|My "Angel Company Policy" applies to The Enchanted Gallery's exclusive rubber stamps and molds only. Updates: you can follow to be notified, or just see what has
been newly added to this website, on Pinterest. Need to contact me? Email email@example.com
|This page talks about coloring supplies for use with rubber stamps:
While there is a virtually unlimited amount of ways to color your stamped art, here are a few that I've tested out myself. The example pictures use my rubber stamps along
with coloring supplies including Stazon, Memento ink pads, alcohol inks, chalks, Copic and Marvy LePlume markers, Distress ink pads, embossing powder, gold mica
perfect pearls or pearl ex etc. that can be commonly found online or in your local Michaels or JoAnn craft stores.
|Direct coloring - Water based markers are hard on paper, so you want to use a sturdy surface meant for watercoloring.
Faux Watercoloring with Markers: You can also use the markers to scribble onto a plastic palette (any non absorbent surface will work)
and pick up the color with a water brush. The water brush has an internal tube for holding water and a paint brush tip you can squeeze
the water out on. There are water brushes available on the embellishments, ink and coloring supplies page here. This removes the need
for messy paint tubes/water trays/clean up.
|Adirondack alcohol inks by Tim Holtz , come in small dropper tip bottles. You squeeze a few drops onto a piece of felt attached to a wooden stamper. Depending on
the colors you use and the alcohol blending solution (which lightens / dilutes) you can create faux marble / turquoise / stone effects and richly colored backgrounds.
One awesome thing about alcohol inks is that they stick to tricky surfaces such as plastic / dominoes, acetate / film transparencies, glass, beads and other non
porous surfaces! You can also use them with your papercrafting projects by using glossy paper. You can use these inks on regular paper, but it will not react the
same beautiful way as it does with non-porous surfaces.
As a variation on the watercolor painting technique, you can also fill your water brush with alcohol. Use these alcohol inks in a palette or scribble Sharpie markers
onto the palette and pick up the color with your brush. This allows you to paint on tricky surfaces (transparency, plastic etc.)
You can use alcohol inks to fill an empty copic marker and color with them on paper. If you fill a marker with a dark green, and a second with a light green, you can
achieve beautiful blending on paper (just like genuine Copic marker coloring.)
Like to use embossing powders and wish you had a certain color to match your project? If you have some alcohol inks, you can turn your clear or white embossing
powders into any color you want! Just put some embossing powder in a small jar, squeeze a couple drops of alcohol ink into it and stir thoroughly to coat all the
particles. You can also add metallic powders or glitter to your mix for your very own unique embossing powder!
|In order to color a stamped image with the waterbrush you need to make sure you use a waterproof ink. Watercoloring will make some dye or
pigment inks bleed, so I use my StazOn solvent ink pad. I've also had good luck with VersaFine pigment ink, which is waterproof once dry (or heat
set if you're in a hurry.) You'll want to use a thick paper meant for water media, such as smooth pressed watercolor papers or bristol board. If you
don't mind some missed ink areas you could also test out the thicker textured watercolor paper for a more painterly look.
Tip: Try to lay down your lighter colors first. Once dry add details with darker colors and even outline with the marker directly when you're done.
Mistakes are easy to fix, just squeeze out more water from your water brush and go over an area again to lighten and blend the inks.
|Click to see card made with this technique on #Spri-106
|This largely depends on what material you are stamping onto and which coloring method you're planning on. The comparison chart above uses 3 of the black inks I have
on cheap pink cardstock.
Versafine is by far the deepest black and gives the best detail on PAPER. You can use Versafine with water-based markers, chalk and color pencil coloring techniques.
I've heard people also like a similar pad like "Archival Ink" or "Palette" pads, but I have not tried these since I was already so pleased with my VersaFine Onyx Black ink pad.
StazOn, while adequate for paper, is much better for non-pourous surfaces such as glass and plastic. Specifically I use StazOn ink pads for all of my domino pendants.
Colorbox pigments are best for coloring by sponging or brayering into paper for backgrounds. The petal point ColorBox pads are great for sponging the edges of your
paper. They also stay wet the longest once on your paper, making them great inks for embossing powders.
*Also note that PAPER QUALITY greatly effects your stamped image. Copy paper and value pack cardstock is cheaply made with fibers that spread ink or absorb it
differently than higher grade crafting papers.
|They react with water making it easy to blend and spread color across your paper surface. To make backgrounds that look just like
watercolor paintings you randomly tap the ink pad onto a non-stick craft sheet. Spritz the ink with a water bottle and press your paper
down onto it. Dry your paper with a heat gun between layers to keep your colors from getting muddy. Repeatedly press your paper into
the beads of ink water on your craft sheet until you achieve your desired color coverage.
To see this process in action check out this video tutorial by Tim Holtz on YouTube!
For the fall leaves I used die cut shapes (cuttlebug) but you could also use paper punches to cut out your shapes from thick cardstock or
|You can also use the reinkers instead of the ink pads,
which have the bonus of being easily used just like paint
with a brush.
|Once you're satisfied with your colors take a dry embossing tool (metal stylus with a small ball at the tip for making indentations) and
press a leaf vein pattern into the paper. I press into the back side so that the raised area is on front. It's easiest to make the impression
when you work over a soft surface like foam or paper towels. Place your leaf shape with the colored side up on a flat surface, then lightly
tap or swipe an ink pad across it's surface. I used "tea dye" distress ink for this step, taking care to only hit the raised surfaces.
|<-- Here I've put distress reinker (I got mine at JoAnn.com) into a mini spray bottle (like
"Mini Misters" by Ranger Ink.) I put about a dropper and a half of reinker into it and fill
the remaining space in the bottle with water. (You can make your colors as light as you
want by adding more water to ink ratio.)
Stamp your image with VersaFine or other waterproof ink on thick cardstock or
watercolor paper. Using the spray bottle filled with reinker/water, lightly spray over your
stamped image. When you're happy with the colors let it dry, or speed the process with
a heat tool. If your paper is lightweight or starts to curl, you can use a craft iron to
smooth it out while wet (thats quick!) or set a heavy book over it while it dries.
|I used distress inks in the following colors: Pine
Needles, Spiced Marmalade and Worn Lipstick.
The diamond pattern rubber stamp background is
from sheet #Back-100.
|Additionally you can use the ink pads direct to paper for your backgound coloring. Here I dragged the pad across my paper, then
spritzed and rubbed with a damp paper towel to blend:
|Gel pens are awesome for adding a special finishing
touch. Above I added golden sparkle details and
outlined the Klimt image with white gel pen.
|Using embossing powder over a rubber stamped image:
1) Use a slow drying embossing ink, "perfect medium pens" or any pigment ink to apply your stamped image to paper. Working over a non-stick craft sheet, tupperware or a
large sheet of scrap paper will make clean up much easier.
2) Select your chosen embossing powder, and dump enough powder out of the jar to generously cover your stamped image. The powder will cling to your damp ink. Lift your
stamped paper up vertically, tap it gently a couple times to make the powder fall onto your work surface below. Return that excess powder to it's jar.
3) Turn on your heat gun (similar to a hair dryer with less wind and more heat) and hold it high above your image at a slight angle. This may take some practice because you
want the powder to start to melt before getting blown around by the air coming from your gun. As the powder melts in one area, continue to move your heat gun to melt the
remaining powder. (This doesn't take long, somewhere around 30 seconds usually.) It becomes cool to the touch again in about a minute.
|Out of all the traditional coloring media I've ever tried, COPIC MARKERS are by far my favorite way to color rubber stamped
artwork, as they are quick and easy to do shading and get vibrant colors. You can also make your own using alcohol inks to fill the
empty markers here. These allow you to achieve beautifully blended, watercolor looking effects, quickly, with no mess. Easy to use
for any skill level.
These markers are alcohol based dye, and unlike water based markers they blend well with each other and do not cause water
damage (warping/peeling paper.) As with any coloring media, paper quality will effect your results. I've had the best results with
smooth cardstock such as PaperTrey Ink's "Stamper's Select", X-Press It Blending Card, and papers meant for marker coloring.
Experiment with what you have first. Some papers will cause more ink bleeding around the edges of your coloring due to the loose
Currently there are 334 colors available, but they also sell reinkers and empty markers so you can mix any color you want! The quality
of these markers are fantastic, each marker is refillable and each brush or chisel tip is replaceable. These are meant to last a
lifetime, they are not disposable markers. They average about $3.50 to $5.50 per marker, but can be bought in sets with coupons at
JoAnn.com for the best deal I've found. I have had a complete set of Copic markers for over 7 years and they still work like new.
I've had to refresh a couple of my favorite colors by adding a few drops of re-inker to the marker tips, but they are amazingly air tight.
There are a few types of Copic markers (wide, original, sketch and ciao) which vary in how much ink they hold. Originals and wide
have different brush tips than the sketch and ciao. Sketch and originals fit Copic's airbrushing gun system, but if you're not interested
in airbrushing - the ciao versions are the cheapest. Most of my markers are ciao, they hold plenty of ink for the average user, and they
are refillable when you eventually run out.
|Stamp your image with Memento dye ink pad. I have tried several other ink pads, including Versafine and Stazon, but the Copic
markers make those inks bleed. Or you could use any ink if you heat embossed it to seal the image first.
For the best shading effects, I recommend using Copic markers in groups of 3 to 4 of a similar color. For example, a light,
medium and dark pink. Start by coloring your darkest shadow areas first, then color over the dark area with your medium color,
then color over everything again with your lightest color.
The quicker you work the easier the blending will be. If your work dries and isn't blended well enough, go over the entire image
again with your lightest color and soak the areas with harsh lines.
If you are debating on which markers to buy, I would research the color chart and combinations online. There is a wealth of
information on google, copicmarker.com, and I Like Markers Blog.
You can use non-similar colors together, but that is slightly advanced and up for experimentation. Most lighter colors look very
nice together when blended, and beautiful effects can be achieved by layering different types of colors over top of others.
PS. Just in case you missed the note in the "types of inks" chart at the top of the page, please avoid marker #BV00 (a light
blue-violet color) due to a fugitive dye which makes that particular color fade/change color quickly. It is the only unacceptable
dye I have had experience with in the Copic line, and it may be that they just can't formulate that color to be any more stable.
|Flower and leaf
stamps from sheet
|Water based markers: such as Marvy LePlume and Tombow can be used to color, ink and even as a replacement for watercolor paints.
Since they stay wet longer than alcohol based inks you have time to draw the color directly onto your rubber stamp and then press it onto
paper. This allows you to create multicolored stamped images in just the right places.
|Press the ink pad onto a non-stick surface,
or use a reinker to add a drop of color to
your acrylic paints, glues, sealer/varnish, or
other mediums. Below I use the tinted
varnish to bring out the details on polymer
|Distress inks are a dye based ink formulated to work like watercolors.
|You can use distress inks, or any dye based ink pad such as Memento, with sponge daubers to
create backgrounds for your stamp art. Distress inks are not as water resistant as Memento inks
though and if you splash water on your art it will immediately lighten/remove the inks. This can be
used on purpose for art techniques, but be aware they are not as archival.
Here I have stamped my image on to a scrap piece of paper and cut out the image. Then stamp onto
your project and use the scrap paper you stamped on as a mask to protect it from ink while you work
on your background. Dye inks dry quickly and blend beautifully for a quick and easy background.
You can use paper punches or scissors to create masks/stencils with paper to apply ink over for
various effects (such as cloud or leaf shapes shown above.)
<--- This image uses distress ink and paper masked background (I cut a circle for the moon and a
scallop pattern for the clouds) and then colored the fairy stamp art with water based markers.
|I hope that you have enjoyed my tutorials.
Please consider sending any size donation
to help me create more artwork, tutorials,
free patterns, and to maintain this website.
Thank you :)
|Chalk / Soft Pastels
Great for coloring on paper, over stamped images to give a delicate pastel coloring, on domino jewelry (domino tutorial here) and also work great on
polymer clay (check out the miniature food tutorials.)
|Achieve amazing colorful effects with alcohol inks on non porous surfaces, or use as a coloring
ink/paint/in a marker for paper coloring. Also works well as a dye for embellishments, metal, ribbon
etc. to match your project. There are so many things to do with Alcohol inks, I'm working on a whole
page dedicated to them.
Check it out - All About Alcohol Inks: Tutorials, Color Charts, Project Ideas & More!
|If you rubber stamp onto paper with clear VersaMark, Perfect
Medium or embossing ink, you can gently apply chalk over the
image to color the design. The clear ink works as a chalk dust
attractant. Use make up sponge type applicators or cotton
balls for this method of coloring.
|MEMENTO INK PADS:
Creative coloring and background techniques for your mixed media artwork or rubber stamping projects.
These ink pads are my favorite for paper projects being the most compatible stamping ink to use with Copic marker coloring and alcohol inks. They are fade-resistant,
acid-free, come in a wonderful variety of colors and can be used with sponge daubers to create blended color gradients and background effects.
|Here I have cut a "mask" (like a stencil) with jagged edges to mimic snowfall over a bumpy landscape, and a scalloped edge to mimic clouds. I stamped the trees with
black Memento ink, and applied the gray ink with a sponge dauber using the paper mask as a guide. I applied white gel pen to the edges of the trees and dotted all over as
snow. I repeated the paper mask and inking method on background paper and also used a snowflake paper punch as a mask.
|What about white ink pads?
There are a lot of "white" ink pads on the market, but very few of them perform well (opaque) so here is a comparison of the three BEST white ink pads that I have tried.
The Colorbox pigment "Frost White" being the clear winner. Any white ink pad is best used on dark colored papers and quickly dried with a heat gun or hair dryer
because the ink stays wet for longer than most inks. You can also pour clear embossing powder over it to heat emboss, or use a spray sealer if you wish.
|BLACK INK PADS:
If you are NOT using Copic markers/Alchol inks on PAPER (see Memento inks up top) then you will likely want to use one of these
depending on your project surface and coloring media.
|I stamped the flower face onto a gift tag. I then laid the scrap paper mask I had
cut out over the top of it. I colored the background by sponging yellow and
orange memento inks. While the protective mask was still in place, I rubber
stamped a swirl pattern over everything before moving the mask away. (Rubber
stamp set here #Feys117)
|StazOn ink pads: These solvent based inks work just like alcohol inks, showing up vibrantly on tricky slick surfaces such as plastic game tiles. You can use them to color
domino pieces by sponge daubing on color then rubber stamping in black. Copic marker brand "colorless blender" or Ranger Ink's alcohol ink blender both work to remove
the color to create highlights. Complete instructions can be found on the domino jewelry making tutorial page here.
|Here I used a sponge dauber to apply
Teal Blue to my domino, then Blazing
Red around the edges.
|I used a rubber stamp
(from Wood-127 with Jet
Black Stazon ink.
|Using a Copic Ciao Colorless Blender marker you can
lighten the Stazon ink creating highlights. Use any color
marker to fill in these "erased" areas with a new color.
|Jet Black StazOn provides bold stamping
lines to show off your line art. Timber
Brown adds a more natural, soft and
vintage feel to your domino stamping.
|Before we get started with coloring projects, it's a good idea to know which types of inks are out there and what they are used for. Here I discuss the differences
between dye, pigment, alcohol and solvent ink pads and coloring mediums. I've also included archival properties for anyone concerned about the longevity of their work.
Some helpful definitions for understanding product labels:
Archival and acid-free products = will not cause yellowing or crumbling reactions to your paper. Safe for using in scrapbooking and memory albums.
Fade-resistant = colors that are chemically stable to last without changing color or breaking down over time. This is different than the fading that can happen from light
exposure. You especially want a product to be fade-resistant, or fade-proof, if it will be in a sketchbook/trading card album/away from light and still retain its original colors.
Lightfast = a color that is stable for years when exposed to UV light. Longevity is best in normal room light and limited time in sun exposure (artist quality paints with the
highest lightfast ratings can last several years in direct sun). It should be noted that no pigment can withstand constant sun exposure and all artwork should be kept behind
UV protective covers, sealers or out of direct light when hanging on your wall indoors.
Fugitive = a color that is known to be unstable, quickly fading or changing color over time or with light exposure. Nearly all fluorescent colors fade quickly in the sun.
Pigment = Thick colors (usually needs to be stirred, full of particles) made from a mineral or plant that stains / tints products it is added to. Many minerals and supplies
labeled pigment based tend to be water-resistant and lightfast, making pigments more reliable than dye.
Dye = Thin colors (free of particles, these inks don't usually require you to shake a bottle) can be man-made synthetic color created by altering many resources such as
plants, flowers, petroleum by-products and common earth minerals. Dye has the advantage of being altered by man to create very vibrant and bright colors not usually found
in nature. They are rarely waterproof or lightfast, commonly used in markers and fountain pens.
|Many companies have different lightfast ratings on their products. It is common for artist paints to include this information, but craft inks and pads rarely do. In general
"pigments" last longer in sunlight than "dye" inks. I have started a lightfast testing page for my fine art supplies here. If you are making fine art for hanging on a wall, you
want art supplies instead of craft supplies, such as artist's watercolor or acrylic paints. Most dye ink products will fade in sunlight, but are acid-free and archival for
long term storage (like scrapbooks/ photo albums, greeting cards or other artwork NOT exposed to bright lighting conditions).
|As an alternative to rubber stamping ink, any acrylic paint can be used. I use a makeup sponge to evenly apply a thin layer of paint onto my rubber stamp, then press
the stamp on to your surface of choice. Below I show how gold acrylic paint looks over marker colored paper, but acrylic paint is so versitile you could use it on nearly
anything including paper, wood, canvas, walls etc.
|Since acrylic paint dries fast and sticks
harder to rubber stamps, you need to
wash your stamps immediately after
stamping, run under warm water while
rubbing with a sponge. Long term build
up of unwashed paint can interfere with
your stamped image quality.
|Create quick and easy winter scenes for card making using a sponge applicator:
|How to use embossing powders with your rubber stamping or hand drawn images to create metallic lines and raised surface texture:
|Heat embossed on white card stock with gold embossing
|Colored with Copic markers. Watercolor paints also work great.
|I cut the orchid shape out and used the same stamp to make a
matching background on the brown craft paper.
|Embossing preserves your inked lines, making the art waterproof. You can now color with watercolors, markers or any media of your choice
without worrying about smearing the stamped image. The raised image also helps give a border-bumper to help contain messy coloring!
|Embossing powder basics:
|Embossing powders are tiny grains of easily melted, resin-like,
plastic particles. These powders can be poured onto nearly any
surface. To get the powder to stick to your surface, you can use
double sided adhesive or embossing ink (available in pens for
drawing with, or ink pads for rubber stamping). When you use a
heat tool (a high tempurature tool that looks like a hair dryer but put
outs more heat and less blowing of air) over the powders, they melt
quickly into a hardened shiny surface.
There are 3 "grain" sizes including large "Ultra thick embossing
powder" (also called UTEE) along with regular size and ultra fine
"detail" embossing powders. The particles are comparable to the
size of fine and coarse table salt. UTEE is ideal for covering a large
surface like a sealer or enamel coating. Fine detail powders should
be used on rubber stamped images and any artwork with small
lines. Embossing powder comes in a wide variety of colors, clear
|All embossing powder related products can be found on the
ink, color, stencil and embellish page.
|Embossing powders can be mixed with alcohol inks (stir drops of ink colors into the powders until dry) or add perfect pearls for metallic effects.
|Perfect Pearls (a type of fine metallic mica powder in tiny jars) that can be mixed with paint, glues, applied to stamped images, polymer clay.
To apply to paper, use the same way you would embossing powders. Stamp with a sticky ink (pigment) and then dust the powder on with a soft paint brush.
|Mica powders can be used on 3d surfaces as well. Here I apply gold perfect pearls to raw,
pre-baked polymer clay with my finger tip. A little goes a long way, apply lightly to highlight the
raised areas of your design:
|Mix Perfect Pearls powders into glues, paints, spray bottles with inks, or embossing powders to give them your choice of color shimmer.
|Perfect Pearls are a little different than most
brands of mica powders, such as Pearl-ex and
cosmetics, because Perfect Pearls has a
binder that sets with water (gum arabic, which
makes it behave as a watercolor instead of a
chalk pastel when dry).
This means you can use Perfect Pearls with a
paintbrush and water on paper projects and
the shimmer will stick to the paper.
|Other fun ways to add metallic highlights to your stamped art, jewelry or clay:
|You can use any double sided tape or special glues
that stay tacky after drying to apply metal leafing or
transfer foils to your project. My favorite types of
glues are Deco Foil or Quickie Glue Pen.
|What's the difference between metal leaf and metallic transfer foils?
Metal leaf is made of thin sheets of real metal and has no backing so it breaks apart and can conform to uneven
Transfer foils are metallic paints stuck to a plastic sheet backing, which you tear off using adhesive, and are
better for flat surface applications.
Use gold leaf/metal leafing foil sheets or flakes with your polymer clay projects in a variety of ways before
baking: Creates a beautiful metallic crackle effect when foil is applied over the surface of a raw unbaked clay
sheet, then rolled with a brayer or in a pasta machine to create tiny breaks in the foil surface. Can be layered
between sheets of thin translucent clays for embedded metallic shine or Mokume Gane techniques. For applying
to baked clay, canvas, paper, wood or any other surface: these thin composition (mixed metal "gold leaf")
sheets can be applied to any surface using tacky glues (adhesive that stays sticky after drying) or double
If you are new to metal leaf and transfer foils: note that these are extremely thin, much different from aluminum
foil at the grocery store. These are meant to be able to coat a surface with about the thickness of a layer of paint,
but create a shine you can only get with real metal instead of paint.
"Transfer foils" are different from metal "leaf" because they have thin clear plastic backing to "transfer" the
metallic surface coating onto your project. Use adhesives to rip the metallic finish off from the plastic. Unlike
metal leaf, when using transfer foils you never have to store crumbles of tiny metal leaf flakes, as the plastic
sheets hold any unused metallic effect in place. Best for flat projects including fabric, paintings and paper