How To Make Your Own Temporary Tattoo - Top 4 Methods

Written by: Pete

We totally get it: sometimes it’s far too difficult to make a lifelong commitment to one design. It’s for that reason that we love temporary tattoos! It allows us to express ourselves on our skin without the obligation to have it there for the rest of our lives. It also helps us become more comfortable with a design or placement before we dive into the real thing. So if you’re curious about trying them out on yourself, we’ve got the best temporary tattoo methods for you to try!


Different Methods for Making a Temporary Tattoo

Making your own temporary tattoo is not as hard as you think; in fact, we’ve got four methods you’ll definitely want to try out for yourself. If you don’t have the basic art skills needed for some of these temporary tattoo procedures, call on a talented friend to help you out!

Method One: Using a Permanent Marker

Who hasn’t spent their teenage years doodling during class time? This method allows you to extend your doodling onto skin, and the cool part is that there are many permanent markers, these days, that are specifically geared towards hand-drawn temporary tattoos! If you can get your hands on it, BodyMark by BIC is one of our favorites.


  • Thoroughly clean the area you wish to put your temporary tattoo on.
  • Shave the area or trim your hair if it is necessary for a smooth design process.
  • Use a stencil of your design as a reference, or purchase a pre-made stencil to make the application easier.


  • If you are using a stencil, you may want to use medical tape to hold it in place.
  • Use your permanent marker and either trace the design or freehand your imagery or script.
  • If you have multiple colors, feel free to get creative with your design!
  • Apply a non-toxic talcum powder to the tattooed area when you are finished and let it set for around ten minutes.

Tattoo markers will last you around a week, while a permanent marker will last you about four days. You can always exfoliate the area if you’re not impressed and start again as soon as it vanishes.

Method Two: Using Perfume and a Print Out of Your Design

This method is quite cool but it requires both a printer and water slide paper (what tattoo stickers are made on) or stencil paper to work effectively.


  • Choose and print a design from online or one you created in a digital program.
  • Print out the image on waterslide paper or stencil paper. Black designs work best for this method.
  • Cut out the picture leaving a slight white edge around the design.
  • Spray and soak your image in perfume; there is no need to use a high-quality perfume during this stage, as anything with a high alcohol content will suffice.
  • Once your tattoo is coated in perfume, you are going to soak it directly in hot water. Allow it to soak in the water, fully covered, for at least three minutes.
  • Once it is removed, spray it with more perfume.


  • GCarefully place the design directly onto the clean skin where you wish to have the tattoo. Press it gently onto your skin.
  • Leave the tattoo in place for around seven to ten minutes.
  • Carefully remove the paper from your skin. If any paper residue remains, do not try to rub it away but use a little bit of water to wash it away.
  • Pat the tattoo dry with a paper towel.

This temporary tattoo is easily removed with rubbing alcohol.

Check out our full guide on How To Make Temporary Tattoos With Perfume

Method Three: Create an Eyeliner Tattoo

Ladies, you’ve likely got a temporary tattoo tool in your makeup case! In fact, this method can be done with common items you’ll find in your washroom. You’ll need a little bit of toothpaste and some hairspray, too.


  • If you don’t have eyeliner in your possession, head to your local drugstore and buy any brand of black eyeliner. Make sure it is in pencil form and that it has a sharp tip that is easy to draw with. Liquid eyeliner may smudge during this process.
  • Feel free to select a different color (or many!), but black will turn out the most bold.
  • Practice your design on paper before moving onto skin, as this will require some creativity skills.
  • Shave or trim the hair on the area you wish to place your tattoo.
  • Rub toothpaste on this region to remove the skin of any oils, and then wipe it clean.


  • Time to put your artistry skills to the test! Draw your design directly onto your skin.
  • When it is complete, use non-toxic talcum powder to dust and set the region. Make-up setting powder also works for this step.
  • Spray the temporary tattoo design with hairspray so it sets for the entire day.

This tattoo will only last around 24 hours and it washes off very easily with soap and water. You can also use clear nail polish on the design if you want it to last even longer.

Method Four: Buy a Temporary Tattoo Printer

Yes, this exists - they're somewhat similar to tattoo stencil printers but it is definitely a more costly option if you’re looking to make your own temporary tattoos at home. This at-home printer allows you to create a design on your phone or on your computer and to “print” the tattoo directly on your skin with this handheld device. It’s called Prinker and it uses skin-safe cosmetic inks that are waterproof.

They come with ready-to-use tattoo designs or you can create your own, and you merely need to swipe the small printer over your skin to apply it. While the cost is comparable to one big permanent tattoo piece, it allows you to create over a thousand designs with one container of ink, and enables you to have creative fun with your skin without the lifelong commitment.

Check out our full guide on How To Make Temporary Tattoos With Printer

How Do You Make a Temporary Tattoo Last Longer?

Here are a few tips that will extend the life of your at-home temporary tattoo:

  • Prep the skin before application, including cleaning, shaving, and exfoliating the area.
  • Choose a placement that doesn’t experience a lot of movement or friction.
  • When washing, wash around the area but not on the tattoo itself.
  • Seal your tattoo with talcum powder, make-up setting powder, vaseline, hairspray, or clear nail polish.
  • Avoid working out or any activities that may cause excessive sweating.

Here is a full guide for lengthening the life of your temporary tattoo: How To Make Temporary Tattoos Last Longer

Our Final Thoughts

Temporary tattoos are fun and commitment-free ways to get a feel for a tattoo before you get it permanently done, experiment with your creativity, or accessorize. While there are so many temporary tattoo brands on the market, sometimes expressing yourself with at-home temporary tattoo options are just as effective. Always remember to patch test any products you are using on your skin to ensure you do not have any allergic reactions to your temporary tattoo design.

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