Picture of Print anything on your skin: tattoo/party stamp
Here is a quick and cheap way to print anything on your skin. This can be used if you ever need to make or fake a tattoo or a party stamp.
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Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need
Items needed :
1. A piece of paper
2. Tape
3. An inkjet printer

Step 2: Cover with tape

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Cover the area you want to print on with tape.

Step 3: Print

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Print the text or image on the taped side of the paper using your inkjet printer. Don't forget to flip any text horizontally before so that it's still readable.

As the ink does not stick to the tape, you will be able to transfer it to any surface it comes in contact with.

Step 4: Transfer

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Place your skin on the paper (or the other way around) and press gently.

Do it once without shaking

Step 5: Results

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For better results keep the images small with high contrast and not too many details.

Depending on the print quality (the better quality the more ink you get) you will be able to reuse a transfer two to three times.

 - Try it on something else than your skin : use it as an instant rubber stamp...
 - Make a portable version: once the tape is printed you can cut around and use it anywhere
 - Clean & Repeat : using a tissue or a piece of cloth, clean the taped area and reuse it over and over again...
 - Draw directly on the tape using a non permanent marker pen

Have fun!
john henry2 years ago
good idea but.. i tried it with packaging tape i got a horrible result first time (probably my fault)
second time it was much better but still smudged quite a bit it looked like i had a bloody bite mark rather than Madara Uchiha's sharingan eye.(from the Naruto anime)
not sure if i will try it again though...

thats what you get for following madara........follow itachi and you`ll never have the same problem....=_=

Sir_Sasquatch5 months ago

I'm going to try this, but with parchment paper instead. Also, by rights a transparency sheet (think overhead projector) should work as well. I don't have any of those on hand so I won't be able to test that theory.

marmar22235 months ago
Dude, this is so helpful! Thanks for sharing!
olivian1 made it!5 months ago

I Love This! it was so easy! It just takes a little bit of practice. Also, if you want it to stay on longer, put baby powder and then hair spray, which will make it last for about a month.

olivian1 made it!5 months ago

I Love This! Its easy and it works but it definatly takes a little bit of practice.

snuffy1467 months ago

Does it work with a laser printer, too?

Nicolas Chourrout (author)  snuffy1467 months ago
No, sorry. It only works with an inkjet printer as the toner from a laser pointer sticks to plastic.

Aw :( I only have a laser printer but seems like a really cool idea! If you know of anything I could do to transfer images with a laser printer it would be nice to know :)

takn371 year ago

Awsome!!! but the first time i printed out i forgot to flip it vertically...


pcanywii1 year ago
i already knew how odo it. you need a lllooooootttt of tape though.
aszappanos2 years ago
Awesome idea, thank you! Can't wait to try :-)
kids? pshaw! I love it for myself! Thanks for the tutorial!
Sequimania2 years ago
And for the next family reunion. . . neck tattoos! :-)
foxworrior2 years ago
Very cool, i am going to do it soon!
Ooooooo spiffy! that is gr8!! Imma try this at work w/my kids!! Wonder if that clear bandage spray will help it last longer?
Good idea!
Clear bandage spray, hairspray... If it can protect the stamp from the outside world then it can definitely make it last longer
gloflyer2 years ago
A couple of questions. Have you tried this with clear packing tape, instead of scotch tape?
How long after you print it is it useable? Does it still work after it dried?

I wonder if this would work with acetate sheets for an overhead projector. (I use them with a laser printer to put designs onto metal.)

It is such an intriguing idea.
Nicolas Chourrout (author)  gloflyer2 years ago
I haven't tried with clear packing tape but I guess the result will be similar (except for the fact that you can apply less stripes to cover the same area as the tape is wider).

Once I used it 2 hours after printing and I got the same result. As the ink contains mostly water and solvent, I wouldn't let it dry for too long though.

I'm curious about the acetate sheets, tell me how it turns out.
I8mAll2 years ago
I was a chemical analyst. Don't worry about chemicals.
1st it's a tiny amount anyway but more important:
The solvent in ink is the same as alcohol based antiseptic wipes.
The dyes need to be long lived, to do so makers chose long chain molecules that have very low reactivity.
They will not make it through the cuticle (out hard layer of skin).
Mostly - do take small risks or you'll miss all the fun. My family motto is -
Tantum Te Paenitebit Infectorum; which means
You will only regret what you didn't do.
starmoon2 years ago
Are there not chemicals in the inkt that is dangerous? I know for sure this will get in your blood through your skin.
Cool! Thanks.
natis4132 years ago
i was thinking something like this thank you
denswei2 years ago
I think it would look best to take a marker and ink it darker--especially after it starts to fade. (Perhaps use the transfer image as a guide, instead of trying something freehand)
Nicolas Chourrout (author)  denswei2 years ago
Using it as a guide can be a good idea, especially (as suggested by a friend) if you want to make a Henna or Mehndi tattoo.
edo42 years ago
You could probably get the same results printing directly onto a smooth surface like a sheet of contact paper still on its backing or a piece of plastic the size and shape of paper.
jray22 years ago
Gonna try this over the weekend with some heavy duty packing tape, much wider than scotch tape, so maybe a better medium? Either way, cool idea! I know my kid is gonna love it, and I will have some fun too!
dreamberry2 years ago
This would work instead of the carbon paper / deodorant trick for real tattoo pattern transfers.
tabi dreamberry2 years ago
Tell us the trick!
e2meleng2 years ago
Does this work on us black people?
tabi e2meleng2 years ago
You could always print with light colored inks
Nicolas Chourrout (author)  e2meleng2 years ago
I haven't tried but let me know how it works out for you.
londobali2 years ago
Ha! Never thought of this one before..
Thanks for sharing!
Smarlow2 years ago
I used to use those little plastic dividers for binders. You just cut of the indexing tab and seperate the sheets. I used them for stamping polymer clay. Great Instructable!
smrp19842 years ago
Could also work using transparency sheets made for laser printer printing, I would use the shiny side not the mat side.
ammubhave2 years ago
Isn't it toxic or something?
cr6102 years ago
it is a great idea even easy to put into practice, but i'm wondering if it is safe.
Toner can give you allergy or a gently poison your blood (like Van Gogh)
Nicolas Chourrout (author)  cr6102 years ago
As nwlaurie mentioned it's non-toxic. More on this here or here
saulrocker2 years ago
is this safe? I know that printer toner is highly toxic...
Inkjet ink is non-toxic - deliberately.
bluumax2 years ago
Back in the day, at big celebrations like Oktoberfest they would give you a stamp if you were legal age (21).
This worked well to get your under-age buddy in! Just lick & transfer.
cemhoman2 years ago
Two questions: 1) How long does it last on your skin?
2) How many times can you use the "tatoo" from the tape?
Nicolas Chourrout (author)  cemhoman2 years ago
1) About a day but wraith109 suggested to spray over with hairspray to make it last longer
2) 2-3 times. For instance, the robot on the pictures above has been used twice on two different people
kretzlord2 years ago
The kids are going to love this one.
vincent75202 years ago
I undertand Instructables is throwing a party !!! ...
Where ? When ?... ;D

Nice project.
wraith1092 years ago
Easy trick to make it last longer is to spray over it lightly with hairspray once it is on your skin.
IRSisSIR2 years ago
^ I second that motion.
How long does it stay on the skin
For me, it did last about a day before wearing off. Wash it with a bit of soap if you want it gone faster. I'm guessing it also depends on the type of ink your printer uses.
sabu.dawdy2 years ago
clever idea
rimar20002 years ago
Very clever, thanks for sharing.
LucDaRocka12 years ago
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS GENIUS! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
This would be a great way to do temporary tattoos with kids. :D