How To Tattoo At Home?
Download Article Download Article If you can’t afford a professional tattoo or you don’t have access to a tattoo parlor, you can give yourself a tattoo at home without a tattoo gun, using what is sometimes called the “stick-and-poke” method. This process can be dangerous, however, and if it turns out badly, you’re left with a permanent reminder. Be sure you know what you’re doing and make sure to follow all of the safety warnings and sanitation requirements before you try this yourself.
- 1 Buy or assemble a home tattoo kit. The main components of any home tattoo kit are needles and ink. Only use tattoo needles that haven’t been used. Tattoo ink is the only type of ink you should use, but not always easy to find. India Ink is commonly used as calligraphy ink but is the only ink that is not tattoo ink that can be used as tattoo ink. Don’t use pen or marker ink! 
- Home tattoo kits are the safest option, are inexpensive, and include both supplies and instructions.
- Find a reputable brand of tattoo ink to ensure it doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients.
- Don’t use sewing needles, straight pins, or safety pins. They are not sterile, even if they are new. It is extremely dangerous to use any of these objects to tattoo yourself. You may end up in the hospital. They don’t hold the ink well and generally aren’t the right type of needle. You need to be as professional as possible if you are going to do this yourself. 
- Don’t use old needles. Don’t share needles. Doing either of these will put you at serious risk for infection. Also, be sure to safely dispose of the needles when you’re done.
- 2 Set up your station. You’ll need a few other things before you start putting needle to flesh. Grab some cotton thread, a cup for water, and rubbing alcohol. 
- Keep a non-permanent, non-toxic marker around for drawing potential tattoo ideas. 
- It’s a good idea to keep ink caps, a shallow bowl, or saucer handy to pour India ink into. Ink caps are inexpensive and can help prevent you from wasting ink. Sterilize with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide that is 91-99% alcohol.
- It’s important to make sure everything you use is clean. Wash any bowls or saucers you’ll be using in hot, soapy water and peroxide/rubbing alcohol, and then cover them with plastic wrap. For extra protection, wear gloves that are very well sterilized when handling any of the supplies you’ll be using. Wash gloves (if using) and hands multiple times throughout the whole process.
- 3 Clean and shave your chosen area. Wherever you decide to tattoo yourself, clean it with soap and warm water. Shave the hair off in the area about an inch larger than you want your tattoo to be.
- After you shave, sterilize your skin with rubbing alcohol. Dab it on with a cotton ball and make sure it’s evaporated before continuing.
- 4 Draw the design on your skin. Trace or draw your desired tattoo in the place you want it to go. You can have someone else do it for you if you want, but take the time to get it how you want it. This image is all you’ll have to go on once you start. You can also use stencil paper and stencil gel to make it more accurate.
- Since you’ll be tattooing yourself, make sure the place you choose is easily. You WILL be poking for a few hours. Awkward or hard to reach places on the body, such as your chest or shoulder, are never good ideas for stick ‘n’ pokes on yourself.
- Stick ‘n’ pokes work much better with simple and tiny tattoos. If you want a complex tattoo, you’re better off going to a parlor.
- 1 Sterilize the needle. The best way to sterilize the needle before using it is with flame. Hold the needle over the flame of a candle or a lighter until it glows. Make sure you hold the other end with tongs, or you’ll burn your fingertips. 
- Once the needle is sterile, wrap it in cotton thread. Start about 1 ⁄ 8 inch (0. 3 cm) away from the tip and wrap the thread back and forth about 1 ⁄ 4 inch (0. 6 cm) up the needle until the thread has formed an oval shape. This will absorb some of the ink as you dip your needle into the saucer. 
- 2 Start poking. Dip the needle into the India ink and then poke it through your skin, leaving a small dot. There may be some blood after several layers of poking, but there shouldn’t be much. If blood is dripping/excessive, stop immediately and sterilize. Hold a clean paper towel, not cloth, onto the tattoo until it stops bleeding.
- 3 Start working your way along the lines. Stay inside the line of the tattoo design you’ve drawn, filling it in with tiny punctures. Use a cotton swab or a rag to wipe away any blood or excess ink. 
- The skin may swell up a bit as you poke it which may cause the resulting tattoo to appear spotty. You may have to do touch-ups when the swelling goes down if you want smooth lines throughout the tattoo. Wait to do touch ups until after the tattoo is completely healed, which can take up to two months.
- 4 Clean the tattooed area. When you finish the tattoo, wipe down the area with soapy water. Throw away any remaining India ink in the ink cap and needles. They are no longer sterile. Use a new needle and a new saucer of ink if you plan on doing any touch-ups in the future.
- Avoid cleaning a fresh tattoo with alcohol — use soap and water, instead.
- 1 Bandage your new tattoo with saran wrap. Don’t use a cloth or band-aid as they can absorb some of the ink and fade it faster. Don’t use any ointments or lotions for the first week of healing because they can clog the tattoo and puts it at risk of infection. 
- Leave the wrap on for 1-3 hours, but no longer than 6. 
- 2 Keep your tattoo clean. Remove the initial wrap and gently wash the area with warm water and non-scented soap. Don’t scrub, and only wash the tattoo with clean hands. 
- Don’t soak your tattoo and don’t run it under hot water. It won’t feel nice, and it take the ink out of your skin. 
- Avoid picking at the tattoo as this could cause some of the ink to bleed out, causing messy lines and even scarring.
- Make sure to remove the bandage and wash the tattoo after a couple of hours.
- 3 Apply lotion to your tattoo. After the swelling goes down and the skin starts to scab, switch to a plain, unscented lotion. Most professionals recommend Lubriderm or Aquaphor. Keep the layers thin. Your skin needs to breathe so it can heal properly.
- Moisturize your tattoo 3-5 times a day depending on the size of the tattoo. If your skin starts to look dried out, use a small amount of lotion. 
- Don’t apply anything that’s too greasy, like vitamin E, aloe, or Vaseline.
- 4 Let your tattoo heal. For the first week or so be mindful of your tattoo. It’s going to scab over and you’ll need to take extra care to keep it clean. In addition to washing it and keeping it moisturized, you’ll need to avoid certain activities. 
- Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight, as this can cause the ink to fade. It will also burn like a bad sunburn.
- Avoid pools of water such as baths, hot tubs, pools, lakes, oceans, etc. They are full of bacteria, which can lead to infection. 
- Avoid any activity that is high-contact or induces excessive sweating, like working out. 
- Wear loose clothing so your tattoo can breathe. Tight clothing prevents this.
- 5 Watch out for infection. Be on the lookout for redness or excessive scabbing around your tattoo, as well as any oozing, or swelling. These are all signs of possible infection. 
- You can minimize the risk of infection by keeping your supplies clean and taking care of your tattoo. Still, it is possible your tattoo could become infected. If you suspect that your tattoo has become infected, consult your physician. 
- Make sure that you aren’t picking or scratching at your tattoo, either.
Add New Question
- Question Is it 100% permanent or will it go away completely after a few years? Kiara Hamed is a Tattoo Artist based in Dallas, Texas. She has over nine years of tattoo designing experience. She received her Tattoo Artist Certification in 2010 and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Clark University Atlanta in 2013. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer It may fade over time but it’s not guaranteed to go away completely. Tattoos are permanent.
- Question How far apart should the pokes be? Kiara Hamed is a Tattoo Artist based in Dallas, Texas. She has over nine years of tattoo designing experience. She received her Tattoo Artist Certification in 2010 and a BS in Computer Information Systems from Clark University Atlanta in 2013. Tattoo Artist Expert Answer Try to make them as close together as possible so you cover the entire intended area. Otherwise, the tattoo will be splotchy.
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- 1 Is it hard to tattoo on yourself?
- 2 What can I use to practice tattooing?
- 2.1 How do you stretch your skin when tattooing yourself?
- 2.2 Are tattoo kits worth buying?
- 2.3 Can you give yourself a tattoo with pen ink and a needle?
- 2.4 What do I need to know before tattooing myself?
- 3 Are DIY stick and pokes safe?
Can you tattoo yourself at home?
Summary. Home tattooing is not safe and can put you at risk of serious infections. Performing home tattoos on yourself or your friends may be illegal in some cases. Getting a tattoo overseas (even in a professional tattoo shop) may not be safe.
Is it safe to do your own tattoo?
Searching for your next DIY project? Maybe self-tattooing with a chance of cross contamination and infection is just what you’re looking for. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.
- Policy Sound scary? That’s because it is;
- Over-the-counter self-tattoo kits are gaining traction – and health experts say it’s incredibly risky, especially for teenagers and children;
- “Anytime you’re breaking the skin there’s a chance of infection or risk of blood borne illness,” says infectious disease specialist Jessica Lum, MD;
“And when it’s not in a controlled environment with trained professionals and regulations – it can be extremely dangerous.
Is it hard to tattoo on yourself?
You’ll End Up With a Surface Tattoo – If you’re looking for a temporary tattoo stick to henna and lick ’em stick ’em options. If you do your own tattoo you’ll most likely only scratch the surface. The proper tattooing process penetrates 1/16th of an inch into your skin.
- That may not sound like much, but it’s actually five whole layers of the epidermis;
- When doing the tattoo on your own, a lack of experience not to mention your own pain receptors will keep you from going as deep as you need to;
A DIY tattoo will fade much earlier that one done by a professional.
How deep do you go with a tattoo needle?
Tattooing Yourself For Beginners
Just How Far Does The Needle Go? – Now that you know a little more about the machine and the needle, it’s time to discuss the third essential piece of the puzzle—your skin. The tattoo needle goes through 1/16th of an inch of skin. That might not sound like a lot of skin, but it is really going through five sublayers of the epidermis, the dermal layer, and also the top layer of the dermis.
Among these layers is a collection of sweat glands, hair follicles, connective tissue, fat, and blood vessels. During a tattoo session, the needle passes through the epidermis and epidermal-dermal junction, opening a passage in the 2mm-thick dermis.
The dermis is ideal for a couple of reasons. It is far enough not to bleed out and isn’t exposed. Knowing this, the tip of the tattoo needle is minutely adjusted to ensure that it enters the skin to the correct depth. If you were to look at a tattoo needle in the machine, you will see that it sticks out no further than 2mm.
Can I use pen ink for a tattoo?
Pen Ink – With the number of art stores and online warehouses that you can purchase from, pen ink should never be an option for tattooing. Pen ink is easily accessible and cheap. Still, it is not meant to enter your body in any way, shape, or form. Pen ink is highly toxic and unsterile.
What can I use to practice tattooing?
A career as a tattooist is full of exciting challenges. Twitching clients, equipment that tires out the hand, and the need to replicate various styles of art all obstacles only a trained and dedicated tattooist can consistently overcome. But even if you have an apprenticeship, it can be a year or longer before you’re allowed to tattoo a person.
With the use of a few techniques and dedication on your part, you’ll be well prepared to start tattooing when you finally do. As a professional tattoo artist, you’ll be expected to sketch out, sometimes start to finish, the designs your clients want.
This will require you to be skillful at reproducing many different kinds of styles, which can only really be mastered through experience and repetition. Apples, oranges, and other contoured items, like rocks, can simulate some of the difficulties you’ll have tattooing various parts of the body. Seek out items that somewhat resemble body parts commonly tattooed, so that you’re well prepared when someone requests a tattoo on a more curvaceous part of the body. Though the experience of drawing on a person’s body is markedly different from operating a tattoo machine and depositing ink into the skin, this practice will get you accustomed to drawing on a living canvas.
- You might even seek out your more ticklish friends so that you have experience with a squirming client;
- Related Post : Process of Tattooing Many professional tattooists first learn form Tattoo Academy & Coaching began learning the art by tracing sample tattoos and simplifying designs to be more translatable to the skin;
This skill can be imitated and studied academically by enrolling in a class in Inking, which is the practice of outlining and interpreting an original pencil drawing. Some tattooists recommend building hand strength by simulating the weight of the tattoo machine applicator. This will provide you with a way to become comfortable with the machine. Beyond understanding how its working parts operate, how to replace failed parts, and how to assess the working condition of a tattoo machine, you’ll also have to become comfortable with holding the applicator for long periods of time. You might also rig a pencil to your tattoo machine and practice drawing.
This machine uses an applicator heavier than a pen or pencil to drive ink into the sub-layers of the skin, leaving behind permanent skin art. You may want to start your weighted practice by attaching about 80 grams 3 ounces to a drawing utensil.
This way you’ll develop comfort and familiarity with machine and clip cord. While a cheap machine is great for personal practice, you may not want to use your practice machine on clients. There are many different tattoo machines on the market, though coil tattoo machines are the most commonly used variety.
- Coil tattoo machines
- Rotary tattoo machines
- Pneumatic tattoo machines
- Shader tattoo machines
- Liner tattoo machines
Related Post : How to Choose a Tattoo Design The force of your machine operating will cause an intense vibration that you may feel through your entire arm. Be prepared for this when you turn on your machine, dip your nip in ink, and train your hand to be steady Fruits have a challenging contour that will mimic the clients that sit in your chair for a tattoo, and are cheaper and more readily available than other options. Some fruits that you should consider for tattooing practice
Synthetic skin is a relative newcomer in Clinical Tattoo Parlour to the tattooing scene. Practice skin is relatively easy to order from online sources, but many tattooists criticize this false skin as too far from the real thing. Synthetic skin can: Be useful for starting out and getting a feel for your tattoo machine. Provide you with practice for building your hand strength.
Certain machines are used to accomplish certain effects, like shading and coloring. Altogether, you should be familiar with. Human skin is comprised of three layers, with some of these layers have sub-layers.
The top layer of your skin, the epidermis, is made up of a total of five layers which grow outward, which means ink deposited in the epidermis will eventually fade. Your target depth when tattooing should be the middle layer, the dermis, which is between one and two millimeters beneath the skin.
How do you stretch your skin when tattooing yourself?
Are tattoo kits worth buying?
Bloodborne Pathogens – It’s not hard to find the laundry list of diseases that you risk exposing yourself and clients to by tattooing at home. Bloodborne illness is no joke, and by tattooing at home you can expose everyone, including your family members, to dangerous, even lethal pathogens.
State licensed tattoo artists are required to take hours of training each year on preventing cross contamination. Without this knowledge, you might not even realize that what you are doing is unsafe. This is why it’s critical to have this training before you’d ever consider touching needle to skin.
Without properly sterilized equipment and surfaces, your couch, chairs, carpet, etc. , can all become infused with disease. No tattoo, especially a questionable one from a tattoo kit, is worth contracting hepatitis or HIV. No amount of practice with a kit is worth spreading disease to your friends and family.
And remember, tattoo ink included in a tattoo kit from China isn’t going to be safe to use on real skin. The chances of something going wrong and a disfiguring skin reaction to this ink is a real possibility.
Take a quick look online for pictures of tattoo allergic reactions and you’ll see what we mean. It’s a real dermatological nightmare that you want to avoid at all costs if you want a successful tattoo career.
Can you give yourself a tattoo with pen ink and a needle?
Final Thoughts – As you may have noticed, we seriously advise people not to do any DIY, homemade tattoo, especially the stick-and-poke kind with pen ink. This can be seriously dangerous and can put your health at risk. It is always better to go get professionally tattooed than to risk skin and tattoo infection. What we’re trying to say is that DIY tattoos aren’t simply worth it! Also Read:
- 5 Best Stick-and-Poke Tattoo Kits (2022 Updated)
- 6 Stick and Poke Ink Alternatives (And Why You Shouldn’t use Them)
Can you get a tattoo without a needle?
A tattoo that is warning you for too many hours of sunlight exposure, or is alerting you for taking your medication? Next to their cosmetic role, tattoos could get new functionality using intelligent ink. That would require more precise and less invasive injection technique.
Researchers of the University of Twente now develop a micro-jet injection technology that doesn’t use needles at all. Instead, an ultrafast liquid jet with the thickness of a human hair penetrates the skin.
It isn’t painful and there is less waste. In there new publication in the Journal of Applied Physics, the scientists compare both the needle and the fluid jet approach. Ötzi the Iceman already had, over 5000 years ago, dozens of simple tattoos on his body, apparently for pain relief.
- Since the classic ‘anchor’ tattoo that sailors had on their arms, tattoos have become more and more common;
- About 44 million Europeans wear one or more of them;
- Despite its wider acceptance in society, the underlying technique didn’t change and still has health risks;
One or more moving needles put ink underneath the skin surface. This is painful and can damage the skin. Apart from that, needles have to be disposed of in a responsible way, and quite some ink is wasted. The alternative that David Fernández Rivas and his colleagues are developing, doesn’t use any needles. .
Does Stick N poke hurt?
There Is No Consensus On Stick & Poke Pain – There is no general consensus on whether or not stick and pokes are more painful than needle gun tattoos. It seems to be differ anecdotally and probably has a lot to do with your tattoo placement and your own personal pain threshold.
How is a tattoo done step by step?
What do I need to know before tattooing myself?
About This Article – Article Summary X Before you can give yourself a tattoo, you’ll need to purchase some supplies, like a tattoo gun and tattoo or Indian ink. Once you have the supplies, look online for a stencil, which will help you draw the outline for your tattoo.
When you’re ready to start tattooing, sterilize your equipment to guard against infection. You should also make sure your working area is clean so it’s as safe as possible while you create the tattoo. As you work, wash your needle regularly to remove excess ink, which will help create the clearest possible lines.
For tips on how to clean and care for your tattoo once it’s complete, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 822,180 times.
Are DIY stick and pokes safe?
– Stick poke tattoos are safe when done by professional artists with sterile equipment and quality ink in a clean space. Getting a stick poke tattoo done by someone who lacks professional training and experience with sterilization practices can mean you run a higher risk for infection , injury, and other complications.