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Old 02-28-2018, 06:03 AM   #1
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Question Overwhelmed by choices of ink pads

I've searched the forum here, watched dozens of you tube videos and checked out many blogs, but I am overwhelmed by the choices in ink pad brands. It seems everyone is marketing dye ink pads. Some look like exactly the same plastic case with different names on them: Gina K, Simon Says Stamp, and Lawn Fawn to name a few. Is there any real difference in formulation? I know some lines have pads that match their cardstock. One other question is the differences in color: some lines have colors with exactly the same names or else the color looks so close that I can't tell if I'm getting exactly the same color that I already have. For example, lawn fawn pumpkin and Gina K sweet mango look very similar in photos, but with the difference in names, are they? My crafting is for pleasure, not a business, so I can't afford to buy one of every pad out there.

Also, I would love to have a chart that shows side by side color comparison of every dye ink so that I would know which ones to buy to use for layering with the ones I already have.


Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:37 AM   #2
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Dye inks have pretty much the same properties, so go for the colors you like. Jennifer McGuire swatches all her inks, so her videos are a good way to see color ranges for each brand. I think she has a swatch download too, which is probably the best way to see where you have gaps in your own collection.
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Old 02-28-2018, 06:54 AM   #3
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Check out this information: A Complete Guide to Stamp Pads and Inks | eBay
There are waterproof and water based dye inks.
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Old 02-28-2018, 08:43 AM   #4
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I'm pretty sure that aa lot of those companies have the same manufacturer, it's just the branding thats different. You can find swatch charts for most major brands on the manufacturers website. For instance, Tsukineko make many of the brands we all know & love- all the various Versa- branded pads, Memento,Staz-on, Brilliance and many more.
Also, do remember that what you see on your monitor screen is only going to be a rough guide to colour, as every monitor will display colour slightly differently.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:34 AM   #5
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If I had it to do over I probably would have picked a formula I like and gone with one dye ink manufacturer that has cubes and refills. So many new ones have come along since I started. I would love a color swatch chart that shows them all. At least you could see if the Apricot that you own looks even the slightest bit different from the apricot you are thinking of buying or is actually salmon or peach. Flamingo is all over the place colorwise. I did the Jennifer ink swatching so I know that Hero Arts shadow inks have some absolute matches from other companies. There are dead ringers for Memento also.There are also exact color duplicates in the pigments and hybrids. Jennifer did a recent video where if you froze it you could take a longer look at her massive chart and compare a few colors, but that’s about it. Anyone can PM me and I’ll tell them the 12 or so dye inks that are absolute matches on my chart but I don’t have all the inks in the world either. I’m working on it though. I’m just beginning to acquire Altenew so I’m sure there will be many more duplicates. I’m visiting a friend this summer who has all Altenew so I’ll be comparing my swatch book to hers.
This is also true of watercolors. Since the tubes are pricey I decided to go with just one brand after visiting comparison sites where an artist had done side by sides with all the artist quality brands.
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Old 02-28-2018, 10:43 AM   #6
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If you like or have Memento inks and like Gina K inks or cardstock, here is a thread with the matches for the two: http://stamptv.ning.com/forum/topics...to-ink-matches

Bear in mind that Gina has added several colors since this came out and some colors are retired.


I have all of the Memento Due Drop ink pads and use this chart a lot. I also have most or all of Gina K colors either in full ink pads or mini ink cubes and love the inks. Then I have many full size Lawn Fawn ink pads. There are exact or close matches across all three of companies. I am pretty sure that Gina K and Lawn Fawn are made in the same factory as their inks pads are pretty much the same, where the lid comes off of the pad.
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Old 02-28-2018, 11:04 AM   #7
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I will tell you about my favorite inks, but I am by no means an expert. I have the full range of Stampin' UP inks. I love them and their color families. I like matching paper and ribbons and buttons. I have many if not all the ink pads from Altenew. I like them for color layering stamps. I have several lawn fawn inks because the of the actual colors, they were different from what I had. I have distress inks and oxide inks- both of those are good technique inks. My current favorite ink is Catherine Pooler inks. Now I don't know the science of ink formulas, I know the colors that I like, and the way the ink pad feels in my hand and as I use it. Catherine Pooler inks work well for me, and give great coverage. There was one ink release that Catherine Pooler did, I can't remember the name of it, but it was more on the lighter color end. I didn't think I would like them, as I tend to like bolder colors better. I can't say how wrong I was, they are FANTASTIC colors and have become my go to colors. They are more pastelish colors but they are nice and vivid. I am not sure how else to explain them. I equate them to the SU subtles in colors but the colors POP way more than SU...if that makes sense. So those are the inks I use and why. Not sure if that is helpful or not.
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Old 02-28-2018, 07:25 PM   #8
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If I had to start over buying dye inks, I would go with WPlus9 and Lawn Fawn. I love the colors and the coverage of both. I have about 70 SU pads, so I really try to use them, but I won'tbe buying more of them or buying reinkers for the ones I have.
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Old 03-01-2018, 03:43 AM   #9
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For dye inks, don't be afraid to buy from several companies, especially since many are made by Stewart. As others mentioned, Jennifer McGuire's videos on favorite inks might be helpful. I'd watch them from the past few years, not just the last one (2017), since it isn't that she prefers inks she reviews in the latest video; she's just adding companies she hasn't highlighted previously, and says that.

So going more with colors than companies, I have dye inks from quite a few companies: Hero Arts, Studio Calico (my first inks, still like the colors), SSS, others. If you buy small cubes you get to try lots of colors. And if you want really vibrant colors that stamp amazing detail, check out Versafine and the new Versafine Clair - though they're not dye. Many people use Versafine (black) for sentiments.

The only dye inks I might not buy again are the small cubes from Altenew. They've been dryer than others, though have stamped decently, so maybe that's not fair. But I can't read the names on a few of the cubes since they used a tiny script font on a similar colored background, and the lids are very loose. (Maybe they've improved this?)

I also like the newer light-medium-dark inks of the same color by IO (Impression Obsession). The owner came to an LSS to demo them. She said the ink formulation wasn't different than other dye inks out there - she wanted to fill a gap. I have fog-shadow-taupe and a couple others. Impression Obsession Rubber Stamps: *NEW* Ink Pads & Refills

Good luck, and if you need help finding Jennifer McGuire's videos, just yell. Or post.

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Old 03-01-2018, 10:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by hilsmom View Post
If I had to start over buying dye inks, I would go with WPlus9 and Lawn Fawn. I love the colors and the coverage of both. I have about 70 SU pads, so I really try to use them, but I won'tbe buying more of them or buying reinkers for the ones I have.
I have had good luck with the WPlus9 also. If I were starting over it would be WPlus9 because they have refills for most, and then filling in colors with Hero Arts just because lots of ink is my thing. Color duplication is pretty inevitable though if you have multiple brands. Iím buying Altenew inks in just a very few of the cube sets to do a couple of the build a flower stamps I just bought. Itís a no brainer to grab a four set and get a good color progression on leaves and flowers. Iím not concerned about perfect coverage with those because I will be using my stamp positioner. I do like that Altenew gives a crisp edge, important on layering. Iíll be using those just for layering so color duplication in those few sets is not an issue. I probably wonít even add them to my swatch chart or buy refills.
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:07 AM   #11
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As others have said, there are brands from the same manufacturer just repackaged for different companies. I personally don’t know if there is a way to find that out online or if a chart exists somewhere that shows, for example: “color #345 made by XYZ manufacturers is packaged as pumpkin for Gina K, mango for Lawn Fawn and clementine for Hero Arts. ( I just made those up to make a point...hope that isn’t confusing).

If you are just starting out to really build a good collection of ink pick a line that has lots of colors. Hero Arts comes to mind. If matching card stock is important to you that can help narrow down your choices.


Having to pick colors just from what they look like on your computer screen can be difficult and end up with you not getting what you were hoping for. Unfortunately so many local stamping stores haven’t been able to survive in this computer driven world.


Do remember if you are in search of a lighter ink color to layer with an ink you already have, you can always “stamp off” on scrap paper first then stamp on your project to create your own lighter shade.
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:12 AM   #12
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Smile lots of good information

I really appreciate all the help. I'm not sure Altenew is really my favorite ink, but I do love the coordinating colors. Mainly i've ordered mini cubes. I realized that I don't have a variety of yellows. The three I have are so similar: lawnfawn sunflower, CTMH and Stampin up that are almost identical!
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:30 AM   #13
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IO (Impression Obsession) also has coordinating inks (in threes), though they are sold individually. Impression Obsession Rubber Stamps
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Old 03-04-2018, 09:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwlawky View Post
I really appreciate all the help. I'm not sure Altenew is really my favorite ink, but I do love the coordinating colors. Mainly i've ordered mini cubes. I realized that I don't have a variety of yellows. The three I have are so similar: lawnfawn sunflower, CTMH and Stampin up that are almost identical!
The coordination is what sold me on a few of the Altenew sets but not my favorite ink either. Funny about the yellows. Thatís where I have ended up with the most duplicates even though I only have half a dozen compared to three dozen greens.


If I were going to a desert island with a sponge and a stamp positioner Iíd choose Distress Oxides. You can buy one set of those, have most colors and do most everything with them. Well maybe a couple of Versafines or Clairs thrown in also.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:54 AM   #15
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I will pip in here and say, I like my Altenew pads for color layering, it makes it easy, I do think they are a drier pad, funny others think the same thing. Now they are drier but I have reinked mine yet either....but I have the full size pads so I'm not sure the cubes are the problem.
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:41 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjeans View Post
I also like the newer light-medium-dark inks of the same color by IO (Impression Obsession). The owner came to an LSS to demo them. She said the ink formulation wasn't different than other dye inks out there - she wanted to fill a gap. I have fog-shadow-taupe and a couple others. Impression Obsession Rubber Stamps: *NEW* Ink Pads & Refills
These inks are actually a hybrid ink, not dye-based - they're compatible with watercolor and alcohol markers as well as the solvents used for pencil blending. Looove them!
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Old 03-06-2018, 04:47 AM   #17
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I love them too, for the light-medium-darkness, and some of the colors are gorgeous. And my apologies for calling them dye ink - I remember her saying they aren't different than other inks out there, but obviously she meant other hybrid inks. I use them with dye inks.

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Old 03-07-2018, 01:56 AM   #18
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I have the Marvy ink pads, Ranger Distress inks, Memento, Adirondacks and Memories, my go to in order are my favs MARVY, then Distress inks...I use them all but the first two are the best in my book. I have the re-inkers for the Marvy's and Adirondacks. I guess by the looks of comments here that there are so many, that gives everyone a choice, that is nice.
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Louisa May View Post
Check out this information: A Complete Guide to Stamp Pads and Inks | eBay
There are waterproof and water based dye inks.
This link isnít working.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:45 PM   #20
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For me, my favorite ink choices are the product of trial and error. Not a great way to do it but there you have it. That being said, my favorite inks are Altenew and Papertrey Ink. The coverage on both is fantastic, no matter what paper I use, and as an added bonus I like that Papertrey Ink has the matching cardstock.


I started out my stamping hobby using Stampin' Up! but I don't like their "new" foam pads. The ink is too dark (in regards to matching the cardstock) and the pads themselves are too wet and I get muddy images all the time (all this is my opinion, of course). I, too, believe that many of the inks are made by the same manufacturer because the cases they come in all look the same. Inks such as Hero Arts, Simon Says Stamp, wPlus9, Reverse Confetti, My Favorite Things, and others all look the same so I assume they are all made by the same manufacuturer. I avoid all of those because I get splotchy results every time. I also think that certain inks behave differently depending on the cardstock you use, so a bit of experimintation is warranted there too. I found it all so overwhelming when I broke up with the SU! ink pads and I was very frustrated when trying to find an ink that worked well for me. Many times I've bought ink only to end up selling it on eBay (or here) because I just couldn't get it to work well for me. In fact, this thread has reminded me that I've got some Adirondak pads to unload!


Oh, and I also love the Avery Elle pigment pads. They have very crisp coverage and dry fast (unlike many pigment inks). They also had coordinating cardstock, which was my all-time favorite cardstock, but they stopped carrying that a few years ago. I was so disappointed about that. Their white and kraft was the best I'd ever used.


So, in conclusion: good luck. Finding the right ink pad for you can be tricky but don't give up until you find the right fit!
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:12 AM   #21
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Great post, jenmitchell. Very good point about ink/cardstock mix, it can make all the difference. You are quite right that a lot of trial and error comes into this. I'm sure that over there, inks will perform differently depending on the humidity of the area as well. Not a UK problem, lol.
I love my Adirondacks fro adding colour- sponging/brayering.
Quite often, I found, inks can behave in different ways to expected- for instance, although the general rule is you can't heat emboss dye inks, I find if the ink is wet enough, and on a coated cardstock, it can be done. TH Distress Inks work well for me. You can also turn your dye inks into embossable inks by putting Versamark on your stamp first, then your coloured dye ink.
But for anyone wanting a new inkpad to try, I'm giving a shout out to the new Versafine Clair pads. They are amazing- even better than the originals, believe it or not. The depth of the new Black, (Nocturne) has to be seen to be believed, especially on solid silhouette type stamps.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:33 AM   #22
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In a hobby that seems to promote the ideas of new, different and more all the time, I have found my creativity blossom from limiting my choices. A while ago I decided to double down on Stampin' Up (no, I'm not a demo). I like the fact that things match easily, there's a great variety of color and I love the new foam pads.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:37 PM   #23
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I used to have all the SU, CTMH, Adirondack and Distress dye inks available. I found myself using the SU and CTMH the most as I like the fact that reinkers are available and the cardstock matches. I gave away all my Adirondacks to one newbie in our group and the Distress inks to another. Just recently I gave away all the CTMH as I really didn't like the quality of the cardstock even though it matched well. So, for dye inks I use SU and Memento Black. I also have a limited amount of Memories colors as I find I can use them in place of Stazon inks that I don't like, even though they are dye inks, I can watercolor when I stamp with them. I have some Colorbox pigment inks and Encore metallic inks. I have tried to find the non-dye inks in colors that match the SU dye inks, but it is not an easy job. Most of my ink pads are old---even many of the clam shell boxes I prefer. The only color I have with the new foam pad is Smokey Gray (haven't used it much yet), as I no longer buy any In Colors. I also have found that limiting my choices is freeing.
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:34 AM   #24
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Quote:
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If I had it to do over I probably would have picked a formula I like and gone with one dye ink manufacturer that has cubes and refills. So many new ones have come along since I started. I would love a color swatch chart that shows them all. At least you could see if the Apricot that you own looks even the slightest bit different from the apricot you are thinking of buying or is actually salmon or peach. Flamingo is all over the place colorwise. I did the Jennifer ink swatching so I know that Hero Arts shadow inks have some absolute matches from other companies. There are dead ringers for Memento also.There are also exact color duplicates in the pigments and hybrids. Jennifer did a recent video where if you froze it you could take a longer look at her massive chart and compare a few colors, but thatís about it. Anyone can PM me and Iíll tell them the 12 or so dye inks that are absolute matches on my chart but I donít have all the inks in the world either. Iím working on it though. Iím just beginning to acquire Altenew so Iím sure there will be many more duplicates. Iím visiting a friend this summer who has all Altenew so Iíll be comparing my swatch book to hers.
This is also true of watercolors. Since the tubes are pricey I decided to go with just one brand after visiting comparison sites where an artist had done side by sides with all the artist quality brands.
Which watercolors did you go with? I am just curious
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:00 AM   #25
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My final choice was Daniel Smith. I have Peerless and Gansai and Zig brushes but I seldom use them. I’m slowly building a pallet of about forty DS colors. I like convenience colors since I am not great at mixing.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:41 AM   #26
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I haven't bought any new inks in quite a while. What is the difference between Versafine and Versafine Clair? Is one dye and the other pigment? I am looking for a good basic black ink for crisp sentiments and outlines of images that I can color in.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:55 AM   #27
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Here's a long thread about Versafine Clair.https://www.splitcoaststampers.com/f...r-t617658.html

Versafine and Versafine Clair are both pigment inks though quickly dry to the touch. They can be used for heat embossing, though Clair can be heat embossed for a long time after being stamped.

Lots of people use Versafine in Onyx black for sentiments. Nocturne in Clair is a very rich black also, and Clair has come out with some vivid colors. Both are terrific for detailed stamps and sentiments.

I don't color unless a project forces me to : ) so others can better answer coloring questions.

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Old 03-13-2018, 06:48 PM   #28
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Versa Fine onyx black is what I use for sentiments and images I am going to watercolor.I have quite a few blacks, but just keep using VF since works so well. I should just get rid of all the other blacks.....or give them a chance.
I have tons of Altenew cubes. Love the ink, but the cubes kind of suck since the lids are so loose. I’m remodeling and the container with 20 cubes got bumped and toppled over.
All the lids of course were all over the place. Matching all those blues with the lids was hard since no names in bottoms. Distress inks have same loose lids.
Funny story re polymer stamps. I lost part of a sentiment that had the word ‘wishes’.
One of those about 1/8” x 1/2”. Figured it washed down the sink. Two days later saw something in the garbage disposal. It was my teensy weensy stamp that got knocked around in the disposal for 2 days and was totally unscathed!
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:44 AM   #29
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I've got a few of the Clairs, and the one called Nocturne is the 'new ' black. Never thought I'd say it, but I swear the new one is a deeper, richer black than the Onyx, and that has been my goto black for years.
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Old 03-15-2018, 07:22 PM   #30
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. This was in an email from Ellen Hutson. It's very good to help understand and SEE some wonderful inks. With details on the properties of each one. I hope the link works!
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:47 AM   #31
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I use the rubber bands (the type used in the rubber band looms) to hold the lids on my ink cubes. I often travel with my ink cubes to crops and like to make sure the lids stay on.
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Old 03-16-2018, 07:50 AM   #32
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Where do I find this type of rubber band please. Not familiar.
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:12 AM   #33
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I bought a bag of the bands at our grocery store in the shampoo section. They are everywhere.
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:34 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris01 View Post
Where do I find this type of rubber band please. Not familiar.
You can buy the rainbow loom bands at the craft store or can use the similar hair elastic types found at the dollar store etc.

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Old 03-16-2018, 10:18 AM   #35
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Thank you so much for band info!!!!
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