Video: Ink Swatch Book

Hello! Today I have some organizational fun for you. I have *finally* found an ink swatch system that works for me and I am excited to share it in case it works for you, too! I also have several free downloads for you… ink swatches for my favorite inks.

I have tried 3 different systems and show them all in the video. The system I focused on today is the one I found works best for me – the ink swatch book. However, we are all different! One of the others may be better for you. But in case you like the one I like, I have several free downloads for you below.

I use coin pages to hold my 2” x 2” ink swatches and hold the pages together with ring clips. The Simon Says Stamp Swatch Stamp works perfectly for getting a nice ink sample on each square. (However, you can use any stamp you may have.) This makes for a very convenient ink organization system. I love it! I plan to also add my cardstock swatches to the book.


Since I was already creating the swatch files for my favorite inks, I thought I would share them here. All you have to do it download the files (click DOWNLOAD for each) and print on your favorite white cardstock. (I printed mine on Neenah since that is what I use most.) Some inks have more than one page since there are so many colors. The last link is an editable file so you can do other inks. You will need PS or PS Elements to edit it.

[ETA… click HERE for an updated list of downloads. I have many more!]

If you like different inks than me, you can easily create your own swatches by cutting 2″ x 2″ squares and writing the name on the bottom or using a label maker.

I feel so relieved to have a system that works for me. I hope it works for you, too! I would love to hear how you currently keep track of your ink colors – please share below. See you soon.


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143 thoughts on “Video: Ink Swatch Book”

  1. Hi Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing this. I’m relatively new to papercrafts and haven’t been thrilled with the swatch systems I’ve seen as they keep all the different brands separated, making finding the perfect colour for a project into an arduous process. This system is brilliant in that I can put all like colours together and add more as I increase my stock. Thanks so much for the idea and the printables.

  2. Wow! You are way to generous! Thank you for the downloads and organizational fun! I just finished converting my stamps to Avery Elle clear pocket folders. I will put this one my list!

  3. Thanks for sharing. Can I ask what type of printer do you use that will print on Neena cardstock? I can’t seem to find a printer capable of such a task. 🙁 I think my only option left is to print on regular paper and take it to Kinko’s.

  4. Wow, great video! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this and to offer the downloads. I’ve bookmarked this post and I’ll be back! 😉

  5. What a great idea and I just want to say thank you for sharing your download with everyone…thats a lot of work on your part and very sweet of you to share! *hugs*

  6. This is a great idea. Love the ease of flipping it around and seeing so many colors at once. I’m going to pin this for down the road. During the last True Stamp I cut tags on my Cameo and made ink swatches using a solid stamp. It has changed the way I stamp. So easy to have them all together. When my collection grows I may switch to this idea.
    Thanks Jen!

  7. Jennifer
    You are a great organizer of you’re tools. thank you for showing us how you do it. No wonder you have more time to can find things much easier being so organized.

    I waste more tome looking for what I want and never finding it when I need it. This is fantastic.
    thanks Jennifer for all the great tips and tricks.

  8. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and useful way to keep track of our ink pads. Would it be possible to share one of the templates in word format which could be edited to add new colors as they become available? Thanks again for being so generous with your ideas and talent.

  9. Love all your organization ideas. Would you be willing to share the font you used to make the downloads. I have lots of other inks besides some of the ones you provided the downloads for. I love the clean, orderly look of the 2″ x 2″ squares, but I’m a little OCD and would love to have the ones I create match yours by using the same font! Thanks in advance!

  10. Great ideas, thanks. I have done similar swatches, but by company, not color. The one from Ranger for Distress Inks has been particularly helpful (download from their site). But I like your way of organizing by color and will try it. An editable file will be more helpful because I don’t have all the colors you have. Of course not!

  11. Jennifer, you have great organizing ideas! I have the SSS color swatch set but I haven’t used it yet. I just ordered the coin pages and 1″ rings. I’m going to use the SSS swatch stamps and stamp off the edge the way you plan to do for the Distress inks. I like having the ink on the edge so I can put it right up against the color I’m trying to compare it to. Until now, my system has been: pull out all the inks in the color family, brush some color on a piece of scrap paper and compare colors. Waste of time and ink!
    I think I’m going to use your system for card stock and my Copics, too. I have a swatch book for my Copics, but your system makes it possible to easily compare multiple colors. I’m looking forward to your creating an editable file. Like Elizabeth K., I like everything to match!
    Thank you, SO MUCH, for your hard work!

  12. Thanks for the Downloads- I chuckled because I do my ink samples the same way. I also write in the corner R if I have the refill for them.

    For the Distressed Inks I actually do them baseball card size and list all the products for them with a check box-what I have I check off and can do a little color swatch. It makes it so easy to know what I have across the line.

  13. Jennifer, what another great idea! THANK YOU, thank you – for making organizing “fun” and for the really helpful downloads 🙂

  14. What I also like about your method is that when you add new inks to your stash, you don’t have to make up a whole new chart–you can just shift everything around to insert the new ones. Way easier in my mind. Not that I don’t like playing with my inks, but I’d rather be doing it on a card!! I was thinking about what you said about putting the matching card stock behind the swatches–I was thinking for mine, I would maybe shorten them on the top so I could see the card stock from the front also. Don’t know if I’d NEED that or just want that. I have to think about it some more. LOVE your system though.!!!! Thanks again for sharing.

  15. I would sure love to see snapshots of your swatch book. For me, it would let me know which inks are really close in color to other colors, (i.e., your Mama Elephant Lollipop and Avery Elle Rapsberry.) Because stamping is my hobby, not my business, I wouldn’t need to have both of those, saving money for yet another color that I really do need!

  16. 1). thanks for the color swatch PDF download.

    2). no need to cut up and buy coin pockets for me. I just stamp the ink onto your PDF file, and put the whole 8.5 x11 sheet into a sheet protector.

    DONE. =)

  17. Thanks for the tips. The number of inks pads that I have is growing, so I am at the point where I need an ink swatch system. I am liking the coin pages and will try that. Thanks.

  18. Thanks for the great idea. I am wondering if the same can work for the amount of markers that I keep amassing, both Stampin Up & distress.

  19. This looks like a wonderful system – even better than your “do-it-yourself” swatch ring… which I had already copied. I love all of your organizational tips, but I might have to stop watching these and just stick with your card tutorials because I can’t afford to keep changing everything, LOL. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  20. I love all the information in this video. I don’t have enough inks to warrant using the coin pages but I will do a “make my own” swatch on a ring. That’s what I have already done with my embossing folders and it works great. Thanks for mentioning that the distress ink swatches should show blending, water coloring and stamping.

  21. Jennifer thanks for the creative ways to organize ink swatches. This was so timely as I was thinking of a new way to organize my ink swatches. I am currently using the one on the ring that was shown in one of the online card classes I took previously but I think I like this one in the video better. Yes, that one I believe will work best for me. Thanks again!

  22. Thanks so much for the files!
    Just 1 question: My Canon doesn’t print out the whole page – it’s missing the top and bottom marks. What is the first vertical cut measurement? (It’s easy after that!)
    Also (sorry another question!), how big do I print the editable from Elements? 8×10 is too small and I’m still learning the PS fickleness!
    Thanks for your help and inspiration!

  23. Thanks so much for these great downloads!!
    I will be putting mine together this weekend but
    I of course don’t have all of these inks but a girl
    can dream 🙂

  24. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome system and all those great download. Can’t wait to tackle my ink organization now. The other cool thing with the downloads is that we can see what inks we might me missing … LOL.

  25. Thanks for the great idea. Did I miss the video of your new room? I’m getting ready to redo my room after my youngest leaves for boot camp (Navy). Mine won’t be as grand as yours but it’ll give me something to think about besides the empty nest :(.

  26. Terrific idea – I like it! You have wonderful organization tips. Thank you for sharing the idea and all the templates.

  27. Thanks for the dl’s Jennifer! Also for the editable. This will be so time saving for helping me organize my ever-growing ink supply! I swear you enjoy organizing almost as much as you do creating! No wonder why you can juggle all you do!

  28. Wonderful ideas, Jennifer! I have swatches on rings and it is getting so huge…difficult sometimes to work with. I find that sometimes I set up a system that works great for a long time but then I get so much stuff…and it just doesn’t work anymore. I think your pages are a great idea and I love how you can easily remove the little squares to see how the colors look next to each other.

    Thanks for the tips!

  29. Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for sharing the editable swatch file. It will make my life so much easier being able to create cards for my inks and I didn’t have to recreate your sheet from scratch to do so! Love you and your kindness.

  30. I love the idea for the ink swatches!! I have tried a couple as well, and I am so glad there are talented people like yourself who think up the things I want!!! it is so nice to see all of my blue colors on one page.

    Thank you sooooo much!!

  31. Thanks so much for your thorough storage solution for inks and the fabulously helpful downloads and detailed directions. I’m actually doing the project right now. I’ve done the downloads and some swatch stamping while waiting for my label maker to arrive and am going to order my Organize More stamp storage right away. Can’t wait to get it all done. My closet crafting space is busting at the seams and this will definitely help.

  32. Thanks so much for adding the editable file. However that file seems to be a PhotoShop file, and I don’t have PhotoShop. Is there perhaps another format available?

  33. Hi Jennifer. I was looking for a way to make my own yarn color swatches because the colors on the computer don’t always agree with what finally arrives. Thank you for your great color ink swatch idea. I even created my own template. Tried to include pic but didn’t paste. Oh well. Thank You.

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