Inside: DIY Tattoos Definition and process.

If you look up DIY tattoos on Google, you’ll probably be flooded with an overwhelming number of different methods and recommendations. But fret no more. In this post, we’ve discussed 2 simple ways to make fun temporary tattoos the best way we know using simple things like an eyeliner pencil and index card stencil.

Temporary DIY tattoos are an inexpensive way to experiment with body art without introducing any permanent changes to your body. With some basic household tools and craft store supplies (paired with lots of patience!), you can experiment with dozens of tattoo styles – abstract, flower, cartoons, and more.

When it comes to DIY tattoos, sky’s the limit!

If you are all keyed up, don’t be! Think, what’s the worst that can go wrong?

So, roll your sleeves up and get started!

How To Make DIY Tattoos

Get Started with DIY Tattoos

Following the steps of these simple at-home methods will allow you to experiment with different tattoo styles. Luckily, creating DIY tattoos isn’t really a challenging task. So, even if you mess up a little (or a lot), no harm will be done. In case you fall in love with any of your creation and don’t want to part ways, you can even go to the nearest studio to get it inked on your body permanently.

We’d love to know if this post on DIY tattoos helped you in any way. As always, feel free to reach out if have any questions. We’d be more than glad to answer.

If you’re searching for more fun and informative guides on the art of tattooing including its after care, styles of tattoos, and more, be sure to check the rest of our blog. 

Method #1 – Using an Eyeliner Pencil

Step 1

Remember, to make great DIY tattoos, you need to first plan the design and then apply it to your skin. Sketch out some ideas on a piece of paper keeping the following things in view:

  • Eyeliner DIY tattoos look best entailing bold, simple strokes since finer lines are more complex and tend to smudge easily.
  • Do consider the tattoos size since bigger designs are less authentic than smaller ones.

Step 2

Once you’ve finalized the design, it’s time to choose an eyeliner. A simple eyeliner pencil that needs to be sharpened will work best for this DIY project. In addition, avoid getting a liquid, oily, or shiny eyeliner. An eyeliner pencil that creates smooth, dry lines will help you achieve a long standing and smudge-free tattoo. As far as the color is concerned, it entirely depends on your personal choice.

Just be sure to practice drawing your chosen design to understand the amount of pressure you’ll require to create smooth strokes.

Step 3

Take your time and start drawing the tattoo on your skin using the eyeliner. Remember, you can always undo mistakes using a makeup remover. Although you can create the tattoo on any body part, areas with less hair are easier to work with.

You can even give a shading effect and/or blend colors with the help of a cotton swab.

Step 4

For the final step, spray the tattoo with a hairspray as it’ll act as a sealant. Doing this will ensure the tattoo stays in place for at least few hours. If you don’t have a hairspray, don’t worry. A clear nail topcoat or polish can do the job just fine.

Method #2 – Using a Stencil

Step 1

For this method, you will first have to create a stencil for your tattoo. This method is ideal for people who lack drawing skills or seek more control during the process. To create a stencil, take an index card and draw your chosen design on it. Once done, carefully cut out the design using a pair of scissors or cutting knife.

Bold, simple shapes (such as circles, diamonds, geometric shapes, etc.) work best for this method

Step 2

When the stencil is ready, pick one or more permanent markers in different colors to create the tattoo. It is worth mentioning that permanent markers comprise chemicals that aren’t quite friendly for your skin. Therefore, search for markers that are deemed safe for such kind of use. If you can’t find one, don’t worry. Washable markers will work perfectly fine too.

Step 3

For the last step, firmly place the tattoo stencil against the area where you wish the tattoo to be. With one hand hold the stencil against the skin, and use the other to color the design. When done, remove the stencil and let the tattoo to dry. marker ink to dry.

If you’re unable to hold the stencil down, consider using clear tape to fix it in place.

How to make DIY tattoos at home ideas & process

Method #3 – Decal Paper DIY Tattoos

Decal paper is the same material used to produce the temporary tattoos you see in stores.


  • Computer
  • Inkjet printer
  • Decal paper
  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Paper towels


  1. Create or download a design on your computer of what you want the temporary tat to look like.
  2. Print the design onto the decal paper using an inkjet printer.
  3. Cut out the design, but leave a thin border around it to make the tattoo a little easier to handle.
  4. Peel off the adhesive plastic from the surface of the paper and place the tattoo face down on clean skin.
  5. Wet the back of the decal paper with a wet paper towel.
  6. Peel the paper away to expose your new temporary tattoo.

Temporary tattoo method with glitter

Method #4 – DIY Nail Polish Temporary Tattoos

It seems a little out of the ordinary, but you can use nail polish to create an impressive temporary tattoo. This kind of tattoo looks similar to a bold tribal tattoo because it’s difficult to shade and highlight when you work with nail polish.


  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Nail polish in your chosen colors


  1. Draw your tattoo design on a piece of paper
  2. Cut out only the parts that you want to color in order to create a stencil. If you plan to use more than one color, make two identical copies. On the first stencil, just cut out the areas where you want to use your first color. On the second stencil, cut out just the areas where you plan to use the second color. Repeat this process for any additional colors you’d like to use.
  3. Place your stencil on the part of your body where you want to create your tattoo.
  4. Paint the nail polish from the outside in to avoid getting nail polish under the stencil.
  5. Wait for the first color to dry before adding any other colors.

Method #5 – Permanent Marker DIY Tattoos

Take great care when using permanent markers because, like nail polish, they aren’t meant to be applied to the skin. Do a small test first to make sure you won’t have a reaction to the ink.


  • Permanent Marker Temporary Tattoo
  • Fine tipped permanent markers
  • A stencil of your design
  • Rubbing alcohol (90% is preferred but 70% will also work)
  • Deodorant (clear stick, not roll-on)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Baby powder


  1. Arrange your markers and have all your other supplies at hand.
  2. Apply the deodorant in a very thin layer where you want to place your tattoo.
  3. Trace your stencil onto a piece of paper, and make sure you have a fresh marker with enough black ink to draw your entire outline.
  4. Place the stencil ink side down over the area where you applied the deodorant, and then apply firm pressure so it adheres in place.
  5. Remove the paper and examine the area to make sure the transfer took to the skin. if it didn’t, remove your first attempt with alcohol and try again
  6. Trace your stencil outline with a fine tip permanent marker to darken it.
  7. To add color, draw a line or two of your desired colors, and dip your cotton swab into the alcohol. Begin blending the colors using short, circular motions.
  8. Add colors as needed in order to get the shading you like.
  9. Use your fine tip marker to go over the outline again.

Some Tattoo Inspiration Just for You

  • Airbrush Tattoo: While airbrushed tattoos are temporary and only last a little over a week, they are so much fun to get! They look fantastic, have bright colors, and are pain free. Plus, airbrush tattoos give you a test run to see what a similar tattoo would look like. They are also great for giving you an idea of the sizing and location for a real tattoo. Or they can be strictly for fun. Consider these airbrush tattoo designs and enjoy your new work of art!
  • Dragonfly Tattoo: Symbolizing transformations, change, and new life, the dragonfly is a tattoo design that will never go out of style. Adding lots of details with many lines and colors or opting for a more simple design, a dragonfly tattoo is beautiful. Whether you are in the midst of significant changes in your life or have experienced an awakening of some sort, a dragonfly tattoo is perfect for you. Don’t miss out on these stunning design ideas!
  • Cute Little Tattoos: Little tattoos can be personal and discreet, but they can also have a giant meaning and connection for the wearer. Smaller tattoos can be good for those just starting with tattoos…you know…see if you like it before committing to a large image. If you are just starting, or looking to add something small to your existing collection, check our our list of Cute Little Tattoos.

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