How to Make a Temporary Tattoo That Looks Real

Written by emily retherford
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

There are many reasons someone may want a temporary tattoo. Temporary tattoos can be a great way to try out a design before you get a real tattoo. They can also enhance a Halloween costume. You can even add a temporary tattoo just to enhance an outfit for a night on the town. Making your own temporary tattoos is simple to do and you can very easily make them look real.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Water slide paper
  • Razor
  • Translucent powder
  • Washcloth
  • Computer
  • Printer

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Choose a design. You can use any image or clip art to make a temporary tattoo. Do a Google search to find clip art you may like online. Some clip art is free, while some you may need to pay depending on what you want. If you are pretty good with the computer you can also make your own design using any photo program. All you need is an image that you can print in the size that you desire.

  2. 2

    Print your design on water slide paper. Sometimes simply called "temporary tattoo paper," it comes in packs with adhesive paper. You are going to print the design on the water slide paper and let it completely dry. Once the ink is dry, place the side with the ink on it on the adhesive paper. Then cut around the tattoo as close as you can.

  3. 3

    Shave the area where you will place the tattoo. Since this is a temporary tattoo and the ink isn't being absorbed into your skin, any hair can mess up the application and make the tattoo look fake. Get as close of a shave as you can on the area that you will place the tattoo and then thoroughly wash your skin. Once shaved and clean, dry the area completely.

  4. 4

    Place the temporary tattoo on your skin, with the image facing down. Hold a wet washcloth to the back part of the paper. Make sure you hold the washcloth still so that the water slide paper will easily slide off leaving the image behind. Once the back of the paper is completely saturated slowly pull the paper away from your skin.

  5. 5

    Allow the area to dry. Once the tattoo is dry, you will lightly put translucent powder over the image to take out the shine. Make sure you aren't using any type of glittery powder as this could create a mess. Translucent powder will take the shine out of the image making it look like a more realistic piece.

Tips and warnings

  • Making temporary tattoos before you commit to the real thing can save you a lot of money and heartache. The last thing someone wants is to be stuck with a tattoo they dislike.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.