Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hot Pink Ink!

Ethan brought me a large chicken feather and asked if he could make some ink and draw some pictures with his quill pen. So we headed out to the yard to find some berries with which to make ink.
We decided to use pokeweed berries for our ink. (Please note: pokeweed is toxic and should never be ingested!  So don't ever try this with little ones that might try to eat the berries or leaves! Follow link I included to read more about pokeweed.) Ethan picked a small handful of berries and we took them into the house to prepare his ink.

We put the berries in a very small pan and added a tiny bit of water. Then we placed the pan over high heat and crushed the berries with a fork.


After that we let the mixture boil for a few minutes until the water had reduced some and the color was a nice rich pink. Then we strained the mixture into a small cup and let it cool a bit. And that was it! Ethan had his ink.

The best part was using his quill pen to draw with ink he made (almost) all by himself!

*Update~ We have since tried making this ink using blackberries as well as blueberries. We followed the same procedure. Both work beautifully and no worries about toxicity! :-) 


  1. WOW!!! So cool, just love it, you are a creative Mother, to follow up on your children s ideas. cheers Marie

  2. What a lovely idea! I love using pen and ink myself, I must try this with our boys, thank you!

  3. excellent!!!! hope you have a great weekend, friend:)

  4. I just love this idea. We have blackberries.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

  5. Tonya,
    We've used blackberries a couple of years back... but here in the deep south, our blackberry season has been over for a few months now! Just about any dark colored berry will work great!

  6. The berries you used for the ink is toxic and highly poisonous for humans. Just make sure the kids do not lick their fingers ;O)

    1. Thanks for your comment! I know that the berries are highly toxic, which is why I was sure to include several warnings in this post about that very thing! For little ones who might be tempted to lick their fingers or try tasting the ink, blueberries, blackberries, or elderberries make awesome (edible) substitutes! We just didn't have any of those on hand at the time, and in an effort to encourage learning and experimentation while the interest was there we made do with what was available to us. Even though my child was plenty old enough to understand the dangers associated with ingesting any part of the pokeweed plant I still remained at his side the entire time we were using the berries and discussed their toxicity several times, adding that much more information to his learning that day! :-) Hugs~ Rachel


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