How To Create DIY Temporary Tattoos with Parchment Paper

How To Create DIY Temporary Tattoos with Parchment Paper

Parchment paper DIY temporary tattoos

From the bar to the boardroom, it seems like everywhere you go these days there is at least one person sporting some tattoos. Have you ever had the urge to express yourself in that way but cannot commit to the permanence of it? Well, perhaps a DIY parchment paper temporary tattoo may be right for you!

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the surprisingly easy process of creating a temporary tattoo in virtually any size, shape, or design you want along with exactly what you’ll need to create it.

If you thought parchment paper was just for cooking, think again. There is much more to this non-stick, non-toxic product than meets the eye! Let’s look at how to make temporary tatts using items found around the house.


  1. First, of course, you will want to grab a sheet or a roll of your favorite parchment paper.

  2. Fine tipped art pens or gel pens in the colors needed for your design.

  3. Scissors or razor knife.

  4. Warm, damp washcloth.


Once you have your canvas in front of you, in this case your sheet of parchment paper, you will want to illustrate the design you want directly onto the parchment paper.

The silicone coating on the parchment paper will present a bit of a challenge to even the best artists, but that non-stick feature will come in handy at the end.

You can use a pencil to create the design on the parchment paper, and then trace back over it with your ink pen, or just use the pen from the start.

You want the ink to be heavy, but not pooled or wet to the point of instability of the design.

*TIP* Your illustrated design will be “flipped” when applied to the skin, so specific design elements such as/especially wording should be drawn backwards, as a mirror image, so that they appear correctly on the skin when the design is flipped and applied.

parchment paper DIY tattoo 2

Once your design is drawn, and before it dries for too terribly long, it is time to get tatted up… temporarily at least.


If you made your illustration on a much larger sheet of parchment paper, simply cut roughly around the border of your design, leaving ample room, or blank parchment, around the edges.

Once you have chosen the part of the body on which the temporary tattoo will be applied, quickly moisten that area with the warm, damp washcloth that you have just prepared. The skin should be moistened, not drenched.

Now press your illustrated design against the skin, ink side down, using the warm, damp washcloth to apply a generous amount of pressure to the top of the parchment paper. Hold it all in place for approximately 30 seconds, taking care not to move, smear, or smudge the paper or its design.

After that 30 seconds or so, remove the washcloth and set it aside. Then, starting in a corner, gently but consistently begin to peel the parchment paper up and away from the skin – again, trying not to allow it to move side to side… just straight up and off.

Thanks to the non-stick properties of parchment paper, what you should have left is a wet DIY temporary tattoo on the skin. Allow it to air dry thoroughly and it should remain smidge-resistant for days or even weeks, depending on the type of ink you used.

Please note that we said smudge-resistant, not smudge-proof. Direct and/or prolonged contact with clothing could result in the transfer of some of the ink transferring to the fabric. This is a topical application, after all, which is why it is only temporary.

The design will fade more and more after every shower, or bath, or sweaty activity but that’s the beautiful part… you can do another one yourself in a matter of minutes!

Much like a real tattoo artist, you can have an entire portfolio of designs that you have created, all lined up and waiting for their chance to be featured on your skin. The relative transparency of parchment paper often allows you to trace your pre-drawn designs onto the parchment quickly and easily as you test out another temporary tattoo on some other part of the body.

In fact, many tattoo artists use a form of parchment tracing paper for the exact same reasons why you’ll love using it for your own temporary tattoos.

Of course, simpler designs typically turn out better, but let your artistic flag fly with this project and see just how intricate you can get with your DIY temporary tattoos.

parchment paper DIY tattoo 3

This is a great project at home, in the classroom, or at a festival, but it is made even greater when you use parchment paper that is made in the USA, supporting American families! is your one stop shop for American made parchment paper perfect for the kitchen, the craft room, or anywhere else you can benefit from our high-quality products.

Now, who will be the first person to email us a picture of their DIY temporary tattoo of the logo?

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