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Information about polymer clay

Information about scrapbooking

Inks and how to use them in scrapbooking

Inks and ink pads are indispensable tools at scrapbooking, cardmaking and other forms of papercraft. Inks are perfect for Polymer Clay work as well.
Basic forms are ink bottles and ink pads. They are both suitable for classic stamping by means of miscellaneous types of stamps, for creating interesting backgrounds or details and for various Polymer Clay techniques.

Ink bottles
Ink bottles have many ways of use. There are several types of ink bottles by various producers: Adirondack (Ranger), Archival (Ranger), Piňata (Jacquard), Distress Ink (Ranger), etc. For work with these inks you need dabber which can be easily replaced with new spare foam, or you can use Cut-N-Dry foam pad. Simply put a few drops of ink on dabber and you get a stamp – either stamp on paper with it or just slightly rub the dabber on the surface of your project to get so called patina. Ink bottles serve also as a kind of refresher for ink pads of identical colours.

Watch video instructions to learn how to work with Adirondack ink:


Ink Pads
Ink pads have many ways of use as well and, again, we have several types of them by various producers: Distress ink (Ranger), Archival (Ranger), Brilliance (Tsukineko), StazOn (Tsukineko), next Mini pads by Heida, Versa Color (Rayher), Color Box (Clearsnap) and others. Ink pads are offered like single-colour inks or in sets of more shades. They differ in size and shape – they are sahped like squares, circles, rectangles, eye, etc. Ink pads can be directly used with stamps. Rub stamps against ink pads and start stamping. Or use ink dabber which can be easily replaced with new spare foam, or Cut-n-Dry foam pad. Moisten dabber in pad and, again, start stamping, or just rub the dabber on the surface of your project to get patina. In case the ink pad does not dye any more, „refresh“ it with ink bottle of the same colour and brand or use Ink Refresher.

Watch video instructions to learn how to work with Distress Ink:


Another classification of inks is by their composition. Every ink regardless of whether stored in bottle or pad, has different composition. We distinguish following categories of inks:

- alcohol based inks

oil based inks

water based inks

solvent based inks

- pigment inks

Alcohol based inks are fast drying ones. If you do not need long drying time, alcohol based inks are the right for you. They are perfect for smooth surfaces like glass, foil, metal, plastic, wood, smooth cardboard, paper, parchment and Polymer Clay as well. For removing ink from stamp surface, apply Adirondack Blending Solution. This is also suitable for making ink shades lighter. Alcohol-based inks are in both bottles and pads. Adirondack Ink (by Ranger) or Piňata (by Jacquard) are the most famous brands. This type of inks is not recommended for work with small children.


Oil based inks have long drying period so the work with them can take more time. They are waterproof, thus do not run even if combined with water based or alcohol based inks, acrylic paints or Pearl-Ex or Perfect Pearls powders. These inks are perfect for both matted and glossy surface, paper, Polymer Clay, fabric, aluminium foil, metal, foil, etc. They are both in small bottles and pads again. Archival Ink by Ranger is one of the most famous brands. Oil-based inks are not suitable for small children.


Water based inks are the most common and available inks. They are fast-drying but the time takes longer compared with alcohol based inks. Certainly, particular brands of inks and ink pads vary in terms of drying period. These inks are perfect for paper, cardboard, Polymer Clay (for dying, not stamping). Nowadays, so called Vintage style is very popular and water based inks are ideal for it. They can be used for patina as well. You can choose either ink bottles or ink pads again. Distress Ink by Ranger is the most famous one, next Color Box (by Clearsnap), Heida, Versa Colors (by Rayher) etc. Water based inks are easily washable with e.g. wet wipes. They are suitable for children.


Solvent based inks serve for non-porous and semi-porous surface treatment, i.e. for metal, plastic, Polymer Clay, aluminium foil, acrylic, cellophane, leather and some types of glass. These inks are fast-drying ones. You can choose either ink in bottles or in pads. Use special solution to remove these inks. The most famous solvent ink is StazOn (by Tsukineko).

Pigment inks are pernament and waterproof inks. They are perfect for work with paper or cardboard. Pigment inks do not run and they are colourfast - the colour keeps. They are not suitable for printing on glossy paper. The best known brands are Adirondack Ink Pads (by Ranger), Windflower (SMT Creatoys), Heyda Mini Ink Pads, Brilliance inks (Tsukineko), Versa Colors (Tsukineko). 


For more information on inks and their techniques, read following articles: Distress ink, Adirondack ink pads, StazOn ink.

If you are interested in inks appropriate for Polymer Clay work, read product descriptions in our e-shop with attention. The techniques for which particular inks are intended are specified there.

General rule for cleansing stamps and other tools and removing ink sounds – rinse or wash them right after finishing your work. Cleansing will be much easier! Read more about inks in the article of „Useful instruments for work with inks“.

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