To make ink with nuts, shell walnuts and boil walnut hulls, or boil acorns. Add vinegar to the walnut solution and sifted ash to the acorn solution. Mix in plant dyes or chemicals for color.
The tannins are responsible for dark color in handmade inks. Tannin can come from tea leaves or, in this case, nutshells. To color the inks made with tannin, plant dyes can be used. Boil mango, indigo or logwood in tap water and add vinegar.
- Prepare the nuts To make ink with walnuts, shell the nuts. Pour 1 1/2 to 2 gallons of water in a bucket and leave 1 lb. of walnut hulls in it to soak for several days. For acorn ink, boil 1/2 gallon of acorns in 2 gallons of water.
- Make the ink For the walnut ink, leave the hulls in the water and simmer the solution for several hours until it reaches a dark color. Leave to cool. With an acorn solution, boil it down before adding four or five handfuls of wood ash that had been sifted. Let it cool. Strain both solutions to catch all the particles. To make the walnut ink more permanent, add 1/4 cup of vinegar. Add sodium hydroxide or potassium permanganate to the acorn ink if a more red hue is desired.