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.
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.
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
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.
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.
If your new cartridge is still inside of a pen, use the pliers to remove it like before.
Then, insert the new cartridge into the Polka Dot Cottage barrel, and push it in as far as it will go.
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.
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!)