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10 mins

DIY temporary tattoos without sharpies or expensive papers
I like tattoos but sometimes I don't like commitment to one design. Sometimes I just want to make cool doodles on myself or experiment with color for possible tattoos.
I don't like to draw directly on my skin and I don't like sharpie tattoos. This method is the perfect fix for both of those issues. It uses basic materials and does not require special adhesive paper or a temporary tattoo printer.

Tips before you start: If you want to do a large design, have a friend help you apply it. Use ONLY non-toxic inks.

Posted by Monika Gottindottir from Worthington, Minnesota, United States • Published See Monika Gottindottir's 255 projects »

  • How to make a temporary tattoo. Temporary Tattoo - Step 1
    Step 1

    Pick a design from the internet or draw something original on regular paper. Trace the image onto tracing paper using gel pens. Do not use pencil on the tracing paper design as it will transfer with the rest of your image.

    I chose to draw a tiny Cylon raider ship and color it all red.

  • How to make a temporary tattoo. Temporary Tattoo - Step 2
    Step 2

    When you are satisfied with the way your gel pen image looks, carefully tear it off the tracing paper sheet and put it ink side down on your skin. Your skin should be clean and dry. Avoid using lotions before or after your temporary tattoo is applied.

    Using a washcloth dipped in warm water, press down on the tracing paper for 10-30 seconds. If your wash cloth is too wet, the image will bleed and lose definition.

  • Step 3

    Peel the tracing paper away. If your image did not fully transfer, fill it in with gel pens.

    Now you're ready to show off your ink after it dries. At this point, you can spray it with liquid bandage spray which will help preserve the image for a few days. If you choose not to use bandage spray over it, your tattoo will wash off easily in warm water.

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