcolor
Big & Juicy
DoCrafts Ink It Up
Unlike dye-based ink, pigment ink dries on the surface of the card rather than soaking into the fibres, so the colours often look more vibrant and opaque than dye-based ink and they allow enough time for the embossing powder to stick to the inked area. Pigments will not dry on glossy or non-porous surfaces without heat setting or embossing. Once embossed they are permanent and can be safely watercolored and are also archival, permanent and fade resistant once heat set. Pigment ink is available in pads and markers. These are made from pigments suspended in a thick, glycerin-based substance. Their thickness boosts opacities and brightness.
Tsukineko Versacolour, Versafine, Versamagic, Brilliance, Encore, Opalite
finish once dry, they're opaque and dry quickly. They have the vibrance of a pigment ink but can be blended like a dye-based ink, making them a popular choice with cardmakers. These are really great inks that dry to a chalking finish with none of that chalky residue and can be used on dark papers and surfaces. They can be used in place of dye and pigment inks.
Clearsnap ColorBox Chalk Ink
VersaMark ink is a very sticky, clear pigment ink. It’s ideal for heat embossing and other effects because embossing powder will stick to it and as it is clear you can add any colour of powder to it. Embossing and watermark inks are essentially pigment inks without the pigment (some are lightly tinted). They are used for heat embossing and for adding a slightly darker imprint for a tone-on-tone look.
These are dye-based inks with a higher concentration of colour and a longer drying time than normal. They are designed to flow when sprayed with water, and to be blended and worked into your project. They are ideal for altered art and distress effects.
Ranger Distress Ink
These are special dye-based inks designed to give a pretty, polished-stone effect. They are quick-drying and permanent, and can be used on lots of surfaces including glossy paper, acetate, shrink plastic, foil and metal.
- Always store your ink pads upside down, so the ink falls to the top of the felt pad. This will ensure your ink pad stays juicy when it’s needed.
- Make sure your stamp is clean before you ink it up, so your ink pads don't become tainted with other colours.
- To avoid over-inking your stamps, always take the ink pad to the stamp, tapping it gently onto the surface (instead of pressing the stamp down into the ink pad). This will help you achieve an even coverage of ink and a clean, stamped image.