How To Use Tattoo Transfer Paper – The Best Instruction For You

Needless to say, one of the trickiest parts of getting a tattoo is explaining the desired design you want to the tattoo artist. The failure in this conversation will result in an unsatisfactory tattoo. In this situation, using tattoo paper is the only best solution! 

Yet, do you know how to use tattoo transfer paper properly? If not, we will assist you with this post. Keep scrolling for a detailed guide and other relevant information!

How To Use Tattoo Transfer Paper – Thermographic Approach 


With the thermographic approach, there are things you need to prepare beforehand. To be more specific, these tools include a set of thermographic transfer papers, with the company of pencil, the soap, and the rubbing alcohol.


  1. Use the pencil to draft your design
Sketch the tattoo

You need to take a sheet of print paper that you usually use. Then, draw the tattoo design carefully on it in pencil. Of course, you could use an ink pen or other pen types, but the pencil is the most convenient one as you can rub out the mistakes right away. 

Moreover, the picture should be similar to the tattoo model you want as much as possible. Because in the following step, they will directly move that picture to the tattoo transfer paper. 

  1. Use the carbon paper to copy the initial design

The thermographic paper contains three sheets: an under sheet at the bottom, a black piece of carbon paper in the middle, and a top transfer sheet (carbon copy exists here). Put the print paper containing the design under the carbon paper and above the under sheet. In another word, the design paper is between the carbon paper and the under sheet. 

  1. Place all three papers through the thermographic transfer maker

A thermographic transfer maker is a special tool that you can find in almost all tattoo shops. Specifically, remember to choose the equipment carefully as your result depends heavily on the model maker!

  1. Take the carbon copy on the top away from the remaining transfer paper

With the transfer maker, you will get a replica of the first design on top of the carbon paper sheet. Next, tear that carbon copy away from the transfer paper set. 

  1. Locate the carbon tattoo copy on where your customer wants

Several attempts might take place for the most accurate position of tattoo design. You should ask the client regularly to ensure that they are truly satisfied with the tattoo position. 

  1. Moisturize the customer’s skin with soapy water

This step is very easy, with the help of your regular mild soap. In detail, the soapy water should be flattery enough until you can see the bubbles. Next, dip a clean cloth in the solution and rub slightly on the tattooed skin.

Soapy water
  1. Press the carbon copy on the skin

When your customers’ skin has been wet with soapy water, re-align the sheet of carbon copy over your skin. Spread it out completely with your hands. By pressing it down, the tattoo design will be transferred to the clients’ skin. 

  1. Fill in the blank spaces

Normally, there may be some places that the tattoo design hasn’t been completely printed on. In this situation, place the carbon copy carefully again on the skin and press it a little bit harder. 

  1. Repeat all steps in case clients does not approve of the placement

In some circumstances, the customers might not be satisfied with the final result. Do not panic! Gently wipe down their skin with the alcohol cotton ball, then repeat all the steps above once again to create a new design.

How To Use Tattoo Transfer Paper – Transfer Images Onto Crafts 


You need to prepare several items beforehand: a clean surface like wood or plastic, a paintbrush, printable tattoo paper, and a glaze spray.


  1. Set up the craft’s surface

You can transfer the tattoo image to various sturdy surfaces, like wood, plastic, or canvas. In particular, the surface should be clean, and the paintbrush must be all dried as well.

You can use canvas as a craft’s surface for tattoo.
  1. Print your selected image

You could download all images on the internet and print them directly on the printable tattoo sheet. This kind of paper is available at many craft shops or online retailers; you only need to ensure that the image fits well with your craft. Otherwise, resize the picture until it fits. 

  1. Implement the enclosed adhesive to your design

Normally, the printable tattoo paper goes with an adhesive sheet. Please take off the outside layer of the adhesive ( which has a bright green color), then smooth it over the sketch you are using. After that, trim the edges of the images and cut the adhesive layer as close to the image outline as possible. 

  1. Peel off the plastic film

There is a layer of adhesive substance and a layer of clear plastic film with the adhesive sheet. Tear off this film back to expose the sticky layer on the top of the image. 

  1. Put the image on the craft

Before directly sticking to the object, check if you have lined it up in the way you want. Be mindful that you could not unstick the image for a second chance. Therefore, be extra careful when you apply the image!

  1. Use a wet towel to dampen the back of the image

At this stage, you can choose to use a cotton towel or a paper towel. Still, we highly recommend you to use the cotton one! Gently press the towel on the back of the sheet until the whole place gets enough moisture. 

  1. Peel off the backing paper

With extra carefulness, start peeling off at the image’s corner and pull the backing paperback. The final image should stay clearly on the surface of the craft. If the image tends to fall, place the backing paper back and dampen that area.

Print the tattoo
  1. Use a glaze spray to seal the image

The glaze spray is sold at many craft shops; it helps seal the image and prevent the ink from leaking in unexpected circumstances. You should let the glaze completely dry before moving the image; this can take you around 30 minutes to finish.


Can I Reuse The Tattoo Transfer Paper? 

Definitely yes! You could reuse the stencil paper several times until the ink has run out. 

If I Am Bad At Handwriting, Can I Use The Tattoo Transfer Paper? 

In this case, we highly recommend you use thermographic transfer paper. This method requires only a little handwriting. Also, the preparation step is quite easy to follow.  

Is It Complicated To Fix The Transfer Paper If I Mess Up On The First Try?

No, it is quite easy to solve this problem. For instance, the clients are not satisfied with the placement, just cleanse the skin and reapply the transfer process again. Be patient; this process only takes you a few short minutes. 

Which Pen Should I Use For Tattoo Transfer Paper?

Hectograph pencils are the most common product among tattoo artists. Additionally, you should also prepare a stencil pen to hold the stencil on your skin.


So how to use tattoo transfer paper? Overall, there are two main ways to transfer the tattoo: the thermographic approach and the transfer of images onto crafts. You could choose either method that is the most suitable for you and get the most satisfactory tattoo ever! Last but not least, be mindful of each step for the best result!

See Also:

5/5 - (4 votes)

Leave a Comment