Instructables

home made tattoos

Hi everybody! I'm thinking of getting a home made tattoo. I've been looking through various home made tattoo gun designs, but as the tattoo design I have in mind is rather big I'm thinking there might be an easier way than having to "dot" it out.. So, theoretically, could one make a cut in the skin (about maybe ten inches long) with say a razorblade, and then just rub the ink into the cut? I don't wanna seem like a moron here. I know it's a risky procedure, but if it could work and I would go through with it, is there something special I should take into consideration? And what would I use for ink? I've seen the term "indian ink" used on several forums, but I'm not from the US and I don't know if the stores here in sweden even carry that stuff. Anyways, I know this may sound like a real stupid idea, but if I ever get a tattoo it's gonna be one I made myself. That's the whole idea.

dpater1 year ago
try a Google search on home made tattoo's gone wrong,

I do agree with comments by others, go to an expert for this
who has references, happy customers.

LasVegas6 years ago
I'm surprised that there's no Instructable on making your own tattoo gun. My son made a few of them with an old electric toy motor, a sewing needle and old ink pen, wire and a 9 volt battery. While I wouldn't condone using such a device, It was a pretty cool design.
did it work?
i saw a video on youtube was pretty simple used a small motor, a button and mechanical pencil. he use guitar string for a needle oh and a bent spoon just type in homemade tatoo gun on youtube search. it was probably the best homemade gun ive seen and easiest
removed (author)  LasVegas6 years ago
Oh, but there are at least two instructables! One uses a motor from a remote controlled plane, the other is made from an electrical toothbrush and a guitar string. I'm gonna try building at least one of those, but I probably won't use it. At least not on myself.
GnomeMaster5 years ago
I would like to say that this is the dumbest idea I have ever not thought of, I mean really its bad enough to get a real tattoo, but doing it on yourself is just plain STUPID!!! do you know how much pain you would be in? IT WOULD FEEL LIKE THOUGHTHANDS OF WHITE HOT POKERS BEING SHOVED INTO YOUR HEART AND LEFT THERE TO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THIS WOULD BE THE MOST STUPID THNG YOU HAVE EVER DONE(probably)
Not true, it hurts less then getting a shot.
well i have given myself tattos and it only hurts for the first minute then the pain goes away and as long as you have a steady hand you will be fine
It doesn't feel like that. It hardly hurts at all if you do it right. All of mine hurt less than a paper cut and they still look good after 3 years.
how did u do ur tattoos i want to know cus i want ti get one how did u do them
Of course they will fade slowly over time so you have to re-do them after a while. But really, I love mine. :) One reason why Tattoo artists won't practice on minors is because the parents make a big deal over it. But it's nothing to worry about. I pierced my lip without it getting infected,too and it looks nice as well.
Go for it, I'm 16 and i have 7 home made tattoos, they look great, there won't be much blood if there is blood at all. I used a needle and ink from a pen. they're great. If you really want it go for it, I did.
Have you seen the age of this topic?

Have you seen what home tattoos look like after a few years? There's a reason reputable tattoo artists refuse to work on minors.
And for our next contestant, we have someone who will perform a root canal on himself. Yay!!

Seriously, have you ever seen anyone with a really bad tattoo that they had to have blacked out? How bad is it when you can't even find an artist to turn a mistake into something decent? I saw a couple of guys covered in tats at Costco last month. The tat that made me keep looking out the corner of my eye so that it wouldn't look like I was staring was a 3-inch by 10-inch irregular black blob on his lower leg.

lemonie2 years ago
tabby725 years ago
Directions: Take the razor and shave any body hair from the surface of the intended tattoo area. Bring water to a boil. Once boiling, dip the sewing needle into the boiling water for fifteen minutes, to sterilize the needle. Remove needle and place on a clean paper towel for thirty seconds to cool. With your thumb and index fingers, take the needle and place it alongside the eraser of the number two pencil. The tip of the needle should protrude a ½ inch further than the top of the pencil eraser. Do not place the needle in the center of the eraser. The sharp side of the needle should be facing up. Wrap a thread tightly around the erasing end of the pencil where the needle is touching. Wrap several times to hold the pencil and the needle tightly together. This will allow the pencil to act as a handle for the tattoo artist. Once the needle and the pencil have been tightly fastened together with several layers of thread, carefully wrap the thread around the protruding ½ inch tip of the needle two times leaving the last 1/16th of an inch exposed. Tie the thread off and make a knot to ensure it does not unravel. You will want to burn the 1/16th of an inch exposed portion of the needle with the flame of a lighter, for thirty seconds to a minute, for sanitation. Place on clean paper towel. Using a thinly tipped marker, draw tattoo design onto skin. Open the bottle of India Ink and dip the ½ inch tip of the needle into it for ten seconds, or until the thread has absorbed the ink. Avoid excessive dripping by not leaving the needle tip submerged in ink for too long. Hold the middle of the pencil and begin pricking the surface of the skin with the top of 1/16th of an inch of the needle, which is exposed and not wrapped with thread. It is necessary to puncture the skin but not unnecessarily deep. Wipe away excess ink, as needed, with clean paper towels. Cross your fingers and pray as you look down at what you have just done to yourself. You have created a masterpiece that hopefully you won't regret.
very good instruction, and if your unsure of yourself it best to practice on pig skin or something not so permenantly attached to you
rubes123343 years ago
so um hi im new to this but yea so im 14 and i would really like to give myself a homemade tattoo but idk how to and im not sure how to make the ink or how to get it on using the needl. i want to use somethin safe and sanitary. i dont want to have to buy anything or put paper on fire. i dont care about pain(i have already peirced my nose and will be doing my lip) and i want to be able to get it done without having a problem with the ink. does it have to be deep? am i supposed to cut or like poke it hard? the pic i want is already drawn it is an image of a shark that i drew free hand but also found on the internet. it looks exactly like the image but i was also wondering if i were able 2 numb it?
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Unlike your nose ring, a tattoo is not undo-able and I'm sure you know that. You're 14, so I guess you're still in grade 8. At the very least, sit on the idea for a year. Chances are that when you get to high school, you wont want the tattoo anymore and you'll be glad you didn't do it or you'll want a completely different one and you'll glad you still have that free space reserved for it.

Also...if you do it yourself, there will be so much blood, you wont even be able to see what you're doing.
craftyv3 years ago
Congratulations. I have just nominated you for a Darwin Award.
FilmJunkie4 years ago
Home made tattoos to me are better than tattoos you can get in a tattoo shop. They are much more personal and they will always mean more since you did it yourself. As long as you use a sanitary process I see no reason why it is unsafe. If it is a tattoo that really means something to you its not dumb, it is a reminder of your past and it connects who you were with who you are. I have 3 homemade tattoos and I can personally say that it was a good decision and there is not a day I regret doing them.
tom irons4 years ago
hey look up grimycharms on google - they have examples and stuff.. upload your own photos too. homemade tattoos are fun!
HamO6 years ago
I don't wanna seem like a moron here. Oops, to late. Have you ever seen a "jail house tattoo" that looked good?
tomkkk HamO4 years ago
Actually i have
Lextone HamO6 years ago
Yes I have seen some Outstanding jailhouse tat art work that rivals some of the best tattoo artists out there. I don't recommend tattooing unless you really understand what you are doing, or you really don't care if it looks like ass afterwards.
hardluck9096 years ago
Hey before you use one of these on yourself just punch yourself in the nuts a few times. This is the dumbest thing you could do. Just go to a tattoo shop if you want a tattoo. Or have someone that knows what they are doing give you a tattoo. Trust me I have these people that come into my shop with nightmares all over them that they want me to fix. And some of them are so bad you just can't fix.
sardines4546 years ago
easiest way to do it w/out buying or making a tattoo gun is to take a sewing needle dip it pen ink, penetrate skin. Repeat till pattern is complete
removed (author)  sardines4546 years ago
So pen ink will do? Anyway, the tattoo design I wanna go for is pretty big, hence the interest in "shortcuts".
Lextone removed6 years ago
Yup....thats how they do it in Prisons. Wrap a small sewing needle with thread, leaving a small portion of the tip exposed, then tape it to your tooth brush. Break an ink pen open to get at the ink and add some water to it to thin it out a bit. Use a different color pen to trace out your design, then have at it. The thread acts as an ink reservoir and as a depth gauge. It will take you several sittings to complete if its that big. Don't try to rush the project or you will be sorry. Go slow and make it look good. There are no shortcuts in Tattooing.
LasVegas6 years ago
All tattoos of every size are dotted out. The trick is to implant the permanent ink into the skin without creating a lot of scar tissue. There are no practical shortcuts. You could always brand yourself. It's not as colorful as a tattoo, but just as effective. Indian Ink is a dark permanent ink from India. It's quite common worldwide.
hey. my friend just used a sewing needle and indian ink and did it freehand. will it still turn out to be the same rather then useing a gun? it's a star on my wrist.
If the ink was placed under the skin, it should work... I certainly hope your friend sterilized the needle!
removed (author)  LasVegas6 years ago
Thanks Vegas! One question though, what's "branding"?
Burning the skin with a red hot iron.
iman LasVegas6 years ago
Ouch! Did you see the forum topic with your name on it?
I know that there was an episode of 'Wild Boys' where one of them was bit by a snake and rubbed ink into it right away to make a tattoo. They were definitely cut then put ink into the cut, so that should probably work. I can also tell you that India Ink will turn green and bleed with time, so if you want it to stay black you should look for real black tattoo ink. Tattoo artists practice on oranges because the skin is very similar to human skin, so that would be a good place to test out what you're doing. There are a lot of tattooing websites and communities around that would probably be able to offer more info. In reality, the biggest risk with what you're doing is the risk of infection, so if you do decide to DIY tattoo at least invest in some rubbing alcohol to disinfect your implements and some antibacterial soap and antibiotic ointment to care for it afterward. It's permanent, so it's worth investing some time and effort into getting it right.
I meant to actually say that home made tattoos tend to be more permanent than professional ones, so you probably can't even get it laser removed later. It's the same with cheap tattoos - they tend to be the hardest to remove. Good luck!
removed (author)  technoplastique6 years ago
Thanks technoplastique! There definately seems to be alot of things to take into consideration. I'm thinking maybe I should start by making a smaller tattoo somewhere else on the body before trying the big one I want on my chest.. And maybe even before that try tattooing on an orange as you suggested. =)
There are a lot of things to take into consideration, but if you do you should be in pretty good shape. An orange is a good way to warm up, anyway. I've had a few different friends that have studied to become tattoo artists, and they all worked on oranges first. It gets you used to how deep to push a needle and how close your dots need to be.

I remember too that the 'military brats' I used to know talked about threading a needle, dipping the tread in ink, then running that needle just under their skin and dragging the thread through to deposit ink. I don't know if your design would make use of straight lines, but that might work as well.

I'm assuming you know all the stuff about keeping it covered until it starts healing, then keeping sunblock on for a few months afterward. In reality, the only way you could really mess up is if you get an infection. Just be smart about it and good luck - there are few things more hardcore than tattooing yourself ;-)
removed (author)  technoplastique6 years ago
Thanks again for your detailed answer! The design I have in mind is pretty much nothing but straight lines, so if the needle and thread method really works I might be able to use it! I'll try it someplace else than the chest first though..
Anyways, you've been great help! I'm still pretty far from actually attempting my own chest tattoo, but at least now I'm a bit closer! =)
Just make sure you practice what you want to do before you do it so you don't end up with like whats supposed to be a tiger but looks like a bicycle, lol
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