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Replacing the Ink in a Polka Dot Cottage Pen

Sometimes things happen in Real Life that make me think, “I should fix this problem and document the steps for my blog.” One such thing happened today.

I was writing with one of the pens I made at the Clayathon. This one is a beauty, if I do say so myself. It’s got some of those olive greens and turquoise blues that I love so much, and they’re arranged in a kaleidoscopic explosion of color. Sigh 💚💙. Anyway, about two sentences in, the ink stopped flowing.

How to Replace the Ink in a Polka Dot Cottage Pen

I scribbled loops all over the pad, briskly rolled the pen between my palms, and then scribbled more loopy scribbles. But it was all to no avail. I must have gotten a dud ink cartridge. It does happen sometimes, and while it’s annoying, it’s not un-fixable. There’s no need to discard your lovely pen, just because the ink isn’t flowing.

Polka Dot Cottage Stick Pens take simple Bic Round Stic refills, and they may be replaced if they stop working, or when the ink runs out.


Replace the Ink in a Polymer Clay Pen: Supplies

You will only need three things:

Your Polka Dot Cottage Stick Pen.

A pair of pliers. I actually use wire cutters because I’ve misplaced my pliers. Essentially, you can use any tool that will grab the ink tip securely. If you do use wire cutters, be careful not to squeeze too hard and snip the tip of the ink cartridge off! Do that, and your entire work area will likely be covered in ink.

A Bic Round Stic Refill or a boring old Bic Round Stic pen that you won’t miss. If you don’t think you have a Bic Stic laying around, you might be surprised. Look in your pencil jars for hotel pens and other promotional pens. Promotional pens are often Bics. Test the ink cartridge to make sure it works before deciding to use it.

Replacing the Ink

Replace the Ink in a Polymer Clay Pen: Take Out the Old Cartridge

Grasp the tip of the ink with the pliers. By “tip” I don’t mean the tiny metal nib where the ink flows out. I mean the larger piece behind it. On this pen it’s brown, but on other Polka Dot Cottage Stick Pens it might be purple, blue, red, green, or black.

Replace the Ink in a Polymer Clay Pen: Take Out the Old Cartridge

With the tip of the ink held firmly in the pliers’ grip, pull the ink straight out of the barrel. You might need to gently rock the ink cartridge back and forth a bit to help it let go of the barrel, just please don’t be too rough. You don’t want an ink disaster, and you don’t want to crack the polymer clay covering, either.

Once you’ve liberated the old ink cartridge from the barrel, it’s time to put a new cartridge in.

Replace the Ink in a Polymer Clay Pen: Pull a Cartridge From Another Pen

If your new cartridge is still inside of a pen, use the pliers to remove it like before.

Replace the Ink in a Polymer Clay Pen: Insert the New Cartridge

Then, insert the new cartridge into the Polka Dot Cottage barrel, and push it in as far as it will go.

Replace the Ink in a Polymer Clay Pen: Push the Cartridge In

You may need to push the pen carefully against a hard surface to get it all the way in. Just be careful not to damage the hard surface with the pen’s point or crack the pen barrel. Firm but gentle pressure is key.

Replace the Ink in a Polymer Clay Pen

And that’s all there is to it!

If one of your well-loved Polka Dot Cottage pens has run out of ink and you are uncomfortable fixing it yourself, I can do it for you for a nominal fee (mostly postage and ink). Contact me, and we’ll arrange something.

If you don’t have a Polka Dot Cottage pen and you want one, you can get them in the shop. As of this writing, I have one available in the same pattern as the pen featured in this tutorial. The Design is called “Olive Jubilee.” (There are many other lovely patterns, too!)


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Posted on 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Replacing the Ink in a Polka Dot Cottage Pen

  1. […] pens, and then, wouldn’t you know it, the pen started working again! Nutty. I went ahead and published that blog post anyway, and I changed that ink, just for spite 🤣 [Taken at […]

    1. you can use the other pen you took the ink cartridge out of for a yarn guide on knitting looms.

      1. That’s an interesting idea! Thanks for the tip.

  2. so glad your still going..tina j

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