Using Other Inks with the Silhouette Mint

Using Other Inks with Your Silhouette Mint by Annie Williams

The one question I see most often regarding the Silhouette Mint is whether or not other brands of ink will work with the stamps you make.  It’s a good question…especially if you’re a stamper who has tons of reinkers laying around and gathering dust like I do.  So, I set out to experiment with several different types of ink that are commonly used by stampers, many of which are readily available in your local craft stores.

Note: The Mint works by printing a “3D relief” of your design onto stamp sheets, but the image does not have the kind of raised edge that you find with typical rubber or photopolymer stamps.  Therefore, you can’t really use an ink pad with a Mint stamp, but instead you can apply different inks via a reinker.

Using Other Inks with Your Silhouette Mint by Annie Williams - Open Design

I’m not going to go into too many details about the Mint Studio software (another post, another time), but I thought I would provide a few screenshots of my process here in case you are completely new to this little machine.  I recommend designing your stamp in Silhouette Studio first…the tools in Mint Studio are very basic but can work well if you are creating a text-only stamp.  My monogram was created in Silhouette Studio using this design, and opened in Mint Studio by clicking on the folder icon (red arrow).

Using Other Inks with Your Silhouette Mint by Annie Williams - Stamp Size

I used 30mm x 30mm sheets for my stamps because I thought this design would make a nice accent for the flap of envelopes.  It also incorporates a lot of intricate detail in a tiny stamp…this way I could really push these inks to their limits.  Select the appropriate size for your stamp (red arrow) and then resize your design to fit.

Using Other Inks with Your Silhouette Mint by Annie Williams - Send to Mint

Click on the leaf icon in the upper right corner of the software to send your design to the Mint.  The software will automatically flip the design over to print in the correct orientation.

Using Other Inks with Your Silhouette Mint by Annie Williams - Start Mint

Click on “Start Mint” and then insert your sheet gently into the back of the machine.  It will automatically feed and print.

Using Other Inks with Your Silhouette Mint by Annie Williams - Printed Stamps

I made a separate stamp for each ink I wanted to test because I feared that one ink might prime the stamp for the next and skew the results.  Yes, the stamp sheets can be a little expensive…but I had purchased several during the Black Friday sale last year to do this testing, so it wasn’t so bad.

Using Other Inks with Your Silhouette Mint by Annie Williams - Inks 1

I compared these three inks to the Silhouette black ink first – Memento Luxe Tuxedo Black (fast-drying pigment ink), Memento Tuxedo Black (dye ink), and Versamark (watermark ink).  Since the Silhouette Mint ink is an oil-based pigment ink, I expected my pigment inks to give me the best result.  Note that the pigment ink and Versamark did not absorb into the printed design as well as the dye ink and Mint ink though.  Inks were left to absorb into the stamp material for about an hour (to give the pigment ink a better shot at success).

Using Other Inks with Your Silhouette Mint by Annie Williams - Inks 2

I was most encouraged by the results with my dye ink (results below!), so I decided to make two more stamps and try a colored dye ink (Stampin’ Up Bermuda Bay…one of my favorite colors) as well as a black My Favorite Things hybrid ink that I had on hand (just in case the unique properties of the hybrid ink yielded better results).  Both inks seemed to absorb into the printed designs well.

Using Other Inks with Your Silhouette Mint by Annie Williams - Ink Comparison

I stamped each ink out ten times (after the initial “stamping off to clean” period) and chose a representative sample of each to punch out and display here.  These samples were applied to smooth Neenah Solar White cardstock…your stamping surface will affect your the crispness of your image, and I felt this cardstock would yield the best possible results for all inks.

Results:

  • Silhouette Mint ink gave the clearest and most consistent results.  This makes sense since it was meant for this purpose!
  • The dye inks performed very well.  Although splotchy at times, if you already have a few dye-based reinkers laying around in colors you really like, I don’t see the harm in trying them!  I, for one, really like knowing that I can customize a stamp even further with a specific color already in my collection.  However, it’s certainly possible that you will need to re-ink the stamp more often with these than the Silhouette ink.
  • Pigment and hybrid inks really don’t seem ideal for this use.  The results were faint and splotchy.
  • Versamark ink adds a whole new layer of fun!  The sample above was stamped in Versamark, sprinkled with gold embossing powder, and heat-set to yield a beautiful raised metallic finish.  You have to be careful when using Versamark with your Mint stamps though, because this sticky ink can remain around the edges of your design even after stamping off to clean.  Apply light pressure and get rid of any extra specks of embossing powder with a tiny paintbrush before heat-setting.

Using Other Inks with Your Silhouette Mint by Annie Williams - Main

Even though I will stick with my Silhouette inks for most of my Mint stamps in the future because of the crispness of the impression and longevity, I was happy to learn that dye inks and Versamark will work as well.  I hope that I’ve convinced you that you don’t have much to lose by trying out a different ink for that special project that is begging for your favorite color or some classy gold (or any color) embossing.  I was thrilled to find a way to spruce up plain white envelopes with a gold-embossed monogram.

Once I’ve tried a few more inks in my collection, I’ll be back to share more results.  Thanks for stopping by today and I would love to hear your comments!

18 Comment

  1. Vanessa Miles says: Reply

    Wow, thank you for the comparison.

    1. Annie Wills says: Reply

      You’re welcome Vanessa!

  2. Very awesome! Thanks for the insight! I also love that you used a Snapdragon Snippets design 🙂 I invite you to share this on the Snapdragon Snippets Scrapbooking or SVG Attic Facebook pages!

    1. Annie Wills says: Reply

      Thanks Beth! I would love to share this on the FB pages!

  3. Thank you, Annie, for conducting these experiments! I always have such good intentions but never enough time. 😉 So nice to know the Stampin Up dye inks work well, because I have a lot of those.

    1. Annie Wills says: Reply

      I know what you mean…it took me three months to get around to it myself! Haha

  4. vicky w says: Reply

    Thank you, Annie. I hit this page during a search to figure out what type of ink is used in the Mint. Now that you have described the ink is oil based, I wonder if the Ranger Archive ink would also be an option for use in the Mint (since I understand it is also oil based). I may need to try that.

    1. Annie Wills says: Reply

      Ranger Archival sounds promising…I wish I had some reinkers to try myself!

  5. Karen says: Reply

    What I really want to know is, can you use embossing powder on the Mint inks too? (or is it only the Versamark ink that allowed for embossing powder application?)

    1. Annie Wills says: Reply

      Hi Karen! I had a feeling I knew the answer, but you got me curious to try it out and be sure…so I just pulled out a Mint stamp I made back in May (not freshly inked), stamped it onto some Neenah Solar White 110lb, and added white detail embossing powder. And it stuck fine! I think if you’re fairly quick about it, you’ll have no problems embossing with the Mint ink…although the results may not be as nice and even as with Versamark.

  6. Kelsey says: Reply

    Thank you for the insight! Where did they have the Black Friday sale, at Michaels or online?

    1. Annie Wills says: Reply

      Hi Kelsey! Silhouette America almost always has a Black Friday sale in their online shop and the deals are usually pretty amazing!

  7. Davis says: Reply

    Thank you so much. I have been putting off buying for that reason and I am going to buy one now. Great read and very informative.

    1. Annie Wills says: Reply

      I’m so glad I could help you Davis!

  8. Odysx2 says: Reply

    Hi, any idea the lifespan of the stamps. How much will they last if not use them or how many refills will last just to have an idea ?

    1. Annie Wills says: Reply

      Silhouette has said that the stamps last for about 50 stampings before requiring more re-inking, but most people experience closer to 100. How long the refill lasts will depend on the size of your stamp, but you really don’t need a lot of ink each time you refill. Hope that helps!

  9. Jade Sinkovits says: Reply

    Hi, I have just stumbled across this wonderful machine. I’d love to use it to stamp on to cakes or biscuits. Do you think edible paints or colours could be used?

    1. Annie Wills says: Reply

      Wow Jade, that is an interesting question! I honestly have no idea, but if I come across edible paint in my travels soon, I’ll be sure to report back if it works. One issue I can see is that the Mint stamps are very low profile (so the stamp material will be coming in contact with your baked goods) and that material is likely not food-safe, but I’m really not sure!

Leave a Reply