StickerYou Blog

How to Make Temporary Sleeve Tattoos

January 17, 2023
An example on how the temporary sleeve tattoo would look like.

What if we told you that you could get the experience of having as many tattoos as you’d like, without the worries of high costs and permanence? Get the look of regular tattoos without the commitment using our custom tattoo stickers!

Materials Needed

Prepare for DIY temporary tattoo sleeves by gathering essential materials: temporary tattoo paper, scissors, ruler, pencil, clear adhesive film, spray bottle, damp cloth, and chosen designs. Follow steps for precise application and durability.

How To Make Temporary Sleeve Tattoos: Step By Step Instructions

Let's walk through the process of creating temporary sleeve tattoos step by step. From choosing your design to preparing it, printing, drying the ink, and finally cutting out the tattoo, each step is crucial in achieving a realistic and long-lasting temporary tattoo sleeve. Follow these instructions carefully to ensure a successful DIY temporary tattoo project.

Step 1: Choose Your Design

Select a design reflecting your style for your temporary tattoo sleeve. Choose from intricate patterns, bold symbols, or vibrant colors. Find inspiration online, in art books, or your sketches. Ensure the design fits your sleeve area. Your chosen design should reflect your personality.

Step 2: Prepare The Design

For a successful temporary tattoo application, prepare your design with these key steps:

  • High-Quality Image: Choose a clear, high-resolution image for detailed transfer.
  • Edit and Resize: Adjust size and dimensions using image editing software.
  • Mirror Image: Create a mirrored version essential for transfer.
  • Prep Skin: Ensure clean, dry skin free of lotions or oils for better adhesion.

Step 3: Print The Design

To create top-notch temporary tattoo sleeves, print the prepared design onto high-quality transfer paper made for temporary tattoos. Use the highest resolution and quality settings on your printer for intricate details. Mirror the image before printing for proper transfer. Handle transfer paper with clean hands to prevent smudging. Allow ink to dry completely before applying the tattoo sleeve.

Step 4: Allow Ink To Dry

To ensure the ink dries effectively for long-lasting temporary tattoo sleeves:

  • Air Dry: Lay the design flat to air dry, avoiding touching to prevent smudging.
  • Hairdryer: Speed up drying with a cool setting, keeping a safe distance.
  • Wait: Allow 10-15 minutes for complete drying.
  • Check: Ensure ink is dry by gently touching a corner.

Step 5: Cut Out The Tattoo

Once the ink has dried thoroughly, proceed to cut out the tattoo design for DIY temporary tattoo sleeves with precision. Use sharp scissors to achieve clean edges, taking care to avoid mistakes. For intricate details, consider a craft knife. Handle with caution to prevent damage.

Step 6: Remove Clear Film

Before transferring the tattoo design onto your skin, carefully peel off the clear film covering it. Start by locating an edge, then gently peel it back, ensuring the design remains intact. Avoid creases and smooth out any bubbles.

Step 7: Apply The Tattoo

  1. Shave the area you’re applying the tattoo to
  2. Prior to application, clean the area with rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball - allow to dry
  3. Wet your sponge (damp, not soaked)
  4. Peel the plastic cover off your temporary tattoo and apply face down, place your damp sponge on top, and hold for approx. 30 seconds
  5. Once applied, dust the area with baby powder or translucent setting powder for a natural, skin-like finish (that also photographs well!)

Step 8: Wet The Baking Paper

For smoother tattoo transfer, moisten the baking paper before application. Lightly mist it with water using a spray bottle or dampen a cloth and rub it gently. Avoid soaking to prevent smudging, ensuring even moisture distribution for uniform transfer.

Step 9: Peel Off Baking Paper

Once the baking paper is moistened, proceed to peel it off carefully to reveal the transferred design on your skin. Grasp one corner gently and peel back slowly, avoiding disturbance to the design or surrounding area. Take your time to preserve the design's integrity. If needed, press down on any areas with incomplete transfer and hold for a few seconds before peeling again.

Step 10: Let Dry

After peeling off the baking paper, let the tattoo air dry naturally on your skin for a durable finish. Avoid touching or rubbing the tattoo to prevent smudging. Allow 10-15 minutes for drying, ensuring the area stays clean and dry. Opt for loose clothing to avoid friction during this crucial stage.

How To Make Temporary Tattoo Sleeves With StickerYou?

Upload your own art designs and illustrations, or choose from our wide variety of artwork available in our Online Editor. These tattoos can easily be applied in minutes, and will stay put for days until removed. When it comes time to remove them, they also peel with ease and leave no added gunk or residue behind!

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to our Online Editor to upload your designs (or choose from ours) and create your custom temporary tattoos sleeve masterpiece! Got questions or need some assistance with a custom request? Send us a live chat message, or fill out this form and we’ll be in touch!

Different custom sticker designs for your temporary tattoos.

Get The Sleeved Look

Our tats make it easier than ever to create your very own customized, personal temporary tattoo sleeve. Upload your own art designs and illustrations, or choose from our wide variety of artwork available in our Online Editor - the choice is yours.

The uses for custom temporary sleeve tattoos are endless - from business growth and awareness, to personal expression. Got an event coming up you’re sponsoring or attending? Consider taking some tats with you to hand out, and create an interactive experience with attendees!

Need some custom designs for a costume or performance? Create your sleeves to solidify the look. There are countless ways you can leverage temporary tattoos to find the perfect style for your needs, so let’s get creative!

Different designs to use for temporary tattoos.


Completing the journey of crafting DIY temporary tattoo sleeves with StickerYou offers a seamless route to express individuality through personalized designs and easy application methods. This creative project allows you to customize your look and express unique style effortlessly. Key takeaways include:

  • Personalization: Choose images, patterns, and colors that reflect your personality and interests, setting you apart from traditional tattoo designs.
  • Non-Permanent: Experiment with different designs without the commitment of a permanent tattoo, allowing you to change your look as often as desired.
  • Easy Application: StickerYou's temporary tattoo paper ensures a simple and hassle-free process with step-by-step instructions suitable for everyone.
  • Cost-Effective: Creating temporary tattoo sleeves at home offers a budget-friendly alternative to purchasing pre-made designs, achieving a professional-looking result while saving money.

DIY Temporary Tattoo Sleeves: Frequently Asked Questions

How To Make a Temporary Tattoo With Regular Paper and Rubbing Alcohol?

For a simple DIY temporary tattoo using regular paper and rubbing alcohol, follow these steps:

  • Design: Select or create your desired design.
  • Print: Use a laser printer to print the design onto regular paper.
  • Apply Alcohol: Place the printed design on your skin and dab with rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton.
  • Peel Off: After 30 seconds, carefully peel off the paper to reveal your temporary tattoo.

How To Make a Homemade Temporary Tattoo?

After mastering basic temporary tattoos, many venture into DIY tattoo sleeves. Design or select images, print onto tattoo paper, available online or in craft stores. Carefully cut out, leaving a margin. Peel off plastic sheet, place tattoo face down on skin. Dampen paper with wet cloth for 30 seconds, then peel off gently for the finished look.