Using Inks

Ink pads are being used by many card makers, and not just rubber stampers, they can be useful for colouring paper, edges, embossing name a few.  The array of pads that are now available can be confusing, and Angelnorth (Joanne) from the forum has very kindly put together this list of the different types.

Pigment inks These are ‘sticky’ inks that sit on the surface of the paper and take a little longer to dry. If you want to use embossing powder, choose a pigment ink as the powder will stick to the wet ink. As they are opaque and slow drying, pigment inks are not so good for inking edges to get that ‘faded colour’ look. They are available in metallic colours which can be useful.

I found a great technique on the web to colour Cuttlebug embossing folders with dye-based inks and achieved these results.

I also used chalk inks to colour the stamp (Carolyn):

Dye-based inks
These tend to dry more quickly and soak into the paper more. They have a slightly transparent quality which makes them ideal for direct-to-paper (DTP) techniques such as inking edges. As well as stamping with these inks, you can use them for colouring in your images too – press a little ink onto a hard surface such as an acrylic block, old CD case or the lid of the pad itself and then use a damp brush to pick up the colour. Some colours tend to break down with water so it’s worth testing on scrap paper first to see what effect you will get.

Chalk inks
Technically, these are known as ‘hybrid’ inks, meaning that they have qualities of both pigment and dye-based inks. The colours have a soft, ‘chalky’ look and like dye-based inks, they can be used for watercolouring as well as for stamping and are good for DTP techniques. Perfect for inlking the edges of your project.

Solvent-based inks
These permanent, waterproof inks can be used to stamp on virtually any surface (acetate, plastic, glass, glossy card, metal, dominoes etc). Stazon is the most popular brand and comes in a range of colours including an opaque white.

A transparent, sticky ink that is good for embossing powders and allows you to create subtle watermarked effects by stamping and just allowing the ink to dry. Try and keep your pad clean for watermark effects

Distress Inks
Although these are a dye-based ink I am listing them separately because they have some different qualities! They stay wet for longer than regular dye based inks which means you can use an embossing powder with them and also gives you longer to move them about on the paper in DTP techniques. The colours stay true when mixed with water which makes them ideal for watercolouring your images.

Make sure you use a waterproof ink to stamp your image if you are going to be watercolouring. Stazon is waterproof as are the Ranger Archival ink pads. Check the package labelling if you are not sure or stamp a test image and try it out before you work on a card.

If you are using alcohol markers for colouring (e.g. Copic or Tria) test your ink before you spend time colouring in an image as the alcohol will make some inks bleed. Brilliance inks are good (heat set them if you want to speed up the process) as are Adirondack and Tim Holtz distress inks. Avoid using Stazon.

This one was made using liquid chalks and a mask

 © Carolyn Woodruff April 2008