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How to make a tattoo gun with an electric toothbrush

Updated February 21, 2017

Tattooing is usually done by a tattoo artist in a professional setting, and this is no doubt the safest way to get a tattoo. However, tattoo art has been practised for thousands of years by nonprofessionals, using only sharp objects and with ink made from ashes and water. You should probably not attempt to tattoo yourself, but if you want to and you'd like more than a crude tattoo, you will first want to make or obtain a tattoo gun with a motor. One way to make a tattoo gun with a motor is by fashioning one out of an electric toothbrush. Remember again, it is not recommended that you tattoo yourself using this or any other self-tattooing method.

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  1. Remove the bristled head from the electric toothbrush. The toothbrush will no longer have a brushing apparatus, and the long, metal rod should be exposed.

  2. Break the eraser off the end of the pencil with your hands. Poke an 11- or 12-gauge guitar string through the eraser.

  3. Remove the top plastic casing from a mechanical pencil. Send the top of the guitar string through the casing and over the eraser.

  4. When the guitar string has poked out of the mechanical casing about two inches, bend the tip of the string at a 90-degree angle with your hands or against a hard surface. Leave the bottom of the guitar string unbent.

  5. Place the guitar string and eraser apparatus over the metal rod of the electric toothbrush. Secure everything in place with electrical tape.

  6. Cut the tip of the guitar string with wire cutters at a 45-degree angle so that is very sharp. The sharper the string, the easier your tattoo gun will be to use.

  7. Sanitise the guitar string before using. Never use the tattoo gun twice, especially on two different people. You may want to practice on the skin of fruits like bananas or oranges before tattooing a person.

  8. Tip

    Clean the toothbrush after each use. It is possible to remove the apparatus from the electric toothbrush and use as a toothbrush again after tattooing.


    Tattooing yourself can lead to infection. Use this tattoo gun at your own risk. Always use a clean, brand-new guitar string for tattooing.

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Things You'll Need

  • Electric toothbrush
  • Pencil with a new eraser
  • Guitar string (11- or 12-gauge)
  • Mechanical pencil
  • Electric tape
  • Wire cutters

About the Author

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