Decor & DIY

How to make temporary tattoos?

I have been meaning to do some DIY temporary tattoo art for myself after purchasing some of the Silhouette printable tattoo paper a while ago. I had printed quite a few for my kids and they loooved them, but had no idea where to find nice images for ones for myself. When I saw this article on Lana Red Studio I knew what I wanted!

These temporary tattoos are the perfect party accessory and my kids love adding them over weekend or holidays. They don’t last long (around a day or so if they don’t get wet) but look great and are a whole deal of fun to design and apply.

How to make your own temporary tattoo art

how to make temporary tattoos

The sheets come with their own instructions, but I still found them quite tricky to follow. So here they are again, this time with images.

How to make your own temporary tattoo art

What you will need to print and make the tattoos

  • An INKJET printer! This is VERY important – you cannot print on this paper using a laser printer, so I asked my a friend to print my designs on his.
  • Some printable tattoo paper – I use the Silhouette brand that you can purchase on-line here.
  • A pair of scissors.

Silhouette temporary tattoo paper
Silhouette temporary tattoo paper

How to?

  1. Decide on the design(s) that you want to print. This paper is quite expensive so I would suggest to choose as many as you can and group them on one page as you cannot print on parts of the page again. I make use of or to design, both of which are freeware programs.
  2. It is important to note that you need to print the image in reverse if it has text on, else you will have to read all the words backwards. Once you have your design do a test print on a standard A4 printing sheet of paper. Making sure you note which side your printer prints on of the page.
  3. DIY Temporary Tattoo

  4. If you are 100% happy with your design you can load your printable tattoo paper into your printer making sure that the design will print on the glossy side (This is the white cardboard looking paper). Use your printer’s photo paper settings if applicable.
  5. When the ink is dried completely, apply the adhesive sheet to the top of the printed image by peeling away the light blue backing paper on the one end. Smooth the adhesive paper over the printed image(s).
  6. DIY Temporary Tattoo

  7. Using a pair of scissors, cut around your tattoos to separate them from each other.
  8. How to make your own temporary tattoo art

What you will need to apply your temporary tattoo?

  • Your DIY tattoo.
  • A damp cloth.

How to apply your temporary tattoo?

  1. Peel away the tattoos’ clear adhesive layer.
  2. DIY Temporary tatoo

  3. Apply the adhesive side (that now has the print on) to your skin. Cover it with a damp cloth for 15 or so seconds, or until the paper backing slides off easily.
  4. Applying a DIY temporary Tattoo

What designs would you print?!

How to make your own temporary tattoo art

Thank you to Melanie Wessels Photography for the amazing images!

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Karen Kelly is the founder and editor of She is a creative at heart and passionate about all things DIY. Learn more about her here and connect with her on social media on the links below.

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