Cheap Ways to Make Temporary Tattoos

Written by christine harvey
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Cheap Ways to Make Temporary Tattoos
Make temporary tattoos with your choice of colours and designs. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Temporary tattoos are a less painful option than actual tattoos. They are less expensive and less time consuming to apply. Some removable tattoos look realistic, while others are more vibrant, shiny and/or glittery than actual tattoos. You can make a temporary tattoo at home at for a very low cost.


Use non-toxic washable markers to create tattoo designs that will wash off easily. Experiment by drawing a variety of different tattoos. Use stencils held against the skin or draw freehand. Non-toxic washable markers are inexpensive, accessible and can be used over and over again if cared for properly by putting the lids of the markers on tightly after every use.

Glitter Tattoos

To make glitter tattoos at home, clean an area of your skin. Dry the cleaned area thoroughly with a towel. Press a stencil against the cleaned portion of the skin. Hold the stencil steady and paint nail polish over the stencil. Still holding the stencil in place, generously sprinkle non-toxic sparkles over the stencil. Lift the stencil, being careful not to smudge the edges as you lift. Do not touch the glitter tattoo against anything until the nail polish has dried completely. This makes a beautiful sparkly tattoo that can last a couple of days to a week. This type of glitter tattoo can be removed with nail polish remover.

Face Paints

Face paints come in water-based cake pallet and pencil forms. These paints cost a little more for the initial start up cost, especially if you want to use a variety of colours. Soft-bristled brushes and face-painting sponges also need to be purchased in order to apply the water-based cake pallet paints properly. Once you buy the supplies, they last a while and work out to costing only a few cents for each tattoo. They are basic to apply, either drawn or painted on free-handed or with a stencil, and easily removed with soap and water.

Temporary Tattoo Paper

Purchase temporary tattoo paper and put it into your computer printer. Choose or create a tattoo design on a computer program. Print your tattoo and follow application instructions as described on the temporary tattoo paper usage directions. Sheets of temporary tattoo paper cost about five dollars a sheet and can hold several tattoos per sheet depending on the size of the tattoo you are printing. So although this option costs more than marker, glitter or face painting tattoos, it's still significantly cheaper than other homemade temporary tattoo materials like henna, for example.

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