Comment faire vos encres végétales

How to make your vegetable inks

There are many plants that can be used to make ink, some are more surprising than others. Here are some examples :


  • Tea-based ink : This is made from tea leaves steeped in water. It is usually dark brown in color.

  • Beet Ink: This is made from beet juice mixed with water and alcohol. It is usually pinkish-red in color, used for centuries for handwritten writings and printings.

  • Cabbage juice : can be used to make purple ink.
  • Fruit-based ink : It can be made from fruit juices like cherry, strawberry, blueberry, etc. These inks have various colors ranging from red to blue.

  • Plant-based ink : certain plants such as indigo, madder or pastel can be used for manufacturing.

  • Mulberry leaves: Mulberry leaves are often used to make dark black ink.

  • Oak Leaves : Oak Leaves can be used to craft Dark Green Ink.

  • Rose Blossoms : Rose Blossoms can be used to craft Rose Ink.

  • Lavender Leaves: Lavender Leaves can be used to craft Dark Purple Ink.

It is important to note that most of these inks are hand made and may vary in color and quality.

It is also possible to mix different plants to obtain inks of different colors.

To make ink from plants, they usually have to be mixed with substances such as gum arabic or alum to improve their quality. The gum arabic is a binder, and the alum powder fixes the color on the paper and improves its resistance to light.


Here are some simple recipes :

First of all, let's equip ourselves with an apron to avoid stains.

Important: if you are experimenting with recipes, wearing latex gloves for certain plants is strongly recommended in order to avoid skin reactions.



Ingredients :

  • beet leaves
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Salt

Instructions :

  1. Finely chop the beet leaves and put them in a saucepan.
  2. Add water to the level of the leaves and boil for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
  4. Strain the liquid to remove leaf pieces.
  5. Add a tablespoon of white vinegar and a pinch of salt to fix the pigments.
  6. Use the resulting ink to write or draw on paper or fabric.


pine resin

Ingredients :

  • pine resin
  • Water
  • methylated spirit
  • Salt

Instructions :

  1. In a saucepan, melt the pine resin over low heat.
  2. Add water and rubbing alcohol in a 1:1 ratio to the molten resin.
  3. Add a pinch of salt to fix the pigments.
  4. Boil for about 5 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Allow to cool and strain the mixture to remove impurities.
  6. Use the resulting ink to write or draw on paper or fabric.

Note: You can also use other types of resin, such as spruce or pine resin to make vegetable ink. Just follow the same steps in the recipe.


Good workshop!


Please note, however:

There are several plants that can be dangerous for making ink, such as poisonous plants or those that contain substances that irritate the skin or eyes. Some examples of these plants include belladonna, henbane, poison ivy – some species of sumac contain toxic compounds called tannins (which can cause allergic reactions or irritate skin and mucous membranes) , and poison ivy.

Plants in the Solanaceae family, such as black nightshade, contain alkaloids that can be toxic in high doses. Plants in the Urticaceae family, such as lamb's quarters, contain compounds that can cause skin and eye irritation. Plants containing furocoumarins, such as prickly pear, can also cause skin reactions when exposed to light.

It is therefore important to research the botanicals before using them to make ink , and to follow the appropriate safety instructions.

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