DIY Blueberry Ink from Fresh or Frozen Berries


Blueberry Ink-1

Photo by Sarah Hart Morgan

It’s blueberry season! If you have an extra amount this season, may I strongly suggest that you use some to create blueberry ink — I don’t think you’ll regret it! At the beginning of last month, I led an in-person workshop (it was so great getting to see people again!) on making wild inks where we created this blueberry ink. I ended up using frozen blueberries during the workshop, so if you are reading this in the off season, know that using frozen berries is a good alternative.

6 Colors, 6 Papers

Using my method for creating ink and using several different modifiers — baking soda, washing soda, citric acid, apple cider vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide — we were able to make six different ink colors in beautiful natural hues. We also experimented and played with different watercolor papers and quickly found out that those six inks reacted differently to each type of paper, expanding what the inks could do even more.

Here's the short version of those steps, but see the longer post for details:

1. Boil plant material in a stainless pot. Depending on how much ink you want to make and for what purpose, you’ll want to add more or less water. I use water straight from the tap but depending on your own water, you may want to use spring or distilled water. With the way I work, I end up with 1 or 2 ounces of ink and I probably start with about 4 cups of water when I start.

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