5 Ink Pad Types You Must Know About


ink pads

If you’re a crafty mom, chances are you’ve got a few rubber stamps in your craft box. Stamps are a fun and easy way to liven up a scrapbook page or to make your own unique clothing. But, stamps will never live up to their full potential if you’re not using the right stamp ink pads.

There is more to ink pads than what meets the eye.  For example, ink pads can be purchased in dozens of colors and varieties. There’s also certain ink that’s meant for certain fabrics.  Furthermore, are you wondering which stamp ink pads for rubber stamps are best for your project?  If so, below is everything you need to know about stamp ink pads.

1. Pigment Ink Pads

Pigment ink pads are dye-free. Instead, they use solid pigmentation in a glycerin base. These ink pads are thicker bodied and more vibrant compared to dye ink pads. These ink pads are similar to paint. Instead of soaking into the surface, the ink dries on top of the surface. This keeps the color opaque and strong.  The best part of using pigment ink pads is that the color doesn’t fade and the creation will last for years to come.

However, Pigment Ink takes longer to dry.  But, the wait is well worth it. To ensure you achieve the look you’re seeking, avoid using this type of ink on glossy paper.  Also, materials such as metal and plastic require the ink to be set using heat. This minimizes the risk of smearing and smudging.  For extra fun, use pigment ink with an embossing powder!

2. Dye Ink Pads

These ink pads are most commonly used with rubber stamp creations. They’re inexpensive and can be used on all sorts of paper. You can find dye ink pads in a wide variety of colors.

There are several options with dye ink pads including:

● Water-based
● Waterproof dye
● Distressing inks
● Alcohol inks

Dye ink pads tend to produce transparent colors. When stamped, lighter colors are pastel and subtle. On the other hand, darker colors usually turn out bright and vivid. To get the best stamping effect, don’t use dye ink pads on glossy, coated or non-porous surfaces. The dye won’t dry and is more prone to smudging.

3. Chalk Inks

Ever wanted to achieve a soft look while using ink? Looking to create a design that looks as if it’s a chalk creation? If so, chalk inks are your dream option.  Chalk inks provide a chalk-like look without the hassle of dust and offers a sophisticated look.  Stamping using chalk ink looks best on dark paper. The dramatic contrast between a matte ink and a dark background are striking!

Chalk ink is also great to use for creating background for scrapbook pages and even stationary. Benefits of using this type of ink include:

● High absorbency
● Can be used on a variety of surfaces
● Doesn’t bleed, fade, or smear

Similar to pigment inks, chalk inks are long-lasting. This means you can enjoy your creations for years to come!

4. Specialty Ink Pads

Specialty inks are suitable for stamping on most materials including metal, plastic, wood, glass, paper, and even leather. Also, Specialty Ink on washable fabrics will fade.

Do you want to faux stained-glass windows? If so, a specialty ink is just what you need. On clear surfaces, this ink looks just like stained glass!

Specialty inks are also great for making outlines. The ink dries in less than 5 minutes. Paints and markers work well with this type of ink.  Specialty Inks can be found in opaque dark, opaque pastel, and even metallic colors.

5. Spectrum Ink Pads

Spectrum ink pads offer many colors in one pad. You’ll find that some pads separate the colors in different compartments to avoid bleeding. But, others are housed in the same ink pad which allows for smooth color transitions. Spectrum ink pads aren’t as long lasting as others. Spectrum Ink Pad need to be re-inked more often because colors can become muddy.  Especially, lighter colors.

Spectrum Ink Pads can be purchased as water-based, chalk inks, and even pigment inks. Use these ink pads to create gradient designs for scrapbook pages, shirts, customized stationary, and much more. Spectrum ink is also great to use as a basis for a color palette for any of your designs.


Walking into the stamping aisle in the local craft store can be overwhelming, but now you’ll know exactly the ink pad you need for your stamping project!  So, go ahead, leave your mark!  What ink pads do you prefer to use? What stamping project are you most proud of? Share your creations in the comments!