Temporary tattoos are a great alternative to painful, costly permanent tattoos. There are several different ways to apply a temporary tattoo. In many cultures, temporary tattoos are a fun and artistic form of expression. Temporary tattoos are very easy to apply using everyday household items such as permanent markers, deodorant and paper.
To make a temporary tattoo, gather the following materials: permanent marker; ball-point pen; stick of alcohol-based deodorant (can be substituted with rubbing alcohol); small, Post-it sized piece of paper; larger, thin piece of paper and a pair of scissors. The colors of the pens and paper do not matter; use as much color as you like. Have some cotton balls or tissues on hand if you plan to use rubbing alcohol.
Making the Stencil
Draw a design of your choice with the ball-point pen onto the small, Post-it sized sheet of paper. You can select any kind of design, such as a star or a dragon. Beautician Jennifer Terrill of Sacramento's Zama Salon suggests that your first temporary home tattoo should be neat, simple and easy to see. Place the larger paper over the smaller paper, and make sure to give yourself plenty of extra space in case you make any mistakes. Trace the design onto the larger paper using the ball-point pen, with a steady hand. Cut the stencil out. Be sure to leave a small amount of the edge on the sides and top of the stencil.
Applying the Tattoo
To ensure the darkest imprint possible, Leona Herod of San Francisco's Black and Blue tattoo says you should apply the tattoo directly after you trace it. The wetter the ink is, the easier it is to apply and the sharper the tattoo looks. Apply a small amount of the deodorant or rubbing alcohol onto the spot on your body you want to tattoo. Swipe the stick of deodorant up and down the area two to three times. Or, wet a cotton ball or a tissue with rubbing alcohol, and lightly saturate the area. Take the stencil and press it firmly onto the area, making sure it sticks to your skin. Remove the stencil; there should be a clear imprint now. With the permanent marker, color in the area imprinted on your body. Allow it to dry and rub the area around the tattoo to remove any excess deodorant or rubbing alcohol. The temporary tattoo should last for one to three days.
Jennifer Terrill, beautician; Zama Salon; Sacramento, CA
Leona Herod, tattoo artist; Black and Blue Tattoo; San Francisco, CA
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