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How To Apply A Temporary Tattoo?

  • Post category:Tattoos & Piercings
  • Post last modified:January 19, 2024
  • Reading time:16 mins read

To apply a temporary tattoo, clean and dry the desired area, remove the protective film, press the tattoo firmly onto the skin, and wet the backing paper until it slides off. Temporary tattoos are an affordable and versatile way to experiment with body art without the commitment and pain of a permanent tattoo.

They can be applied to any part of the body, allowing you to showcase your creativity and style. Whether you want to rock a trendy design for a special occasion or try out different looks before getting inked permanently, knowing how to apply a temporary tattoo accurately is key.

In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of applying a temporary tattoo to achieve the best results. So, let’s dive in and get your temporary tattoo game on point!

Choosing A Temporary Tattoo

When it comes to temporary tattoos, there are countless designs to choose from. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of whimsy to your outfit or want to experiment with a bold statement, selecting the right design is crucial. In this section, we will discuss two important factors to consider when choosing a temporary tattoo: the design itself and the appropriate size.

Considering The Design

In order to make a statement with your temporary tattoo, it’s important to carefully consider the design. Think about your personal style and the message you want to convey. Are you drawn to floral patterns, geometric shapes, or maybe even a meaningful quote? Take a moment to reflect on what resonates with you.

Once you have an idea of the design you want, it’s time to narrow down your options. The internet is a treasure trove of temporary tattoo designs, so take advantage of online resources to find inspiration. Browse through websites, social media platforms, and even tattoo artists’ portfolios to get an idea of the wide range of designs available.

Selecting The Right Size

Now that you have chosen a design, it’s crucial to select the right size for your temporary tattoo. Consider the placement of the tattoo and the surface area you have available. Do you want a small tattoo on your wrist or a larger one on your shoulder?

Before committing to a specific size, try printing out a few versions of the design in different dimensions and hold them up against your skin. This will give you a better idea of how the size will look once applied. Remember, if you’re unsure, it’s always better to go with a slightly smaller size as temporary tattoos tend to appear larger once on the skin.

  • Temporary tattoos allow you to experiment with different designs without permanent commitment.
  • They can be easily removed if desired.
  • Temporary tattoos are an affordable option compared to permanent ones.
  • Temporary tattoos may not last as long as expected, especially if exposed to water or excessive rubbing.
  • Some people may experience a skin reaction to the adhesive used in temporary tattoos.

Now that you know how to choose the perfect temporary tattoo, it’s time to move on to the next step: applying it correctly! Stay tuned for our upcoming blog post on the best practices for applying a temporary tattoo.

Preparing Your Skin

Preparing your skin properly before applying a temporary tattoo is essential for achieving the best results. By following these steps, you’ll ensure that the tattoo adheres smoothly and lasts longer on your skin.

Cleaning The Area

Before applying the temporary tattoo, it’s crucial to clean the area of your skin where you plan to place it. Use a gentle soap and warm water to wash away any dirt, oils, or lotions that might prevent the tattoo from adhering properly. Pat your skin dry with a clean towel, ensuring that the area is completely dry before proceeding with the application.

Removing Excess Hair

Removing excess hair from the area where you want to apply the temporary tattoo can help ensure a smooth and seamless attachment. If necessary, shave the area using a clean, sharp razor. Make sure to shave carefully and avoid any cuts or irritation. Remember to rinse off any shaving cream or leftover hair with warm water and dry the area thoroughly before continuing.

Applying The Temporary Tattoo

Applying a temporary tattoo can be a fun way to change up your look or try out a new design without the commitment of a permanent tattoo. In this article, we will guide you through the process of applying a temporary tattoo easily and effectively.

Peeling Off The Protective Film

To begin, start by peeling off the protective film from the temporary tattoo. Locate a corner of the film and gently lift it until you can grip it between your thumb and forefinger. Slowly peel the film away from the tattoo design, ensuring you don’t touch the adhesive side of the tattoo.

Placing The Tattoo On Your Skin

Once you have removed the protective film, it’s time to place the temporary tattoo onto your skin. Before you do so, make sure the area of your skin where you want to apply the tattoo is clean and dry. This will ensure proper adhesion and longevity of the tattoo.

Once your skin is ready, position the tattoo face down on the desired location. Be careful not to fold or crease the tattoo during this process. Now, apply firm pressure to the back of the tattoo with a damp cloth or sponge.

Pro Tip: For an extra secure application, you can use a small piece of transparent adhesive tape to hold the tattoo in place while you apply pressure.

Hold the damp cloth or sponge over the tattoo for around 30 seconds. This will allow the water to saturate the tattoo paper and activate the adhesive. Ensure that the entire tattoo is adequately moistened during this step to avoid any patchy or incomplete transfer.

After the 30 seconds are up, carefully lift one corner of the tattoo to check if it has properly adhered to your skin. If any part of the tattoo remains stuck to the tattoo paper, gently press it back down with the damp cloth and hold for an additional 10-15 seconds.

Once the tattoo is fully applied, slowly peel back the paper backing, starting from one corner. Hold down the tattoo with your other hand to prevent it from coming off prematurely. If you notice any areas where the tattoo did not transfer completely, simply press the paper back down and repeat the process.

Finally, let the tattoo dry for a few minutes before touching or applying lotion to the area. This will ensure that the tattoo sets properly and lasts as long as possible.

And there you have it! You now know how to apply a temporary tattoo like a pro. So go ahead and have fun experimenting with different designs and styles, without the commitment of a permanent ink!

Ensuring Proper Adhesion

When it comes to applying a temporary tattoo, ensuring proper adhesion is crucial for both the longevity and appearance of the design. By following a few simple steps, you can make sure that your temporary tattoo stays in place and looks fabulous.

Applying Moisture

Before you begin applying your temporary tattoo, it’s important to make sure the skin is clean and free of any dirt or oils. This will help the tattoo adhere better and last longer.

To prepare the skin, wash the area thoroughly with mild soap and warm water. Gently pat the area dry with a towel. Avoid using any moisturizers, lotions, or oils on the skin as they can create a barrier that prevents the tattoo from sticking.

Once the skin is clean and dry, take a damp cloth or sponge and lightly moisten the area where you plan to apply the tattoo. Be sure not to oversaturate the skin, as too much moisture can cause the temporary tattoo to slide or blur.

Pro tip: If you’re applying a temporary tattoo to a particularly hairy area, consider trimming or shaving the hair beforehand. This will help the tattoo adhere more securely and ensure a smoother application.

Pressing Firmly

Now that your skin is prepped and slightly moistened, it’s time to apply the temporary tattoo. Start by removing the clear plastic film or backing from the tattoo.

Place the tattoo face down on the desired area, making sure it’s positioned correctly. Once in place, press firmly on the back of the tattoo with a damp cloth or sponge. Apply gentle pressure and hold it in place for about 30 seconds.

After 30 seconds, carefully lift a corner of the tattoo to check if it has adhered properly. If not, place the tattoo back down and continue to apply pressure for an additional 15 seconds. Repeat this process until the tattoo has fully adhered to the skin.

Pro tip: If you’re applying a larger temporary tattoo, it can be helpful to work in sections. Start by applying the tattoo to one area, pressing firmly, and then move on to the next section.

Once the tattoo is fully adhered, gently peel off the paper backing. If you notice any areas that haven’t adhered properly, press them down firmly with a damp cloth or sponge for a few more seconds.

Final thoughts: Ensuring proper adhesion is key to a long-lasting and visually stunning temporary tattoo. By properly preparing the skin and pressing firmly during application, you can enjoy your temporary tattoo for days to come.

Caring For Your Temporary Tattoo

Proper care is essential to ensure your temporary tattoo lasts longer and stays vibrant. By following a few simple steps, you can enjoy your temporary tattoo to the fullest without worrying about it fading away or wearing off too soon.

Avoiding Excessive Moisture

Moisture is the biggest enemy of any temporary tattoo. Water or excessive sweat can cause the ink to run and fade, leading to a shorter lifespan for your temporary tattoo. To avoid this, make sure you:

  • Avoid soaking the tattoo in water, especially during the first 24 hours after application.
  • Pat your tattoo dry with a clean towel if it gets wet accidentally.
  • Avoid activities that involve excessive sweating or prolonged exposure to water, such as swimming or hot showers.

Protecting The Tattoo

Protecting your temporary tattoo from friction and external elements can help maintain its appearance and longevity. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid rubbing or scratching the tattoo as it may cause the ink to wear off prematurely.
  • When applying lotions or sunscreen, be careful not to directly apply them on the tattoo. Instead, gently work around it.
  • Avoid exposing your tattoo to direct sunlight for extended periods. If necessary, cover it with clothing or use a sunscreen with a high SPF to prevent fading.
  • If you want to keep your temporary tattoo intact for as long as possible, refrain from wearing tight-fitting clothes or accessories that may rub against it.

By taking these precautionary measures, you can ensure your temporary tattoo looks stunning and stays intact for an extended period. Remember, a little extra care goes a long way in preserving the beauty of your temporary body art.

Frequently Asked Questions Of How To Apply A Temporary Tattoo?

How Long Does A Temporary Tattoo Last?

A temporary tattoo typically lasts anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on various factors such as placement, skin type, and the quality of the temporary tattoo.

How Can I Make My Temporary Tattoo Last Longer?

To make your temporary tattoo last longer, avoid excessive rubbing or scrubbing, keep it dry and avoid exposing it to oils, lotions, or prolonged water submersion. Additionally, avoid direct sunlight as it can fade the tattoo.

Can I Apply A Temporary Tattoo On Any Part Of My Body?

Yes, you can apply a temporary tattoo on any part of your body, as long as the skin is clean and dry. However, it’s important to note that certain areas, such as joints or areas with frequent movement, may cause the tattoo to fade or rub off faster.

How Do I Remove A Temporary Tattoo?

Removing a temporary tattoo is simple. You can use rubbing alcohol, baby oil, or even adhesive tape to gently rub or peel off the tattoo. If none of these methods work, give it some time and the tattoo should naturally wear off on its own.

Can I Swim Or Shower With A Temporary Tattoo?

While temporary tattoos are water-resistant, it’s best to avoid prolonged water submersion, such as swimming or long showers, as it can diminish the lifespan of the tattoo. However, a short exposure to water should not cause any significant damage.


Applying a temporary tattoo is a fun and creative way to express oneself. By following these simple steps, anyone can achieve a stunning result. From cleaning the skin to applying the tattoo and setting it properly, each step is important for a successful application.

With a wide range of designs and styles available, temporary tattoos offer a temporary and painless way to experiment with body art. So go ahead, unleash your creativity and try out a temporary tattoo today!