If you’re going to get a tattoo and have picked out the line drawing you want, you may be wondering how the artist transfers the drawing to your skin safely. Luckily, there’s a very easy technique involving tattoo transfer paper that is safe and is pain free.


Run the line drawings through a thermographic transfer maker or a thermal-fax to get an exact duplicate of the drawing. Sometimes people call these carbon copies.

Show the drawing to your client to make sure it’s what they want. Confirm any changes they want to make to the drawing.

Dampen the skin where you want to place the tattoo with either soap and water or stick deodorant.

Place the thermographic transfer paper onto the dampened skin and press gently. Do not allow the paper to shift or the drawing won’t transfer properly. If it does shift, you’ll have to remove the ink and start over.

Peel the paper off the skin, gently. If done correctly, the line drawing is now on the skin in a bluish-purplish ink that will eventually wash off.

Check with your client again to make sure the drawing is in the correct location and is the correct size.

Start tattooing, following the line drawing.

Tips

  • If you’re doing a henna tattoo you’d follow the same tips, just trace over the design with henna paste.