How to Apply a Temporary Tattoo

Discover the joys of temporary tattoos. These easy-to-apply body decorations give you many of the same benefits as permanent ink art, but without any long-term commitment! Just follow these steps.

Supplies needed

To get started, gather your design, scissors, paper towels—for blotting away excess ink (so they don’t smear onto the skin or clothing) — a clean soft cloth used to wipe off excess ink around the edges of each tattoo as it is applied; and baby oil/talc. Also need rubbing alcohol for sanitation purposes to sterilize instruments such as needles before using them on someone else’s skin.

Cut out the design

After cutting out the design and removing its clear top film, it is ready to be placed on your skin.

Place the design face-down on your skin

Place your tattoo design onto the skin and press down gently with a CLEAN tissue until it is no longer moving.

Gently lift off the cloth to see if the tattoo has transferred to your skin

After 30 seconds, lift the towel and look at your skin to see if the image has transferred. If not, rewet with lukewarm water and press for another 30 seconds before lifting again.

See related – How to make your tattoo shine?

Repeat this step until the tattoo is applied correctly

Repeat this step as many times as necessary, until you can slide the cloth off your skin without it sticking and see that your tattoo is applied correctly.

temporary tattoos diy

Apply baby powder

One important step to make your new temporary tattoo last is to apply baby powder. Simply remove all the backing from your body and gently pat a little bit of baby powder on top before it goes on the skin—this will keep it in place for longer as well as allow you to enjoy its soft feel while it’s still attached.

See related – How long will my tattoo be shiny?


Temporary tattoos are a great way to add some ink art to your body without making a lasting commitment.