DIY Fake Tattoo Sleeve

Here’s a fun way to make your own custom no-commitment tattoo or tattoo sleeve. It’s easy on and easy off because it’s not actually on your skin, it’s on a nude nylon.

This type of tattoo sleeve could be fun for a halloween costume (think PopEye!).

DecoArt just released a new product called Ink Effects. It’s a new craft paint ink that allows you to basically create your own fabric design, using a special paint transfer method. You can paint any design on any piece of paper (coloring pages, even copy paper) and using an iron, you transfer your painted design to fabric. The best part is that it keeps the fabric soft. You can see the video here to see the product in action.

There are a bunch of different colors. The neat thing is that you can blend colors together if you’d like, creating your own custom design.

These inks are best applied to synthetic materials. If you would like to use them on cotton, you just need to prep the cotton first with this special spray.

To make a fake tattoo or a fake tattoo sleeve, you just need to either free hand a custom design yourself and print it out on regular paper or you can just find an image online that you like and print it out. I choose this simple “mom heart” design that I found online under tattoo clipart. Remember if it’s text, you will need to be able to reverse the image so that when you iron it on, it reads the right way.

Because the word mom is spelled the same forwards and backwards, I was okay. Another thing to remember is that with a thin nude nylon, you could just put it on inside out rather than reversing the image.

First you just paint the ink directly onto the image you will be transferring. A small paint brush is helpful for smaller designs. When you are finished painting, let it dry for 30 minutes.

Now you can iron it onto the fabric. Just place it face down. Cover it with another piece of paper and move the iron around on high heat (no steam). For the knee high nylon, I just cut the toe off the nylon. I put a throw away piece of fabric under the nylon to protect the ironing board surface. When you iron, you can make the image transfer lighter or darker depending on how long your keep the iron moving on top of the paper of your design.

Pretty cool, eh?

Now this is just a basic design, you could get really creative with this stuff!

For more creative ideas using Ink Effects, hop on over to the DecoArt Facebook page where they’re sharing a bunch of fun ways to use it.

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  1. Michele N says

    This is a really cool idea. If you want some designs that are a little different or more detailed than some of the free clip art out there, check out urbanthreads they have machine embroidery designs but all are also available as stock art & hand embroidery. They showed how to do something similar to this a while back with just markers on the nylons.

  2. says

    This is so awesome- I’ve seen these in stores and I’ve never thought about making them! I’ve featured you on 2 Pick Tuesday!

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