is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Make Ink for Fountain Pen

how to make ink for fountain pen

A Brief History

It was in 1890 when a patent for an ink cartridge system was filed so it can be used for fountain pens. Ink cartridges made from glass and copper tubing were introduced in the early part of the 20th century. It did not gain outright popularity until a pioneer company conceptualized the use of plastic cartridges in 1953. And so goes fountain pen ink history to this day.

The invention of ink mixture for writing is one of the most practical discoveries of mankind. It revolutionized the handwriting system from stone etching, cuneiform writing, to modern fountain pens and ballpoint pens.

Different Methods and Ink Mixtures

Fountain pens continue to amaze us on how this very simple gadget can make beautiful and classic art in terms of creative writing styles and techniques. Fountain pen-style and the basic mechanisms are considered important, but a reliable ink is equally crucial.

When you first see the writings made from a fountain pen using bold and consistent black ink, you might cross your mind on how these inks were prepared. Are these ink types expensive? It seems expensive especially if you are using a classic fountain pen.

Some types of ink are professionally and commercially prepared for specific works of art. But the truth is, there are compatible forms that anyone can prepare even at your own home.

You too can easily prepare the fountain pen ink type of your choice. Here I am going to show you different methods and ink mixtures which you can try as long as you have the easy basic ingredients. Below are methods of mixture you can choose from specifically for colors black, brown, Prussian or deep blue, brown, and dark blue.

Let us go through each of these methods of the mixture to enlighten you further on how to make ink for a fountain pen by starting with the most popular, the Black Permanent Ink Mixture.

Easy Steps on How to Make Ink for Fountain Pen

Mixture for Black Ink

Perhaps, you will agree that black is the widely used ink color for many types of pen, including fountain pens. It is not difficult to prepare even at your own home. The ingredients are also readily available in most nearby stores.

Things You Will Need:

  • 1 small mixing bowl and plastic stirrer or stick
  • 1/2 tsp lamp black (this is available for purchase but this can also be DIYed by holding a ceramic plate over a burning candle and gather the black residue formed under the plate)
  • 1 egg (yolk only)
  • 1 teaspoon of gum arabic (also known as gum sudani, and acacia gum)
  • 1/2 cup of pure honey


  • Step 1: The first thing to do is combine the egg yolk, pure honey, and acacia gum or gum arabic and mix them in a bowl.
  • Step 2: As you stir carefully, add in the lamp black. You will notice that the consistency changes and the mixture forms into a paste.
  • Final Step: Before using the ink, slowly stir in a few drops of water to get the consistency you prefer or need.
  • Tip: The consistency might not always turn out very smooth like most inks are. What you can do is add some heat but make sure not to apply too much as it will harden the mixture.

Mixture for Brown Ink

A fine alternative to blank ink for your fountain pen is dark brown ink. Aside from that, this is an ideal option if you do not have any char or lamp black; it does not need any of that.

Things You Will Need:

  • 1 small mixing bowl and plastic stirrer or stick
  • 4 teaspoons or 4 to 5 bags of loose tea
  • 1 teaspoon acacia gum or gum arabic
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • A strainer


  • Step 1: The first thing to do is prepare the tea. You should boil a half cup of clean water.
  • Step 2: Place the tea bags in a cup and pour the water over, just like making a cup of tea.
  • Step 3: To extract the flavors or substances from the tea (or known as the tannins), allow around 15 minutes for the tea to steep.
  • Step 4: After steeping, add in the gum arabic slowly. Continue mixing until you achieve enough consistency.
  • Final Step: Use the strainer to finally separate the thick paste from other tea residues before storing it in a bottle.

Mixture for Prussian or Deep Blue Ink

Known as a happenstance color, Prussian gives off dark shades of blue, which is somewhere between cobalt and indigo. Some say Prussian blue is deeper than these shades and resembles dark teal.

The descriptions or mixtures might sound complicated but producing this color is much simpler than you think. Just so you know, the following procedure has originated in the 18th century and has been what many artists and painters use to come up with this ink color.

Things You Will Need:

  • 1 small mixing bowl and plastic stirrer or stick
  • Prussian Blue dye or pigment powder (this is oftentimes sold as a bluing agent for laundry)
  • ½ cup of clean water


  • Step 1: In a mixing bowl, carefully mix the Prussian Blue pigment with water.
  • Step 2: Continue mixing until you achieve thick and rich consistency in a deep blue color.
  • Final Step: Store in a clean bottle and mix well before using with your fountain pen

Mixture for Dark Blue Ink

Similar to the Prussian Blue ink mixture, this one lends a dark blue shade similar to blackberries. We will be using all-natural ingredients for this mixture.

Things You Will Need:

  • 1 small mixing bowl and plastic stirrer or stick
  • 1 cup of fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup of clean water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of acacia gum or gum arabic
  • Thyme oil (about 4 drops)
  • A strainer


  • Step 1: To extract the juices from blackberries, place them in a bowl and pour over hot water. You should press the blackberries carefully until you collect their colored juices.
  • Step 2: Continue pressing the blackberries to gather the maximum amount of juices. Do this until you get a deep blue color.
  • Step 3: Use the strainer to sift through the mixture and separate the juice from the solid particles and residues.
  • Step 4: Put the juice extract into your mixing bowl and gently add the gum arabic and stir well.
  • Step 5: Continue mixing until you reach the desired consistency or until it looks like a paste.
  • Final Step: Now add the thyme oil and gently mix them to make a perfect blend of all ingredients. This is the final mixture that you need to let cool before storing it in a bottle.


Fountain pen ink together with a reliable pen has become an essential part of classic and modern writings and even works of art. These ink types may seem to look like some mystical substance that is hard to find. You can just imagine the brilliance and artwork it can produce.

But as you have read in this article, making fountain pen inks is surprisingly easy and the ingredients are readily available, and not that hard to find. The basics are simple and the variety is sufficient.

Leave a Comment