Well, it’s time for another crafty product roundup and today I’m talking about the 2017 Best Ink Pads available on the market. If you didn’t see the post last month I covered the best colouring pens and pencils. I’m sorry if there are other great brands out there I haven’t mentioned I guess knowledge of these products hasn’t reached me yet.
Tim Holtz Distress Inks
Well, they may not be new but how can you talk about ink pads without mentioning these! Ranger Distress Inks are used by practically every crafter out there at some point. They can create aged images with ease and are perfect for distressing the edges of projects or you can go full out and create a complete background with them. I have seen some wonderful Northern Lights projects made with them that I really hope to reproduce myself. They come in two sizes these days, the original full sized pads and the newer minis. At the time of writing I only have the full sized ones but as I don’t current craft anywhere other than home this is all I need. For a full low down on their abilities, I suggest you head to YouTube and hear it from the horse’s mouth so to speak where Tim tells you all about them.
Distress OxideIf you are going to talk about Distress Ink you have to mention the Oxide pads, these are fairly new and it is an epic fail on my part that I haven’t got any to try them out yet but they look AMAZING! Once again let’s let Tim give you the low down himself. Thanks ScrapTimeVideos for providing the video on YouTube.
These are another long-time star of the stamp pad world. Again they come in two sizes, the large rectangular pads and also the smaller Dew Drops. In a reversal to the Distress Inks, I only have the Dew Drops and a pretty full collection at that. The benefit of this size is that they are easy to handle and the point at the top makes it simple to target just part of a stamp. The Memento ink gives a vibrant crisp image that is perfect for many stamping jobs. I would mention though that being a water based ink it is not always the best to use with some of the cheaper clear stamps as the ink can pool. You can see an example of this on one of my recent posts testing a fairy stamp. It is also not suitable for watercolour work as again it is water based however it is the perfect choice when colouring with Alcohol Markers.
VersaMagic ink produces a lovely chalky finish which is so on trend at the moment the ink pads have a foam pad rather than a felt one. I have used the Aspen Mist to good effect for skies and the Sea Breeze and Aquatic Splash to create nice water effects.
Tsukineko BrillianceThe Brilliance Ink Pads, again from the Tsukineko stable is a fast drying pigment ink. It works well on coated and uncoated cardstock and is also good on a dark base.
Other Tsukineko products
Tsukineko rightly earns its place as a manufacturer of many of the best-selling ink pads on Amazon. Other items they produce include VersaFine which is fantastic for picking up intricate details on stamps. This is one of the stamp pads I turn to when I am using watercolour products as it is water-resistant. VersaMark is a clear embossing ink which stays wet and allows you to add various embossing powders to be heat set. It is also great for creating a clear resist design on cardstock before going over with another colour product. StazOn does as its name suggests and Stays on, it is the nearest competition to Ranger Archival Ink. Personally, at the time of writing, I have Ranger Archival and not StazOn.
Ranger Archival Ink
Back to Ranger again and their Archival Ink, this is permanent and waterproof and basically it isn’t going anywhere once it has dried. It is pretty quick to dry on porous cardstock but can take up to 20 minutes on glossy unless you help it along with a heat gun. To be honest I haven’t needed to do that yet as I have not used it on glossy cardstock. It is Ranger Archival Ink that I have begun using when I am Testing Free Stamps that are made from cheaper products. This ink ensures there is no pooling happening on the stamp. It is a really useful product if you are crafting on a budget to get the best from cheaper stamp ranges. Having said that there is a big difference between cheap and good value. The Dreamees come to mind at this point as their stamps are very good value but are made from a quality polymer that works well with any ink pad.
Dreamees Dinky Inkies
Speaking about the Dreamees, they have brought out their own range of ink pads which as the name suggests are small ink pads. I have the whole collection of these! They are Waterbased and can be stamped with or used as a watercolour product with either a blending pen or their own set of blending brushes and fluid. You can see how I got on the first time I tried them out here. These ink pads come in the Dreamees own selection of colours, they are mostly quite delicate shades and work especially well with their own range of stamps. I am a bit of a Dreamees fan and have more of their range of products than I have even had time to play with! If you are new to crafting the Dinky Inkies are good quality and a budget price, what’s not to love.
Papermania Pigment Ink Pads
Another budget range is the DoCrafts Papermania Collection. They have both fast-drying dye based and slow drying pigment pad collections I have had a collection of theirs for some time, I think it is the Pigment ones but I confess I don’t often reach for these, I would certainly recommend them for any new crafter though as they can be bought for very reasonable prices.
Tonic Nuvo Hybrid Ink Pad
The Nuvo Hybrid is the most recent addition to my somewhat large collection of ink pads, to begin with, I just bought a basic black to test it out. I have to say I have been pretty impressed. One of the main advantages of these is that they can be used with either alcohol or water based colouring products. Sometimes I have made a clear decision before I begin crafting which process I am going to use but occasionally if I am using a card stock that can be forgiving with either I like to stamp the image first and then decide what to colour it with. The Hybrid ink lets me do this.
I haven’t had the chance to try the stamping up products yet but their ink pads seem to come very highly rated on some of the blogs I read. From what I can gather Stamping Up is run in a similar way to Avon and you need a local rep to buy the products from I had a bit of a nosy and saw there were actually a few listed in my city although their web page calendars looked like none of them were very active.
What else is hot at the moment
Altenew Ink Pads have been around for a little while. They come in cubes and a larger size and are available to purchase in complementary sets of four colours that work well with their layering stamps. As of yet, I haven’t tried them so can’t comment but they seem to be getting good reviews. Rare Earth is a relatively new kid on the block again I haven’t tried their ink pads but they look to be sitting in the upper price limit slots so for the quality conscious it may be worth checking them out – or they may just be expensive. If I get my hands one one I’ll update and let you know. For my American friends, I’m guessing Lawn Fawn is another brand that should be on this list but I haven’t seen any over here yet.