The art of tattooing has been around for centuries with every major culture doing the process. In today's world tattooing is most of the time left to experts, resulting in very beautiful works. But what if you want to do your own? this instructable will cover the art of "Stick 'n' poke" tattoos that will enable you to safely add your own dermal embellishments.

WARNING: These tattoos, although light, are PERMANENT! Think about what you want on your body before you go through with it. ALSO it does hurt, and depending on your pain level it may hurt too much. Test without ink first to see if you want to spend 30 minutes poking your skin to get some cool stuff.

Lets get on with it.

Step 1: Suppiles

You don't need much for this instructable but here is the suppy list:
1 Pencil
1 sewing needle of medium size
1 jar lid
A bottle of black ink, this instructable uses higgins waterproof ink
A stove or other fire producing device.
Rubbing alcohol
Anti bacterial soap
unscented lotion

Step 2: Disinfecting Your Skin

The next step is to clean your skin, use a antibacterial soap or rubbing alcohol to clean the area you want to tattoo. This will make sure that the area is prepped for poking.

Step 3: Drawing Your Image

Then with a regular ball point pen you draw what you want to have your tattoo be. You will follow the lines your draw with the needle and ink later on.

Step 4: Disinfecting Needle and Prep

First poke the needle into the pencil like in the first picture

Then use fire to disinfect the needle, the once the needle cools wrap the needle with string only leaving a bit of the needle at the tip exposed.

Step 5: Inking The Needle

Next take the ink and put a little bit into a jar lid. The take the string wrapped needle and dip the tip into the ink getting a good amount on there. The string will act as a wick as well.

Step 6: Start Pokin'

Once you have the area clean and prepped, you can start poking.

Yes, it will hurt, yes it will take a while.

Poke into the skin just enough where the dermis sticks a little to the needle. It may take a few tries to get it right. Pull the skin tight to make it easier and follow the lines your drew in the last step.

Keep some paper towels on hand in case you start bleeding.

Step 7: Pokin' Part 2

Once you go over the tattoo once, it may not be dark enough for you so go over it again if you wish.

The area you poke will become a bit raised and swell, this is normal.

Step 8: Aftercare

Afterwards you should clean the tattoo again and put something on it to protect it like saran wrap.

After a few hours you should be able to take the saran wrap off and use regular unscented lotion for a few days. Keep the tattoo out of sunlight for the first 2 days as well.

Hope you enjoyed this instructable, Please comment with any improvements or experiences. I want to thank my friends Rachael, Laura and Misha for letting them document the tattooing process. Im actually too much of a wussy and didn't get one, but now i wrote up this instructable i really should.

Instructables robot maybe?

This ia reallystupod and im going to try it.
<p>So how many times do you have to go over it ?</p>
<p>Can I use any kind of ink? or..?</p>
<p>When I got my stick and poke, we just cut open a new black ink pen. You can use any ink, really. But as with professional tattoos, lighter colours fade faster. Which is why black is common. </p>
<p>You should never use pen ink. Either india or tattoo ink. You can be at risk of getting a serious infection, Just saying..</p>
Can i put vaseline after I finish ?
No don't use Vaseline. I'm completely against this project due to possible harm or infection but baseline will take the ink out.
Yes, but dont rub in, it can cause ink to come out or early fading
How can i make the ink look like them real tattos ?
<p>Time, patience and a steady hand. It requires many hours of deliberate poking. It will probably require touch ups, but wait 2 weeks or more between them.</p>
<p>You'd have to go over the tattoo many times with this method. It's a long, painful process.</p>
I'm 15 years old (I'm sensitive to pain) and I really want to try this. I have a few questions before starting: on a scale of 1-10 how much does it hurt? is it permanent for life or..?
Tattoos hurts these are not tattoos. They are attempts at being cool that you will regret later on. At least think it through guys.
I'm 15 and I've done 3 on my self and from what I've noticed Pain depends on location. The one on my ankle was (2/10) the one on my my face was (5/10) and the one on my wrist was (3/10) but I do have a really high pain tallerance. And it is permanent because the ink is trapped under the scars. <br>Good Luck??
<p>I'm 14, have done 2 on myself with 2 more in the planning process. The amount of pain is all about location, location, location. The one on my wrist was easy and barely hurt at all (2/10), the one on my ankle hurt more than I thought it would (7/10). They are permanent if done correctly so the design should have meaning to you and should be thought over in depth. </p>
<p>of course its permanent its ink traped under scars!!!!!!!!!</p>
<p>It really all depends on you. Also it depends on where you do it. Because its a stick n poke it probably wont last completely forever but it can for a while after you do it. If you want some more info check here-http://fyeahstick-n-poke.tumblr.com/faq thats what I looked at</p>
How old do you have to be to do this?
Old enough not to ask this question
If your going to get it done at a tattoo pallor you need to be at least 18 and if your under 18 you need you need proof that your guardian/parent is allowing you to to get a tattoo but if your doing it on your self you can do it at what ever age you want I'm 15 and I've tattood my face my wrist and my ankle my self
<p>18 to get far a tattoo from a shop but any if u are doing it yourself I'm 15 and I have done one myself </p>
As a person with tattoos and a tattoo artist I highly suggest you guys wait til you actually no what you are doing. You can hurt yourself doing this or get infection.
This is hilarious
Will water based ink work?
is it a bad idea to draw what i want first with a pen and then start poking??
<p>Free-handing can lead to a disproportionate tattoo. Please draw your design and tattoo over it. I suggest using a green, purple, pink, or red pen so you can very clearly see where you have not inked.</p>
<p>Could someone with somewhat of an experience with stick and poke tell me how they think this would turn out, not sure if its too intricate, especially the leaves in the doves beak. im planning on getting it about 2 inches wide inside my forearm under the crease of my elbow. </p>
<p>To get the lines to appear solid you'd need to go over it many times. Because your design is large that would take quite a long time, 1-2 hours. Modifying the branches in the dove's beak to me simpler is probably a good idea especially if your artistic ability isn't the best or your hand isn't steady. Your chosen location will hurt more than others but won't be severe. Please wear gloves and clean everything very well with hydrogen peroxide. <br><br>Experience: Tattooed myself twice and two of my friends. Have two more planned for myself in the near future and, three planned for friends. No infections or complications have risen.</p>
not bad. it'll probs just take time and patience.
Come on guys. All you tat artists have one valid point: Sterilize everything. Other than that? You guys are just jealous because people are not coming to you for tats. Shut up! I have given myself several of these and have sterilized everything. You want to know something else? I am not dead. Also, this is a pic of my first. The three dots mean something personal to me. And this was made with calligraphy pen ink and just a burnt needle (no string, thats just dangerous). Whole setup cost me $7.49 at Hobby Lobby. Now, 6 months later, I have professional grade tattoo needles, India ink AND tattoo ink, and a bunch of alchohol pads. So stop being jealous and embrace creativity.
<p>This is not creativity.</p><p>It's not creativity to put paint your balls and then tea bag the canvas.</p><p>If three dots mean something to you and you want to be the one putting them on your arm, fine. Your choice. But don't call it creativity. </p><p>It's amateurish and stupid to make your own tattoos if you're not a decent artist. And if you are, you'd know that you should let somebody who does this for a living do it instead of you. </p>
<p>DON'T put saran wrap on top of a tattoo! Traps bacteria in a moist, warm environment on top of your open wound and prevents oxygen from entering to begin the healing process. Badbadbad!</p>
<p>I done my tats 41 yrs ago with just a regular ink pen and a needle, no thread. I drew what I wanted and went over it time and time again to get plenty of ink and just started poking, they are still there and still dark.</p>
<p>you can change out the lotion for antibacterial paste. It'll accomplish the same thing (keeping the tattoo from getting infections) but do it much better. This is advice coming from the professional tattoo artist who did my first tattoo (here's a link to his website &gt;&gt; http://www.imagesinink.net/about.html ).</p>
<p>I'm sorry but if you're going to be posting pics of your feet on the Internet at least cut your toenails.. Ew</p>
dude come on don't be a dick. no one likes one. it doesn't make you cool, but really? just because the length of their nails? wow, the ignorance.
<p>does anyone know if piercing cleanser (such as bpa) works for sanatizing the needle??</p>
Just use fire, then rubbing alcohol or hp to clean the needle.
You could use it inconjunction with heat.
<p>So, I've heard arguments about using regular pen ink and a specific kind of ink. Would it be a bad thing to use regular pen ink?</p>
Pen ink is extremely un sterile. It can cause infection and a bae looking tat later in life
I'd say it's not the best idea to use pen ink. They're not sterile and some aren't non toxic, so there's a chance of getting an infection. The best kind of ink to use would be either a tattoo ink or a non-toxic India ink. I have heard that Higgins is a good brand, but there are probably more
<p>I will try it </p>
<p>Works best with simple, small designs </p>
This is what mine looks like and it seems pretty nice, I talked to a tattoo artist about it and the only thing that this article lacks to mention is that it might turn into a blob once it is done healing
not the best, but a good first attempt in my opinion
;) cool
;) cool
Really cool tat
;) cool