How to Make Ink Using Petals

Flower petals have been used as a dye for centuries. Ink can also be made from flower petals with a few key ingredients that are available in most hardware stores. The ink can be used to draw with, or you can use it as a pigment for painting on canvas or wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Flower petals

  • Mineral spirits

  • Linseed oil

  • Mortar and pestle

  • Glass bowl or palette

Step 1

Collect your flower petals in advance and dry them completely. The color of the ink will depend on the color of the dried petals, so experiment with different kinds and colors. To dry the petals, lay them flat on a paper towel in a dry, sunny spot.

Step 2

Once the petals are dry, grind them in the mortar with the pestle until they are a fine powder. Transfer the ground petals to a glass bowl or an artist's mixing palette. You can make as much or as little pigment as you wish; it is dependent on the amount of ground petals you use. Start with a small amount, such as 2 tablespoons of petal powder, to begin with and add more if you need more pigment.

Step 3

Add a small amount of mineral spirits to the petals, just enough to moisten the ground petals and liquefy them. Mix thoroughly, then add linseed oil until the pigment reaches the desired consistency. For ink you will need a thinner pigment than for painting.

Tip

To make a dye instead of an ink, boil fresh flowers inside a cheesecloth bag with 1 tablespoon of alum and 1 tablespoon of vinegar in 6 cups of water for 1 hour with the textile you wish to dye in the pot.

Warning

Keep pigments out of the reach of children.