My 3 Favorite Ink Brands And Why I Love Them

By | 12/26/2018

After having used Stampin’ Up! inks for my entire adult life, it was ridiculously fun to start exploring what else was out there.

I found 3 brands of ink pads that I love and now own the complete sets…until they add more colors!

My 3 Favorite Ink Pad Brands

Brand 1:  Catherine Pooler DesignsStamping Imperfection Single Layer Fall Card Sunny Studio

The foam pads, the colors, the ease of opening them, the perfect stamping every time, the perfect blending…what else can I say?  I love these ink pads. I’m so happy that Catherine Pooler used the foam pads.  I love stamping with foam pad ink pads.  I have had these for a long time and I have yet to reink even one of these.  They are juicy and a little tap with your stamp gives you amazing coverage.

CP also recently released some mini ink pads with the same foam pads!  These are the only mini ink foam pads that I know of.  Perfection.

Plus, she keeps adding colors to the collection.  I’m hooked.  I grab these all the time and this picture shows some of my favorite colors.

And…I just got my Catherine Pooler Designs Affiliation approved!  I’m so excited.  I love all of her products and I can’t wait to share more of them with you!


Brand 2: Distress Oxide inks by Tim Holtz and Ranger.

These are felt pads and I rarely actually stamp with them.  I use them for AMAZING backgrounds.  You can stamp with them, I just never seem to grab them for that.  The colors are fantastic.  They have the coordinating distress inks, distress markers, distress crayons, alcohol inks…gosh I hope there isn’t anything else!

You can see them in what was formerly my Stampin’ Up! ink pad holder.

I really love the chalky look and feel of these inks when I stamp with them.  They are just different that everything else out there.  Plus, there are 60 colors and that is it.

Brand 3: Altenew

I started purchasing these because they came prepackaged in sets of 4 inks that layered together to go with the pretty layering stamps that I had purchased after a stamping class at a local stamping store.  That guy got me hooked on Altenew everything.

While these are felt pads, I find that they stamp beautifully.  I love that the guesswork has been taken out of which colors to put together to get the detailed layering.  It was work to figure that out before I started using these stamp pads.  Plus I can do all the techniques that I do with the CP and Distress Oxides.  These are versatile and the colors are amazing.  They also have watercolors, watercolor brushes and alcohol markers that coordinate.  And embossing powders and ink sprays.


You know what happens when you fall in love with a product…you need the entire collection.

I now have 3 sets of ink pads and I use them all!

Stamping Imperfection Altenew Ink Swatches


By the way…Altenew has an amazing sale on those ink pads…check it out below:

Supply List:

Are you interested in the products I used?  To make them easier for you to find, I have linked them below. (Affiliate disclosure ) Your purchases help keep my blog running at no additional cost to you and I thank you for the support!



I just got my Catherine Pooler Affiliate link and I’m so excited to be able to share more CP goodness with you!





Here is my video review of these 3 ink brands…if you watch until the end, you can see my black ink pad pile of shame!


I’m so happy you stopped by!  Make sure you check out the Altenew ink pad links today.  They have HUGE savings on those sets.  I don’t know if the sale is just today or for the entire week.   But it is a great sale!


Happy after Christmas sale shopping!

3 thoughts on “My 3 Favorite Ink Brands And Why I Love Them

  1. Anita

    Happy New Years Kim! I just watched and enjoyed your ink comparison. My question is paper. I know that Stampin up ink works best with their cardstock. Besides water color paper is Neenah good cardstock to use with these other inks? My plan is to stick with my Stampin up inks that I already have but slowly collect the Altenew mini inks which I have started to purchase. Then the oxides I will slowly add but just get a few main colors for blending. Of course I do so much less card making than you do. My next thing is markers. I may go with Altenew with these as well. There is so much out there and each crafter has different opinions. I need to keep it simple rather than have a total chaos group of pads. I am afraid to try Catherine Pooler because I know I will love them lol. Maybe once I finish my Stampin up inks. What do you think? Anyway the creativity is a blast and I enjoy all you tips and tricks. Enjoy the rest of this holiday season-Anita

    1. kim Post author

      Happy New Year Anita! I really like the Neenah and I think that when you buy a big ream of paper from Amazon, it is a huge cost saver. I pay less for a big package of Neenah than I did for Stampin’ Up!’s white paper with my 20% demonstrator discount. I purchased both the 80lb and the 110 lb. I really like Bristol Paper whenever I do ink blending with the blending foams. It’s very smooth and no matter what ink I use, I get the best results with that paper. That I get right in my local Michael’s when it is 50% off. I use Yupo for alcohol ink backgrounds and I’ve been experimenting with the Michael’s marker paper to see if it makes a difference with the alcohol markers.

      I like the idea of purchasing the Altenew mini inks. I started that way too. I’ve been trying out other inks using the cubes as well. I actually have a couple Catherine Pooler and Distress Oxide ink pads that are brand new and duplicates. Email me your address to I will send you some of those two brands to try so you can see if you like them. I put them aside because I already had them and I would love to send them to you.

      Have a wonderful 2019!!

  2. Anita

    Kim you are just too kind. I cannot take brand new ink pads from you. I am sure you will eventually need them with all the crafting you do. Thank you for thinking of me though. I will let you know my progress with some of your techniques. I bought one pack of distress crayons to try the mini canvas pictures that you made. I did not realize that you pull the color from your craft mat instead of blending directly on the canvas which did not go well lol. I will be trying a second one. I loved the sunflower that you did. I keep hearing you say embrace the imperfections! Talk soon.


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