8 Practical Ways to Save Money on Ink for Calligraphy
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Buy ink in bulk
  2. Make your own ink
  3. Use refillable ink cartridges
  4. Pick the right paper
  5. Practice with cheaper ink
  6. Store ink properly
  7. Choose quality over quantity
  8. Shop sales and discounts

If you're a sucker for the graceful curves and swirls of calligraphy, you know that the cost of ink can sneak up on you. But don't let that slow you down. There are clever ways to keep creating without breaking the bank. In this blog, we'll guide you through eight practical strategies on how to save money on ink for calligraphy.

Buy Ink in Bulk

Here's an open secret—buying in bulk can save you a pretty penny. Now, you might be thinking: "But I don't need that much ink!" You'd be surprised. Think about how quickly you go through a small bottle when you're in the zone, crafting those beautiful letters. It adds up!

Here's how you can go about it:

  • Plan ahead: Make a list of the colors you use most often. You'll probably find black, blue, and red at the top. These are your staples. Buying these in larger quantities is a smart move.
  • Look for bulk discounts: Many companies offer discounts for buying more. For example, if you're a fan of the Parker Quink, they offer a discount when you buy six bottles at once.
  • Storage is key: Remember, ink doesn't spoil, but you have to store it right—more on that later.
  • Share the cost: If you're part of a calligraphy club or have friends who share your passion, consider pooling your resources to buy in bulk. You all save money, and it's a great excuse to get together and talk shop.

So, when you ask how to save money on ink for calligraphy, think big—literally. Bulk buying could be your ticket to more ink, less outlay.

Make Your Own Ink

Ever thought about creating your own ink? It's not as far-fetched as it sounds. In fact, it's an intriguing way to save money on ink for calligraphy. Plus, there's something truly satisfying about using ink you've made yourself.

So, how do you make your own ink for calligraphy? Let's break it down:

  • Raw materials: You'd be amazed at the range of materials you can use to create ink. Walnuts, berries, tea, coffee, even rusty nails! Each material gives a unique color and texture to your ink.
  • Process: It's generally quite simple. For instance, to make walnut ink, you need to boil walnut hulls in water, strain the liquid, and add a binder like gum arabic. Voila! You have a beautiful, rich brown ink.
  • Experiment: This is where the fun begins. You can play around with different materials, ratios, and binders to create your unique shades. Be sure to note down your recipes so you can recreate your favorite inks.

Making your own ink isn't just economical; it's also creative and fun. It's a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your calligraphy. So, the next time you wonder how to save money on ink for calligraphy, think DIY. You might just create the next big thing in inks!

Use Refillable Ink Cartridges

Another smart strategy on how to save money on ink for calligraphy is using refillable ink cartridges. Say goodbye to the expensive, one-time-use cartridges and switch to the eco-friendly, budget-friendly alternative.

Refillable ink cartridges are exactly what they sound like: cartridges that you can refill with ink once they empty. Here is how it works:

  1. Buy a refillable cartridge: These are available for most major brands of calligraphy pens. They may be a tad pricier initially, but they pay off in the long run.
  2. Buy ink in bottles: Instead of shelling out for new cartridges every time, you buy ink in bottles. It's much cheaper per volume, and you'll be surprised at how much longer it lasts.
  3. Refill your cartridge: It's often as simple as injecting ink into the cartridge using a syringe. Sure, it can be a little messy the first few times, but you'll get the hang of it.

By using refillable ink cartridges, you're not just saving money — you're also reducing waste. It's a win-win situation. So, the next time you run out of ink, remember: refill, don't replace.

Pick the Right Paper

Now, you might be wondering: what does paper have to do with how to save money on ink for calligraphy? Quite a lot, as it turns out. The type of paper you use can affect how much ink your pen absorbs—and therefore, how quickly you go through your precious ink supply.

Here's the deal: Not all paper is created equal. Some paper types absorb more ink, and others less. For calligraphy, you want to look for paper that's described as "ink resistant" or "low absorbency." This means that the paper doesn't soak up as much ink, so your ink lasts longer.

Here are a few quick tips:

  1. Thicker is better: Thicker paper usually absorbs less ink. Look for paper labeled as "heavy weight" or "cardstock."
  2. Smooth is good: Rough paper can cause your pen to release more ink. So, smoother paper can help conserve your ink.
  3. Test before you buy: If possible, test a few lines on a piece of paper before buying a whole pack. That way, you can see how much ink it absorbs.

Remember, the right paper not only helps you save money on ink for calligraphy, but it can also improve the look of your work. So, choose wisely!

Practice with Cheaper Ink

Let's face it, perfecting your calligraphy strokes takes practice—lots of it. But practicing doesn't mean you have to use your best and most expensive ink. In fact, one of the easiest ways to save money on ink for calligraphy is to practice with cheaper ink.

Why, you ask? Well, think about it. While you’re still learning, you’re likely to make mistakes. And every mistake means wasted ink. So, why waste your best ink?

You might be wondering: won't using cheap ink affect my practice? The answer is not significantly. While high-quality inks do offer better color and consistency, the basic strokes can be practiced just as effectively with cheaper ink.

So, here's a tip: save your high-quality ink for your final pieces and use budget-friendly alternatives for practice. Not only will this help you save money on ink for calligraphy, but it will also allow you to practice more freely without worrying about wasting expensive supplies.

Remember, the goal here is to get better at calligraphy, not to burn through your budget on premium inks before you've mastered your strokes.

Store Ink Properly

Once you've found the right ink for your calligraphy needs, whether it's a high-quality ink for final pieces or a budget-friendly ink for practice, you want to make sure it lasts. That means storing your ink properly. It might not seem like a big deal, but storing your ink the right way is a simple and effective method of saving money on ink for calligraphy.

So, how do you store ink properly? First, keep your ink in a cool, dark place. Direct sunlight and high temperatures can cause the ink to dry out quicker. It's also important to keep the lid on your ink pot tightly closed when not in use. This prevents air getting in and drying out the ink.

Think about it like a jar of pickles. You wouldn't leave the jar open and out in the sun, would you? No, you'd close the lid and put it back in the fridge. Your ink, like those pickles, will last much longer if stored correctly.

By storing your ink properly, you can prolong its life and get the most out of every drop. This way, you'll be able to focus more on perfecting your calligraphy and less on worrying about running out of ink.

Choose Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to ink for calligraphy, it can be tempting to choose a larger quantity of cheaper ink. But sometimes, choosing quality over quantity is the smarter choice. But you might ask, "how can buying more expensive ink save me money on ink for calligraphy?" Let me explain.

High-quality inks are often more pigmented, meaning you get a darker, richer color with fewer strokes. This means you'll use less ink to achieve the same result as a cheaper, less pigmented ink. So, while a high-quality ink might have a higher upfront cost, it could last longer and save you money in the long run.

Plus, better quality inks often have other benefits. They could be more resistant to fading, ensuring your calligraphy stays vibrant for longer. They might also be less prone to smudging or feathering on the page, leading to cleaner, more professional-looking calligraphy.

So next time you're choosing an ink, don't just consider the price tag. Think about the quality of the ink and how it can benefit your calligraphy in the long run. After all, wouldn't you prefer an ink that makes your calligraphy look its best and lasts longer?

Shop Sales and Discounts

Just like any savvy shopper, you can also make use of sales and discounts when buying ink for calligraphy. After all, who doesn't love a good deal? It's a smart and simple answer to the question of how to save money on ink for calligraphy.

Many art supply stores and online platforms regularly have sales events where you could snag your favorite brand of ink at a fraction of the cost—whether it's Black Friday, end-of-season sales, or special promotions. So keep your eyes peeled for these opportunities. It might require a bit of patience and planning, but the savings can be well worth it.

Another smart move is to sign up for newsletters or loyalty programs from your favorite stores or brands. These often come with discounts on your first purchase or points that you can accumulate for future discounts.

Also, consider buying sets of ink rather than individual bottles. These are often cheaper per bottle and give you a range of colors to play with in your calligraphy. Just make sure the set includes colors you will actually use!

Lastly, don’t forget to compare prices across different stores. The same bottle of ink can sometimes have different prices depending on where you look. So do a little research before making your purchase.

With these tips, you'll be able to keep your calligraphy ink stash well-stocked without breaking the bank. And that's what we call a win-win!

If you enjoyed learning about practical ways to save money on ink for calligraphy, you might be interested in exploring alternative methods for your artistic creations. Check out the workshop 'Using Watercolours to Create Colourful Calligraphy' by BlinkLettering. This workshop will teach you how to incorporate watercolours into your calligraphy, adding a unique touch to your art while potentially saving money on ink.