With reality shows about tattoo parlours populating the airwaves and celebrities showing off their newest inked designs on the pages of popular magazines, tattoos are a growing phenomenon. If you're interested in the look of a tattoo without the lifelong commitment, or would like to try out the design or placement of a tattoo before making a final decision, learning how to make a temporary tattoo with markers is a low-cost solution. The completed tattoo will last several days if the area is not vigorously scrubbed.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Computer with printer
- Tattoo pencil or indelible ink pen
- Alcohol-based antiperspirant
- Fine-point permanent markers
- Rubbing alcohol
- Spray bottle
- Cotton balls and/or swabs
- Translucent loose powder
- Powder puff (optional)
Once you have decided on the image you would like to use, print it out from your computer. Remember that it will be a mirror image on your skin, so you may need to use a photo-editing program to reverse the image or text using the "flip horizontal" feature.
Trace over the outline of the design with the tattoo pencil. These special pencils contain an ink which can transfer to the skin, much like creating a carbon image.
Coat the area of skin where the tattoo will be applied with a thick layer of antiperspirant.
Press the tattoo design onto the skin, ink side down, and hold in place while pressing along the lines of the design to transfer the ink into the skin. Peel up a small area to check for transference, and apply more pressure if necessary before removing completely.
Trace over the lines from the tattoo pencil transfer with a black fine-point permanent marker.
Colour in the design with permanent markers along the sides of the black outlines. Do not fill in the colours all the way to the centre of the spaces, as they will be filled in later.
Spray the tattoo with rubbing alcohol.
Rub the coloured areas lightly with a cotton swab (for small areas) or cotton ball (for large areas). Draw the colours toward the centre area of each section to create the faded look of inked tattoos. Go over any areas that seem overly faded with a second coat of marker. Allow the tattoo to thoroughly air-dry.
Load the powder puff or a cotton ball with translucent powder and gently dab it over the tattoo. Brush off excess. Reapply as needed to maintain an appearance of the ink being a part of the skin.
Tips and warnings
- For a tattoo that washes off easily, use washable markers, but be aware that these may rub off on clothing.
- Test your skin for sensitivity to marker ink by making a small dot on the skin and waiting 24 hours before creating your temporary tattoo.
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