How to Mix Tattoo Ink to Create New Colors

By | February 3, 2014

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If you are a tattoo artist, you may want to consider making your own ink. Not only will it save you money over time, it will give you the ability to create any color that you want. Once you have the basic colors down, you can begin mixing those colors to achieve different shades of the basic colors. You can even make a custom color for your clients if they request it.

You will need the following items:

Antibacterial soap
Plastic gloves
7/8 qt. of witch hazel
1 Tbsp. propylene glycol
1 Tbsp. glycerin
Sterilized bowl
2 inches of powdered pigment
Sterilized ink bottles

Step 1:

Wash your hands with antibacterial soap, and then put on a pair of plastic gloves so that you do not contaminate the ink.

Step 2:

Make your basic color inks. You need to blend the witch hazel, glycerin, and propylene glyrol. Set this mixture in your bowl. Pour one color of powdered pigment in the blender and add the mixture from your bowl back in to the blender until you have made the ink thin. Turn your blender speed to low for a total of 15 minutes. Keep blending for another hour, but on medium speed. Repeat this until you have created each basic color.

Step 3:

Mix a few drops of white ink into any color ink that you want to lighten. If you only want the color lightened a little, just add one or two drops. If you want the color lightened a lot, add five to six drops. It is best if you just add one drop at a time until you have achieved your desired color.

Step 4:

Mix a few drops of black ink to any color you want to darken. Again, you should only drop in one drip at a time until you achieve your desired shade.

Step 5:

Mix two main colors together to form a brand new color. This will allow you to make a color like pumpkin orange (add a little brown ink to your orange ink), or teal (add a few drops of blue ink to your green ink). You will have to experiment to find the exact shade you want, but if you write down the exact number of drops you used you will be able to easily duplicate the color in the future.

Step 6:

Add a few drops of white or black to your newly created color to lighten it or darken it. For example, if you made a dark teal with your green and blue ink, you can add a few drops of white to make it a light teal.


You should also wear a mask when creating and mixing tattoo ink.


Don’t used plastic based pigments. These have been known to cause allergic reactions in people.

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