How to Make Temporary Tattoo Stencils

Written by elizabeth chaplin
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How to Make Temporary Tattoo Stencils
Create temporary tattoo stencils with sticker paper. (Tattoo image by Kai Rollmann from

Temporary tattoos are a great way to "try out" a tattoo. Creating temporary tattoos and tattoo stencils is a fun family activity or something cool to do at a slumber party. Most stores sell temporary tattoos, but are mostly seen in gumball machines. Standard application requires you to place the tattoo face down on your skin and apply a damp cloth to the back until the image is transferred. However, another method is stencilling. Create a stencil with your own design, then trace over it with natural henna or nontoxic face paint.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Sticker paper
  • Craft knife
  • Paintbrush
  • Nontoxic face paint or henna

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  1. 1

    Draw a design on the paper side of the sticker paper. Keep in mind that outlines cannot be just a simple line. All outlines must look like a tube.

  2. 2

    Cut all around the outlines and shapes using a craft knife. For free-floating shapes or designs in the centre of the tattoo, cut these out and set them aside. Remember that everything on the stencil that remains solid will not be transferred to the skin.

  3. 3

    Remove the backing from the bulk stencil of the tattoo and apply it to the area desired on the skin.

  4. 4

    Take the backing off of the free-floating shapes or design and stick them in the areas where they belong on the tattoo.

  5. 5

    Paint over the stencil with nontoxic face paint, a tube of henna or a henna brush. Peel the stencil off and let dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure to follow the manufacturer's directions when using henna.
  • Black henna is not natural henna. Black henna contains para-phenylenediamine, which can cause skin irritation. Natural henna is brown or reddish-brown.

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