Make Your Own White Food Color Marker

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Stop everything! This is big, Big, BIG news!

White food color marker 11

I have been on a quest. A quest to find or make a white food color marker with a fine tip. They (whoever they are) just don’t make white fine tipped food color markers. Do you ever just want to add a little highlight? Do you want to make killer chalkboard cookies but can’t paint?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then I’m so happy to say that I have discovered how to make your own white food color marker. And it is SO EASY. I’m surprised nobody has done it yet! (Maybe they have and I just don’t know about it, but believe me I googled the topic to death.)  I expected to come up with something that was sort of okay. I never expected what I got!

how to make a white food color pen


I can’t paint to save my life. I have tried on several occasions to paint on a cookie. I can’t do it; I’m just not Arty McGoo! It’s especially annoying to try to paint words and letters (words and letters you KNOW you can write with a pen); trying to contort and gyrate your hand so that the swoops and the swirls of the letter are just right. And it turns out looking like a caveman painted the cookie.

No painting for me. I had to come up with a marker or pen.

Typical food color markers look like this.

make your own white food color marker

They have a barrel with a core soaked in food coloring. The tip is made of polyester fibers. The dye soaks into the tip and is transferred through the fibers and onto your surface.

The problem is that white food color is not just a liquid dye. It contains solids to make it opaque. Those solids don’t really transfer through the fibers of the regular marker. (That’s probably why in Lila Loa’s method, you don’t get a really bright white unless you dip the marker tip into the white food color.)

But, there is a type of marker that uses opaque pigment. And I have a set of these “chalkboard markers” at my house. This was the inspiration.

make your own white food color marker

The actual marker is called a pump marker.  They hold the pigment and when you press down on the tip a little device inside lets a little of the dye flow out and onto the nib of the pen.

After some research, I discovered that they sell EMPTY versions of these at art stores. I bought a bunch of markers and replacement nibs and began my experimentation.

***Here’s the catch. You knew there had to be one right? The company that makes the markers would not say that they were food safe.

However, I didn’t give up so easily. I asked them to send me their Material Safety Data Sheets to find out exactly what the markers were made of. The marker is made of plastics that are normally used in food applications; polyethylene and polypropylene. The metal parts inside are a type of stainless steel (also commonly used in food preparation.) So to make a long story short, this marker isn’t approved for food (which involves a lengthy process with the FDA), but the components are commonly used for food storage and prep. I felt good about thoroughly washing all the pieces and using it. (The paintbrush you have been using is probably not approved for use with food either,  just a little food for thought.)

You will, have to make the judgement call for yourself whether you feel good about using the markers.

If you have decided to proceed, then by all means, join us on our…

12-Step White Food Color Marker Program 

Step one:

The good news is that all you have to do is order some stuff online. Then wait for it to arrive. No pliers, rinsing, soaking, gyrating or anything (unless you want to, I won’t judge.)

Here is your shopping list:
Molotow 111Em 2Mm Fine Round-Tip Empty Marker


Montana Acrylic Empty Marker 0.7Mm Extra Fine


Montana Acrylic Marker Nib 0.7Mm X-Fine 5/Pk (the tips are interchangeable between these two particular pens.)


You can always try other tips if you would like. They sell thicker tips and they can easily be changed out while you are working. But a word of warning, not all tips are interchangeable.

Step two:

Wait patiently… then tear open the box…carefully.

Step three:

Disassemble the marker. Uncap it, screw off the top, remove the nib and pry off the top of the reservoir.

how to make a white food color pen

Step four:

Wash everything really well and let it dry.

Step five:

make your own food color marker

Pour white food color (this is amerigel white) into the reservoir. Put the little ball in there and don’t fill it too full.

Step six:

Put the reservoir cap back on. Replace the 2mm polyester nib (the one it came with) with the 1 mm crossover nib (unless you want to use the thicker 2mm nib.)

how to make a white food color pen

Step seven:

Screw the nib cover back on.

Step eight:

Gently push the nib down on a paper towel or another surface. You will have to do this several times after you first fill it.

white food color marker

If excess pigment comes through, dab it off with a paper towel so that it doesn’t glop onto your cookie.

Step nine:

Go to town!

Before I drew on my cookie, I used an extra black cookie to make sure the dye was flowing freely. Or. I tried to draw a little on the back of my hand to make sure the dye came out. You may need to pump it every so often while you use it.  (That’s what I was doing when my hand came out of the camera frame in the video.)

Step ten:

If it stops working well, remove the nib and run it under water. Sometimes the icing on the cookie starts to clog up the tip, but it’s super easy to rinse it out and it took a long time before this happened to me. (A toothbrush is handy to really clean it out.) Then dry it off and keep going. (You will need to pump it a few times to get the pigment flowing through it again.)

Step eleven:

If you aren’t going to use it for a while, I recommend removing the nib, rinsing it out and storing it so that the food coloring doesn’t dry in the tip.

Step twelve:

Do a dance of joy! It can’t be that easy! It just can’t!


What’s that you say?

Yes! Yes it can!


Make your own white food color marker 2

I hope you are excited as I am about this!

If I were truly an informmercial, I would now offer to sell you two for the price of one (you just pay the extra shipping and handling.) But I’m no Ron Popeil, so I will just bid you adieu and good luck!

Let me know how it works out!

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  1. dave anderson says

    That is so cool thanks, with that being said just think of lol the custom color markers u you could make. Now you can have any color maker you want, that is awesome, you are a genius. :) :)

  2. Cupcakes & sweeties says

    OkAY! You are such a genius….now start making your orlwn markers….get them approved with FDA..or not….and let us buy them!! SUGARBELLE Scribblers or something cute like that!!! Love it!

  3. Amy says

    What a great idea!! I’ve got to try this because I can’t paint on cookies either. Failure.every.single.time.

    • AnitaAnita says

      They were available on Amazon, but everybody overloaded the suppliers and they are now out of stock. I’ve contacted the sellers and they are trying to get more soon. I’ll post new links when they are available.

    • AnitaAnita says

      Ha ha! That show makes me so nervous for the people on it. I can’t imagine being the one “in” the Shark Tank!

  4. says

    Genius! Thank you for sharing your amazing idea with all of us. Oh, the writing will be endless until the ink runs dry and then thanks to you we can refill and dredge onward. Thank you again!

    • AnitaAnita says

      That is the best part. You don’t have to keep buying them. You can just refill it! And think, you can make one in every color!

  5. Shannon says

    Thank you for sharing – this is exactly what i need for my nephews wedding cake this summer! I’m so excited now (as opposed to scared before!) Have you shown us somewhere how to make the black cookies? it would be a great surprise addition to the gift opening!

    • AnitaAnita says

      One word of advice, if you are writing on fondant, then use one of the felt or polyester tips. The crossover tip is hard and will not write well on fondant (If that is what you are using.)

  6. Kim says

    thats awesome! I tried to get Americolor to come out with edible pencils for tracing patterns onto fondant. But they refused my idea saying they had enough products! Ok, well heck I guess I should invent my own then!

  7. says

    Did a one click purchase of these the second I saw your post…thanks so much! So….have you by chance tried Amerimist Metallic Silver or Gold? No wait, that just might be too good to be true! The white is more than enough of a gift! Again, from one Anita to another, thanks!

  8. Lora says

    After picking myself up off the floor from seeing how much Amazon is selling the pens for, I found the same pen at Hobby Lobby for $6.99. Yea! Going to try it now….

    • AnitaAnita says

      Yeah, the regular priced ones sold out! And they just have one seller that is selling them for a beyond ridiculous price. Ya for hobby lobby!

  9. Leigh Sawyer says

    When will you make these available for purchase. I definately would buy some.
    Please keep me posted.


  10. Cheryl Rosner says

    Is the americolor the airbrush kind , I think the gel would be to thick. Thank you , you are awesome for sharing this with us.

  11. says

    If you are looking for a paint pen that you can fill with paint or food color or what have you, has a nice selection. These are brand new empty fillable paint pens. They are made by Pilot, a leader in pen manufacturing for decades. The markes are NOT approved for food; however, Anita’s comments about food safety above.


  12. michele says

    Thank you so much for this…a whole new world just opened up for me and my cookies!

    I have a question though (I’m new to this, so pardon my ignorance), to make other colors, are all of the AmeriColor soft gel paste colors as thin as the white?

    I usually use Amerigel and they, like the Wilton, are thick so it wouldn’t flow through the pens without diluting them somehow.

    Thanks for the detailed instructions and thanks for all of your help!

    • AnitaAnita says

      Hopefully I’m understanding you correctly. The other Americolor gels are probably more thick than the white and you would probably need to thin them down with a little water.

  13. Debbie Butler says


    Just tried this using the Montana empty marker. I couldn’t get the white Amerigel to come out of the pen. I read above how using other colors are thicker and might need some thinning with water. Was wondering if using the airbrush white (Dinkedoodle) I have would be better as it is thinner. Any suggestions??? This is a brilliant idea!

    • AnitaAnita says

      I didn’t have to thin my white amerigel color. It did take quite a while of pumping the marker before if came out. I am not sure about the dinkedoodle airbrush color, but it’s worth a try!

  14. says

    Thank you a lot for this post. However i have 2 questions: is there any advantage by using molotov marker over montana marker? and if i get the montana one there is still a need to replace the nibs?

    Also, I noticed that you don’t recommend to use this kind of markers on fondant… It doesn’t work at all? Even if i let it dry (the fondant) overnight? I really really want the very bright and defined white that you get on these cookies!

    Sorry for so many questions, and, once again, thank you!!!

    • AnitaAnita says

      No worries about the questions!
      I honestly do not know about the fondant. I don’t work with it much. But you do have to press quite firmly on he royal icing for it to work and I assume the fondant won’t take that kind of pressure without denting or tearing.

      As for the Molotov vs. Montana. I used the Molotov first and have the most experience with that one. I don’t think it really matters too much. But yes, they both come with a felt nib that I replaced with the fine tip nib.

      However… you might want to try the felt nib on the fondant. It is softer and might not be hard on the fondant.

  15. Walter Kuhn says

    I am looking for white edible ink. Can I buy it from you. I have a hobby business. I would like to print on red eating apples. At present I’m using clear waterslide and printing the design in white . The adhesive is gelatin. I advise people to cut off the clear label before eating.


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