Picture of Tattoo Tights
Got ink?

I’ve always thought tattoos were pretty awesome, but I’ve been too much of a wuss to take the plunge and commit to one design forever. Well, Halloween is starting to creep up on us, and it’s a perfect time to try out a whole new look, and whip up a fast costume. Don’t know what to be this year?

How 'bout some tattooed rockabilly style? No ink commitment required! All we need is a pair of tights and a cool design.
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Step 1: What you need

Picture of What you need
To make your tattooed tights, you’ll need:
  • An Urban Threads design (or any design) printed at the size you want (I’d advise using our hand embroidery version for the simple linework -- I used our Rockabilly Calavera)
  • Fabric pens
  • Sharpie (for detail - plus I hear Sharpie have fabric markers now!)
  • A large piece of tag board
  • Tape
  • Tights/stockings

If you’re going for the realistic “tattoo” effect, grab a pair of nude tights. If you just want to have some cool pattered tights, grab anything!

Step 2: Prepping the roll

Picture of Prepping the roll
First, we’re going to construct something to stretch your tights around. A rolled up piece of tag board works great for this.

To minimize a distorted, stretched design, we want to trace our image as close to the stretch of your legs where the design will be. Try to roll the tagboard so it’s roughly the same width around as your leg. When you have it approximated to the right size, tape it in place.

Next, tape your printed design onto your roll.

Step 3: Adding your tights

Picture of Adding your tights
Delicately stretch your tights over the roll, until the area where you want to add your tattoo is over your design.

Be careful! Tights are a lot stretchier than you think. If you’re unsure of where you want your design to be, put the tights on first (all the way! they stretch quite a bit) and mark on your leg with some tape where the design should be. Then, carefully remove your tights without disturbing the tape and position them over the design.
tinyinkling made it!1 year ago

I used Marvy Uchida fabric markers on nude knee high nylons and I love the results! The photo on the left is in progress -- I used a water bottle with my design rubber banded to it. The photo on the right is the nylon on my arm. I covered the black lines twice and the colors once. I love the designs on your website! Very inspirational!

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ahew1 year ago
Niceee! I have only one question, does it last if you wash your tights?
Flintlock3 years ago
Cool! Although I might look a bit silly in tights....

...or even better looking.
I concur!
Ha Ha! Do it!
sassimo033 years ago
That's so totally cool. Great job!
agis683 years ago
beautyful legs and shoes!!!...and an excellent instructable too!
rbaillou3 years ago
Nice stems.
maxint3 years ago
brilliant idea!
nekotali3 years ago
thanks so much for this instructable! will definitely make a pair just to see how tattoos would look on me, and maybe trick some friends in the process :}
Hey, I know this may sound like harping, but if you use someone else's artwork, buy the pattern or give 'em a couple of bucks at least. It tells them that you appreciate their work.
UrbanThreads (author)  The_Monkey_King3 years ago
Lol! Don't worry, that IS our artwork. Urban Threads is our website, that's our design. Though I've very with you about posting art that isn't yours. We've had it happen to us, so I'm glad people are looking out for it. Apologies for the confusion.
What a calm reply! You are a nice person and you make great designs. And apparently you have more than an adequate supply of social grace as well in spite of cussing in private. Great instructable, I forwarded to my wife who I think will really dig the tights/tattoo concept.
LenBoyer983 years ago
AWESOME Job! This looks very cool. Being a leg man, I gotta say I see lot's of possibilities with this one :) Great legs by the way. Thanks for sharing.
surfdude3 years ago
Nice job, it looks great.
mary candy3 years ago
I was planing to make it :P
You came first.
By the way ,, it is awesome.
Congrats ;*
TristaGee3 years ago
This is an awesome idea! Not just for Halloween, but there is a certain tattoo I've been wanting for the past year or so, but have been reluctant to get because I'm unsure how it would look on me. Now I can use this technique to finally find out :) Thanks!
zazenergy3 years ago
This is RAD! I love the design you used!
Mimikry3 years ago
VERY clever!
Juleemt3 years ago
Super amazing!
mikeasaurus3 years ago
Looks so great!
I wish I had thought of this last year for my Popeye costume.
caarntedd3 years ago
This is cool. I won't do it though, as I have MANY real tattoos. My advice to you? Get some ink! Great instructable, thanks for sharing.
l8nite3 years ago
it would be a cool look for halloween though... use a piece of the tights on your arm.. Great idea!