How to Make Beetroot Ink




A variety of colors of ink can be made from different natural sources, including black walnuts, acorns, pokeberries, and beetroot. The inkmaking process is simple and involves heat, straining, and time. Once you know the basic premise of inkmaking, you can experiment with different natural materials. Beetroot ink makes a beautiful shade of purplish red.

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Step 1: ​Gather Supplies

You will need a pot, a mesh strainer, knife, cutting board, at least 1 large beet (or more depending on how much ink you want), and a small jar with a lid

Step 2: Chop 'em Up

Chop beets into cubes smaller than 1 inch

Step 3: Cooking Prep

Put chopped beets into pot and add barely enough water to cover beets

Step 4: Cooking

Put on stove and turn heat to high until water boils. Turn heat down to medium and let simmer until beets are soft, about 20 minutes. Test consistency of beets periodically. You will eventually be pressing a couple pieces through a strainer, so you need them to be soft enough.

Step 5: Transfer to Container

When beets are soft, pour liquid only into the jar.

Step 6: Thickening

When beets have cooled down enough to handle, take a couple pieces and press through the mesh strainer into your ink. This adds consistency.

Step 7: Cooling

Stir mixture well and let cool

To preserve your beetroot ink you can freeze it, or experiment with adding small amount of rubbing alcohol or salt.

Step 8: How Does It Work?

Test your ink. It's beautiful! Check out other instructables to learn how to make a feather pen!

Step 9: The Leftovers

Saving the beets for snacks=zero waste!

Search instructables and the internet at large for recipes involving boiled beets.

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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Nice ink, and simple enough process.

    But few questions in mind:

    How stable, and how long does it last?

    Can we use the same process for other "natural" inks (black walnuts, acorns, pokeberries), or should we use different process and extraction?

    We are not currently in a post-apocaliptic contest, but on a curiosity and artistic point of view, I'd love to produce those ink. Especially if I wanna create Prop, and use the closest ink to whatever age before industrial/synthetic ink.


    3 years ago

    How light stable is this ink? Say on a 1-10 scale where 1 is not at all stable and 10 is permanent?


    3 years ago

    I am a graphic designer and I am going to use this ink for a series of art work. Thank you for the idea.


    3 years ago

    Lovely idea! I love beets! I've made black walny ink. This would go beautiful with it too. Thanks for sharing!


    3 years ago

    Very cool. This looks like a simple enough process for making some ink. Thanks for sharing this!