Craft Inks And Their Uses        

Craft Inks And Their Uses

Craft stamp inks generally come in three types:

·         Pigment Inks

·         Dye Inks

·         Alcohol Inks

So, the question is what is the difference between these and how to use them

Pigment Ink

·         Pigment Inks are vibrant in intensity and opaque.

·         Pigment Inks are slower-drying because the ink actually sits on top of the paper. 

·         Pigment Inks are used for embossing. Because they take longer to dry and sit on top of the paper the embossing powder can stick to them.

·         If you want to speed up the process of drying with pigment inks you can use a heat tool.

·         If you use a pigment ink on a glossy paper without using a heat tool, it will take a long time to dry

·         Because of their formulation, when you have a multi-colored ink pad, the colors will not bleed into each color. 

 Dye Ink

·         Dye ink is a water based ink.

·          Dye-based inks absorb into the paper, bind to it and dry quickly.

·         Dye inks may look different on paper than they do on the pad, depending on the paper it is used on.

·         Dye inks cannot be used on dark paper or cardstock as when it dries it will not show up.


Alcohol Ink

·         Alcohol inks are fast-drying, highly pigmented, alcohol-based inks that are great to use on any hard, non-porous surface including glass, metal, plastic, ceramic, stone, leather and polymer clay.

·         Once alcohol ink dries, it can be re-wet with rubbing alcohol (91% Isopropyl Alcohol), allowing for unique and versatile effects that cannot be achieved with water-based products like acrylic paint.

·         Alcohol ink dries waterproof

·         Alcohol ink can be found in pens, pads and liquid form to be used in varying ways

·         Alcohol ink can be used to color white or clear embellishments any color you want thus making color coordination easy

·         It is important to keep Alcohol inks sealed when not in use as the alcohol evaporates quickly.  If this has happened you can add 91% rubbing alcohol to revitalize the ink.

There are innumerable brands of each of these inks available each with their own specified use or specialty.  Some are designed specifically for glossy papers for example. Some are shiny when dry others are matte. 

Stampin’ Up! Inks

·         Standard ink pads and markers are dye ink

·         Blends pens are alcohol inks

·         Staz-on Black is a solvent ink pad and works well for stamping outlines that are going to be colored with dye ink markers (see my page on “WhyTwo Black Inks”)

·         Tuxedo Black Momento ink is a fade resistant, fast drying ink pad and is used for stamping outlines when coloring with Blends alcohol pens.

·         Versamark ink  resists ink on glossy or coated papers and works as an embossing ink


Heat Embossing



Basic White Card Stock


Classic ink pads and markers


Takes a long time to dry if at all



 Use as outline stamp when coloring with Blends alcohol based ink pens






Use as outline stamp when coloring with Classic water based inks

White Craft Pad



Can be used but doesn’t look that great



Memento Black


Yes but takes time to dry



Use as outline stamp when coloring with Blends pens

Archival Black


Yes – takes time to dry


Yes – takes a bit of time to dry

Can be used for outline stamping when coloring with alcohol Blends pens




Yes – takes time to dry

Only if heat embossing

Yes –  

Can be used on any color cardstock to create a tone on tone image

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