Buying ink pads can be a stressful and expensive experience. You want to make sure you pick the best ink pad that is great quality, works well, and isn't splotchy when dry. There are many things to take into consideration when you're buying ink pads, and I'm here to help!
1. Full Size or Mini Ink Cubes?
If you get the refills, it ultimately doesn't matter which size of ink pad you get. Felt Ink pads also will last you years before needing to be refilled if you use them to just traditionally stamp. Mini Ink Cubes are a way to save a few dollars and give the inks a try, but they come with about 1/4 of the ink of a full pad. So you need to consider whether or not you'd like to have more colours but less longevity without a refill or whether you'd like to invest in full size and the possibility of no extra costs since the pads say juicy for a long time. If you're buying a foam pad ink, I recommend buying the refill straight away or shortly after your ink pad purchase.
2. Check out a Demo
If possible, try them out in person or watch a demo on YouTube. Don't trust reviews on written platforms, you want to see them in action! You'll be able to see if the inks stamp well or if they don't.
3. Coordinating Supplies
Are coordinating supplies important to you? Which ones? Most people appreciate having coordinating cardstock, some prefer envelopes too. There are lots of companies that also have coordinating foils, sprays, markers or watercolours.
4. Brand vs. Colour
Did you know that most inks that are made in the USA are made by the same manufacturer? This is why I say buy the colours you love rather than buying a full set of one brand. It's your choice in the end, but a lot of companies have extremely similar colours and some are the exact same. So be careful you aren't buying unnecessary inks when investing in full sets of inks.
5. Felt or Foam
This is a personal choice in the end. I, personally, prefer foam pads but I know the needing a refill may not be for everyone. I like the fact that I can stamp with no issues with foam. I stamp lots of solid images and I like that my inks aren't splotchy. Felt pads, on the other hand, have a long shelf life. They are great for people who are heavy-handed. The pad is more durable as well.
6. Ink Pad Types
There are so many types of ink pads on the market. For beginners, just begin with a standard dye ink set. Next week, we will be going into the different types of inks and what their properties are!
My FREE Ultimate Ink Pad Guide has the pros and cons of most of the inks that I've tried in the industry. These are the ink pads that I've tried and I personally would recommend and I have listed the positive and negative aspects for each brand so that you can choose the best ink pad based on how you intend to use them. Enjoy!