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How To Make a Fake Tattoo With a Sharpie? – A Step By Step Guide

Have you ever thought how cool it would be to get a tattoo but then remember all the hassle surrounding such a process. Tattoos hurt, take time and commitment to heal properly, and they can also cost you a fortune. If there was only one way to have a tattoo experience without getting a tattoo? Well, Sharpie fake tattoos are the answer you are looking for!

In the following paragraphs, we will walk you through a simple Sharpie fake tattoo process. So if you’re looking for a temporary, no-strings-attached tattoo experience, you’ve come to the right place!

Fake Sharpie Tattoo Guide

Fake Sharpie Tattoo Guide
Credit: Instagram

Everything you will need

  • A Sharpie pen (in the color of your choice, but black is the best Sharpie color)
  • Tattoo or ink pencil
  • Tattoo design image
  • Baby powder or face setting powder
  • A tracing paper
  • Scissors
  • Rubbing alcohol (if you are not allergic or have a skin problem)
  • Clear gel deodorant (do not opt ​​for a spray deodorant)
  • Q-tips
  • Fine pen for details

If you don’t have baby powder or face makeup, feel free to use cornstarch as an alternative. People have also used baking soda, rice starch, and even oatmeal as a suitable alternative to baby powder.

Moreover, we always recommend people to use professional tattoo tools when doing fake tattoos by themselves. For example, it is always better to opt for a professional tattoo ink pencil rather than a regular pencil that you found randomly around the house. This way you can be sure that the tattoo pen will not damage your skin or introduce toxic or infectious particles to the skin.

Step-by-step guide – Here’s what you’ll do!

Step 1

Find the tattoo design you like; opt for an image or an image that you want to recreate as a tattoo; make sure you have it printed. We recommend going for simpler designs for your first try, just to get a feel for the process and see if you like this method or not. Simpler, smaller designs will do best for now.


2nd step

Place a sheet of tracing paper over the tattoo design image. Use a pen (the one we recommend for detailing) and trace the design onto the paper. Then use the tattoo or ink pencil to trace the image again.

Step 3

Once you’ve finished tracing the image, it’s time to cut out the design. Use the scissors and cut out the pattern leaving ½ inch of paper along the edges of the pattern. This will leave room for mistakes and won’t risk ruining the design by cutting too close.

Step 4

Choose the designated tattoo area on your body; we recommend easily accessible areas, such as your arms, legs, stomach, etc. Once you have chosen the location for the tattoo, clean the area and then scrub it with deodorant. This will help the design stick to the skin.

Step 5

Place the cut-out tattoo design on the skin, with the pencil side up against the skin. Hold for a few seconds and make sure to press firmly, until the image transfers to the skin. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean up any messes or blurry lines.

Step 6

Allow the tattoo to firm up and dry. Next, take a Sharpie and trace the tattoo lines again, now adding color and dimension, as well as details and lines. Be sure to use a non-toxic Sharpie, preferably black in color, but you can opt for any color you like. Permanent Sharpies can sometimes cause skin problems, so stay away from poisonous Sharpies.

Step 7

Once you are happy with the look of your tattoo, be sure to cover it lightly with baby powder or any other powder alternative available to you. This will help the Sharpie settle into place and keep it from staining or moving the next day or two.

An Easier Way to Get a Sharpie Tattoo

If the aforementioned guide seems too complicated for you, we also have an easier alternative for you.

All you have to do is this;

  • Choose the tattoo placement area and clean it using rubbing alcohol or some other form of disinfection (cleansing wipes or antibacterial soap).
  • Use a Sharpie to draw a tattoo design directly onto the skin. Be sure to take your time with the drawing. If it helps, have a tattoo design print next to you, to help you stay on track with the design.
  • Let the Sharpie dry and set for a few seconds, to keep it from moving and smudging.
  • Then use baby powder or any powder alternative and lightly coat the tattoo. This will help the Sharpie attach better and extend the longevity of the tattoo.
  • If you really want the tattoo to stay and stick, you can even coat the whole thing with hairspray. Go lightly with the spray; you don’t want your tattoo to be a sticky mess later. Not to mention that hairspray dries out the skin, so be sure to clean the sprayed areas of skin around the tattoo using a cotton swab and some water.

Sharpie Tattoos – FAQs

How long do Sharpie tattoos last?

Temporary tattoos usually last between 5 and 10 days, depending on the materials and methods used to make them. A Sharpie tattoo can last between 4 and 7 days, depending on the marker and your daily activities. If you regularly expose the tattoo to water, or if it is exposed to rubbing, it will only last a few days. So, depending on your daily activities, a Sharpie tattoo can last up to a week.

Are Sharpie tattoos harmful to the skin?

Sharpie temporary tattoos or markers can be harmful if you use a low quality, permanent and highly toxic marker. Generally, these markers can cause skin irritation or trigger a skin condition in people with hypersensitive skin. The problem with these markers is in the ingredients themselves; for example, in permanent markers you can find;

  • N-probapnol and n-butanol – known to cause eye, nose and throat infections
  • Cresol – known to cause contact dermatitis
  • Diacetone alcohol – known to cause eye irritation
  • Xylene – known to cause nerve damage, respiratory damage and cardiovascular problems (found in King Size Sharpie, Magnum Sharpie and Touch-Up Sharpie).
  • Azo dyes – known to cause allergic skin reactions (found in red markers)

So, always make sure to opt for a non-toxic Sharpie or marker. These markers have an ACMI “non-toxic” label, which means they are safe to use, even for children. And, if you have sensitive skin or a skin condition, like eczema or psoriasis, don’t use markers at all to create a tattoo. Sharpie Fine Point Markers are considered non-toxic and safe for contact with skin, eyes, inhalation or ingestion (in the case of children).

Should I reapply powder or hairspray?

Once you’ve completed a Sharpie tattoo, the baby powder or hairspray coating will last all day or until you take a shower. After that, you will need to reapply the powder or hairspray to hold the marker in place. Otherwise it will smudge and look quite messy, especially after exposure to water.

How do I remove a Sharpie tattoo?

One way to remove a Sharpie tattoo is to simply let it fade. after all, it will only last you a week, at best. However, if you really want to get rid of it, use baby oil or any similar mineral oil. The oil will help loosen the marker pigment molecules, making it easier to wash them away. Use soap and warm water to wash the marker.

We also recommend using ethanol or grain alcohol or even hand sanitizer gel to get rid of a Sharpie tattoo. We recommend that you avoid using rubbing alcohol for this, to avoid skin irritation and unwanted chemicals in your bloodstream (since rubbing alcohol penetrates the skin).


Sharpie tattoos are a great way to experience the feeling of having a tattoo, without the pain, aftercare, and high cost. With these fake temporary tattoos, there’s no commitment and you can get rid of the Sharpie whenever you want. Remember to be careful with markers in case of sensitive skin or allergic reactions. If you notice any skin irritation or side effects, wash off the Sharpie, see a doctor, or talk to your dermatologist.

Also read: How to make a temporary tattoo with perfume: a step-by-step guide

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Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using Google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas and images shared only for information purpose. Ideas and information collected through Google re-written in accordance with guidelines. We strictly follow Google Webmaster guidelines. You can reach us @ chiefadmin@tipsclear.com. We resolve the issues within hour to keep the work on top priority.

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