Using artistry stamp pads make your creations pop. Knowing which ink pad to use when you are stamping builds your confidence. We don’t want to go through all the hard work of creating something beautiful, only to have the ink smudge when we are in the final steps of finishing our masterpiece.
Stampers find that different inks have different uses, and they come in different sizes. It can be overwhelming to know which one to use and when. I know once you read this information, you will be well armed to make any ink decision you need to. 🙂
Ink Pad Size
There are two basic sizes of artistry stamp pads, full size and cube size. Each has its own pros and cons.
Full size ink pads fit in the palm of your hand. They cover a large amount of your rubber stamping surface. Some stamps will fit within the surface of your stamp pad. You can tap the stamp on the surface of the pad. Other stamps are large enough for you to be able to lay the stamp on the table. Then you can just bring the ink pad to the stamp.
Pros: cover a lot of surface area, great for medium to large stamps, less handling of the stamped image, so ink doesn’t dry as fast.
Cons: not price prohibitive, but more expensive than ink spots
Cube sized, or ink spots, are about an inch square. You use them with the tips of your fingers. The ink spots are designed to be used with either tiny stamps, or to be used with the rubber stamp face up on the table. Then the spot can be brought down to the stamp surface.
Pros: less expensive than full size ink pads, able to ink any size stamp, good size for smaller hands, easier to travel with, easier storage
Cons: takes a long time to ink larger stamps, which may dry quickly, not as easy to get individually, often have to by them in a set of 4 or more, harder to get even distribution of ink on rubber stamp.
I have tried both and like them both for the pros listed above. I prefer to use the full size ink pad over the spots because of the even coverage of ink, and I like to bring my stamps to my ink pad.
If you would like to build your collection of spot size ink pads and stamp sets, I would suggest our Paper Pumpkin subscription. I can also help you build your collection if you would like to stock up on full size ink pads as well.
Types of Ink
Another thing you need to consider is what type of ink to use on your projects. While considering size is a matter of personal preference, choosing the type of ink to use depends on what you want your ink to do for you.
Let’s talk about dye inks first. Water soluble dye ink means that the color is added to a water base. It absorbs into the paper. How this affects you is that a dye ink is not waterproof. If you get water on your stamped image, it is going to dissolve and smudge.
The positive thing is that it dries almost instantaneously, so you can keep on stamping without having to wait for it to dry. If you are building layers of color, there is no need to wait to add one color on top of another.
Dye inks are your workhorse, you will reach for them for most of your stamping projects. They come in a huge range of beautiful colors.
Pigment inks are the next type of ink to consider. These types of inks use pigments mixed with a thick solution. It sits on top of the paper instead of absorbing into the paper. As a result, pigment inks take longer to dry. The drying process is helped by using a heat tool to set the ink. Once the ink is set, it is permanent.
Pigment ink dries slowly, so it is perfect for heat embossing. Once you have stamped your image with pigment ink, there is plenty of time to add embossing powder and heat it to get a raised look to your images.
If you are into water coloring your stamped images, embossing them with pigment ink and embossing powder is one way to make sure the ink doesn’t get diluted and wash away.
Other Artistry Stamp Pads
While dye and pigment inks are your staples, there are others that you can use. I want to share 3 other types of ink that you will want in your stamping arsenal.
VersaMark pad- This is one versatile stamp pad, I tell ya. It is a pigment ink, so I use it for embossing all the time. It is clear, so I can use whatever color embossing powder I want. This right here is a good enough reason for you to want to get a VersaMark pad. But wait, there is another awesome reason to want one.
The other fabulous feature this stamp pad sports is it is a watermark stamp pad. This means that when you stamp an image on colored cardstock using this stamp pad, it looks like a watermark. It is awesome for adding a subtle background to your card. It fills up the space, but doesn’t take away from the main focus of your card.
Staz On- I use this ink all the time. While other colors are available, I stick with the black. I use this ink because it is an alcohol based ink and I need an alcohol ink when I am water coloring. I don’t want the ink to smear. It does not take nearly as long to dry as pigment ink. It also doesn’t need to be heat set like pigment ink does.
Memento Ink- I use this ink all the time as well. This ink works with our Stampin’ Blends alcohol ink markers. You need to use Memento Ink with the alcohol markers so the ink doesn’t smear.
I am sure there is a lot of chemistry involved in this that I would never understand, nor do I want to. In order to keep this straight I think of opposites.
Using alcohol markers to color? Then you need a dye based ink to stamp your images.
Using watercolors or dye based markers? Then you need an alcohol ink to stamp your images.
Remembering this little tip has saved my projects more times than I can tell you about.
I hope you found this primer on artistry stamp pads enlightening. Using the right inks on your projects will give you the look you want. It will also save you a lot of time and card stock by not making mistakes. And if you are looking for information about what else you need to begin stamping, look no further. I have a post that discusses just that right here.