Available in a wide range of colors, sizes, and formulations, ink pads give life to your stamps. The type of ink you choose will impact the range of surfaces that may be stamped on as well as how long the mark will last. Whether you are searching for a quick-drying, washable ink, a fade-resistant archival ink, or an ink that enables you to use special techniques such as embossing or watermark effects, our picks below will help you find the best ink for your stamping needs.
1. Tsukineko VersaFine Instant Dry Pigment Ink
This is a quick drying, oil-based pigment ink that brings superior results. The opaque black ink has a somewhat thin consistency for solid coverage, making this the best ink pad for capturing fine details and providing clean, crisp images. Archival quality and fade resistant, the ink is smudge-proof and suitable for use with water-based markers and paints. The maker says the ink pad will last three to five times longer without needing to be re-inked.
2. Ranger Archival Ink Pad
Waterproof, nontoxic and acid-free, this archival ink pad provides a long-lasting result with a crisp image that will not bleed or smudge when painted over. The fade-resistant ink will not deteriorate paper or photographs and is permanent on most papers, though on glossy surfaces it should be heat-set to ensure permanency.
3. Clearsnap Pigment Ink Pad
This opaque, water-based pigment ink sits on top of paper for a high level of vibrancy. Ideal for use on absorbent papers, this acid-free and archival ink has a thick, slow-drying formula that makes it ideal for embossing and resist techniques, but it may require heat setting on coated and glossy surfaces. Providing a deep, saturated color that won’t bleed or fade, the raised ink pad measures 3 by 1.75 inches.
4. Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stamp Pad
Safe for ages 4 and up, this extra-large stamp pad includes six bright ink colors for use not only with stamps but as an alternative to finger paint. The pad contains a washable ink that easily rinses from skin and clothes. Big enough for young kids to maneuver easily, the stamp pad’s squishy surface is an enjoyable material to experiment with when creating art and craft projects.
5. Tsukineko Multi-Surface Inkpad
Formulated for use on nonporous and semi-porous surfaces such as plastic, glass, metal, and leather, this solvent-based ink is permanent and quick-drying and does not require heat setting. The ink is highly versatile, with a transparent, fade-resistant color that won’t move or lift when used with watercolors or markers.