How to Make Quill Ink

This is a simple kind of quill ink authentic to Shakespeare’s lifetime. 

This activity kit will share the history of quill ink and teach you how to make some (non-toxic) ink you can try for yourself. 

Click to download parts of the activity:

History Guide (8 pages, PDF)

This printable history guide walks you through the history of quill ink and where it is mentioned in several of Shakespeare’s plays. The guide also gives you weblinks to resources and other materials you can use to explore the history even further.

Printable Instructions and Supply List

Print this guide to use at the table, or kitchen counter, for keeping track of what you need and what order to complete the steps for making your ink. 

Bonus History Research

Here’s a list of the resources I used to put this activity together. It’s a great list of places to start when you want to explore further.

Related Activity Kits:

Coordinating Podcast Episodes:

Microphone Episode 26: Tiffany Stern Talks 16th Century Quill Pens and Graphite Pencils

Microphone Ep 94: 16th Century Question Marks with James Loehlin