How To Use Tattoo Transfer Paper Effectively

After storming through the sources for what felt like an eternity, I finally figured out how to use tattoo transfer paper. To save you the amount of time and energy I invested, I’m going to tell you how you can do it too.

You need to draw your design, transfer it to the tattoo transfer paper, and then move it to your skin or wherever you want your picture.

For a more detailed explanation of how the process works, keep reading through the article. I’ve tried to explain it as simply as possible for your convenience.

Using Thermographic Tattoo Transfer Paper

These tattoo transfer papers generally come with four layers. The white layer is for transferring the design into it. Then comes a thin protective layer which is usually thrown away. Then there’s the purple ink layer and a yellow bottom layer to hold the sheets in place.

Follow the instructions below to use a thermographic tattoo transfer paper with precision.

1. Create a pencil design

You need to use white printer paper and a pencil to create the design you want on your skin. Make sure you are happy with your drawing because that’s exactly how your tattoo will look like.

Because it’s a preliminary design to transfer to your tattoo transfer paper, be patient to make it perfect.

2. Slide it inside the tattoo transfer paper

Once you are satisfied with your drawing, slide it inside the tattoo transfer paper. Place it under the ink layer and on top of the bottom layer. The bottom layer helps to keep the paper in place.

3. Make the paper go through a thermographic transfer maker

You can find a thermographic transfer maker in some tattoo shops. Some printer stores also sell them. If you’re lucky, your tattoo artist will have one. How the machine works depends on different models.

When you make the tattoo transfer paper go through this machine, a carbon copy of your drawing will appear on the paper’s top sheet. Regardless of what model you are using, make sure your design faces down.

4. Separate the carbon copy

Now that you have the exact replica of your drawing on the top piece of paper separate it from the rest of the tattoo transfer paper. This is the only piece you will need now.

5. Make the skin wet with soapy water

Use soap and water to wet the skin area where you wish to transfer your tattoo outline. Use enough soap to make bubbles. You can use a cloth to dip in soap water and then rub it on the skin.

6. Put the carbon copy on the soapy area

Place the carbon copy in the precise location that you want your tattoo. Move the paper around to make sure it’s not curved around the edges. Take your time to put the paper in place. Use a second opinion about the placement if possible.

Using someone else to place the paper in place is more effective than doing it alone.

7. Press it to transfer the image to the skin

Use your hand to press on the carbon copy to make it appear on your skin. Be patient and press all over the paper to ensure that the whole image transfers to your skin.

8. Lift the carbon copy

Gently lift the carbon copy and see if the image is clearly visible on your skin or not. If it’s not, put the carbon paper back in place and keep putting pressure on the paper. If the image is appropriately transferred, remove the paper, and you’ve got an outline for your perfect tattoo.

How To Use Tattoo Transfer Paper Effectively

If You Aren’t Happy With the Image

Even after being careful and doing everything as instructed, there’s a chance the image will not be satisfactory. In case you are not happy with the image, you can use rubbing alcohol to remove the image from your skin.

Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and wipe the image off. Then, repeat the same process again to place the image on your skin.

Using Hectograph or Free-hand Tattoo Transfer Paper

Another type of tattoo transfer paper is hectograph transfer paper. It’s known as free-hand transfer paper or manual transfer paper. The process is almost the same as carbon copy sheets.

Hectograph transfer papers are similar to the sheets usually used for older dot matrix printers or typewriters when multiple copies need to be created.

Free-hand transfer paper usually comes in 3 different sheets. The upper sheet where you will draw your art. The thin middle sheet, usually removed before you begin. Your design will transfer to the bottom sheet. It’s available in a choice of different colors and is carbon-like.

1. Draw your image

Use a hectograph pencil to make sure you draw quality artwork.  Draw your design on the top layer. It will be copied to the bottom sheet. Cut out your design and place it on your skin where you want the tattoo.

2. Prepare your skin and transfer

You will have to prepare your skin with a stencil-stay solution before putting the paper in place. Once you are happy with the alignment, use a damp sponge to wipe over the paper repeatedly. Gently lift the transfer paper, and you will have your design exactly as you drew on your skin.

Hectographic transfer papers are comparatively more cost-effective. They are also easier to re-do in case you make any mistakes. There are different colors available to make it more convenient for you to match the design color with your skin tone.

Transferring Pictures On Crafts

You can also transfer printed pictures on any solid surface like plastic, wood, etc., by using tattoo transfer paper. Make sure the piece you are using is clean and dried from any prior painting.

1. Print your image

Download the image you want on printable tattoo paper. Make sure you adjust the size according to your craft object. For convenience, let’s assume you’re using a piece of wood.

You can find printable tattoo paper in craft stores. If you can’t find the paper near any of your stores, you can always order online.

2. Apply adhesive

You will get an adhesive sheet with your tattoo paper. Like all adhesive sheets, it’s also protected with a thin layer. Peel that layer off and put the adhesive over your printed image. Now cut the edges as close to the image as possible.

3. Peel the plastic film

Now you will have a layer of adhesive and a layer of plastic film over it. Expose the sticky layer by peeling off the plastic film.

4. Place the image on the object

Keeping the image side down, place the paper on your wood exactly how you want to transfer it. Remember that once the paper is placed, you can’t move it again. So, ensure that the picture is in place before sticking it to the wood.

5. Use a wet towel

Using a wet cotton towel, moisten the paper by pressing gently. Keep doing it until the whole paper is damp.

6. Peel the paper

Peel the paper starting from the corner using gentle hands. Notice if the image transferred to your wood or not. If the image is also coming off with the paper, put the paper back and keep moistening it.

7. Use glaze spray

Once your image is transferred to the object, use glaze spray to secure it. The glaze keeps your image sealed and prevents it from fading away. Let the spray dry for about 30 minutes before moving the object.

Read Next: How to make a tattoo stencil

Bottom Line

A tattoo is your life-long companion. Tattoo transfer paper makes your tattoo exactly as you want. You can now forget about being disappointed with your tattoo because you can see beforehand what it looks like. Make your tattoo literally picture-perfect, so you don’t have to regret it later.

Regardless of what type of paper you are using, use the best ones. The better the paper, the more perfect your image will transfer to your skin.

I’ve included everything I could find on how to use tattoo transfer paper. Hopefully, you got what you wanted. If I missed something please let me know.

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