A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Tattoo Stencils | InkedWay
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How to make tattoo stencils

A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Tattoo Stencils: What They Are, Why You Need Them, Materials, Process

Tattoo stencils are an important part of the tattooing process. They allow you to transfer the image of the tattoo onto the skin, ensuring that everything is in the right place and looks exactly how you want it to. In this step-by-step guide, we will show you how to make your tattoo stencils at home using materials that are easy to find. We’ll also provide tips on how to use them correctly, as well as answer some frequently asked questions. So whether you’re a beginner or an experienced tattoo artist, this guide has something for everyone!


What is a Tattoo Stencil and Why do you need a Stencil?

A tattoo stencil is a tool used by tattoo artists to transfer the image of your tattoo onto the skin before inking it. They are usually made from paper, carbon copy paper, or thermal fax machine rolls.

A tattoo stencil is important because it allows you to see how the finished tattoo will look before you start the actual ink process. This way, if there are any problems with the design or placement, you can fix them before they become permanent. They also make it easier to keep track of where each element of the tattoo goes, which can be especially helpful when doing large or complex designs.


  • Paper Tattoo Stencils – This type of tattoo stencil is made from carbon copy paper or thermal fax machine rolls. The advantage to using this kind of stencil over others is that it’s much cheaper than other options available on the market, but there are some disadvantages as well such as needing more time to prepare your design.
  • Tattoo Transfer Paper – This type of tattoo stencil is made of paper specially coated with a transfer film that allows you to transfer your sketch to your skin 0-without smearing paint on other areas. The advantage of using this type of material includes control over how your design will look after it is applied because you can see through it before making any adjustments.
  • Tattoo Stencil Kits – This type of tattoo stencil is a pre-made kit that usually contains all the materials you need to make your stencils, such as paper, carbon copy paper, thermal fax machine rolls, adhesive spray, and application tools. The advantage to using this type of stencil over others is that it’s very easy to use and affordable, but there are some disadvantages as well such as not always being the best quality.


To make your tattoo stencils, you will need the following materials:

  • Paper or plastic sheeting
  • Transfer paper or thermal fax machine rolls (for transferring designs from one surface onto another)
  • Inkjet printer or a photocopier
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or a pen
  • Latex gloves
  • Isopropyl alcohol (for cleaning stencils)
  • Petroleum jelly or baby oil (to protect skin from ink)

When making your tattoo stencils, always use clean materials! Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and wear latex gloves when handling any of the stencil material to avoid getting ink or other contaminants on them.


Before you can apply your tattoo stencil, the skin needs to be prepped:

  1. Shave off all hair on the skin area where the tattoo will be.
  2. Next, you need to clean the area with antibacterial soap and water.
  3. Once the area is dry, apply stencil lotion to the skin to make sure the mark holds up well.


How to Make Your Tattoo Stencil.

Now that you have all of the necessary materials, let’s go over the steps on how to make your tattoo stencil.

Step One: Choose the Design and Print it Out

The first step is to choose the design you want to use for your tattoo stencil. If you’re creating it yourself, be sure to draw it out in detail using a pencil or pen. Once you’re happy with how it looks, print out a copy on either paper or plastic sheeting.

Step Two: Cut Out the Design and Place It on Your Skin

Next up is cutting out your new tattoo stencil from its backing material. Once that’s done, place it on the area of skin where you want to get inked (this could be anywhere). Then press firmly for about 30 seconds so that all parts stick well together!

Step Three: Trace Over the Design with a Pencil or Pen

Now it’s time to start tracing over the design using either a pencil or pen. This is where you’ll need to be especially careful and make sure that everything is in the right place. If there are any mistakes, now is the time to fix them before moving on!

Step Four: Remove the Stencil and Ink It Up!

Once you’re happy with how your tattoo stencil looks, it’s time to remove it from your skin and get started on the inking process! The benefit here is that now when you remove the stencil, there will be no ink residue left behind so all parts of your new design should come out cleanly without any issues!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Now that you know how to make your tattoo stencils, there are probably some questions popping up in your head about the process. Here are some of the most common ones and our answers!


Making your tattoo stencils can be a great way to save money, and it also allows you to customize your new design however you want. Just be sure to take your time in steps one through four so that everything comes out looking exactly how you want it! And as always, if there are any questions or problems feel free to reach out for help. Thanks for reading!