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Embossing ink is a clear, sticky ink that is used to hold embossing powder in place, so it can be melted. Embossing ink can also be used without powder to create a tone-on-tone effect. But is there a type that is better than the others?
Today, I'm hoping to provide you with this information. I'm going to compare four different brands of embossing ink and will share my impressions of each. To keep this comparison at a somewhat reasonable length, I will only be comparing their traits for use with embossing powder.
It's going to be a long one, but I hope you find it worth it.
All four of these inks I purchased at different times from my local craft store and they seem to be easy to get a hold of. I'll go through each of them showing the stamping and my observations while using each.
For the purposes of this comparison, all the stamping was done on 65lb black cardstock by Recollections. All panels were prepped using a powder tool to discourage powder from sticking where I don't want it to stick. The stamps used are from Lawn Fawn's "Our Friendship Grows". I have used the small sunflower and the long sentiment.
First up is the Martha Stewart Embossing Stamp Pad
- Ink pad dries out quickly - my particular purchase came with a reinker and I found that I needed to reink it before use on multiple occasions
- Lid needs to be taped in place, probably the reason it dries out
- Stamps well - lines are clear and well defined on cardstock
- Ink does not hold the powder very well, when sliding off the extra powder much of the powder that was to be stuck to the ink went away as well
- Results are blotchy and not well defined
- Relatively inexpensive
- There is a refill bottle available
Next we have Ranger Perfect Medium
- Stamps very well - clear crisp lines
- Ink holds powder very well
- Generally comes with Perfect Pearls but can be purchased separately
- Results are very clear and well defined
- Moderately priced in my area
- Refill bottle available online - there wasn't one available in the store
Next is the Stampendous Embossing Ink
- This comes with a dobber top - so I put it in an empty stamp pad as you can see in the first picture
- I was unable to find it in an actual stamp pad
- Using the dobber made the images goopy
- Results are blotchy - powder does not stick at all despite the extra ink on the page when using either the dobber or the stamp pad
- Very inexpensive
Finally the VersaMark by Tsukineko
- Comes in a large pad or a small cube
- Refills are widely available
- Stamps cleanly with crisp lines
- Powder sticks very well
- Results are very well defined
- More expensive
Here are all the finished panels with their respective inks together for easier viewing.
- If you already own the Ranger Perfect Medium because you have purchased the Perfect Pearls, don't feel the need to go out and purchase a separate embossing pad. The Perfect Medium works wonderfully.
- From the results of this comparison, I wouldn't recommend either the Martha Stewart or the Stampendous embossing inks. I found them blotchy and inconsistent in their stamping which resulted in poor adhesion of the powder and poorly defined final results.
- If you are in the store and you don't currently own an embossing ink, I'd recommend whichever is the better deal (the VersaMark or the Perfect Pearls) - just keep in mind that at some point you will need a refill. So find what will be better for you in the long run.
- In the end, the choice you make will be based on your preferences and on your budget and the availability in your area
- For myself, I will continue to use the VersaMark ink for my embossing as it is what I have on hand and most widely available in my area
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*Disclaimer: I am not sent products to review, nor am I paid to review them. I review the products that I find interesting and that I purchase myself with my own money; and I receive no incentive, reward or payment to do so. All reviews are based off of my personal experience using the product and are my opinions only.