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When and how to change Copic nibs and refill pens

A common question I’m asked often is how to change Copic nibs – when do you do it? What’s the process? And how do you refill Copic markers? Today’s very short video will talk about both! Watch the video below, or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube.

Important tip!

In case it didn’t come through clearly enough in the video: do NOT use rubbing alcohol in place of Colorless blender except in cleaning functions only. If you soak your caps, 99% alcohol works great. It’s super for putting on a rag or paper towel and wiping off ink around the nib. But do NOT mix it with color inside your pen or touch it to the nib. You don’t want to mix that with the Copic ink. Use colorless blender if you want to do things like mix custom colors, etc.

How to refill Copic markers

I recommend only purchasing refill bottles for colors as you use them; you may THINK you’re going to use a color a lot, but wait until you find out if you actually do. You’ll get many refills out of one bottle; so don’t get too worried by the price, it’s a great deal. I’ve posted a list of my most-refilled markers HERE – that means that they’re the colors I use the most!

Signs that a marker needs refilling:

  1. inconsistent coloring
  2. “dragging” of the nib while coloring; sometimes with a squeaky sound
  3. whitish nib

Refill from the chisel side, especially if you use my technique (removing the chisel nib, dripping ink directly into the marker) or the Booster System. I’m going to make a wild guess and say that most people who make videos – including Copic – must not use the booster needle, because I couldn’t find any how-t0-refill videos showing it! ha. I’ve tried it before and it works, it’s just easier to put the drops in directly. Some folks use the measurement notches on the bottle and figure out how many cc’s to put in; I hold the bottle above the marker and drip ink into it, and just count drops.

Once you think you’ve got enough ink in the pen, be sure to test it. If ink is dribbling out of the brush nib – you’re over full!

If your marker still isn’t quite right….a Copic hack!

I’ve had a few markers over the years that weren’t coloring quite right even after refilling. They were a little “gummy” on the surface of the nib – if you end up with that kind of nib, you’ll know it.

The trick with the bag shown in the video worked BRILLIANTLY on the marker I used it on this week. I was so excited to see that! In the past I had just changed those nibs…so from now on when I get a gummy marker, I’m going to mess with it more before giving it up. Just put a little Colorless Blender into a plastic bag, and massage it into the nib for about 30 seconds or so. Scribble off color – it should be lighter and thinner ink at first, as the blender solution wears off. You may need to add more ink to get it to color properly.

And if that doesn’t work – try changing the nib.

How to change Copic nibs

I replace nibs most often when the nib breaks down; that means either the tip develops a little “tail” that flips around as I color (agh! Frustrating!)…and sometimes the sides of a nib break down and develop what looks like pilling. If it still colors fine and you aren’t bothered by it, though, don’t change it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

How to change Copic nibs: Pull out the nib with Copic tweezers. It’s an inexpensive item, so go ahead and pick one up, honestly. It’ll keep your fingers clean when changing nibs or refilling – and it’ll make pulling out a brush nib WAY easier. I tried replacing a nib and using my regular makeup tweezers to pull out the nib – and only the foam part came off, and I had to do crazy things to remove the rest….it’s easier to just use the Copic one.

Pop a new nib into the empty marker, then wait for the ink to wick down to the end. Super easy. You may need to add more ink, but wait til the ink wicks out to the end first.

Extra links

The “hack” I showed with the bag isn’t mine, though I had always wondered if it would work. So happy that marker is back to working well instead of needing a new nib! Here are two ladies with blogs that are jam packed with great info:

My most reinked colors

At long last, after SO many requests….I’ve updated my favorite products page. At least with a few of the basics! I have more to add, but…here you go!

My favorite products


Copic Markers at Ellen Hutson LLC
Copic Markers at Dick Blick Art Materials
Copic Markers at Simon Says Stamp

I hope this post was helpful in learning how to change Copic nibs and refill your markers!

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Stamped Birthday Cards

Stamped birthday cards

My project is actually four cards – when I first ink up a new stamp set I like to try it all out! I’ve stamped the four Falling Backgrounds on these, then added the four Party Animals – you can get any of the new release products HERE at Simon Says. But you might want to take a look at my video first and see if you need to add anything to your cart…I pulled out all the stops and used lots of fun things to make these cards! Watch it below or click HERE to check it out in HD on YouTube.

I may have used a lot of products to create these stamped birthday cards that could be considered CAS (Clean and Simple…though Simple here may be a misnomer!) but they took less time than you might think. Mass producing the stamping the way I showed with the MISTI, and stamping the masks on the post it tape at the same time as the other stamping, totally saved me time.
Sandy Allnock Birthday Cards 2

I love the little shine that the Glossy Accents leaves on some of the elements of the stamped images! This bottle nib makes it so easy to control the amount of detail you can get – the nib is sooooo teeny, and all you do is pop out the existing nib on the GA and screw on the new one. Perfect fit!

Sandy Allnock Birthday Cards 4

In the video I promised I would show the bonus card I made using the masks I stamped on this tape – I stamped the front-most images first, then put their mask on, stamped the next one behind it, etc. Then I watercolored them all with these paints. I’ve been into this kittywompus type of card lately – just putting a panel on straight seems so…predictable. This one might just seem a little…crooked. Instead of intentional. Whatcha think?

Sandy Allnock Birthday Cards 3


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

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Stained Glass: With Copic Blending Tips


Hello friends! There’s been plenty of watercolor ’round these parts…are you ready for some Copic blending tips? I’m trying to keep a good balance in my ratio of copic to watercolor…and hoping I can keep everyone happy! 🙂 Check out the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube, and come on back for some other notes too.

Copic blending tips

There are about a gajillion copic blending tips – this card shows mostly how to mix colors that aren’t naturally going to belong together.

  1. Practice the flick! Flicking in both directions will make it easier. Spend time in front of the tv just flicking on scratch paper til your hand gets the hang of it.
  2. When blending non-similar colors, be sure to use plenty of ink. That’s probably the most common thing that causes poor blending.
  3. It’s harder to blend a really dark color with a really light color. Keep them within a few numbers of each other in the LAST digit – that’s the one that indicates light/dark.
  4. If you’re struggling, use your piece for some zentangling practice with a white pen or black pen overtop of the coloring – it’ll add some fun to it and no one will notice
  5. Check out my YouTube channel for my Copic videos…if you go to THIS page and you’ll see thumbnails for all my videos – pick out what you want to see Copic-wise. Remember that Magical Monday videos have no voiceover.

Sandy Allnock - Copic Stained Glass closeup

On this card I also used my W&P parallel ruler – helpful in making lines straight! The eraser I used to remove pencil lines is a kneaded eraser – super nice eraser on Neenah cardstock!


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

If you’re looking for more copic blending tips, right now I’ve been launching a new EduDigi each Saturday – lots of great info in the digibundles!

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Chubby Chums Birthday Cards

I needed a few birthday cards for my stash – and decided since today is my birthday, I’d share a darling little idea! I’m stoked to be with friends this weekend, crafting like mad…I didn’t take any Copics with me, so if I go through withdrawal, I’ll be borrowing. But I’ll be playing lots with my watercolors!

Chubby Chums Birthday Cards

I haven’t used this stamp set in, well…eons! And I have a suspicion that it *might* be on the road to discontinuance; Simon doesn’t even have it listed, and it’s out of stock at Ellen’s! But it’s still in the store at Paper Smooches…so if you just have to have it, I’d go get one asap just in case. Watch the video below, or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube.

The sentiment on this card is from the Party Posse set –of course, another must-have one. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’m thinking of sheep balloons after borrowing the sentiments from that one! The panel is diecut with Stitched Rectangles – the little sentiment panel, too!

Sandy Allnock Chubby Chum Birthday Cards2

I made a few of these to put in my stash of birthday cards – oh what fun to color, and so easy!


Hope you enjoyed my little birthday cards!

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Belated birthday card Ideas – Unforgettable Elephants

If you’re anything like me, you always need belated birthday cards – I am so bad about getting cards out on time!

Well today, get ready for some SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEE over the cutest lil elephants ever! This lil elephant is from the brand new WPlus9 stamp set called “Unforgettable” that’s releasing today – ohmygosh how CUTE, isn’t he??

Belated birthday card ideas

In the video, I show you how I *finally* got to make a card on which I could deliberately create a tilted panel. My backgrounds never quite work with this style of card, and I think it’s so fun to combine the angles like this! But text on an angle makes me nuts, so I had to figure out how to achieve this without my stamped sentiment going wonky. Find out how in the video below, or click HERE to watch in HD on YouTube.

Isn’t that just so much fun? And so simple too. Maybe others have long-ago figured out the secret to the kittywompus panel, but I’m slow to tackling things sometimes! But I am just so thrilled to have this stamp set and need to work on more belated birthday card ideas with it – and maybe I’ll even delay some birthday cards just so I can use these cute elephants! I’m sure if it’s a card this cute, no one will mind getting it late!

Here’s a closeup of the polkadots I created with my white pen:

Sandy Allnock -Unforgettable belated birthday card ideas

Besides elephants being great for belated birthday card ideas – since they apparently never forget – I also have a ‘thing’ for elephants – so I especially love this little stamp set. The colored pencil drawing below is one I created wayyyy back in 1998 (GASP!). I had a dreamone night that I was a baby elephant, surrounded by legs! Click on the image to see some more of my art from back in the day.


PS! I wanted to say a big thank you to all of you for your lovely comments on my Toastmasters Speech uploaded yesterday. Oh MY! I never quite expected that outpouring. Please know that my inbox is flooded with life-stories right now, and since I am heading out of town shortly, I may not get to replies for some time. 


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

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Realistic Copic Coloring Berry Good Fruit

Realistic Copic coloring fruit

It’s a new year – and lots of folks are trying to live a healthier year ahead. I am too – not as a formal resolution; those tend to just make me want what I can’t have even more! LOL. But realistic Copic coloring fruit seemed like good inspiration…and it did lead to cravings for pears! Mmmmm good! When Enjoy the video below, or click HERE to watch it in HD on YouTube.

The pear was one of my favorites; I love that the colors go from yellows to pinks to oranges to greens!Sandy Allnock - Coloring Pears

The water drops on the pear surprised even me – yeep! Don’t you love when something like this happens?Sandy Allnock - Coloring Peaches

Cherries are just like any round objects we color…they just need shadows and little highlights!Sandy Allnock - Coloring Cherries

Last but not least, the lemon! The pores on lemons were a surprise to me; if I had been asked before this realistic Copic coloring exercise to describe the look of a lemon, I wouldn’t have said it has pores!Sandy Allnock - Coloring LemonsA note about this stamp set – the sentiments in the set generally fit inside most of the fruits. I left them all outside, so my coloring would show. After that kind of work you don’t want to hid it!

I’ve linked up each stamp’s colors separately below – and I’ve also linked the dies too, in case you’d like them – I wanted mine cut allll the way to the edge so I did my fussycutting for these cards. Finishing touches for all four are in the bottom section.

Pear Supplies





Leaves and the rest of the cards:

If you wanted to learn realistic Copic coloring – what would the image be?

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Magical Monday: Stitched Raccoon

Well good Monday morning, friends! I’m at CHA…and again, this was created before I left so I’m hoping I’m currently having an awesome time! This is a peek at two of the three brand spanking new stamps created by Hero Arts to benefit Operation Write Home – soooooo cute! You can watch it below, or click HERE to watch it in HD on YouTube.

I added my colored panel to a card after diecutting it with the new Simon Says Stitched Rectangle dies – and cut a frame of black from the same set for it.

Sandy Allnock - Stitched Raccoon2

In these cutiepie sets, there are stitched animals (the raccoon and his buddies owl and bunny) and stitched flowers.  You’ll be able to see all the sets (including the third one) on OWHtv at noon today.

A couple pics of me this weekend – THIS by Hero Arts, THIS by Kristina, and THIS utter silliness during one of my classes (Lawdy…I finally got to be one of the black Charlie’s Angels!) 


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

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Magical Monday 4: Special Delivery

It’s Monday…so as always (of late), it’s time for a Magical Monday video…no yammering at you. Just for Mondays. I know some of you are saying ya miss the yammering, but others miss me being quiet on the other days. :0)

In this video, you’ll get to watch me change my mind on my airbrushing colors a bajillion times. Originally it was going to be white at the bottom – but that didn’t quite suit what I saw happening as this progressed. LOL. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan. Instead of a whole snowbank, Rudolph just has an iceberg all his own. (Which I recall happening in the claymation cartoon….so I’m going with it!)

If you can’t see the video above, click HERE to watch it directly on the YouTubes!


Below are links to the supplies I’ve used for today’s project; compensated affiliate links may used, which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I truly appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog! Read more.

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Copic Coloring Cups

Today I’ve got a long- awaited coloring tutorial….lots of folks commented on my coloring of this image a while back, yet it took me this long to make a video! So sorry. But it’s a good time to remind you – if I get lots of comments or questions on a particular image, that may put it on my ‘should-do-a-tutorial-on-this’ list, so be sure to leave comments on anything you want more info about. Enjoy the video!

Here’s a still of the card. The ribbon treatment was simple – I tied a loose knot in some Faux Canvas ribbon (May Arts), and adhered the two ends on the back. Easypeasy lemon squeezy! Hope you have a great weekend ahead, full of checking off the shopping list, celebrating with friends, and doing a little general relaxing. Which may or may not include crafting, depending on what you think ‘relaxing’ is! Have a good one, whatever you do!

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Big Shot Christmas Ornaments

I hope my little post today helps others who are feeling the pinch financially this Christmas….I’ve got ideas for using all that crafty stuff you already have to make ornaments to give as gifts! I figure if we add enough embellishing and ribbon and (ahem) stickles to something, folks will believe we went all out! 🙂

Enjoy this video showing how I did the snowman ornament…and gasp along with me as perfectly brand new plates get baptized with their first cuts! 🙂

Hope you enjoyed that bit of fun! Here’s a still of the ornament, and then the others…I’ve listed as many supplies as I could remember…. Shopping links are at the end of the post for as many items as I could find links for!

Snowman: Framelit Fancy Label #3, Hero Arts snowman, May Arts silk ribbon, pearl pen, stickles:

Sandy Allnock snowman ornament

Lion and lamb: Stampin Up set for the image (very old), Simon Says folded banner stamp/dies, 1.5″ wrinkle ribbon, pearl pen:

Sandy Allnock Ornament 4

Bird: Memory Box Holly and Bell Bird stamp, airbrushed background (with Copics), bird and bell are popped, silk ribbon,  Simon Says folded banner stamp/dies, oval and scalloped oval dies, stickles:Sandy Allnock Ornament 5

Mice: House Mouse (can’t find the stamp name or the stamp online, anyone know what this is?), Labels 10, silk ribbon, pearl pen
Sandy Allnock Ornament 6

Sledding squirrel: Stamp by Inkadinkado, grosgrain ribbon, Copic markers:
Sandy Allnock Ornament 7

Lamb: Stamp manufacturer is unknown. Sentiment company now-out-of-business. Beaded oval dies, stickles, pearl pen.

Sandy Allnock Ornament 8

Bear in the woods: Memory Box polar bear globe stamp, circle and scallop dies, silk ribbon, copic marker, stickles:
Sandy Allnock Ornament 9

Peanuts: Stamp is Peanuts Gang Caroling, colored with Copics, stickles added. Corner rounder, rectangle scalloped Nestabilities – I shortened the size by moving the die. 1.5″ wrinkle ribbon. Sandy Allnock Ornament 10

Santa: Ribbon threader die, Stampendous stamp – I can’ t find this one online anymore, sorry! Copic markers, May Arts twisted rope, Fiskars star punch.

Drummer boy: Labels 7 dies, Stampendous stamp, Copic markers, distress inks. I stamped the background with a word art background stamp in Soft Sand ink – however my eyes are getting bleary so I’m not gonna go find that one. LOL. This has been a many-hours post already 🙂Sandy Allnock Ornament 12

Reindeer: Special Delivery stamp, copic markers, Simon Says holiday label sentiment/die, Nestabilities Labels 18.Sandy Allnock Ornament 13

OMG am I done yet? Penny Black’s Mimi stamp,  Copic markers, Fiskars sar punch, and more sentiments no longer online. Silk ribbon again. Works great for a splash of fancy!Sandy Allnock Ornament 14 Snowman: Floral oval dies, Snowman stamp that I can’t find anywhere, copic marker, May Arts embroidered ribbon, Simon Says Holiday Banner sentiment.Sandy Allnock Ornament 15 House Mouse love – The stamp is called Holiday Smooch…egads, I gotta let you start googling, I’m going blearyeyed. Sentiment is one from Impress. Lacey scalloped circle die, Glossy accents on the berries.Sandy Allnock Ornament 18

Last but not least….I made a bunch of these for my friends at Toastmasters. It was my turn to lead, so I figured I’d give them little gifts in case I screwed up 🙂 Floral oval dies, Our Daily Bread poinsettia stamp, and ODBD sentiment too.Sandy Allnock Ornament 19

WHEW! I think I won’t be doing a post like this much more, holy cow….but….there’s tons of shopping links for you, so go buy yourself a Christmas present, ok? 🙂