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How To Make Temporary Tattoos With a Printer

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Temporary tattoos are endless amounts of fun. They can be a great way to entertain little ones, prank your friends, or even just have some fun by yourself. But store-bought temporary tattoos can end up being quite pricey, especially if your kids love playing with them and want new tattoos every day. But did you know that it’s actually possible to make them at home using your inkjet printer? It is easier than you think, and you may already have everything you need to do it right at home. 

What Are Temporary Tattoos?

Making a temporary tattoo at home is also a great way to test out what your new tattoo will look like before you go for your appointment. Usually, you only get to see what the design will look like once your artist has printed out the stencil, but this is a different method entirely. Your artist will print out your design using a Tattoo Stencil Printer, like our Wireless Bluetooth Stencil Printer, which is a great option for artists on the go or larger tattoo studios, but we’re talking about using a normal home or office printer to create a temporary tattoo.

Temporary tattoos are tattoos that sit on or stain the skin, almost like a sticker or make-up, like those small sticky tattoos you could get from a gumball machine when you were a kid or designs done with henna at festivals. They are a lot like those, but you can make them at home and choose your own design. They are easy to apply and easy to remove. It is a really fun activity to do especially for kids’ birthday parties or if you are looking to change your style up for a night on the town. 

What You Will Need

The first thing you will need to do is gather your supplies. Make sure you have everything listed below, otherwise, you will not be able to create your temporary tattoos. 

  • Waterslide paper or regular printer paper.
  • An image or a few images that you want to turn into tattoos.
  • An inkjet printer. A laser printer will not work for this.
  • Scissors
  • Cheap perfume
  • Hot water in a bowl
  • Dry towel

Step By Step Process

  1. Load the paper into your printer. Waterslide paper will work better than regular paper as it sticks to the skin better and lasts longer, but if you don’t have access to it normal printer paper works perfectly fine. 
  2. You will need a digital image to print onto the paper. You can create one on Procreate, Photoshop, or Paint, or even download some from the internet. You can design something meaningful, or something silly. It can be a large design or something small. We recommend printing multiple images on one piece of paper to have a variety to choose from, and so you’re not wasting paper. Keep in mind that any image you choose will be flipped when the tattoo goes onto the skin. It’s important to make sure that it’s flipped before you print it, especially if it’s text, otherwise, it will be backward. 
  3. You will then print the image onto your chosen paper and cut it out. You can use color ink, but black works better. You will then cut it out, leaving about ½ an inch around the image. You will need something to hold while you place the design so make sure not to cut too close to the design.
  4. You will now need to soak the design in perfume. You can spray the entire design, both back and front, making sure that it is completely coated in perfume. We recommend using a cheap perfume as you need to use a lot, and designer fragrances can be quite pricey.
  5. Place the perfume-soaked design in a bowl of boiling hot water and leave it to soak for around 3 minutes, ensuring the paper sinks to the bottom of the water. It is very important to leave it to soak for at least 3 minutes and the water needs to be very hot when doing this step. While the design is soaking, you can clean the part of your body that you want to place the tattoo on with rubbing alcohol. Once the design has soaked for 3 minutes you can use a fork to gently lift the design out of the water to avoid burning yourself. 
  6. After you have removed the design, spray it with perfume again. You will now apply it to your skin. Please the image ink side down onto your skin and spray it with perfume again. You will now set a timer for a minimum of 7 minutes. 
  7. After the 7 minutes is over, you can now carefully remove the paper, peeling it away from one of the edges. Don’t worry if some of the paper stays behind – this can be gently removed by washing it off with water. Do not scrub or rub the area as the whole tattoo could come off!
  8. Once all the paper has been removed you can gently dry the tattoo with a clean towel by patting it on the skin. Congratulations on your new temporary tattoo!

The temporary tattoo should last at least a week, but if you want to remove it sooner, you can use a cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Rub the tattoo gently and it will start to come off of your skin.

It may take a few tries to get the hang of applying these tattoos, but they are so much fun to do that you will start looking for any excuse to do them! We hope that this guide has helped you learn how to apply the perfect temporary tattoos right in the comfort of your own home. Now you have a skill that you can use at any kids’ party or event, or to prank your friends into thinking you got a huge tattoo. 

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