How to Make Temporary Tattoos: DIY GUIde

Are you looking for a fun and temporary way to express yourself through body art? If so, making your own temporary tattoos is a great option! Not only is it easy and affordable, but you can customize the design to fit your style and personality. In this article, we share some tips about how to make temporary tattoos at home.


Temporary tattoos are designs or images applied to the skin’s surface without the use of needles or ink typically associated with permanent tattoos. These tattoos are designed to be temporary and can be easily removed when desired.

There are numerous options to explore, but among the most favored choices are water transfer temporary tattoos. You have the flexibility to purchase a pre-made temporary tattoo, request a custom design, or even embark on a DIY adventure. Creating your own DIY temporary tattoo is incredibly enjoyable and doesn’t demand any specific expertise. It’s a creative endeavor that anyone can dive into with ease.

Materials Needed

  • Tattoo paper
  • Inkjet printer
  • Design software or online tool
  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Sponge or cloth

You can find tattoo paper at most craft stores or online retailers. It comes in two parts: the adhesive sheet and the paper with the design on it. The design can be created using design software, such as Adobe Illustrator or Canva, or online tools like PicMonkey or Stencil.

Designing Your Temporary Tattoo

Start by gathering inspiration for your tattoo. This could be anything from a favorite quote, a meaningful symbol, a piece of art, or a design you’ve always admired. Look for images, colors, or styles that resonate with you.

 You can create a design from scratch, use clip art, or even take a photo and turn it into a tattoo. Just make sure to keep in mind the size of the tattoo paper when creating your design.

Once you have your design ready, it’s time to print it onto the tattoo paper. Make sure to follow the instructions on the tattoo paper packaging, as different brands may have different printing directions. Generally, you’ll want to mirror the image before printing and print on the glossy side of the tattoo paper.

Applying Your Temporary Tattoo

Start with clean, dry skin. Use mild soap and water to wash the area where you want to apply the temporary tattoo. Make sure the skin is free from oils, lotions, or any residue that may prevent the tattoo from adhering properly.

If your temporary tattoo is larger than the desired area, use scissors to trim it to the appropriate size. Make sure to remove any excess white space around the design.

Carefully peel off the clear plastic backing from the temporary tattoo. Be gentle to avoid damaging the design.

Place the tattoo face down on the desired spot on your skin. Ensure it’s positioned correctly because once it’s applied, it can be challenging to reposition.

Take a damp cloth or sponge and gently press it against the paper side of the tattoo. Hold it in place for about 30 seconds to a minute. Ensure that the entire tattoo gets wet.

Slowly and carefully peel off the paper backing from the tattoo. The design should now be transferred onto your skin.

Allow the tattoo to air dry completely. This usually takes a few minutes, but it’s essential to ensure the tattoo sets properly.

To prolong the life of your temporary tattoo and prevent it from rubbing off, you can apply a setting spray or clear hairspray over the tattoo. This helps seal it in place.

Benefits of Temporary tattoos

No Commitment: Temporary tattoos allow you to experiment with different designs and styles without the permanent commitment of a real tattoo. You can change your tattoo as often as you like.

Safety: Temporary tattoos are generally safe and non-toxic. They are designed to be applied to the skin without causing harm or irritation. This makes them suitable for both adults and children.

Easy Application: Applying temporary tattoos is a simple and hassle-free process. You don’t need any special skills or equipment to put them on your skin.

Variety of Designs: Temporary tattoos come in a wide range of designs, from realistic to whimsical. You can choose a design that matches your personality, mood, or a special occasion.

Cost-Effective: Temporary tattoos are generally more affordable than real tattoos. They offer a cost-effective way to enjoy body art without breaking the bank.

Special Occasions: Temporary tattoos are often used for special occasions like parties, weddings, or themed events. They can serve as party favors, enhance costumes, or celebrate milestones.

Quick Removal: If you decide you no longer want a temporary tattoo, removing it is a simple process. You can use baby oil, rubbing alcohol, or a gentle cleanser to wipe it away.

Tips for Making Your Temporary Tattoos Look Realistic

If you want your temporary tattoos to look as realistic as possible, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to cut out the design as close to the edges as possible.
  • Use a high-quality inkjet printer to ensure the colors are vibrant.
  • Apply the tattoo to an area of skin that is similar in color to the tattoo.
  • Avoid applying the tattoo over areas with hair or wrinkles.


  1. How long do temporary tattoos last? Temporary tattoos typically last around 2-4 days, depending on how well you take care of them.
  2. Can you use any inkjet printer for tattoo paper? It’s best to use a high-quality inkjet printer to ensure the colors are vibrant and the design looks crisp.
  3. How do you remove a temporary tattoo? You can remove a temporary tattoo by rubbing it with rubbing alcohol or baby oil.
  4. Can you create a custom design for a temporary tattoo? Yes! You can create a custom design using design software or online tools.
  5. Is there a certain age limit for applying temporary tattoos? It’s always best to check with your parents or guardian if you are under 18 before applying any type of body art.

Final Takeaway

Making your own temporary tattoos is a fun and easy way to express yourself through body art. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a custom design that fits your style and personality. Just remember to take care of your temporary tattoo to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Happy creating!