How to Put Ink in a Calligraphy Pen? – Ink Refilling Guide

Written by Laura Walker / Fact checked by Leilani Carroll

How to Put Ink in a Calligraphy Pen

Calligraphy is an exquisite art form that requires precision and skill. One essential aspect of it is knowing how to properly fill your calligraphy pen with ink.

In this blog post, we will explore the various methods to put ink in this writing tool, including piston filler reservoir, cartridge, converter, and dip mechanism pens.

With step-by-step instructions on how to put ink in a calligraphy pen, you will be well-equipped to start your refillable calligraphy pen journey. Read on!

Calligraphy Pen Ink Refill Instruction

Before you go ahead and load calligraphy pen with or without syringe, take these steps:

1. Choose the Right Ink


Different calligraphy pens may require specific types of ink. It is essential to use the one that is suitable for your pen’s design and fill mechanism.

Except for cartridge types, all other pens can use ink bottles. Just make sure the ink is for fountain pens and not regular drawing or sketching.

2. Prepare Your Workspace


Before starting, ensure you have a clean and clutter-free workspace. Lay down some paper towels or a blotting pad to catch any accidental spills or drips. Keeping your work area tidy will help avoid stains and make the process more enjoyable.

3. Clean the Pen (for Refilling)


If you are refilling your pen with a different color of ink, make sure to clean the pen thoroughly before proceeding. Rinse the nib and the ink reservoir with water until all traces of the previous pigment are removed.

Allow the pen to dry completely before filling it with the new ink.

Fill a Calligraphy Pen With a Piston Filler Ink Reservoir


Piston filler ink reservoirs are common in high-quality calligraphy pens. They allow you to draw ink directly into the barrel, providing a generous ink capacity for extended writing sessions.

  1. Start by removing the cap and unscrewing the pen knob to reveal the piston mechanism.
  2. Submerge the nib and gripping section entirely into a bottle of calligraphy ink.
  3. Turn the piston knob clockwise to draw ink into the pen’s reservoir.
  4. Slowly turn the piston knob back clockwise to remove any air bubbles and ensure the reservoir is entirely filled.
  5. Once the reservoir is filled, securely screw the pen barrel back into place.

Fill a Calligraphy Pen With Ink Cartridges


Ink cartridges offer convenience and ease of use, particularly for beginners or when you are on the go. Here is how to fill a cartridge ink pen:

  1. If your pen already contains an empty or expired cartridge, gently remove it by unscrewing or pulling it out, depending on the pen model.
  2. Take a new cartridge and insert ink cartridge into the designated slot on the pen, ensuring it fits snugly.
  3. Give the pen a few gentle shakes or taps to allow the ink to flow into the nib. Place the pen vertically with the nib down as well.

Fill a Calligraphy Pen With Converters


Converters serve as an alternative to ink cartridges, allowing you to use bottled ink while saving money on refills.

  1. Take a clean and empty converter, and attach it firmly to the nib section of your pen if the latter doesn’t have one.
  2. After you install ink cartridges, you must prime the pen to prevent air bubbles. Simply twist the converter’s knob counterclockwise to expel air from the reservoir.
  3. Dunk the nib and gripping section into a bottle of calligraphy ink.
  4. Squeeze the converter’s bladder or twist the knob to draw ink from the bottle into the pen. Often, you’ll see the ink moving upward as the suction works its magic.
  5. Tap the converter gently to remove any air bubbles, ensuring a smooth ink flow.

Fill a Dip Calligraphy Pen


Dip calligraphy pens require a different approach as they do not have built-in reservoirs.

  1. Select a nib that matches your desired calligraphy style, and gently insert it into the pen holder.
  2. Sink the nib into a container of calligraphy ink, ensuring that the ink covers the vent hole but does not overflow.
  3. Gently blot the nib on a paper towel to remove excess ink, preventing messy drips.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

1. Clean Up After Filling


After you have successfully filled your pen with ink, carefully wipe off any excess liquid from the nib and pen body. Secure all components tightly to prevent leakage.

2. Assemble a Calligraphy Pen

If you previously disassembled your pen to fill it with ink, make sure you reassemble it correctly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions or the pen’s user manual to ensure all parts are aligned and fitted together as intended.

Improper assembly could cause ink leaks or even damage the pen.

3. Be Patient


Take your time when filling your calligraphy pen with ink. Rushing the process can lead to mistakes and potentially damage the tool. Patience and precision are key to achieving the best results.


Mastering calligraphy requires not only skillful penmanship but also understanding how to properly use the pen fill mechanism. By following the step-by-step instructions on how to put ink in a calligraphy pen above, you can now confidently embark on your artistic lettering journey.

Whether you opt for a piston filler, ink cartridge, converter, or dip pen, the joy of creating beautiful calligraphic art awaits. Happy writing!

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