Since antiquity, people have made inks from natural pigments found in plants and minerals. The basic process of suspending pigment in a liquid is still the same today and can be easily replicated at home. Several recipes are listed below. All inks can stain, so care should be taken not to drip ink on your clothes.
- Use soot to make black ink
Combine one egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of gum arabic, 1/2 cup of honey and mix well. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of soot. Thin to the desired consistency by adding a small amount of water.
- Use berries to make colored ink
Begin with 1/2 cup of either fresh or thawed frozen berries. Push the berries through a strainer to remove the pulp. Add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar to the juice to make the color last longer and 1/2 teaspoon of salt as a preservative. Mix thoroughly.
- Use walnut shells to make brown ink
Crush the shells of 12 walnuts with a hammer. Pour crushed shells into a saucepan and cover with water. Let them simmer for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat and let sit overnight. Strain the shells and add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the liquid to preserve the color.