If you want to experiment with body art without permanently altering your skin, a temporary tattoo is the way to go. You can make your own temporary tattoo with just a few household supplies and items from the craft store. Learn three techniques for making temporary tattoos: using an eyeliner pencil, using a stencil, and printing one on paper.
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1. Design the tattoo. To make a great tattoo, put some thought into its design before you apply it to your skin. Use a regular pencil and paper to sketch out some ideas, keeping the following pointers in mind:
- Your eyeliner tattoo will look best with bold, simple strokes. Finer lines and more complicated designs could be more likely to smudge and become unrecognizable. Stick with clear shapes.
- Decide how large you want it to be. A bigger tattoo may be more likely to appear to be hand drawn, whereas a smaller tattoo may look more “authentic.” Design your tattoo according to the effect you want to achieve.
2. Go to the drugstore and buy a simple eyeliner pencil, the type that needs to be sharpened. Pick one that isn’t meant to be shiny or oily; a pencil that makes smooth, dry marks will make a longer-lasting smudge-free tattoo.
- Jet black eyeliner makes for a striking temporary tattoo, but there’s no reason not to choose more than one color. Try emerald, purple, and sapphire to create your design or add a small accent.
- Avoid liquid eyeliner. It’s more difficult to keep this type of eyeliner in place on parts of your body other than your eyelids.
- Practice drawing your design with your chosen eyeliner pencils on paper. Get used to the pressure you need to exert to create smooth strokes.
3. Draw the design on your skin with the eyeliner pencil. Take your time and make sure the design is applied exactly how you want it to look. If you don’t like it, you can wash it off and start over.
- You can draw your tattoo on any part of your body, but areas without a lot of hair might be easier to work with. Make sure the skin is clean and dry when you draw your design.
- Use a cotton swab to blend colors and create shading.
1. Make a stencil. You can create professional-looking temporary tattoos by making a stencil, which helps you control the tattoo design rather than relying on your drawing skills to do the job. Decide what shape you want your tattoo to be, draw it on an index card, and cut out the shape using a cutting knife or a pair of small scissors.
- Simple, bold shapes are the easiest ones to create with this method. Try diamonds, circles, and other geometric shapes.
- For a more detailed tattoo, you can create a stencil based on an existing image. Check out How to Make a Graffiti Stencil for more information on this method.
2. Buy permanent markers. Choose one or more marker colors to use with your stencil. Black is a classic option, and may be the most likely to help your tattoo pass as a real one. Using another color can be just as fun.
- Permanent markers contain chemicals that aren’t meant to be used on skin. Look for markers that are labeled as safe for this type of use.
- If you’d rather not use permanent markers, washable markers are also fine. The tattoo just won’t last quite as long.
- Another good ink choice is stamping ink, which comes on wet stamping pads. To use this type of ink for your tattoo, press a cotton ball onto the ink pad and use it to wipe the ink over the stencil and onto your skin.
- Make sure you apply the tattoo to clean, dry skin. Shave the hair in the area for a more even application.
- If you have trouble holding the stencil in place, try using tape to affix it to the area. You could also try applying the tattoo to a part of your body with a flatter surface.
1. Buy water slide paper. Have you ever bought a temporary tattoo from a quarter machine or the toy store? These temporary tattoos are printed onto water slide paper, a special paper lined with adhesive on one side. The tattoo design is printed with ink on the adhesive.
- Water slide paper is available online or in craft stores.
2.Design the tattoo. The sky is the limit when you’re using water slide paper; any shape, color or pattern will print beautifully onto the paper and show up clearly on your skin. Use Photoshop or a similar computer program meant for creating images to come up with a tattoo design.
- Decide whether you want the tattoo to be in black and white or color. If you have a color printer, your design can include as many colors as you want.
- Choose colors that will show up well against your skin.
- Keep in mind that when you apply the tattoo, the image will be reversed on your skin. That means that if your tattoo includes a word, it needs to be reversed in the design, or it will read backwards once you put it on.