Homemade Tattoo Machine




About: I am a senior Industrial Design student at the University of Cincinnati, in DAAP. Born and raised in Irvine, California. I spend my time making art, blacksmithing and trying to skateboard. My goal as a desig...

Steps to create a homemade tattoo machine out of parts found at a local hardware store and in your junk drawer. Enjoy!

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Step 1: What You'll Need

1. USB Fan (Any usb powered product will work)

2. Pen (Krink ink marker)

3. Hose Repair Clamps (2)

4. Spoon or "L" bracket

5. Solder & soldering iron

6. BIC pen

7. Tattoo needle

Step 2:

Disassemble USB Fan completely.

Separate USB cable, motor and switch.

Step 3: Grip Body

Take marker, remove back end and empty ink.

Remove cap, cut and place on rear.

Remove BIC pen tube from ink tube and cap, then cut the back end off.

Insert BIC pen tube aligned with center of empty Krink acrylic marker.

Step 4: Spine Support

Take spoon, remove dish.

Bend handle to create an "L"

Step 5: Fitting Components

Combine "L" spoon bracket with grip and motor using (2) hose repair clamps.

Step 6: Wiring Components

Solder switch and USB cord to motor.

Use (1) small hose repair clamp to hold in place.

Step 7: Needle Set Up

Bend motor drive shaft to offset axis.

Place needle over offset drive shaft and through the pen grip.

Use India ink, ball point pen ink or tattoo ink to tattoo.

For the sake of hygiene, tattoo fruit or synthetic tattoo skin.

Step 8: (Optional / Not Recommended) Tattoo

Tattoo a frog onto a friend.

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    5 Discussions

    Mikki G.W

    2 years ago

    Tattooing with ball point ink doesn't exactly sound safe... but then again, who knows what actual tattoo ink actually contains..

    1 reply
    brycewongMikki G.W

    Reply 2 years ago

    Should've written in to use tattoo ink! Good call. That being said, tattoo ink is actually very similar in its properties to ball point pen ink. It's not recommended but works!


    2 years ago

    This reminds me of the machines we used to make on the ship back in my Navy days. Very similar. Nice job.


    2 years ago

    What a great tattoo from a homemade machine.

    Very Clever, thanks for sharing!

    Welcome to Instructables. Thanks for sharing with the community. I honestly don't think that I have ever seen a DIY tattoo tutorial on the site before.