When I started scrapbooking and cardmaking one of my first major investments was the purchase of inkpads.

Let’s talk about inkpads…

Personally, I had a passion for Tim Holtz and all things distress, so I started collecting his colours. However, in time I discovered that the distress inkpads would not always provide me with the clean crisp stamp image that I wanted, especially when stamping sentiments.

As a beginner, this is where inkpads started to get confusing! What do I buy? Dye Inks, Pigment Inks, Water-Based Inks or Waterproof Dye Inks? Or should I be looking more at brands verses types? Do I need to purchase a Stazon or clear embossing inkpad? Do you purchase small inkpads or full size ones?

To answer some of these questions, I began to purchase quite a number of different types of inkpads to test them out. I would like to share some of what I have learned with you.

Speciality Inkpads

I definitely suggest you purchase a StazOn Jet Black solvent inkpad and a clear embossing inkpad. These two inkpads are a great investment and allow you to do a variety of techniques.

StazOn inkpads come in a variety of colours and will ink onto non-porous surfaces like plastic, glass and metals, as well as your normal porous cardstock and canvases. The ink dries very quickly and you will notice a very strong smell when you open it – this is the solvent base. Stazon has a refill and its own cleaner available. The cleaner is stronger than normal which allows you to clean this stubborn ink off your stamps.

The clear embossing inkpad would be the most used inkpad in my collection and dries slowly to allow you to emboss with powders. The clear ink is also used for watermark and resist techniques, which enables you to develop texture and layers to your project.


Coloured Inkpads

To help show the differences of the variety of colour inkpads available, I did a comparison using Distress Ink, Colorbox Fluid Chalk, Stampin’ Up! Water based Dye Ink and Close to my Heart Mini Pigment ink. I trialled the inkpads with a rubber Kaszazz Ying Yang stamp and a Close to My Heart My Acrylix clear Ornate Blossoms Flair stamp, as I have noted that some inkpads react differently to rubber and clear stamps.


The Distress results are as suggested – they are not clear and crisp, but remember, this is how they are supposed to look.

Colorbox Fluid Chalk gives a good result but no-where near as clear as the Stampin’ Up! image. But again, as the inkpad suggests it is supposed to look chalky. So, if this is the effect you are after, the Colorbox Chalk inkpads are a great option.

Personally, the Stampin’ Up! inkpad was the best performing for both types of stamps used. Clear, crisp and solid. The Stampin’ Up! inkpads will also react with water as they are water based, just something to keep in mind when making your purchases.

The Close to my Heart Pigment is wonderful for the Polymer stamp, but it did struggle with coverage of the rubber stamp. Again, it was a great sticky inkpad that covered well.

Note that the lighter colours of the pigment Close to my Heart come up well on dark cardstock.



To use your coloured inks with embossing powders, the ink needs to be wet when applying the powder. The juicier your inkpad, the better the result.


Distress Inkpads

I believe that the Distress inkpads deserve a category all of their own. The Distress Inkpads designed by Tim Holtz have rather unique properties as they are water-based, dry slowly and react with water. The colours blend well together when using a blending tool and when mixed with a bit of water, produce a lot of different effects for you to try. These inkpads are well worth a try.

In the end it will come down to your personal choice and what you like the best. I hope this article has given you a little simple guide about some of the inkpads on the market that you might come across or which ones might be your next purchase.


Basic Technique – Card

By Elaine Heinrich


  • A5 Card: White
  • Clear Acetate A4 sheet
  • 12×12 Cardstock: Aqua
  • Distress Inkpad: Peacock Feathers
  • StazOn Inkpad: Jet Black
  • Watermark Inkpad: Clear
  • Close to My Heart Pigment Inkpad: Whisper
  • Close to My Heart Stamp: Ornate Blossoms Flair
  • Cream/tan twine
  • Confetti Glitter: Silver and Teal
  • Close to My Heart: Enamel & Glitter Dots blue
  • Small White Flower
  • Hand Cut Leaves


  • Scissors
  • Steel ruler
  • Lead pencil
  • Paper knife
  • Cutting mat
  • 3D Foam tape
  • Double-sided tape
  • Sponge
  • Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue


  1. Fold an A5 White card in half and score to make the base of the card.
  2. Cut from another A5 white card: 7cm x 13cm rectangle. This will become your flag. Using a paperknife and mat cut out the flag leaving a 1 cm strip border as shown. (Photo 1) Ink the edges with a sponge and Peacock Feathers ink.

    Photo 1
  3. Cut the clear acetate to match the outer edge of your flag.
  4. Stamp the acetate with StazOn ink and small mandala stamp. (Photo 2)

    Photo 2
  5. Stick acetate to flag and add foam tape to all edges making sure not to leave any gaps for the glitter to get out. (Photo 3)

    Photo 3
  6. To create the aqua background cut cardstock: 10cm x 14.3cm. (Photo 4)
    Photo 4

    Then stamp randomly with the clear inkpad and mandala stamp. (Photo 5) Next, stamp over with the Whisper ink with the same stamp.

    Photo 5

    Wrap the twine 3 times around the top of the card and secure with a bow. Attach to card base. Add a couple of light blue glitter dots to the base making sure to place them so you can see them when you put the shaker flag on top.

  7. Place confetti glitter in a pile to the base of the card and stick flag over the top. Press down well. Shake to move confetti around.
  8. Glue flower and leaves onto card to complete. (Photo 6)

    Photo 6

Basic Technique – Scrapbooking

By Elaine Heinrich


  • Kaszazz 12” x 12” SB Cardstock: Coffee
  • Kaisercraft 12” x 12” page: Royalty, Heiress, Regal and Empire
  • Tag: Black and Cream
  • Kaszazz Stamp: Word Montage – Family Traditions
  • Scrap FX Embellishment: Chicken Wire
  • Kaisercraft Embroidered Badges: Duchess
  • K&Company: Classic Metal Brads
  • Kaszazz Embellishment: Wood – Nostalgia and Wood – Clock Face and Hands
  • Bellish Ribbon Charms: Family
  • Heidi Swapp Minc: Jumbo Words & Gold reactive foil
  • Tim Holtz Stampers Anonymous: Layering Stencils Doily
  • Distress Inkpad: Walnut Stain and Shabby Shutters
  • Stampin’ Up! Inkpad: Early Espresso



  • Paper Trimmer
  • Scissors
  • Double-Sided Tape
  • Glossy Accents
  • 3D Foam Tape
  • Distressing Tool
  • Blending Tool



  1. Take the Royalty paper and cut half an inch off 2 sides. Distress all edges quite fiercely and ink with Walnut stain and blending tool. (Photo 1)

    Photo 1
  2. Attach Royalty paper to the middle of the Coffee 12” x 12” cardstock. (Photo 2)

    Photo 2
  3. Using the stencil, blending tool and Walnut Stain ink randomly stencil the Royalty paper. (Photo 3)

    Photo 3
  4. Cut pieces of Kaisercraft papers: Heiress: • 1, 5in x 7in (photo base) • 1, 2in x 4in Regal: • 1, 2¾in x 4¾in Empire: • 1, 2½in x 6in • 1, 1½in x 5¾in • 1, 1½in x 4in
  5. Cut triangles in the bottom of all the pieces except the photo base and distress and ink edges in Walnut Stain. (Photo 4)

    Photo 4
  6. Cut out a small and large section of the Chicken Wire, ink with Walnut Stain. (Photo 5)

    Photo 5
  7. Colour 2 of the wood clock hand embellishments with Shabby Shutters. (Photo 6)

    Photo 6
  8. Create your ‘forever’ embellishment as per instructions with your Minc machine or laminator. (Photo 7)

    Photo 7
  9. Stamp ‘Every picture tells a story’ on the cream tag using the Stampin’ Up! Early Espresso ink. (Photo 8)

    Photo 8

Time to Assemble:

  1. Attach photo to 5in x 7in Heiress paper.
  2. Layout your page.

3. Now that the page is laid out, tape paper and glue embellishments into place.

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