Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Want a DIY Temporary Tattoo? Here's One Wrong Way and One Right Way

While poking around on Pinterest, I came across this photo:

Seemed awfully easy... not sure why the baby powder or hair spray would make any difference... but I decided to give it a shot!

Step 1: Draw on design (my husband is in the Navy so I thought an anchor would be appropriate) -


Step 2: Cover in baby powder -

Step 3: Spray on hairspray and that's it, right?... right?... well, not exactly. There should be fine print in that original photo that states:

"NOTE: If you spray on the hairspray too close (about 12" from site), the ink will smear and you'll have to start all over." I even made sure to let the ink dry for about 20 minutes before spraying, too! Arg me matey...

This time, I decided to let the baby powder sit for a good 15 minutes before adding the hairspray, which I sprayed 24" away from the site, so as not to smear again.

So here's how it looked after 1 hour:

And here's how it looked after 24 hours:

...sorry I'm so blindingly white

So yeah, that whole "last about a month" thing? Not true at all. I had it on my hip and didn't even wash the site the entire 24 hours, it just naturally vanished because baby powder and hairspray do nothing!

Now that we've gotten that nonsense out of the way, do you want to know a right way to get a temporary tattoo (and you can put it on or off whenever you want)? Here's what you'll need:

1. A Sharpie
2. A design printed on paper
3. A small book (I used a bunch of Post-Its)
4. A pair of nylons to draw on

Start by deciding where you want your design on your leg, and then put the paper design and book (or Post-Its) inside the nylon leg.

Trace the design with your Sharpie onto the nylons.

Once you're done, remove the design and book/Post-Its, put on the nylons and ta-da! It looks like you have a tattoo!

Old nylons, Sharpie, baby powder (useless), and hairspray (useless) already on hand

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: Depends on design
Tracing your design might take 5 minutes or 20 minutes, depending on how detailed it is

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 1 out of 5
Tracing a design is a piece 'o cake! And you could use different color Sharpies to make your design as colorful as you like!


  1. ...or you could do it with henna, and, if you're me, it'll still be there, six months later. I think I'm allergic to that stuff.

    That's a cool idea for the nylons, if you can wear "skin tone" or whatever it's called. Suntan? Heh. Anyway, my next project is dyeing tights - if I can find a dye that's entirely colorfast.

    Good luck on your next project!

  2. So it still last 24 hours, right?

    1. I guess =technically= it lasts 24 hours...

  3. What if you want it on your wrist?

    1. I imagine it will still wear off pretty quickly with the baby powder/hair spray solution, especially if you intend to wash the area (like in the bathroom, the shower, etc.)

  4. Could use eye liner instead of sharpie. Healthier for your skin. I suppose the baby powder is meant to dry the "ink" faster and the spray is to make it a bit more permanent, instead of just sharpie. Not sure though.