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Making Your Own Tattoo

Designing a tattoo is probably the best way to end up with the most unique tattoo design. We know, we definitely don’t want to see my tattoos on other people. This is not a pair of jeans that you toss at the end of the day. When you create a tattoo yourself, you have all the elements you want – because you created it!

Don’t forget that tattoos are permanent and they often reflect a part of your personality. Take your time and put a lot of thought into it. After all, you are going to live with your tats for the rest of your life. Carefully planning your tattoo before you go under the needle is extremely important to getting the results you really want.


As you probably know, there are a million and one tattoo designs on the Internet. On this website alone, you can find many tattoo pictures to start your creative juices flowing.

However, if you want to save hours of boring search, you should definitely consider investing a small amount on premium tattoo galleries. These professional websites have thousands of amazing designs (and you will be pleasantly surprised how cheap they are).

Alternately, you can work with a tattoo artist, get some ideas from friends, or look in magazines for a picture that inspires you. If you can draw well – you can even make your own tattoo art from scratch.

The Design

There are many different styles and techniques you can use to create your own tattoo – from the basic design, down to the colors, the size and the location you are about to place it on.

This is your most personal decision. Since you know yourself better then anyone else, you would have to choose a tattoo designs that will ‘describe’ you in the best way. You have to think of yourself not only in the present, but in the future too. Think about thing that were always apart of you or things that will always be.

Because you can’t find two people that are 100% alike, this will insure a more personal tattoo – designing a tattoo that will be just yours. Consider what is important to you and what kinds of art you can identify with.

The Size

This is all about proportions. When you create your own tattoo design, you have to make sure that the design will be just about the right size; not too big and not too small. For example:

  • Armband tattoos are usually more subtle then shoulder tattoos.
  • Large tattoos are more appropriate for the upper or lower back.
  • Private parts should be inked with delicate designs.

Choosing the right size is hugely important, and you should make double and triple sure before you continue with the actual drawing of the design.

“Aspiring tattoo artist guide” by Tim B. Miller is a great book that we just recently discovered. It will teach you about proper shading, outlining and how to draw tattoos better. It also has other important info, if you want to become a great tattooist or know how to spot one.

There is no argument that the most unique, jaw-dropping tattoos are the ones that people design by themselves. If you want to make a tattoo yourself, you need basic talent and lots of desire. Drawing a tattoo can be a great challenge, whether the tattoo is for you or for someone else.

So, now you have a basic idea, and you can start drawing your tattoo design.


Start simple. Begin with the shape or figure you like, and draw it on a piece of paper. Make a general sketch with a pencil or pen. The secret here is to draw and sketch as many ideas as possible. Go wild, try out different styles, and don’t worry about the final outcome. Keep drawing. Even if you think you have no talent at all, sketch it anyway.

Details and Shading

Once you have a basic figure, refine it and add further definitions and details. Add any textures, soft shading, darker shadows or other variations to your drawing. Also try out different colors. Your initial drawing will surely be in black and white, but adding colors to the design will enhance it and add life and emotion to design.

Choosing Colors

So, what colors should you use? It’s not necessary that the colors that you like the most – will be appropriate to use for a tattoo design. You should choose colors that would look good against your skin complexion, whether you skin is light or dark. Also, the colors of your tattoo should flow naturally with each other (Try to stick to a matching color scheme).


Once you have a cool design that you like, you need to transfer the design to a tracing paper. Before you create the final stencil, you should hold the sketch against your body to make sure it is the correct size. Make adjustments if necessary. Don’t be afraid to redraw the design until it’s perfect.

Fill your technical pen with stencil fluid and trace your tattoo design onto a tracing paper. Let the stencil dry completely before you continue.

Etching the Tattoo

That’s it. Your very own tattoo design is almost ready and all you need is to etch it in your skin. At this part, we strongly suggest to get second opinion from a spouse or a friend – you don’t want to be sorry later. Also, show your custom tattoo design to the artist you want to work with. A good tattoo artist may offer suggestions and ideas to make your design even better. Don’t hesitate to ask for changes.

Creating your own tattoo is a great way to come up with a killer design, but sometimes it may be wise to let an experienced tattoo artist to enhance the design and make suggestions. When you are looking for a tattoo artist, it would be best to know the exact methods and equipment that experienced tattoo artists use. Getting acquainted with the whole tattoo process can also help you create a better design from the start.

“Aspiring tattoo artist guide” by Tim B. Miller is a great book that we just recently discovered. It will teach you about proper shading, outlining and how to draw tattoos better. It also has other important info, if you want to become a great tattooist or know how to spot one.

If you are the person who etches the design on the body, then shave the area you want to apply it on, and clean the area with alcohol. Apply a thin layer of speed stick deodorant to the area, and press the transfer against the skin firmly for a few minutes while rubbing. Slowly peel off the stencil, and the design will be on the skin ready to tattoo.

Tips and Warnings

  • Take your time. A tattoo is a lifetime commitment. Removal or cover ups are painful and costly
  • Consider a temporary tattoo. It’s no joke, it enables you to test the looks of your new tattoo on your body before making the real commitment.
  • Bring all your originals and sketches to the parlor (not just the finished design).
  • Only professional tattoo artists should perform the permanent ink work. Tattoos can easily get infected if they are not properly done.
  • Make sure your tattoo artist is talented and experienced. Make sure you both understand each other before you get started.
  • Sometime you pay for quality. The cheapest tattoo artist in town is most probably inexperienced and should not create permanent tattoo art on your body.
  • Take good care of your new tattoo. Body art requires proper care in order to heal without infection or scars. Keep the tattooed area clean and moisturized.

This is how to make a tattoo. Drawing tattoo deigns is not that hard, but if you are serious about being a tattooist, then take a look at this recommended “Aspiring tattoo artist guide”.

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