How to make safe tattoo ink

Written by contributing writer
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In this article you will learn how to make safe tattoo ink at home with household products. It is inexpensive and very easy to do. You will also be able to make as much as you need using these simple techniques.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Shampoo
  • Rock
  • Waxed paper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Crack a number two pencil open, exposing the graphite. Take the graphite out of the pencil wood and use a small hammer or something hard and smooth to crush it. You need to continue to crush the graphite until it gets to a very fine powder. It usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes of crushing and grinding the graphite until it is fine enough to use. Make sure that you are crushing the graphite on sanitary waxed paper, so it will be easy to get up.

  2. 2

    Apply a small amount of a gentle shampoo (preferably a baby shampoo since it is very light in chemicals and soaps and is gentler to the skin) to the powdered graphite and mix them together. Mix extremely well and make sure the mixture is not too thick or too runny. The consistency of the mixture should be about the same as pancake syrup. If you are not satisfied with the consistency of the mixture, you must add more graphite to thicken or more shampoo to thin. If the mixture is too runny, it will not stay on the tattoo needle long enough to get into the skin. If it is to thick it will just push itself up the tattoo needle when the needle goes into the skin, only applying a very small amount of the homemade ink. This makes the tattooing process take longer.

  3. 3

    When you get the right consistency, scoop up the mixture and put it into a clean sanitary container lid about the size of a toothpaste lid. Now you should have enough safe homemade ink to produce two or three fist-sized tattoos. Do not use lead pencils. Lead pencils are not made anymore, but if you have an old pencil it could be lead, so make sure you use a new number two pencil so that you do not get lead poisoning.

  4. 4

    Adding colour is not difficult at all, and there are two ways to do it safely. The first way is simply by adding food colouring to the mixture. Only use a very small amount when adding food colouring because it is very strong, but it is non-toxic. The other way of adding colour is my preferred method. Add some watercolour paint to the ink mixture. Watercolours are safe and non-toxic and come in a larger variety of colours. If you do decide to use colours, it is better to actually buy the colour ink because the colours will be more vibrant than those you can make with watercolours or food colouring. The ink mixture works great as a grey-based ink that stands out very clear and will give you good coverage.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use lead pencils

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