How to Create Your Own Temporary Tattoo: 8 steps

If the ready made, rudimentary designs on temporary tattoo sheets aren’t cutting it for you, try making your own! This article will show you how to do so, using the popular gel ink pens that are easily obtainable from stationery and craft stores.


  1. Imagine the design you want, before you begin to design the tattoo. Before you begin, figure out what design you want. The tattoo will stay on your skin for a few days, so be sure your design is one you really want. Browse “tattoo designs” in your favorite images search engine and you’ll probably get a ton of new ideas.

  2. Use a gel pen in a dark color to draw the design. The free-flowing ink in gel pens will transfer readily from the paper to your skin once the design is in place. Simply draw your design on paper such as tracing paper or parchment paper using a pencil, then color in thoroughly using the gel pen. Use as much ink on one line as you can, but there is no need to make a river of ink!

    How to Create Your Own Temporary Tattoo: 8 steps
  3. Figure out where you want the tattoo. Try to make it somewhere you can easily apply it to yourself. If it isn’t an accessible spot, you’ll need a friend to help apply it.

    How to Create Your Own Temporary Tattoo: 8 steps
  4. Wet the cloth with warm water.

    How to Create Your Own Temporary Tattoo: 8 steps
  5. Place the paper with your design on it in the exact spot where you want your tattoo to be. Press the wet cloth firmly on the tattoo design for approximately 30 seconds.

    How to Create Your Own Temporary Tattoo: 8 steps
  6. Slowly and gently peel up a corner of the paper to see if it is completely transferred to your skin. If not, you’ll need to leave the cloth on the design for a few more seconds, then peek again.

    How to Create Your Own Temporary Tattoo: 8 steps
  7. Once it is done, remove the rag and peel off the paper. Let the design air dry as much as possible, taking care not to brush it against clothing or other parts of your body.

    How to Create Your Own Temporary Tattoo: 8 steps

  8. Rock that new tattoo! It won’t last long but it will look good long enough for going to a party or to accompany your outfit for a day or so. Note: Once water is applied, the design will start to wear off quickly).

    How to Create Your Own Temporary Tattoo: 8 steps


  • When drawing your design keep in mind that any words will be backwards when applied. To counteract this, write the word out, face it toward a mirror and copy it back to front. Then use the back-to-front design for adding the gel ink to. Or write it out on regular bond paper, then turn the paper over, hold it up to a window (daytime is best) and trace the word or words on the back. Use this side—with the text reversed—to make your design.
  • You may need to hold the rag in place longer if you have dark skin.
  • If you don’t want to make your own tattoo design, it is possible to buy gel ink tattoo kits (generally using designs children and teens would like).
  • Gel ink washes off easily with soap and water.
  • Be very careful pulling off , you don’t want it to smudge or tear on skin
  • To make the tattoo last longer cover it with a liquid band aid.
  • If you’re not allowed to have tattoos, then put it in a place where it’s not very visible.
  • After you are done with the tattoo, after some time it will smudge off a bit if you don’t put liquid band aid on it. If you don’t have a liquid band aid take the same colour pen as of tattoo and darken it, let it dry for some time there you have a new shine to it again.


  • Be sure that the water you use isn’t too hot. There aren’t any reports of ink poisoning, but it’s best to be safe by not overheating it. Most gel inks are non-toxic, with the pigment borne in the water rather than the solvents found in other pen inks.)
  • The application of liquid from washing, drinking, spilling drinks, etc. to the tattoo may result in stains on your clothing or other objects. You might like to carry a cloth or tissue to quickly wipe it off if it starts to dissolve in such a situation.

Things You’ll Need

  • Paper (notebook paper, tracing paper or common printer paper all work)
  • Gel pen, such as Fiskars (dark colors are best)
  • Soft, thick cloth such as an old dishcloth