Tattoo fads come and go, so you might not want one permanently. Temporary tattoos are for kids, though. How can you add a little fun body art without having to go under the needle? Try a suntan tattoo. You can add a little flirty heart to your shoulder that will fade away within a few weeks. You can add a sexy tattoo to show off with your short summer clothes. You can even add your boyfriend’s initials in a romantic gesture that you won’t be regretting for the rest of your life. A suntan tattoo is very easy to make.

Decide if you want to make a suntan tattoo by going out in the sun and getting a tan or by using a sunless self-tanning lotion.

Pick your shape. Basic shapes work best, such as a sun or a heart. Initials work if they are block letters.

Cut the shape out of the tape. Place that shape where you want your suntan tattoo. If you are using the self-tanning lotion, skip to step 5. If not go to step 4.

Lay out in the sun as you normally do. While your body is getting a golden tan your suntan tattoo shape will be staying your normal skin color. When you are ready to get out of the sun, carefully peel back your tattoo. If you want the suntan tattoo to show more, set the tattoo aside, and use it the next time you lay out in the sun. You now have a fun suntan tattoo you can show off.

Exfoliate the area where you plan on using the self-tanning lotion. Place your suntan tattoo where you want it to show up. Press firmly to make sure it is stuck to your skin completely. Rub the self-tanning lotion on everywhere and over the tape. Once the lotion is completely dry, peel off the tape. You now have your very own suntan tattoo to enjoy.


If you are using self-tanning lotion, you can make a reverse suntan tattoo by cutting out a shape from a strip of tape and rubbing the self-tanning lotion only in that shape. Your skin will stay its normal color, but it will have a tanned tattoo.


Suntans are very bad for your skin. It is safer to use self tanners. If the tape is not secure, the self-tanning lotion might bleed into the tattoo. Do not place the tape where there is hair, or it might rip it out.

About the Author

Rissa Watkins

Rissa Watkins has been a freelance writer since 2008. Her articles can be found online at Bukisa, Associated Content and Helium. Her short story "Fly" has been published in the anthology "Elements of the Soul," available on Amazon. Additionally, Watkins has 12 years of accounting experience, along with two years of experience in the insurance field.