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Arts, Crafts and Designs | Tutorial / How to:

DIY Calligraphy Ink

April 19, 2017
DIY calligraphy ink

When you live in the province away from dedicated arts supplies store.. you gotta improvise if the material you want is unavailable. In this case, it’s calligraphy ink. I have a coupla small jars of sumi ink but given their non-availability in my immediate vicinity, they seem far too precious to waste on practice and drills. But I need ink to practice anyway, so what do I use?

Good thing I came across this and this while scoring the Internet for solutions to this particular dilemma. It seems making homemade calligraphy ink is easier than I thought. You only need the following:

  • poster paint (Pentel, Dong-A, Sakura, etc.)
  • clean water
  • small pot or jar with lid
  • toothpick or plastic stirrer

You obviously don’t need any fancy equipment or anything. In fact, I used a coupla unused plastic specimen sample jars to contain the calligraphy ink. 😁

All you really have to do is put some poster paint in the pot or jar, add water a few drops at a time, and mix with the toothpick or stirrer (or anything similar, really). Just keep adding water and mixing until the mixture acquires a nice, flowing consistency like sumi ink.

Unfortunately, I only have 2 jars so I’m limited to 2 colors right now. One is a mix of Dong-A gold and silver and Pentel sepia, and the other of Colleen purple and white. Still looking for more jars so I can mix more colors to use. Because, you know, the more, merrier. 😜 Anywho. Here are some works using my homemade inks:

Because I used cheap poster paint for these, I have no qualms about wasting using them for daily practice so I could…

coffee siggy

  1. Wow! That’s very creative. How about the thickness and consistency, is it the same? I wouldn’t know you just created the ink yourself if you didn’t actually state it in the post. It’s good that you can make your own ink when the resources isn’t just available. I’m sure a lot of calligraphy enthusiast will find this post helpful.

  2. Wow, you’re just so creative and turning cynical situation into a positive perspective had really produced such an amazing hand work. I always admire people who has a good appetite in arts cause I don’t have that kind of talent. I wish to learn that thing as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. This is something new I learned today. DIY ink can increase creativity of mind. I need to pursue these kind of hobbies too,. Always reading does not do much good as compared to do it yourself projects.

  4. I recently met a new friend who’s into calligraphy as well. I want to learn this so bad. But I felt that it’s not for me.I have ugly handwriting that’s why I just can’t seem to fit.

  5. I have heard of some using food coloring as inks but I have never heard of this DIY before. Sure will be convenient for those who do not have enough $$ to spare for calligraphy supplies. I will surely keep this in mind when I start practicing calligraphy!

  6. It’s quite hard to use an oblique holder for a leftie. I really have paused in using pointed pen when I started using brush pen. It’s really nice to have a DIY ink though I haven’t used poster paint yet. Have you tried watercolor as ink? 🙂

  7. Very resourceful of you! I especially like the gold ink you made, and that’s from poster paint lang? Galing! Definitely a great alternative to the more expensive ones out there! 😀

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