DIY: Making Natural Inks from Flowers

Flower Petal Ink

Before synthetic ink came into existence, flower petal ink was the go-to for anyone looking to add a bit of color to their lives. Its use as a natural ink literally dates back centuries. And it’s no surprise why: the colors from flower petals gave people the ability to add some much-needed richness and vibrancy to their artwork, decorations, and writing.

So if you have once-fresh flowers that are now wilting and losing their brilliance, why not follow our easy guide on how to make natural ink from plants and flowers? Not only will it make the environment happy (by keeping organic matter out of the trash), but it also lets you enjoy your Bouq that much longer. Plus, it’s ultra simple and doesn’t require much time or many materials.

Just make sure you know your desired color and which flowers can help you achieve it. Here’s a quick primer: Hyacinth flowers will get you blue flower petal ink. Rose, lavender, and hibiscus will get you red or pink ink. Use lily of the valley if you want greenish inks. For yellow inks, use marigolds, daffodils, and dandelions. And, finally, use red peonies for purple ink.

Or if you’re feeling really bold, why not just take a chance and experiment? Trust us, it’s even more fun that way!

Okay, enough beating around the bush. Let’s learn how to make natural ink from plants!


Materials You’ll Need

  • Leftover flower petals
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Small container to hold the ink
  • Paintbrush
  • Pot
  • Boiling water

Step One: Mash Your Flower Petals

First things first – make sure your leftover flower petals are dried out completely. If they aren’t dry yet, you can lay them out on a paper towel by a window or under a lamp or any other warm light source.

Then, toss them in your mortar (or any other small bowl), and mash them up with your pestle until they reach a fine powder form.

Step Two: Grab a Pot and Boil Some Water

Bring a tiny bit of water to a boil. Once it’s nice and bubbling, pour a little bit over the top of your ground-up flower petals. Make sure not to pour out too much boiling water, though – enough to cover them should be fine.

Step Three: Leave Them in a Sunny Spot

Awesome! You’re officially finished with all the tough parts (which aren’t even all that tough if we’re being honest!). To finish your DIY natural ink concoction, all you need to do is move your mortar filled with boiling water and flower powder to a decently sunny spot in your home. Let them sit for 24 hours.

Step Four: Strain

Finally, all that’s left is to find a strainer and jar or bowl to store your new flower petal ink. For best results, place a coffee filter inside of a funnel, then the exit of the funnel inside your jar or other similar container.

Then, pour your water and ground up petals into the funnel and voila! You’ve got some awesome and colorful flower petal ink in your possession. We did tell you it’s super simple, right?

Step Five: Put it to Use

When it comes down to it, only you can decide how best to use your freshly concocted flower petal ink—whether it be to add color to a drawing or to paint on a canvas. It’s totally up to you! But we would be remiss if we didn’t leave you with at least one unique and cool flower ink idea.

We recommend using it to make a beautiful, handmade birthday card for someone special in your life. But don’t just use the flower ink alone. Go the extra mile!

Use the birth month flower that corresponds to that person’s birthday, then affix a petal or two from that flower to add another heartfelt touch. People always appreciate thoughtfulness, and when they found out the little bit of effort you put into their birthday, we guarantee they’ll love you for it.


Mission accomplished! Now you have one more skill you can add to your already impressive DIY arsenal. Glad we could show you how to make natural ink from flowers—quickly and easily, no less.

So what are you waiting for? Go get crafty!

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