A Writer’s Side Project


Today’s post departs from the normal topics of story, genre, or language to share another fun writing related project of mine.


Our neighbors have a pecan tree which overhangs our yard. This time of year it drops pecans, which are not really worth eating, into the yard. This abundance of nuts inspired me to find a good use for them. I knew walnuts can be used to make ink, but what about pecans? Turns out they can.

To make pecan ink, all you need is:

  • 1 non-food grade pot you don’t mind staining ugly black. I bought mine at a thrift store for a couple bucks
  • 2-3 handfuls of pecans with the fleshy husks on
  • Water
  • Fire source (preferably outside in case it overflows or sputters)
  • Old sock or other cheap strainer
  • Storage jar
  • 1 tsp salt

Every website and blog I consulted made sure to warn THIS WILL STAIN, THIS WILL STAIN, CREATE AT YOUR OWN RISK, so I feel compelled to pass the warning on. I made my ink on the gas burner of our barbecue and had no problems.


Pound pecans until broken up. Add to pot. Add water to pot until half full-ish. Put on heat and bring to a boil. Let simmer for an hour. Remove from heat and allow to soak overnight.


Remove pecan debris, return to boil, and simmer. The more you let this reduce, the darker the ink. When reduced, pour through old sock into storage jar and add salt (to prevent molding)


Now, dip a quill in your homemade pecan ink, and start writing!


About Tim Oldenkamp

I am fantasy writer working on my debut novel and a trilogy of short stories. My wife and I recently moved back to our native California after living in Grenoble France for three years.
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