How To Make Black Tattoo Ink At Home?
Ancient Tattoo Ink – Many ancient cultures created their own tattoo pigment inks from natural materials. One of the simplest recipes called for mixing the ashes of completely burned wood with water to create a crude black ink. Carbonized black ash from burned wood makes very dense black ink, but it’s better to use something other than water as your diluent.
How do you make your own tattoo ink?
Download Article Download Article Whether you’re tattooing in prison or just on a budget, you can create “prison-style” tattoo ink using baby oil, charcoal, and a bit of water. Be aware that this is neither a safe nor a certain substitute for actual tattoo ink. Do-it-yourself tattooing is illegal in most prisons, and it can open you up to the risk of serious blood infections. People do, however, use the following recipe to make a basic ink.
- 1 Find a can or metal container. It should be able to hold 4-6 ounces of baby oil, along with a bit of balled-up cotton. Try using a clean, empty boot polish can. If you don’t have access to a pre-made container: use a sharp implement to shear a 12-ounce aluminum can in half, and use the bottom half as your container.
- You may be able to buy a boot polish can from the prison commissary.  If you can’t find boot polish, look for another suitable can that you can buy. It’s important that you don’t arouse suspicion from the guards, so don’t buy a can of something that you would never normally use.
- 2 Put cotton inside the can. If you have access to cotton, ball it up inside the can as a “wick” to help ignite the baby oil. Make sure to leave at least a bit of the cotton dry and oil-free so that it will be easier to light. Use cotton balls, if you can, or tear a small strip of cotton from a shirt or pillowcase.
- Try cutting the sleeves off your shirt. This way, you can use the cotton without arousing suspicion or completely ruining the shirt.
- 3 Douse the cotton with baby oil. You should be able to buy this oil from the prison commissary. Use enough baby oil to completely saturate the cotton, and make sure not to spill. You will burn this oil to create a black, sooty powder: the base ingredient of your tattoo ink.
- In the absence of baby oil, you may be able to use Vaseline or another petroleum-based substance. Do not melt poly fiber plastics, as these chemicals will irritate your skin. 
- 4 Build a “soot collector”. Find a flat, clean piece of metal that will fit over the opening of the can without covering it completely. If you can’t find anything else, try cutting a sheet from the top half of the aluminum can, then pressing it until it is flat. This piece will collect the sooty powder so that you can mix it into ink.
- 1 Make fire. Use a lighter or matches, if possible. If you are in prison, however, you may not have access to a traditional fire-starter. Find a way to make fire without a lighter. You will need fire both to make the ink and to disinfect the needle.
- Try “popping a socket”. Open up an electrical socket, then hold a pencil tip and a wire up to the charged interior. This will create a spark. Hold a piece of paper or tissue against the spark until it catches flame. 
- Be very careful when handling flame. On one hand, you might badly burn yourself or start a fire that you can’t control. You also run the risk of attracting the attention of the guards.
- 2 Burn the baby oil and cotton. Use the cotton (or paper) as a wick: light a dry corner of the flammable material, and let it ignite the oil. Arrange the metal sheet or “soot collector” so that the smoke hits it. As the baby oil burns, the metal sheet will blacken with soot. Let the baby oil burn until it is spent, and let the metal cool before handling it directly.
- Be prepared to burn the baby oil several times. The burning process does not produce a lot of powder, so you may need to burn the oil several times until you have enough to harvest.
- 3 Save the black powder. Use a paper or plastic card to scrape the black powder from the metal sheet. Do not use a razor or another metal scraper to remove the soot – the metal might leave shards in the powder, which will then wind up in your skin. Start by scraping the powder onto a clean, smooth surface or a white piece of paper.
- Do not expose the powder to any moisture until you’re ready to mix your ink.
- The metal sheet and canister will be hot from the flame. Do not handle the metal directly until you’ve given it time to cool. Avoid using a credit card to scrape soot from hot metal, as the edge of the card might melt into the powder.
- 1 Put the tattoo powder into a small cap or container. Many prison tattooists use a clean toothpaste cap. Fill the cap about halfway with the sooty powder, and leave enough room in the container to mix in water. If you collected the soot on a sheet of paper, you can fold the paper and let the soot slide directly into the cap.
- 2 Add water. Mix the soot with a drop of clean water. Be very sparing with the liquid-to-soot ratio; a bit of water goes a long way. Start with a small dose, and mix the soot together with the water in the toothpaste cap. Consider adding a bit of clear, scentless baby oil to thicken the mixture.
- Remember: the soot is much harder to come by than water or baby oil. It is a limited resource. Be very careful with your mixing so that you don’t need to make more soot.
- 3 Finish mixing the ink. Stir the soot-and-water mixture until it is about the consistency of a pen’s ink. If anything, the ink should be slightly thicker. Adjust the portions of each ingredient until the texture is just right. To thin your ink, add a dash of water or baby oil. To thicken it up, add more soot.
Add New Question
- Question Can I use normal pen ink? No, you cannot use normal pen ink as it can poison you if it gets into your blood stream.
- Question Is there a way to make a tattoo needle? To make a tattoo needle, start with a pencil. Put a needle on the side of the pencil and wrap a thin string around it. (A lot of string. ) Make sure that the string goes near the tip of the needle, but not too close. The string is used to hold extra ink so that you don’t have to keep going back to the ink cup.
- Question Do I need baby oil and shampoo, or could I just use soot and water? You don’t necessarily need the shampoo, but the baby oil is required to turn the soot into ink.
- Question Can normal pen ink work? You’ll run the risk of an infection, or having a very bad-looking piece of art.
- Question What kind of ink can I use for at home tattooing? You can use waterproof Black India ink from a local craft store. It comes in a small glass bottle with a dropper built into the lid. Thicken it up with ashes to desired consistency and start scratching.
- Question Does the “soot collector” have to be metal? Not necessarily, but it has to be able to withstand fire, so it can’t be anything like plastic.
- Question What kind of shampoo can I use? You don’t absolutely need shampoo, but the clearest and simplest you can find would be best.
- Question Other inmates have been burning their ramen for like 9 minutes. Could this be to get ash for ink? When I was in prison I did this by burning the ramen and mixing the ink with baby oil. It didn’t work that well, though, so I wouldn’t recommend this method.
- Question Can I thicken India ink with baby oil? Yes, you can.
- Question Will it be permanent? No, it is not professionally done so it will fade pretty quickly, especially if it’s on a place you wash frequently like your hands.
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How to use a bottle of black tattoo ink?
- 1 Light a kerosene lamp with a lighter. Allow the flame to become stable by waiting for a few minutes before proceeding ahead to the next step. Image Courtesy: justenoughlight. com
- 2 Now you need to gather lots of soot on a piece of sheet metal. Place the metal sheet above the kerosene lamp flame. Adjust it so the distance between the flame and the sheet should not be more than 3/4 of an inch. Allow soot from the lamp flame to collect on the metal sheet for about 30 minutes. To keep the lamp flame stable, you need to adjust the lamp wick periodically. com
- 3 Put out the flame and set aside the kerosene lamp. Give some time to the sheet to cool down.
- 4 Now you need to scrape off soot from the metal sheet into a bowl. After you have scrapped off all the soot, measure its amount. Boil a cup full of tap water and set it aside. Image Courtesy: petaledew. blogspot. com
- 5 Place equal parts of rubbing alcohol in a bowl and let the soot liquefy. To speed up the process and to completely dissolve the soot in rubbing alcohol, blend the contents of the bowl using an electric blender. When the contents are completely mixed, add equal parts of boiling water and blend again until the mixture attains ink-like consistency.
- 6 Take a 1 ounce plastic bottle and place two small ball bearings in it. Fill the plastic bottle with ink. You have your first bottle of black tattoo ink ready. When you use it in the future, shake the bottle before use until you can hear rattling sound of the ball bearings.