How To Create DIY Temporary Tattoos

The 4th of July is coming up in the United States and my kids love dressing up in their red white and blue for the holiday. They are both currently obsessed with temporary tattoos so I decided to try making my own DIY temporary tattoos.

Learn how to create your own DIY temporary tattoos from Simply Kelly Designs

{Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post}

This post is for the June “Patriotic” Silhouette challenge but you do not need a Silhouette machine to make temporary tattoos. You do need the Silhouette Printable Temporary Tattoo Paper. The package comes with supplies to create two 8.5 x 11 inch sheets of temporary tattoos.


You can download my free set of patriotic temporary tattoos in Silhouette Studio format here or PDF here. These files are only for your PERSONAL USE. Please note that that since I made these temporary tattoos for my kids, they are sized smaller for kids.

Learn how to create your own DIY temporary tattoos from Simply Kelly Designs

I also have USA Soccer themed designs just in time for the World Cup in this post.

DIY USA Soccer Themed Temporary Tattoos by Simply Kelly Designs #WorldCup #USMNT #1Nation1Team #IBelieve #emporarytattoos #soccer #patriotic

Below are instructions for how to create your own temporary tattoos with a Silhouette machine and without a Silhouette Machine.

Non-Silhouette Instructions:

1. Use the image creating software of your choice to create the graphics for your temporary tattoos on an 8.5 x 11 inch document (or use the free file above). Tip: Printers do not print “white” so any white portions of your graphics will be clear.

2. Flip the images horizontally so they are mirrored from how the final temporary tattoo will look.

3. Print the document out onto the glossy side of the white temporary tattoo paper.

4. Skip down to Apply Adhesive And Tattoo.

Silhouette Instructions:

1. Create an 8.5×11 sized document, go to Page window and select Letter Size  under Use Printer Setting.

Create Letter Size Document in Silhouette Studio by Simply Kelly Design #Silhouette

2. Turn on registration marks by going to the Registration Marks window and select Show Reg Marks at the top of the window.

Turn on Registration Marks in Silhouette Studio by Simply Kelly Designs #Silhouette

The registration marks are key for the Print and Cut feature that will be used later.

3. Create the graphics for the tattoos. I created my images in Photoshop and imported them into the Silhouette Studio document. Be careful not to place any designs in the registration mark areas.

How To Create DIY Temporary Tattoos by Simply Kelly Designs #temporarytattoos #patriotic #USA #4thofJuly

4. Next, you have to flip your images horizontally so that they are the mirrored images of the final images that you want. Just select image(s) you want to flip, right click and select Flip Horizontally. You can select one image to flip or all your images at the same time to flip.

Flip Horizontally in Silhouette Studio by Simply Kelly Designs #Silhouette

5. Next, trace the images you create to add cut lines to each individual shape. The cut lines below are the red outlines. Also notice the mirrored images.


6. Load the inkjet printer so it will print on the glossy side of the white temporary tattoo paper. Go to File->Print in the menu to send the file to the printer.

7. Skip down to Apply Adhesive And Tattoo.

Apply Adhesive And Tattoo

1. Remove the small green strip on one end of the adhesive sheet. Line up the exposed adhesive with the corner of the printed temporary tattoo paper and smooth it down.

Learn how to create your own DIY temporary tattoos from Simply Kelly Designs

2. Carefully pull back the green backing a little bit at a time and smooth the adhesive sheet as you go. I used my bone folder from my Martha Stewart Crafts Scoring Board to smooth out the sheet. Make sure there are no air bubbles.

Learn how to create your own DIY temporary tattoos from Simply Kelly Designs

3. If not using the Silhouette, use scissors to cut out the temporary tattoos with a thin border around each image. If using Silhouette, Go to File->Cut Settings in the Silhouette Studio menu. Then select Temporary Tattoo Paper in the Silhouette Cut Settings Window. Next, Select File->Send to Silhouette in the menu. Select Click here to skip printing. Follow the directions to load the cutting mat and then press Continue. Select Detect automatically for the registration marks. Once the machine detects the registration marks, select Cut. Tip: The tattoo paper is expensive so before I use the cut feature on it, I printed the design out on regular paper first. Then I used the cut feature to make sure my machine was correctly calibrated. If the designs are not cut like they are in the document, calibrate your machine. You can find out how here.

Learn how to create your own DIY temporary tattoos from Simply Kelly Designs

4. The temporary tattoos application is the same as for any temporary tattoo. Peel the clear adhesive off the tattoo and place it with the image face down on the skin. Place a damp washcloth on the tattoo for 20 seconds. Peel off the white backing and that’s it!

Learn how to create your own DIY temporary tattoos from Simply Kelly Designs

I just love my fun kids!

Learn how to create your own DIY temporary tattoos from Simply Kelly Designs

Learn how to create your own DIY temporary tattoos from Simply Kelly Designs

Learn how to create your own DIY temporary tattoos from Simply Kelly Designs

More Silhouette Patriotic Projects

My Silhouette Challenge friends and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so check out the projects below for more inspiration! The collage is clickable so click on any project you want to see and you will be taken there.

Monogrammed Patriotic Serving Tray Captain American Romper Patriotic Burlap Stars (Pottery Barn Knockoff) Patriotic Onesie {Plus Free Cut File} Patriotic Shirts with Layered Heat Transfer Vinyl DIY Patriotic Tote Bag Red, White & Blue - Patriotic Decorations How To Create DIY Temporary Tattoos Made in America Freezer Paper July 4th Shirts Red, White, and Blue Paper Star Lanterns Fourth of July Rustic Flag Paper Sparklers Pretty Patriotic Pillow Nautical Star Burlap Banner: Stencil Material Tutorial Patriotic Map Art Wooden Fire Crackers; July Silhouette Challenge DIY Chalkboard and Vinyl World Map Let's Talk about Red White and Blue! DIY 4th of July Baby Outfit How To Make A Pinwheel {+ Free Template} Patriotic Nail Art Star Jewelry Vinyl on Wood Blocks Land That I Love Red, White, and Blue Patriotic Placemats DIY Paint Splattered Patriotic Tote Bag Patriotic Mason Jar Candle Holders

1. Our Rosey Life // 2. My Mom Made That // 3. The Kim Six Fix // 4. Create & Babble // 5. The Frill of Life // 6. My Paper Craze // 7. Kate’s Paper Creations // 8. Simply Kelly Designs // 9. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 10. Mama Sonshine // 11. Lil Mrs. Tori // 12. Tried & True // 13. It Happens in a Blink // 14. McCall Manor // 15. The Thinking Closet // 16. unOriginal Mom // 17. Sowdering About // 18. Weekend Craft // 19. The Outlandish Momma // 20. Adventures in All Things Food // 21. Practically Functional // 22. Silhouette School // 23. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 24. Ginger Snap Craft // 25. Pineapples And Pinecones // 26. Black and White Obsession // 27. TitiCrafty // 28. Architecture of a Mom //


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase through one of those links, I receive a small commission at no cost to you.


  1. says

    Hooray! I just bought some tattoo paper and this is EXACTLY what I’ll do with it! The kids will have some tattoos for their bodies and us ladies can have some to decorate our faces. Thanks for the cut file!

  2. pam meeks says

    thanks for the file and for these awesome directions – cant wait to give it a try! I have a few ideas brewing now

    • says

      Thank you Karen. The all American princess was inspired by my princess… I think you may have noticed the red tiara she was wearing in the picture. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. says

    Oh my goodness, these are soooo cute (and so are your kidlets too).

    I just bought a Silhouette a month or so ago. I’d love to use these, but I’m in the UK so would need to make my own flag (which is simple since it’s just a red cross, lol).

    I’ll have to see if I can find the tattoo paper either online or locally.

  4. says

    These are so cute Kelly! I’m going to have to order some of this paper and make some for the grandkids. Sorry I’m so slow commenting but I have the grandkids now since school is out and it’s total chaos. Have a great week.

    • says

      You are welcome Christine! My kids are always requesting temporary tattoos so I make them for all the holidays. This year I even brought some into the class parties at school. They were a hit!

  5. Amali says

    Hello I really want to try this but I was wondering if I could use a laser printer as I don’t have an inkjet or will that not work. Also was wondering how many sheets come in one packet of the tattoo paper and do you know where I could buy it in Australia. Thanks!!

    • says

      Hi Amali. I don’t believe that the temporary tattoo paper will work with laser jet printers because the instructions say to use inkject printers specifically. There are two sheets of printable tattoo paper in each package. You might be able to order from and have it shipped to Australia (the link is in the supplies section). Or you could check your local crafts stores. It would be near the Silhouette die cutting materials. Good luck.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *