How to Make a Ballpen Ink Using Plants

blackberries image by Alison Bowden from

Things You'll Need

  • Strainer
  • Bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • 1/2 cup berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Syringe
  • Empty ink cartridge
  • Ball pen

When a pen runs out of ink, people tend to simply throw the used pen away and buy a new one. It is a cheap and convenient way to refurbish your stock of writing utensils, so this is what most people do. However, an alternative to throwing away your empty pens is to refill the ink cartridges, rather than creating plastic waste from unwanted pens. You can make your own, environmentally friendly ink at home through the use of various common household items.

Pour one-half cup of ripe berries into a strainer. Types of usable berries include blueberries, blackberries, cherries and raspberries.

Hold the strainer over a bowl or container. Smash the berries against the strainer using a wooden spoon or similar utensil. Continue to pummel the berries until the juices have been strained out and only the solid remains are left.

Add one-half teaspoon of vinegar and one-half teaspoon of salt into the liquid. These will help preserve the color and freshness of the ink.

Extract small amounts of ink from the bowl using a pipette or syringe. Release the ink into an empty ball pen cartridge. Repeat until the cartridge is full, then replace the cartridge in the ball pen.


About the Author

Kathy Miller began writing in 2008. Her articles appear on eHow, with expertise in science, crafts and cooking. Miller is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in bioengineering at Rutgers University.

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