Choosing an ink for your papercrafting projects can be overwhelming. Papercrafting is meant to be fun and even therapeutic so grab a cup of coffee and let’s “distress”.
Let’s start with dye-base. Dye-based inks are a “thinner” ink. If you take your ink pad and push it up against your window you can still see through the ink left on the window. A dye-based ink is very zen like. It absorbs into the paper becoming one with the paper (oommm). Did you know you could combine yoga and scrapbooking? Alcohol ink is a dye-based ink. Dye-based ink dries quickly.
Pigment inks are a “thicker” ink. If you do the window trick with a pigment ink you wouldn’t be able to see through the ink spot very well. Pigment ink stays on top of the paper. Pigment ink dries veeerrryyy ssslllooowwwlllyyy (encouraging us to practice our meditative breathing). However I am very impatient or don’t meditate long enough because I get ink all over. You can speed up the drying time by using your heat embosser on the stamped image or embossing with clear or the same color embossing powder. This is the method I gravitate towards. When you use the same color embossing powder this technique will give your image a slightly richer more intense color. Clear embossing powder will be shiny, great for the emboss resist technique. You can also pounce mica powders (ex. Perfect Pearls) on pigment inks, then meditate for a loooong time so it has plenty of time to dry and you don’t smudge the beautiful rose you just painstakingly stamped on black cardstock and colored (you may insert a few bad words here if you wish). Chalk inks are a pigment ink. They have a fuzzy powdery look to them. I like to use brown chalk ink for a vintage or aged look. Pigment inks take a little longer to clean off your stamp.
Solvent-based inks like Staz-On are the only thing I use when stamping an image I’m going to color in. (Did you know coloring has been proven to reduce depression?) These inks don’t react when you use watercolors, water color pencils or other inks to color in your image. In other words they don’t bleed or run (they’re very good at meditating and staying focused). Some people like to use archival ink in this situation. However archival ink is a dye-based ink and still bleeds. Solvent-based inks are also the ink of choice when stamping on non porous items such as glass, acetate, ceramic…etc. Solvent-based inks can be very stinky so be sure to use with plenty of ventilation. They take a little longer to dry than dye-based inks but not as long as pigment inks. The drying time will change based upon what you are stamping on. So non porous items will take longer than paper for example. Solvent-based inks also require more than just water to clean up your stamp. I use Staz-On cleaner. Solvent-based inks will also stain clear stamps.
Oil-based inks like VersaMark are really fun to play with. VersaMark is a sticky ink. You can make your own background paper by stamping an image all over it to create a watermark look on the paper. You can wet (or heat) emboss with VersaMark and any embossing powder. You can use mica powders in place of embossing powder (no need to heat set). Great for black paper. Because of the stickiness of VersMark it is a little difficult to clean off your stamp but requires no special cleaners.
I hope this takes a little stress out of the overwhelming ink choices and puts a lot more fun into papercrafting.
If you have any questions please leave them in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by, come back soon and stay awhile.
Let’s scrapbook together, it’s cheaper than therapy.