After spending the day at an 18th century festival complete with calligraphy classes and a curious magenta ink which was revealed to be made of Poke berries (inkberry), it was only a meter of waiting for the local woodland berries to ripen for a little DIY!
Today the Poke berries were finally black enough to give it a try and the results are pretty much how it looked at the festival. Asking the Docents if they did anything special to the Poke berry ink they said no, it needed to sit and mature a few days and that was it. Over time the writing turns a pretty brownish color.
One caveat, Poke berries are said to be poisonous and the juice loves to spritz out staining everything (I knew wearing that nude shirt would be a bad idea, thankfully it fully washed out). Some also add a pinch of salt to the ink to help it keep.
- Making Natural Ink -
What You Will Need:
- Ripe (black) Poke berries (Phytolacca americana)
- Plastic gloves
- Glass mortar & pestle
- Glass jar
- A pinch of salt (optional)
How To Make It:
Wearing plastic gloves, remove the individual berries from the stems. Using a mortar & pestle smash the berries into a fine pulp or until your see the juice separating from the skins. Heat the pulp with a pinch of salt in the microwave for 2 minutes. Allow to cool and rest. Once cooled use a fine mesh strainer to strain off seeds and pulp. Juice can be further strained through coffee filters. Decant into glass bottles that are stored in a cool dark place. Works best after macerating for a few days.
Using the finished berry ink and some plain brown paper and floral rubber stamps created the above gift wrap.
For more gift wrap styles see my gift design inspiration area of the blog right here.
Image: mam for Gave That