In this article, we take a look at six different ways to create DIY temporary tattoos. A fun craft for these days of social distancing and self quarantines, it’s not only an easy way to momentarily lift your spirit, but it can also help you choose your next tattoo when the world finally recovers! These playful skin experiments can bring some humor and joy, which is absolutely necessary even during the darkest hours. From eyeliner and hairspray to making your own IG face filter, here all all of the ways you can create awesome temporary tattoo art.
Eyeliner Temporary Tattoos
Liquid or Pencil Eyeliner (your choice of color)
Baby Powder (optional)
Hairspray or Liquid Band-aid
For this you can use either liquid eyeliner or an eyeliner pencil. Liquid eyeliner will give you a bit more control and a “Fineline” look, but a sharpened eyeliner pencil might be easier for those of you who aren’t totally versed in high quality drawing skills! But the whole point is to have fun! So go for it. If you mess up, keep some make-up remover wipes handy and quickly rub away mistakes before setting.
How do you do this DIY temporary tattoo technique? Simply draw on your design and let it dry. Sprinkle some baby powder onto the design and lightly pat, then rub, to help lock in your temporary tattoo. Spritz with some hairspray or liquid band-aid and voila! Enjoy your new DIY tattoo!
Sports Marker Temporary Tattoos
This way of doing a homemade tattoo is very similar to the eyeliner technique above, but uses sports pens. Sports markers are usually used to mark competitors in races, celebrate team events, and similar. Some of them have a point, some are a bit more blunt, and they come in both “pen” form as well as body paint form. The most important thing to remember is that, like eyeliner, they don’t have any toxic ingredients and are made to be skin safe!
All you have to do is draw on your design, let it dry, and poof! New tattoo! Super easy.
Other techniques: Tattoo Pens, Temporary Tattoo Ink, and Henna
There are many different ways to draw on tattoos. Eyeliner and sports markers are usually things that people have simply lying around the house, but there are actual materials that are specifically for creating temporary tattoos.
Bic came out with “BodyMark” pens which are non-toxic cosmetic-grade markers that make doodling on your skin super safe. There are also temporary tattoo kits that come with little bottles of ink fitted with tiny metal tubes that make application very easy and they actually last for around 2 weeks! The kits from EasyInk are 100% fruit-based, so no need to worry about any weird chemicals staining your skin.
Henna is perhaps one of the most famous, and ancient, techniques to create temporary tattoos. You can get kits online that include stencils and color cones, which are stuffed with a paste made from ground leaves from the henna tree! You’ll need a steady hand to create these designs and a bit of patience too. Keep in mind you have to let it dry for 4 hours before washing or letting the excess paint flake off naturally but they do last anywhere from 2-3 weeks. Those who love mandalas, ornamental pattern work and sacred geometry will absolutely adore how these turn out. Plus, many tattoos are actually directly inspired from the ancient designs created using henna!
Temporary Tattoo Printer Paper
Temporary Tattoo Printer Paper
Computer and Printer
DIY temporary tattoos are super easy if you have access to an inkjet or laser printer. Just make sure to buy the temporary tattoo printer paper that matches whatever printer you may have at home!! Inkjet tattoo printer paper comes out super bright and clear, while laser printer tattoo paper will be much more realistic because of the finished matte look.
Keep in mind you also may have to do a mirror image which is easy to do on most computers using Photoshop or similar. Simply choose your designs, put them onto a word doc or print out as is onto your chosen paper. Depending on the temporary tattoo printer paper you use, just follow the directions. Some use a clear sheet to protect the “tattoo” when you cut the image out, while others are ready to be applied directly to the skin.
It’s just like those fun quarter machines when you were a kid!! Except, this time, you can choose your design! Once the printed temp tattoo paper has been put onto your desired placement, hold a wet washcloth onto your skin for 30 seconds, then peel the paper away to reveal your incredible new piece.
Temporary Tattoo with Inkjet Printer and Perfume
Inkjet Printer and Computer
Normal Printer Paper
Perfume or Body Spray
Hairspray or Liquid Band-Aid
So, choose your designs, it works best with relatively simple black linework, and print them out on regular printer paper using an Inkjet printer. Cut out the design, then spritz with perfume on the front and back until the paper is covered. Put the perfume covered piece of paper into a shallow bowl filled with water and leave for 30 seconds. Before you pull out the design, cover your desired body placement with another layer of perfume. Put the piece of paper directly onto your body then press. Spray on another layer of perfume...probably best to do this in a well-ventilated area....then press again to make sure the design transfers.
Leave the piece of paper on for five minutes. Then carefully peel off the piece of paper and check out your new temporary tattoo! You can put some hairspray or liquid band-aid onto it for a longer lasting effect. This is an awesome way to create a DIY temporary tattoo that lets you play around with placement and design before actually getting inked.
If All Else Fails: Social Media Tattoo Face Filters
Some Quality Time
And last, but certainly not least...and also, way easier...pull up Instagram or SnapChat and use tattoo face filters!! Both of these platforms make it super easy to search for tattoo-oriented face filters, but you can also just browse and play around with different looks. Sounds silly, but with everyone running out to get face tattoos to look like their favorite rapper or pop star, there has been some super intense face tattoo regret!! This is a fun, painless, and way cheaper way to get a face tattoo...without actually getting one. I grabbed a few shots of my favorite face tattoo filters to give you some ideas...so for those of you who don’t have the supplies mentioned above and can’t replicate those DIY temporary tattoo techniques, this is one way you can get a temp tat without even leaving your couch. And if you can't find what you're looking for: create your own filter!! Even sweeter way to try out that snake diamond dagger side face tattoo that you've always wanted...