How to Make Natural Ink
Prior to the production of pens, ink was made at home from items found in nature. Natural ink was kept in an ink well and used for writing with a calligraphy pen. You can still make ink at home with natural ingredients that you likely have in your pantry or refrigerator. Plant parts are used to make inks, and the color of the plant affects the color of the final ink product. Making natural ink is a fun project for children.
Things You'll Need
- 1/2 cup berries (raspberries, cherries, blueberries or strawberries)
- Medium bowl
- Wooden or plastic spoon
- 1/2 tsp. vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Small glass jar with lid
Place 1/2 cup of berries into a strainer and place over a bowl. Use berries that are fresh or have been thawed. You may use one type of berry or a mixture of berries depending on the color ink you want. Cut large berries, like strawberries, into smaller pieces.
Press the berries against the strainer with a plastic or wooden spoon so that the berries crush and release their juice. Move the berries around in the strainer and continue to press to ensure that you remove as much juice as possible.
Remove the strainer containing the berry pulp. The bowl below should contain only berry juice.
Add 1/2 tsp. of vinegar to the berry juice and mix with a spoon. The vinegar allows the ink to retain the color.
Mix 1/2 tsp. of salt into the berry mixture. Salt will preserve the berry juice so that it can be used as ink without becoming moldy.
Pour the berry ink into a clean, small jar and tightly place the lid on the jar. Keep the lid on the jar when the ink is not in use to preserve the ink.
Store natural ink the the refrigerator or freezer when you are not using it to preserve the ink for as long as possible.
- Berry ink ranges from pink to red to purple depending on which berries you use and the ripeness of the berries.
- Apply the ink to disposable rubber stamps or sponges using a small, wide brush.
- Berry ink stains fabrics and surfaces, so be cautious when moving and using ink.
- Do not eat or drink the ink after applying it to objects.