The Ins and Out of Inking

The Ins and Out of Inking

Previously I shared with you “What You Need to Know About Stamps”  you can read about it HERE.  Today we’re talking about ink.

Stamping ink is going to be a critical addition to your card making supplies. If you’re only going to purchase one stamping ink, black is the one you’re going to get the most versatility out of. There are a wide variety of inks with varying properties (like dry time, opacity, and more).


There are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing an ink. One general suggestion is to start with black ink that is waterproof. In doing so, you can use markers, watercolours, and more without worrying about your cute new stamp impression smearing to high heavens. It is also important to keep in mind whether or not the ink is acid-free, non-toxic, what type of ink it is, and how the pad was designed. All of these factors will affect your finished project!

Let’s take a look at the different ink types and when to use each one.

What is the Difference Between Pigment Ink and Dye Ink?

Craft stamp pads generally come in two types:  Pigment ink and dye inks.  Many crafters ask, “What is the difference between pigment ink and dye ink?”.  In order to understand the difference, it’s best to look at the properties and definitions of each one separately.

Definition of Dye Ink

Dye inks are great for basic stamping.  Dye inks will penetrate into your cardstock and leave a nice, clean, image.  These inks dry rapidly, which is perfect for when you want to stamp and quickly continue on with your project without having to wait for your ink to dry.

Classic Stampin’ Pads

Make colourful impressions with Stampin’ Up! signature ink.  Classic Stampin’ Pads come in exclusive Stampin’ Up! Colours, grouped in collections to take the guesswork out of product coordination.  The innovative ink pad design has a patented flip-top lid and firm foam pad to give you a superior stamping experience.

Classic Stampin’ Ink Refills

If you purchase a Classic Stampin’ Pads then I highly recommend you also purchase an ink refill to match.  Ink Refills are great to keep your ink pads fresh and well inked.  Refills can also be used for various techniques outside of stamping for example spritzing or watercolouring.

How to Re-Ink Your Ink Pad

To refill your ink pad, put a few drops of re-inker onto the surface of your ink pad and use a bone folder or disposable plastic spoon to spread the ink around the surface.  Let sit for a couple of minute to let the ink soak in before stamping.

Memento Black Ink

Memento Black Ink

No craft stash is complete without the essential black ink pad, and you’ll love the coverage this ink gives.  This ink is fade resistant, alcohol resistant and fast drying.  Great with fine details, colouring images with Stampin’ Blends and even coverage for bold images.

Once again I do recommend you have a Memento Black Reinker n hand to keep your ink pad fresh.

Stazon Black Ink

Stazon inks are great for nonporous surfaces such as acetate, glass, metal and glossy cardstock.  Ink dries quickly and does not need to be heat-set.  Also is best used for images that you can watercolour plus other non porous surfaces like Window Sheets.

Stazon ink will stain your stamps, best to clean stamps with the StazOn Cleaner after use

Definition of Pigment Ink

Pigment inks are also great for basic stamping applications.  Pigment inks have a thicker consistency and tend to sit more on the surface of cardstock.  Because of these attributes, these inks take longer to dry.  Pigment inks are great to use for heat embossing, because they stay wet long enough for you to add an embossing powder.  Pigment ink used with a clear embossing powder creates a great, ridged design with stamped images.

White Craft Ink

Craft ink is great for embossing or to create an opaque look on dark cardstock.  If you heat set, you can use this ink to stamp on cloth. Be sure to allow plenty of time to dry before continuing with your project to avoid smudging.


Versamark is a watermark ink that has no colour and leaves subtle tone-on-tone images when stamped on darker cardstock.  This ink is great to use for creating a nice subtle stamped background for your projects.  Like pigment inks, watermark ink can be used for heat embossing.


You don’t need all ink and/or every colour.  Choose a black ink and one (1) or two (2) coloured inks to get you started.  Think back to last week’s lesson “Everything You Need to Know About Stamps” and select ink colours that will match the stamp set you’ve chosen.

Don’t let the mystery of inks intimidate you.  Just have fun and enjoy experimenting with different types of inks and techniques.  You’ll be creating beautiful, perfectly inked projects in no time!

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