How to Make a Homemade Ink Pen

feather image by peter Hires Images from

Things You'll Need

  • Feather
  • Sharp hobby knife
  • Sand
  • Can
  • Oven
  • Ink

The quill pen has existed for centuries and is now a romantic affectation of medieval times. Though fountain pens have replaced the need for antiquated instruments such as the quill pen, it is still an aesthetically pleasing and has a timeless appeal. And regardless of its historical significance, the quill pen remains a professional instrument, honing calligraphy skills for any writer.

Find a feather from a robust flying bird or at an arts and crafts store.

Pick off the excess barb. Hold the feather as if writing with it to judge how much feathery bits should be removed. Scrape off with a sharp hobby knife.

Place a can full of sand in the oven at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. Then place the feather, tip down, into the sand until the sand gets cold. This will make the feather tip less brittle and more flexible for writing.

Cut the tip of the feather diagonally in a sloping fashion.

Cut a slit in the center of the top of the pen, which is the side that is facing you when writing.

Cut a scoop from the barrel of the nip on the opposite side of the slit.

Cut both corners of the nib on either side of the slit.

fountain pen image by Pali A from

Sharpen the nib by scraping the inside with the knife and shaping the outside into a sharp point. The end tip of the feather will resemble the tip of a fountain pen.

Dip the nib into a bottle of ink and start writing.


  • The tip will have to be re-sharpened every once in a while.


About the Author

Nikki Cash graduated from UCLA with a bachelor's in film/TV, where she won an MPAA Scholarship. Since graduating, she has written and produced an independent feature film starting her career as a writer in 2005. Cash enjoys writing eHow articles with topics ranging from home improvement to crafts.

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