Video tutorial: How to refill Waterbased markers and WOYWW

Edit: I added a typed recipe with exact measurements under the video 🙂

My obsession with wanting a new brand of water based markers (you all know of the ones of which I speak) had me looking at my tired old watercolor markers. Some were well-loved and drying out, others never seemed that juicy to begin with and some were still pretty darn great! So I decided to revive my tired old markers and show you how too. Here is an image I colored with my freshly reinked LePlume, Whisper & Tombow markers:

 

Not bad considering that I got many of them for 10 cents at a yard sale a few years ago LOL! Here is a quick 5 minute video on how you can do it too!

I got a lot of comments asking for the EXACT recipe so here it is! 1 Tablespoon water, 1 Tablespoon glycerin and one teaspoon gum arabic. If you don’t have the gum arabic you can leave it out and it will still refresh your markers. The gum arabic makes the ink glossier and more blendable like the Tim Holtz Distress markers 😛 Thanks to DeeAnn for that tip!

I am posting my workdesk a day early because I have a busy week. I am getting ready to go to a rubber stamp convention and I need to have a really condensed stamping-to-go bag. I was pulling some mini ink pads that I want to bring but I got distracted making bookmarks and reinking my markers. Still, not a bad way to spend a rainy day! I’ll have to pack tomorrow 🙂

You can see other creative folks’ desks over on the Stamping Ground blog, home of Whats on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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40 Responses

  1. Thanks for the great tutorial,could you give me an idea of how much you used of each product?I look forward to your email updates.
    Thanks,Jocelan

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    • here are the proportions: table spoon each of water and glycern and a teaspoon of gum arabic (if you have it, you can leave it out if you don’t 🙂

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  2. Ha, you crack me up, Lindsay! I always enjoy your videos and the way you repurpose or refresh crafting tools! Thanks, Carmen

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  3. Hi Lindsay,
    Thanks so much for the infor. I have lots of markers that are dried up and I hate to throw them out. Could you please tell me the proportions of gum arabic, glycerin and water (proportions) to use? Thanks

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    • that is the question of the morning: table spoon each of water and glycern and a teaspoon of gum arabic (if you have it, you can leave it out if you don’t 🙂

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  4. Great tip!! And I can’t wait to actually meet you at the convention!

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  5. Lindsay!!
    Super great job!!! AWESOME!!! You are so gifted:)Thank so very much for sharing and for allowing me to be inspired by you:) be blessed
    ~Beyond Measure
    Tammy
    http://www.urbeyondmeasure.com

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  6. Lindsay, I am not a fly-by-the-seat-of my-pants kind of girl. I am obsessive about recipes, so can you give a recipe for the mixture to remoisturize dried up markers that still have plenty of color?

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    • You don’t have to be exact but here is what works for me: equal parts glycern and water and about 1/3 part of gum arabic if you have it. The GA makes it a bit more glossy and blendable like the tim holtx distress markers but it will work without it. then let the marker lie flat for a few hours so the liquit can remoisten the entire marker:)

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  7. Great idea! …..What are the amounts of each for the mixture??????
    Thanks, and have a great time at the Convention!
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan

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    • I’d say a table spoon each of water and glycern and a teaspoon of gum arabic (if you have it, you can leave it out if you don’t 🙂

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  8. Great tutorial, fun way to re ink them up! Now I’ll have to start looking at the tag sales!

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  9. You made my day! Thank you for the shout out. I am so excited it worked for you. I am so jealous you are going to a stamp convention. I never get them in my area. Now, you have more money for stamps. 🙂 I heard you can buy Nesties 3/$20 at the conventions. Can you imagine that? I only have a few sets and I didn’t get them that cheap even with a coupon. Thanks again for the shout out.

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  10. Just so fab! I have several that need to be refilled! Thanks for the tips.
    Carla

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  11. Thanks for tip on the markers, i actually didn’t know to pull the tip out! HA! I hope you are having a great WOYWW day and hopefully you will show a picture of all the ATC’s, that would be great fun to see! waving hi from the hills of North Carolina 🙂

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  12. Thanks for the tip, and have fun stamping! I love to get away to craft, but I hate to pack for it! Happy WOYWW birthday! -Amanda x98!

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  13. oh wow, I had no idea you could do that… thanks for the tip – I have loads of these markers! Happy WOYWW, Helen, 8

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  14. Thanks for the wonderful tip and video. I am a visual person, so really enjoy seeing things happen.
    Hugs, Pat

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  15. Lindsay have a fabulous trip–dont think about home-the hubbs can do it!!! Come back with lots of fun stories and new ideas and tips!!Lorraine 🙂

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    • thanks Lorraine, I’ll tell you all about it at knitting group on Wednesday (3pm at the library!)

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  16. Thanks for the great tip to use gum arabic in the “re-inker” mixture. I have the powdered gum arabic (not the liquid form) — any idea if this would work as well?

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    • it should, just dissolve it in water first and maybe use less water in the mix. My liquid gum arabic was the thickness of honey:)

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  17. Excellent tutorial. Someone gave me a homemade ink refresher but it never seemed to last long. I wonder what it was made out of? Have fun at the convention! Judy #154

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  18. You are so kind to upload and share your information, thank you. I have saved the link for another time to get into.

    Happy 3rd Anniversary WOYWW
    Eliza #140
    http://queenartoypia.blogspot.com.au/

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  19. Ooh a rubber stamp convention sounds like my idea of heaven! Hope you had a fab time.

    Happy WOYWW anniversary!

    Ali #86

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  20. Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for the recipe and for actually showing how to “get inside” the marker. I had read somewhere to pull the tip off, but couldn’t figure out what exactly they meant. For that, your video was invaluable. I have a couple dozen Marvy markers, some bought on clearance, some hand-me-downs. They were all pretty dry but I couldn’t bring myself to throw them in the garbage. One hour with an eye dropper and now they are all as juicy and gorgeous as can be. I watched videos of marker techniques as I did it! Now I can actually DO those techniques!

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  21. This is FANTASTIC! Thanks so much for experimenting and sharing what you have learned. I will be trying this for sure! Oh..and that card is beautiful…so vibrant! And red “watercoloring” is often very difficult to get “vibrant”..you nailed this!

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  22. Do you think this trick would work distress markers and the distress reinkers? Mine aren’t dry yet, but I dread having to buy a replacement if I could just refill it.

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  23. HI!
    Hope you don’t mind asking about a few things under quite old post?
    I’m art student from Poland and I use very similar markers for my sketches. The trouble is that they are a bit expensive and one marker usually is dry after a month.
    I had the idea I can refill them “home methods” with ecoline/liquid watercolour. They seemed to work fine at first but afret “refill” they are a bit too wet on paper and dry more and more early (month at beggining 2 weeks now). I use the same amount of liquid watercolour, of course.
    do you think adding arabic gumme and gliceryne to watercolour will help?
    Markers I use are Zig Millenium Twin-tip art markers.

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    • glycerin is your best bet because it will thicken the ink and help regulate flow and it will keep the pen moist. Also it helps the ink glide on your paper without damaging the surface. It is what is in the ink in the pens to begin with. Good luck!

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  24. I wonder if this ‘refresher’ interferes with Distress Ink’s ability to react with water and cause ‘water spots’?

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  25. Hey Lindsay!
    Thanks for the info on reinking markers! I’ve been a re-inking fool this afternoon! My question is I have two sets of metallic pigment markers (Marvy’s opaque stix -water based pigment and Sakura’s permapaque – opaque pigment, which says water and fade resistant ink). Neither have hardly any use, both are nearly dry as a bone.
    I think your recipe above would probably work for the Marvy’s. Do you think so?
    What should I use for the sakuras?
    As always, I appreciate your time and info!

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  26. Thank you so much for this post! Thanks to you, I didn’t need to go back to a store that had sold me a dried out Tombow (the cap must have been loose) and I have been able to refill my blender pens! Keep up the great work – I look forward to your new posts!

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  27. You are amazing! Super HUGE fan of your YouTube channel, and you have been an enormous help to me on my quest to craft while bedridden. I have tons of bags full of yard sale markers, most recently got a set of 40 LePlume markers that are almost useless for $2 including awesome tin pail. I will be storing flat once I revive them. After your video went nuts to find affordable Gum Arabic, glad I saw here it wasn’t necessary. Thank you again for all you do!

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  28. can you repost the recipe for alcohol markers, I cant find it

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    • You can use denatured alcohol to revive them if they are just dry. Add alcohol ink if they need more color.

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  29. Thank you so much for this tip! I am going to try that!! So happy the video was still here… blessings

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