A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: DIY Tattoos for Adults and Kids

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01 May 2014

DIY Tattoos for Adults and Kids

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Portions of this DIY tutorial for DIY Tattoos has been previously published on Crafts Unleashed. 
 Thank you to Consumer Crafts for providing the materials.  Without them, this post would not have been possible.
DIY Tattoos Amy Renea for Crafts Unleashed title

Ready for a fun idea for the kids OR adults?  Today, we are going to mainly look at kid designs, but you could certainly personalize the design to be anything you choose.  That IS why we DIY, right??  Custom is queen!

Supplies needed:

  • Silhouette DIY Tattoo Paper (You DO NOT need a silhouette machine to use this paper!)
  • Inkjet Printer
  • Computer with editing program that can flip or mirror an image (I used Photoshop, but there are many other choices!)
  • Optional:  Credit card or other flat object to get bubble out of the paper


We are going to start with designing your tattoos.  This can be super simple like one design repeated 25 times or super complex if you decide to make your own design from scratch.  I went somewhere in between the two extremes.  You will need to find free graphics online or create your own.  Before using a graphic, please make sure that the designer themselves is offering the design for free or else you will actually be stealing.  Though no one will probably catch you using their designs on your personal DIY tattoos, you should still be respectful of their intellectual property.  I have a few favorites when it comes to picking up cute designs.  The first is Twigg studios.  CLICK HERE to download the free graphic below!  THESE ARROWS from Star Sunflower Studio are really cute too!

ball jar
My FAVORITE place to get graphics is to simply download free fonts at dafont.com.  There are many image fonts 
where you will get a different image for each letter.  For instance, a "t" will be a giraffe while an "S" will be an elephant.

dafont Bebas Neue  is the basic font I used for the Stunt Man and Super Hero tattoos below while 
dafont Square Face is responsible for all those cute little orange faces below.

DIY Tattoos Amy Renea for Crafts Unleashed font tattoos

dafont gardening with sue and dafont Cool Stuff  also have some great choices.  
Browse around to find your favorites!  Here are the fonts and designs I choose:

DIY Tattoo

You will notice that I really squeezed the designs together so that I did not waste any space.  
The tattoo paper is a 2 pack for a little under 10 bucks, so at $5 a sheet, I wanted to get my money's worth!

DIY Tattoos

Note that words need to be mirrored (see Super Hero) for tattoos or else they will be backwards once applied.  You might also notice that "Stunt Man" is both mirrored AND upside down so that it is easy to read when the kids are hanging upside down off of trees, the couch, etc.  fun, eh?

DIY Tattoos Amy Renea for Crafts Unleashed stunt man

I used photoshop to put all the designs together, but you could use any program that works with images.  Even a program like Microsoft Word will work to insert images!  Once you have your design together it is time to print!  You MUST print a test sheet first -- don't waste that precious tattoo paper!

print tattoos
 Follow the instructions EXACTLY making sure you print on the correct side of the paper.
tattoo instructions
printed sheets
The next step is to put your protective layer of plastic on the printed tattoos.  
This doesn't change the tattoo in any way.  It is just that layer of plastic you pull off before putting tattoos on.
DIY Tattoos layers of paper
tattoo paper
Try not to get air bubbles between the plastic and images by sliding the plastic on like so:
DIY Tattoos Amy Renea for Crafts Unleashed top layer

If you do get a few bubbles, just rub them out with your fingers or a credit card. Now it is time to cut those puppies out!  This is where the Silhouette comes in handy as it can cut exact outlines around your images.  (Follow Silhouette instructions on the package if using your cutting machine).  If you do NOT own a Silhouette, no problem!  Break out the scissors!  Get as close as you can to the image while cutting.

DIY Tattoos Amy Renea for Crafts Unleashed scissors

If you cut too wide a border, you will have weird extra adhesive when the tattoos are transferred.

DIY Tattoos Amy Renea for Crafts Unleashed extra adhesive

You can use the tattoos immediately once the printing is complete and dry.  Just peel the plastic off, lay the tattoo image down on skin and cover with a soaking wet towel.  After 20-30 seconds, lift the paper off the image very slowly and carefully.

DIY Tattoos Amy Renea for Crafts Unleashed applying tattoo
If the image didn't transfer, add a little more water and press down firmly.
DIY Tattoos Amy Renea for Crafts Unleashed

That is it friends!  Print, cut and apply them!DIY Tattoos Amy Renea for Crafts Unleashed tattoo DIY Tattoos Amy Renea for Crafts Unleashed title no words

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