How to Make Tattoo Stencils

We’ve all seen tattoos on skin but I wonder how much thought we give to how it actually gets there. A tattoo artist will rarely draw a tattoo design directly onto the skin; he will usually create tattoo stencils first to avoid making costly mistakes.

Having a pre-prepared stencil is particularly important when the design is complicated or especially ornate, although the stencil is usually only an outline

What you need to make a tattoo stencil

You don’t need much; just the design to copy, tracing paper, a fine marker pen, a dipping pen and special stencil fluid which is a non-permanent dye. There are also pens available which are ready filled with stencil fluid so dipping the pen isn’t necessary. You can also use carbon tattoo paper at this stage.

Tracing the design

Often the proposed design is reduced to something similar to a line drawing. However, the basic detail would still be there; for example the features and hair curls of a creature. The delicate detail, from a photograph, can’t be used in a tattoo as the tattoo lines can’t be fine enough and may produce a very muddled effect.

The simplified design is traced with the fine marker but then needs to be reversed so that it ends up on the skin the right way round. The original tracing is traced with stencil fluid.

Once you have the tracing of the design you can use a thermal copier to print your tattoo stencils onto carbon tattoo paper. This is handy as you can use the same traced design over and over again but a copier does come at a cost of between $250 and $1000 so you’ll need to be opening a tattoo parlor to make owning one worthwhile.

Applying the design

Stencil lotion is applied onto cleansed, sterilized and shaved skin then the second tracing is pressed to the skin with the stencil fluid side down. The tracing paper is carefully peeled away and the stenciled image is left on the skin.
 
 
Selections of Tattoo Stencils
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Selections of Stencils
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Selections of Stencil Machines
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