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DIY Colonial Craft

As winter approaches, you’ll need lots to keep you and your family busy through the cold months ahead. Here is a neat DIY Colonial Craft that is fun and easy to make and will keep your kids entertained for hours (especially the Harry Potter fans!). Here’s everything you need to make a historically accurate quill pen and ink.

Quill Pen and Ink

Quill pens have been used for millennia, and were the writing instrument of choice in Colonial America. Those who had beautiful penmanship were greatly admired—many colonists even raised geese so that they would always have a pen handy (including Thomas Jefferson!).  

For this craft, you will need:

Warm water 

Large feathers (plain or colorful)

A cutting board

An exacto knife or a good pair of scissors

  1. Soak the tip of the quill in warm water for about fifteen minutes.
  2. Have an adult helper use the exacto knife to cut a curve and sharp point on the softened quill tip.
  3. Cut a tiny slit in the tip of the quill.
  4. Test the quill pen in your hand. Trim off excess feathers so you have about 3-4 inches of bare quill. 
  5. Dip quill into ink, blot and use.

For the ink, you will need:

A plastic drop cloth

An ink jar (a small glass mason jar works fine, too!)

Liquid bluing

A spoon

  1. Cover your work surface with the drop cloth.
  2. Pour about ¼ cup of water into your jar.
  3. Add 2 tsp. Of bluing and stir well. You can add more if you would like your ink to be darker (you can test with your new quill pen!).
  4. Use the jar as your inkwell and keep the lid on tight when you’re not using the ink.

For a modern version of this DIY Colonial Craft, simply take a feather and clean out the shaft with a wooden skewer. Then take an ink cartridge and tip from a ballpoint pen, and cut it to the right length before you place it inside the feather shaft. Voila! 

Fun Facts

  1. The Declaration of Independence and the Magna Carta were written with a quill pen.
  2. Feathers from the left wing of a goose were preferred by British writers, since they curved toward the back of the hand as not to block the writer’s line of sight.
  3. The feather of a crow makes the finest line.


We hope you enjoy this DIY Colonial Craft! Let us know how it goes in the comment section below!

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