Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Refilling your Markers

The beginning of the new year is always a good time to check through your Copic collection and check which of your markers are running a little dry and need to be refilled.
The best way to check your markers is to test both ends of the marker. If you see streaks when you use the chisel point, or if the brush end is looking white and blotchy you need to refill your marker.
HANDY TIP: Generally, without overfilling you can get about 10-12 refills for Sketch, about 15 for Ciao, about 8 for Copic, and 5-7 for Wide.
There are a couple methods for refilling Copic markers. Find the technique that works best for you.
METHOD 1: Drip and dab
This is the most direct method of refilling. Using the dropper built into the ink bottle simply drip/dab drops of ink onto the chisel nib of your marker. Let each drop get sucked in before you add the next drop. This is a simple method but is slow, as it takes a few minutes to completely refill a marker.
METHOD 2: Remove Nib and Fill
With your Copic tweezers pull the chisel tip out from your marker. Carefully set your tip onto a protected surface. Check where the ink level is in your bottle before you start filling.
Take the cap off the other side of the marker as this helps to avoid getting air bubbles and allows the ink to seep in better.
Carefully insert the tip of the refill bottle into the marker and gently pour in the ink. Try not to squeeze too quickly as it's easy to overfill the marker. When you're done, put the nib back in and put both caps back on. Let your marker sit for a moment so the ink evenly distributes within the marker.
METHOD 3: Refilling with the Booster Needle
Using the Copic Booster Needle is the most accurate and quickest way to refill markers. The Booster Needle is a large needle that attaches over the built-in dropper on a bottle of ink. Then, you insert this into the marker and squeeze gently until you've added enough ink.
An ORIGINAL marker has a little gap between the chisel nib and the plastic barrel. The booster needle fits down into that gap and easily fills the marker. As the needle enters the marker you will feel some slight resistance- this is where it is meeting the sponge reservoir inside. You don't need to jam the needle all the way until it stops, just until you feel the slight resistance.

With the SKETCH or CIAO markers you will need to remove the chisel nib (NOT the Brush!) to refill with the booster. Push the booster in until you feel some resistance, then gently squeeze until you've added the correct amount for your marker type. Replace the caps and nibs on your marker and let it sit for a while to allow the ink to soak out to the edges. Be very careful with this method as you are working with a VERY large and VERY sharp needle....that also needs to be stored away immediately after use, so no one gets hurt.
Cleaning out the booster needle
You don't need a different needle for each marker that you refill, but you do need to clean out the needle really well between using different colours. An easy way to clean the needle is to put it into a small container and add a little rubbing alcohol to rinse it in. Another easy way to clean it is to screw the needle onto the top of the colourless blender bottle and squirt it through the needle until the colourless blender solution flows clear.
*Work over a protected surface.
*Make sure your refill colour matches the marker.
*Keep a bottle of hand-sanitizer or colourless blender solution and some paper towels for clean up.
HANDY TIP: Ciao add 1 to 1.5 cc's ink.... Sketch- 2 cc's.....Copic 2-3 cc's......Wide 3-4 cc's
*Each little mark on the side of a bottle of ink is 1 cc.
Remember, you can download the refilling guide from the Copic Marker Library here as well.
I hope this post helps you to refill your markers....and you now have fresh and juicy markers that are ready for lots of happy colouring!!!
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  1. Thanks for the tips on to get a copy to add to my Copic file!

  2. Thanks for the info. i do not own any copic markers as yet but i have seen alot of tutorials on youtube and i love the way they make the picture look. They are definatly on my 'to buy'list !!

  3. Thank you so mutch for the tips and the pictures.
    Hugs Astrid

  4. Fabulous tutorial Mandi!!! Your pics are awesome!! :)

  5. Thanks for the info!

    I had gone into my LSS and they told me flatout Ciaos are NOT refillable, that I would have to rebuy the markers (and of course wanted me to do so there and then at their exhuberant price!). Luckily I didn't and came home and did some searching on the net about all this. So this really helps!

    Thanks Again!

  6. Does it not loosen the nib after you take it off?