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How To Make DIY Temporary Tattoos

Tattoos have long been a captivating form of self-expression, allowing individuals to adorn their bodies with meaningful symbols, art, or statements. While permanent tattoos are lifelong, only some are ready to plunge, and this is where DIY temporary tattoos come into play, offering a fun and creative way to experiment with body art without the burden of permanence. Whether you want to test a design before committing to the real thing, add a flair for a special occasion, or enjoy the thrill of self-adornment, crafting your temporary tattoos can be an exciting and personalized experience.

In this guide, we'll delve into the fascinating world of making custom temporary tattoos, exploring various methods, materials, and tips to help you unleash your inner artist and express yourself in a temporary yet stunning way.

What are Temporary Tattoos?

Temporary tattoos are a popular and non-permanent form of body art that allows individuals to decorate their skin with various designs, patterns, or images without the lifelong commitment of permanent tattoos. These temporary designs are typically applied to the skin's surface and can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the method used and how well they are cared for.

How to Create a DIY Temporary Tattoo?

Make your own temporary tattoo; it’s a fun and artistic way to experiment with body art without the permanence of a real tattoo. Want to know how to make temporary tattoos? This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process, from gathering supplies to the finished result.

Gather Supplies

Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary supplies:

  • Design: Have your tattoo design in mind or on paper. You can draw it yourself or print it out.
  • Tattoo Paper: You'll need special temporary tattoo paper, which can be purchased online or at craft stores. This paper allows you to transfer your design onto your skin.
  • Printer: If you're not drawing your design by hand, you'll need access to a printer to print your tattoo onto the particular paper.
  • Scissors: To cut out your design precisely.
  • Wax Paper: You'll use this to apply the tattoo to your skin.
  • Water and Sponge: For dampening the tattoo.
  • Towel or Tissue: To pat the tattoo dry.

Draw Your Temporary Tattoo

If you're designing your tattoo by hand, use a fine-tip pen or markers to create your artwork. Make sure your design fits within the desired tattoo size. Be as creative as you like, and remember that temporary tattoos offer an excellent opportunity to experiment with different styles and ideas.

Place Wax Paper on Skin

Cut a piece of wax paper to a size that comfortably fits your tattoo design. Place it over the area of your skin where you want the tattoo. Make sure your skin is clean and dry before proceeding.


Dampen a sponge or cloth with water, but keep it dry. Press the damp sponge or fabric onto the back of the tattoo paper. Make sure the entire design gets thoroughly wet.


Hold the dampened tattoo paper firmly against your skin for 30 seconds to a minute. Carefully peel the paper away, leaving the tattoo design on your skin. Be gentle to avoid smudging the design.

Allow the tattoo to air dry for a few minutes, and then gently pat it dry with a towel or tissue to remove any excess moisture.

Congratulations! You've successfully created your DIY temporary tattoo. Enjoy your new body art, and when you're ready for a change, you can easily remove these temporary tattoos with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. It's a creative and risk-free way to express your style or try different tattoo ideas.

How to Apply Your DIY Temporary Tattoo?

Now that you know how to make a temporary tattoo and have successfully created your DIY one, it's time to apply it to your skin. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and successful application:

Step 1: Prepare Your Skin

Start by cleaning the area of your skin where you want to apply the temporary tattoo. Use mild soap and water to remove dirt, oils, or lotions. Pat the area dry with a clean towel.

Step 2: Cut Out Your Tattoo Design

Carefully cut out your temporary tattoo design, leaving a small border around the edges. This border will help prevent the ink from smudging when you apply it to your skin.

Step 3: Remove the Clear Film

If your DIY temporary tattoo sits on special tattoo paper with a transparent film over it, carefully peel off the clear film to expose the adhesive side of the tattoo. If you print your design on regular paper, ensure the inked side is facing down and ready for application.

Step 4: Position the Tattoo

Place the tattoo face down onto the desired area of your skin. Ensure it's centered and positioned precisely where you want it. Once you've set it, avoid moving it around to prevent smudging.

Step 5: Apply Pressure

Press down on the back of the tattoo paper using a damp cloth or sponge. Make sure you cover the entire design with a wet cloth. Apply steady pressure for 30 seconds to a minute to ensure the tattoo transfers appropriately.

Step 6: Remove the Paper

Gently peel the tattoo paper away from your skin. Be careful not to smudge or shift the design as you remove the paper. If any part of the design doesn't transfer, press the paper back down and apply more pressure with the damp cloth.

Step 7: Allow it to Dry

Allow your newly applied temporary tattoo to air dry for a few minutes. During this time, avoid touching or rubbing the tattoo to prevent smudging.

Step 8: Final Touches

Once your tattoo is dry, inspect it to ensure it is transferred entirely and looks as desired. If imperfections or areas don't transfer well, you can touch them up with a fine-tip pen or marker to enhance the design.

That's it! You've successfully applied your DIY temporary tattoos. Enjoy your temporary body art, and when you're ready for a change or wish to remove it, you can do so easily with soap and water or rubbing alcohol. Temporary tattoos are a fantastic way to express your creativity and style without the long-term commitment of permanent ink, or you can also make henna tattoos.

Can You Use Eyeliner for Your DIY Temporary Tattoo?

Using eyeliner is an excellent way of “how to make temporary tattoos at home,” but it has some limitations and considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Safety: Eyeliner is a cosmetic product designed explicitly around the eyes. While it's generally safe for skin contact, you should ensure your eyeliner is non-toxic and hypoallergenic. Avoid using expired or old eyeliner, as it may not adhere well or could cause skin irritation.
  2. Design Precision: Eyeliner may provide a different precision and detail than other methods specifically designed for temporary tattoos, such as tattoo paper or henna paste. The fine tip of an eyeliner pencil or brush may be better for intricate designs.
  3. Duration: Eyeliner does not last long on the skin. It can smudge or wear off relatively quickly, mainly if applied to areas that frequently come into contact with water or friction.
  4. Removal: Removing eyeliner-based temporary tattoos can be more challenging than other methods. You may need makeup remover or cleansing oils to eliminate the eyeliner from your skin completely.

How Do You Make a Temporary Tattoo with Craft Paper?

Bulk custom temporary tattoos with craft paper is a simple and enjoyable DIY project. Craft paper tattoos are an excellent option for those who want to experiment with temporary body art using readily available materials. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make a temporary tattoo with craft paper:

Materials Needed:

  1. Craft paper (preferably water-slide decal paper for temporary tattoos)
  2. Printer and ink (if your design isn't hand-drawn)
  3. Scissors
  4. Clear adhesive spray (optional)
  5. Water
  6. Sponge or cloth
  7. Skin-safe adhesive (optional)
  8. Clear nail polish (optional)


  1. Design Your Tattoo: Start by designing your temporary tattoo. You can draw it by hand on paper or use graphic design software on your computer.
  2. Print Your Design: If you have water-slide decal paper, follow the manufacturer's instructions for printing your design onto the paper.
  3. Cut Out Your Tattoo: Carefully cut out your temporary tattoo design. Leave a small border around the edges to ensure it adheres properly.
  4. Apply Clear Adhesive Spray (Optional): To make your craft paper tattoo more durable, apply a layer of transparent adhesive spray to the printed side of the design. Let it dry completely before proceeding.
  5. Prepare Your Skin: Clean and dry the area of your skin where you want to apply the temporary tattoo.
  6. Apply the Tattoo: Place your craft paper tattoo face down on your skin in the desired location. Make sure you position it correctly. Dampen a sponge or cloth with water and gently press it onto the back of the craft paper. Make sure the entire design gets soaked.
    Hold the wet cloth or sponge on the paper for about 30 seconds to a minute, allowing the water to transfer the design onto your skin.
  7. Peel Away the Paper: Carefully peel away the craft paper from your skin. Be gentle to avoid smudging or tearing the design.
  8. Allow it to Dry: Let your temporary tattoo air dry for a few minutes. During this time, avoid touching or rubbing the tattoo to prevent smudging.


Crafting DIY temporary tattoos with craft paper offers a creative and temporary way to express oneself through body art. With a few simple steps, you can design and apply personalized tattoos, enjoying the freedom of artistic expression without the commitment of permanent ink.

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