Palette Hybrid Inks

Reported by Katie Renz

Ink pads are essential to the world of stamping and there are multitudes of colors, styles, and brands out on the market. My review today is about Palette Hybrid inks and even more specifically about Papertrey Ink’s (PTI) Perfect Match. In essence, I can’t review the one without the other, but throughout the article I refer to Papertrey Ink’s because those are the Palette inks that I have experience with. So with that in mind, I specifically asked Nichole Heady of PTI whether the two inks were the same and she said absolutely. The only difference is that PTI ink colors are made exclusively for PTI. Palette Hybrid inks are available in 36 colors and PTI offers 9 exclusive colors with more to come. The inks are available in full size pads, cubes, and as reinkers, plus additional pads such as a glue pad and an embossing pad are available.

So lets start with the structure of the ink pads. If you notice, these ink pads are shaped slightly differently from other ink pads. The lids are not attached to the pads and if you are one to lose lids fear not. The lids click right onto the bottom of the pad which in terms of space can be nice to keep the clutter at bay. The actual ink pad is raised above the surface which makes for easy inking whether you are a pad to stamp inker or a stamp to pad inker. Another positive which I find very pleasing is that the ink pads are stackable when not in use. I would have to say that the only negative aspect of these ink pads which is definitely not unique to these is that the color can be difficult to tell when the ink pads are closed. This is why you see the little labels on the outside of my pads. I just stamped on address labels and then cut them to shape and voila I am able to tell which color is which at a glance.

As I stated earlier, I’m specifically reviewing PTI Palette Hybrid inks. I have all the colors that have been released and have to honestly say I love them all. These particular inks were created to coordinate with their cardstock and ribbon. The following picture is a side by side example of the colors stamped on white cardstock and their coordinating colored cardstock.

Here are the colors from the left side down and then right side down: Plum Pudding, Lavender Moon, Berry Sorbet, Sweet Blush, Aqua Mist, Moss Green, Summer Sunrise, Lemon Tart, and finally Dark Chocolate (which was the Burnt Umber).

The only personal issue I have is with the Aqua Mist. I’m not quite satisfied with this particular color, but I have yet to try a reinker and I have to give kudos to Papertrey Ink, because in the end, I can honestly say that they will stand behind their products. If you are an individual who have or have had any issues, please e-mail their customer service and you will be taken care of.

In dealing with these inks and to be honest other dye inks, it does take a bit of time for all the color to settle into the image especially for solid images. Now, when I say that it takes time to settle, I’m not saying that it takes a while for the ink to dry because that is one of the factors that makes these inks so wonderful. They do dry instantly and with no smearing. I can’t explain to you chemically what is happening here, but when you see the pictures you will see what I am referring to.

Here is a picture using the Plum Pudding ink immediately after stamping and then there is also a picture taken after some time had elapsed. There is a distinct difference. Again, I am not saying that this is ALWAYS the case, but I have read where some people are concerned about the quality right after stamping. In most instances, time seems to cure the issue.

So at this point, you might be saying so what? I have inks that I like and am perfectly satisfied with, why Palette Hybrid inks? Here is a direct quote from Stewart Superior Corporation, the makers of the Palette Hybrid Inks. “The new Palette Hybrid ink pad represents the latest innovation in stamping ink technology. It eliminates all the confusion over which ink to use for what surface – because it works on everything and is a non-solvent ink”.

Yes, I have the entire set of Close to my Heart dye based inks and yes, I use them daily and yes, I love them, but… they are water based inks and although I love the instant dry and the variety of colors, they are limited in the surfaces they can be stamped on. One of my newest loves is decorating and altering simple plain t-shirts, bags, bandannas, etc. Have you seen all the cute altered onesies out there in blog land? I also have many pigment ink pads, but again great for a specific purpose , but I don’t use them all the time. The key work here is Hybrid – a mix or a best of both worlds.

Here is a card that I made using all PTI products.

All supplies can be found at Papertrey Ink – Stamps: Floral Frenzy, Polka Dot Basics

And here is a t-shirt and matching little bag that I made for my friend’s little girl. I used the exact same ink colors and stamps. Remember though that once your images are stamped you need to heat set with your iron as the final step in your project.

Here is one more close up picture. Just a note here though. 100% cotton fabrics seem to work the best, but at the time I went looking for a t-shirt, all I could find was a poly/cotton blend. The bag is a plain white canvas like tote that I found at Michaels for 5o cents. What a bargain huh?

Overall, I give Palette Hybrid Inks and in particular Papertrey Ink’s Palette Hybrid colors a clear thumbs up. I honestly believe that it is impossible to have only one type or brand of ink in your stamping repertoire, but I do believe that these ink pads are the most versatile. If you are just entering the stamping world, then I would definitely suggest looking into obtaining Palette Hybrid Inks. If you are already deeply entrenched and haven’t used these ink pads yet, I would still highly recommend getting choice colors for whatever project you might be doing. Keep in mind that most of the colors are available in small cubes so your investment can be kept to a minimum. And finally, remember that you don’t have to put them out of the way when you are done with whatever project you are working on because more than likely they will definitely work for any future projects too!


  • Nice structure and shape of the ink pads
  • Excellent variety of colors and in the case of PTI more to come
  • Ability to use on a variety of surfaces
  • Instant Drying ability
  • No strong odors


  • I wish they either had the color label on the outside or at least a labeling system that you could attach yourself.
  • Sometimes, the lighter colors just aren’t as strong
  • Lack of availability in my local craft stores

I haven’t had much luck finding these ink pads in the retail stores in my area, but they can be found in many online stores. Here are several to choose from: Blockhead Stamps, Papertrey Ink (own exclusive line too), and Cornish Heritage Farms.

The running price for these ink pads are an average of $6.00 for the full size pad. I find them very easy to use and I feel that the value is huge due to the versatility of these ink pads.

I would rate these pads a 9 out of 10.

I know I said that the Palette Hybrid ink pads are versatile, but in reality I really only use them for 2 different purposes – paper and fabric. I would love it if you shared with us other ways you’ve used these ink pads and what you think of them.

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6 Responses to Palette Hybrid Inks

  1. Avatar
    Tracy August 20, 2008 at 12:52 pm #

    Katie, great review. I’ve used my Palette inks on some wood projects I’ve done. I painted the surface first, then stamped over it with these inks. Worked wonderfully!

  2. Avatar
    Katie Renz August 20, 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    Thanks Tracy! That is a great idea.

  3. Avatar
    Jewels August 21, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    I’ve stamped right on balsa wood with Palette to make holiday ornaments and they came out beautifully. They don’t bleed like dye inks. Also, The Angel Company carries forty-one colors in the full size pads as well as ink spots.

  4. Avatar
    World of Michael Trent August 24, 2008 at 1:16 pm #

    Katie – I totally agree with your review. Love these inks. Quite versatile. And, although I use CTMH inks too, The Angel Company carries the full line. Any demo would be glad to get them for anyone.

  5. Avatar
    Nancy ~ Inkcicles August 31, 2008 at 2:14 am #

    Awesome review. Thanks for the information.

  6. Avatar
    Susan December 5, 2008 at 9:02 pm #

    FYI – It seems that Cornish Heritage Farms does not carry these inks at this time.