Making Ink From Mushrooms




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Ok, so it's not the most vital survival skill (making ink) but it's easy to learn and something most people don't know how to do. Shaggy Mane Inky Caps are edible (at the "all white" stage) and useful. The ink can be used for education, writing messages, deciphering code, documenting history, transferring ownership (a living will or deed to a property), and keeping inventory. The ink costs nothing to make and only two items are needed to utilize it properly, a container to hold the ink and a writing instrument such as a quill or paintbrush. Since it has so many uses and little to no cost, it's a great bartering resource.

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Step 1: Forage for Shaggy Mane Inky Cap Mushrooms

They are more common than you might think. Above are three pictures of the Shaggy Mane as it cycles through its life-span. They grow all over the world and can be found in grassy meadows, forests, and even in your backyard (that's where I first discovered them). They grow between the months of April through October.

Step 2: Pick a Half Dozen

Pick 6 to 12 Shaggy Mane mushrooms and place in a container.

Step 3: Wait at Least 12 Hours

After about 12 hours you can start straining the mushrooms for ink. If you don't want to mess with straining, it takes about two weeks for half a dozen mushrooms to completely dissolve into ink.

Step 4: Add Melaleuca Oil

Decaying mushrooms start to smell after several days. Adding a couple of drops of Melaleuca essential oil helps to eliminate the smell. Thyme or Oregano oil works well too.

Step 5: All Done!

You're now self-sufficient in making ink.

Use a quill ( or paint brush to start writing.

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    7 Discussions


    3 months ago

    I have to imagine this is not sustainable as an archival material. This is an awesome project with natural resources though, and I love the calligraphy pen/quill.

    Joerg Engels

    3 years ago

    Wait. You found them in MY backyard?

    Anirudh Ralhan

    3 years ago

    A really creative method of making ink :D


    3 years ago

    Interesting! So the mushrooms just decompose into ink? I know you said it smells bad, that's understand able, but does the ink mold or anything after a while?

    1 reply
    Preppers Survivetomatoskins

    Reply 3 years ago

    When I was doing research on how to make it, I came across articles that mention adding ingredients like salt or Thyme Oil to preserve it and keep it from going bad. It is said to last over a year.