Zen and the Art of Making a Marker.





Introduction: Zen and the Art of Making a Marker.

This instructable is not merely here to teach you how to make a home made marker, but to school you on the rebellious free thinking behind it.

Back in the day in New York, when making your own marker first became an inspiration and guerrilla, graffiti tactics and skills where handed down from writer to writer...

We learned to use carbon paper from post office labels, bank deposit slips or whatever we could find that had a sheet of carbon paper in between so we could make our own ink. You see... back then, as opposed to now where we use predominantly (if not entirely) 'carbon-less' paper... Carbon paper was a very useful way of making copies of your signature on checks, information on forms you filled out and even tickets cops would issue you. We would also use what we had or could find for the marker container and acquire the chalk board eraser for the tip from school.

You use whats already in your environment. It doesnt have to be carbon paper, a plastic bottle or specifically a chalkboard eraser... but it deepens the point of it all that you didnt have to work in order to get money just to pay for a marker, just so you could create and express yourself.

The act of making your own marker in and of itself is the activism.

This instuctable is open to collaboration Share your thoughts, post your improvements and ideas. Keep in mind, the idea is to create a tool for expression out of materials that are easy to find and re-purpose.

Sustainable freedom of expression.


Step 1: What You'll Need...

Rubbing Alcohol
Blue carbon paper
A rubber band
Chalk board eraser
Plastic bottle or other container for your marker.

Step 2: Making the Ink...

Step 3: Oops...

Step 4: Making the Marker Tip...(1)

Step 5: Making the Marker Tip...(2)

Step 6: The Marker...

Step 7: You Didnt Hear It From Me...



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    45 Discussions

    like this very much and also interesting insight into a whole nother world.

    You can use just about any ink, you dont have to dilute it... but this is how we made our own markers/ink back in the 1980s in New York.

    Huh, a bit of history, that. Good idea, although as you said it is probably out of date.

    Thanks for the reply and for the instructable, it's been a very informative reference over the years. I was wondering if you could help me, i have been using a different recipe (its still carbon based) I use finely, finely crushed charcoal as the base and red wine as the bulk (imagine you already know this is there anything i can do to improve it?). You cant get rubbing alcohol over here tramps kept drinking it. my question is, what can be used as a liquid agent in carbon based inks? thanks for any help and

    right after i saw the last image, i was like "that's phenomenal". truly amazing, i really appreciate the historical background. ive been writing... err words... for about 3 years so im still a toy, but i strongly believe that in order to fully appreciate it, uve gotta know the history and respect those that came before them. so thanks for the history lesson and thanks for making the instructable so easy to follow. question: why only blue?

    1 reply

    That particular carbon paper is the only carbon paper that will work. The color you get is the color it gives you. The more carbon paper...the darker the color.

    It partly depends on the ink and how well you bind up the erasers....but generally speaking... no. You can tip it and turn it upside down and it wont leak. Gotta store it up right when your not using it though.

    Enlightening but I'd have to make the alcohol myself or dumpster it to get into this. Sauce and spice is the way to go. Smear on some mustard and throw dirt on the wall; or the like. Good read.

    not very. alchol based ink isnt too great. i hear pilot has a superpermanant ink but I like ink more. krink works well in theese too and is easy to make.

    1 reply

    pilot ink is amazing the black dosent fade to bad and stains anything even some plastics