Ink Pads Comparison | Dye Inks v.s. Pigment Inks v.s. Distress Inks


Hero Arts Simon Says Stamp Ranger Distress Inks

Hello and welcome back to Part 2 of today's post!  Earlier today I shared in Part 1 how I create these sets of quick and simple cards for teachers at my children school using the MISTI stamping tool.

In this Part 2, I will first do a quick overview of the differences between dye inkspigment inks and distress inks.  Then, I will share which of the six ink pads I used here would be great for getting good solid full card coverage stamping. Like with this Hero Arts Design Block FIND THE MAGIC rubber stamp woodblock.   All the supplies are linked at the end of this post.  

Please be advised that the information share in this post is only an opinion of mine based on my experience working with these ink pads.  Although they might work great for me, yours might result differently depending on the type of stamps you use (rubber, clear or woodblock), what type of surface you are stamping on (padded vs not) or with an acrylic block or MISTI (for rubber, clear and cling stamps).  

Ink Pads comparison

Quick Overview: Dye Inks, Pigment Inks & Distress Inks

Below is a quick overview of some of the cool features of dye inks, pigment inks & distress inks. 

Dye Inks (Hero Arts Shadow Ink Mid-tone, Alternew Crisp Inks, Simon Says Stamp Premium Dye Inks)
  • These ink pads are firm and generally consist of cloth-cover felt.
  • The pad surface raise above the edge of container, making it user-friendly applying ink directly onto paper.
  • inks are much thinner in consistency, transparent and faster to dry than pigment inks.
  • inks dye and absorb into the paper.
  • color come out much lighter than the color of the ink pad when dry.
  • great for general stamping and layer stamping
Pigment Inks (Ranger Archival Ink & MementoLUXE)
  • ink pads are sponge-like. 
  • are opaque, non-toxic waterproof inks.
  • thicker and slow drying than dye inks.    You can heat set to speed up the drying process.
  • inks sit on top of the paper
  • color stays the same once dried 
  • need to reinked more often than dye inks
  • great for detail stamping and full coverage
  • permanent on matte and gloss papers
  • air dried on matte surfaces but need to heat set on glossy surfaces
Ranger Distress Inks
  • are great for background technique! It's my #1 favorite ink to use for background blending and coloring. 
  • slow drying inks. They stay wet longer to allow you to blend, shade and emboss.
  • perfect for distressing paper and photos
  • the color stay the same once dried
Hero Arts stamps

Which Ink Pads I'd Recommend For Good Full Solid Coverage Stamping?

Except for the distress inks and MementoLuxe, I think any one of these ink pads would give great full solid coverage result.   However, my favorite top two would have to be the Hero Arts Shadow Ink Mid-tone and the Simon Says Stamp Premium Dye inks.  As you can see in the photo, they both yield a beautiful full coverage to the entire card with an even smooth finished.  And because they are dye inks, they dry quickly.  Allowing you to mass produce cards with them at a much quicker pace than with pigment inks. 

One thing to take note of is that the Hero Arts Shadow Inks stamped splotchy but even out and smooth once dried.

Simon Says Stamp Premium Ink Pads

The third ink pad I would recommend is the Altenew Crisp Ink.  It gives just as good of a coverage as the Hero Arts Shadow inks and Simon Says Stamp Premium inks.  It is also my favorite ink to use for layer stamping because it gives crisp finished images.  It is a dye ink as well.

The Ranger Archival ink pad turned out not too bad, but as you can see there are some small areas that didn't get cover well.  However, it is still a good ink pad to have. As it is a pigment ink, it sits on top of the cardstock.  So it gives a vivid vibrant result.  

Altenew crisp ink pads

The Ranger Distress inks turned out as it should be, with a distress look. But I have expected a great full coverage with the MementoLUXE.  But it didn't.  However, in this case, both ink pads work beautifully well with this Hero Arts Design Block FIND THE MAGIC rubber stamp woodblock as they give an illusion of a chalkboard look.

Ranger distress inks

There you have it!  Six ink pads brands comparison. I hope the information wasn't too overloading and hopefully you find them useful.  Thanks for joining me today.  Take care and may you have a lovely weekend ahead.

[I would like to join some fun over at the following challenges:TTCRD "Anything Goes Oct 18th," The Outlawz Twisted Thursday "Anything Goes with a Surprise Twist", and Word Art Wednesday "Anything Goes #252-#253"]


You can find links to the supplies I’ve used below; click on the picture or wording to get taken directly to the product. 

Hero Arts Design Block FIND THE MAGIC Rubber Stamp

SSS Premium Dye Ink Pads Set

SSS Premium Dye Ink Pad- Scuba

SSS Premium Dye Ink Pad - Hollyhock


Non-Slip Vinyl Template Sheets

Bazzill Card Shoppe Cardstock - Marshmallow

Tonic Maxi 12 Inch Gutillontine Paper Trimmer

Hero Arts Shadow Ink Mid-Tone - Bubble Gum

MementoLuxe-Pear Tart

Altenew Crisp Dye Ink - Deep Irish

Ranger Distress Ink - Black Soot

Ranger Archival Ink - Vibrant Fuchsia

Stamping With MISTI

Hello and welcome! I have a two parts card project to share today. In this post (Part 1), I will share just how quick and easy it is to mass produce sets of cards using the MISTI stamping tool. Then, in the next post (Part 2), I will share six different ink pads brands that I used to make these sets of cards and which one, in my opinion, are great for full card coverage stamping. All the supplies are linked at the end of this post.

MISTI Stamping Tool

So what is a MISTI?  MISTI stands for Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented.  It is my #1 favorite stamping tool to have and one I think every stampers should have.   MISTI makes it so much easier to stamp out perfectly straight sentiments and quickly mass produce sets of cards.

Between cutting the cardstock and stamping, I made 2 dozens of these cards just under an hour using the MISTI!  These cards (with blank inside) are for teachers at my children's school to write little notes of encouragement to their students.  Here are just six cards inked with the Simon Says Stamp Premium dye ink pads: Lake Shares, Scuba, Willow, Hollyhock, Thistle and Twirling Tutu.  I love working with these gorgeous colors so much that they are the only Simon Says Stamp Premium dye ink pads I have in my collection.   I will share the rest of the cards using the other 5 ink pad brands in Part 2 of my next post.
ink pads

This beautiful words art design is from the Hero Arts Design Block Find The Magic rubber stamp. This stamp set not only beautiful, it is very versatile too.  Besides as an encouraging card to a student, it is also perfect for anyone who just needed a little encouragement in their life.  It is also great as graduation cards too.

This stamp is actually a wood mount rubber stamp. So to use it with my MISTI, I carefully remove the stamp from the wood block. Yes! You can do that!  Afterward, I simply stick it right back onto the wood block.

Okay, here how I use the MISTI for these cards

Refer to the photo for visual guide. The MISTI tool comes with a foam padding, two magnets and a pack of paper grids.

First, I cut each of the Bazzill's Marshmallow 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock in half to create two, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 for my card base.  

Next, I open the MISTI lid and place the paper grid over the foam padding.   Then I place the cardstock over the grid area where I want to place my stamp.    I then position the stamp pad (with the inking side down) onto the cardstock. Press down the lid to kiss the stamp to the inside of the lid.

Next, I remove the cardstock, ink the stamp and do a practice test on the paper grid to make sure it is align evenly.

Then, instead of replacing the test grid paper with a new one so the ink doesn't get onto the cardstock, I simply placed a non-slip vinyl template grid (which I cut to size) over it.  Then place the cardstock on top of the vinyl template.  The grid of the vinyl template is a perfect match to the MISTI paper grid and by doing this way, I can quickly align the cardstock perfectly to the stamp area without having to use up a new paper grid.  

Next, placed the two magnet discs over the non-stamping area of cardstock to prevent it from shifting. 

Then I ink up the stamp and press down the lid.  Apply even pressure over stamp.  The result.  

MISTI stamping tool tutorial

Next, I score the cardstock at the 4 1/4 mark and fold to create my 4 1/4 x 5 1/2 (A2) card.  Set aside and repeat.

Hero Arts

Thanks for  joining me for Part 1 of today's post.  I will have the next post, Part 2 of this card project up by this evening.   Take care.


You can find links to the supplies I’ve used below; click on the picture or wording to get taken directly to the product. 

Hero Arts Design Block FIND THE MAGIC Rubber Stamp

SSS Premium Dye Ink Pads Set

SSS Premium Dye Ink Pad- Scuba

SSS Premium Dye Ink Pad - Hollyhock


Bazzill Card Shoppe Cardstock - Marshmallow

Tonic Maxi 12 Inch Gutillontine Paper Trimmer

Non-Slip Vinyl Template Sheets

Background Ink Blending With Hero Arts Mid-Tone Ink Pads


Hello and happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a good start. Today I have a background ink blending Lucky Star friend card to share. You can use any ink pads you have. But I have found Ranger's Distress inks as well Hero Arts inks to work the best for background blending. They are both acid free, fade resistant water-based inks. Here I am using Hero Arts Mid-tone ink pads. All the supplies are linked at the end of this post.

sponging background with Hero Arts ink pads

I started this card by first cut out Neenah 80# paper to a 4.25x5.50 size flat card using Spellbinder Nestabilities Classic Rectangle dies. Then, starting from the outer edge of the card, using Ranger mini round blending tool, I blend the background first with Tide Pool. Applying less pressure as I move inward to fade off the ink. Then, I blend in Bubble Gum, picking up from where the Tide Pool left off. This time applying less pressure as I move outward. To complete the background, I splatter on some water.  Then, randomly splatter on the Zig Wink of Stella Glitter Gold.

For the final touch, I stamp the sentiment from the Wplus9 Lucky Stars clear stamp set with Versamark ink and heat embossed it with Ranger Embossing Powder - Black Sparkle. Next, I cut out the Simon Says Stamp Stacked Stars wafer dies by first adhere white cardstock to black cardstock before running it through Sizzix Big Shot Express for added dimension. Kissed the Versamark ink over it and heat embossed with Ranger Gold Tinsel. Then adhere the stacked stars onto the card with Elmer's spray adhesive.

I absolutely love how these Hero Arts Mid-tone Tide Pool and Bubble Gum inks turned out!  Such yummy and vibrant colors!

Thanks for sharing your day with me.  I hope you'll give this background ink blending technique a try, with any ink pads you already owned.  May you have a lovely week.