When it comes to tattoos, there is no room for error. Perfection is the expectation. As such, a tattoo stencil is essential for capturing, refining and eventual transfer of the tattoo design to the body. Therefore, it’s important for tattoo artists to know how to make a tattoo stencil. For gifted artists, creating a tattoo stencil is a rather simple but necessary process. However, mastery of the technique requires practice. Below is how to make a tattoo stencil.
What You Need
For the ideal stencil, you require a regular paper, stencil pen, fine- tipped pen, and a tracing or wax paper. As for the stencil pen, for efficiency, rather than buying the dip pen and the stencil fluid separately, purchase a pen filled with the stencil fluid as this will eliminate the constant need of dipping the pen in the stencil fluid. This can disrupt the divine creative process.
The Tattoo Design
More often than not, you may need to simplify the design you want on the stencil, especially when working from a photograph or another person’s drawing. Simplification involves reducing the photographs or drawings to line drawings in line with tattooing techniques. This avoids a jumbled design which may not be appealing to the eye. After sketching the simplified design on a regular piece of paper, stress (draw heavily) on the outlines for easy transfer of the design onto the tracing or wax paper. It is at this stage where changes can be made if you or the client wants the design to be improved on. After accomplishing the desired design, move to the next step.
Transferring the Design onto the Trace Paper
This is done by placing the tracing paper over the tattoo design and using a fine-tipped ink pen to trace the design lines. Since the trace should be as perfect as the original design, it is recommended to tape both the original design and the tracing paper on a smooth and firm surface so as to avoid any movement.
Reversing the Design
If the design is transferred to the skin from this tracing paper, the tattoo would be backwards hence the need to reverse the design. This is easily accomplished by turning over the tracing paper with the design and placing a blank one over it. As above, tape these sheets of paper together to avoid movement which can ruin the design. After placing these sheets on the same smooth and firm surface, trace the design on the blank trace paper using a stencil pen, or the dip pen.
Transferring the Stencil to the Skin
This is the last step in creating a tattoo stencil. With the design ready, preparation of the skin area where it’s going to be placed takes center stage. The first thing to do is cleaning the area with an antibacterial cleaner and a sterile cleaning pad. Then move on to shaving this area using a sterilized disposable razor. Using a sterile pad, apply a stencil lotion on the skin and then place the stencil on the skin with the side with the stencil ink facing the skin. After leaving the stencil on the skin for about five minutes, carefully peel off the tracing paper which leaves the stencil image on the skin. And just like that, you have created a tattoo stencil from scratch.