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How to Use Tattoo Transfer Paper

Every tattoo artist uses tattoo transfer paper to get the initial design as close and accurate as possible. This tattoo paper simplifies the artist’s work and provides all original details and contours in their right places.

Every tattoo artist knows the basic pillars of a proper, and good tattooing process. To start with this process, the artist needs a tattoo machine, ink, sterile equipment of another kind as well, a tattoo chair, and of course, the tattoo transfer paper.

Without the tattoo transfer paper, he could not start working on the image on the client’s skin. Of course, someone can be extremely skilled and do everything free-hand, but this is rarely the case.

So, to do a precise and flawless tattoo, you need tattoo transfer paper. But, how to use tattoo transfer paper?

How to use tattoo transfer paper

To clarify and answer, we need to briefly mention the two types of tattoo transfer paper, and how you can use them.

use tattoo transfer paper

The hectograph (freehand) tattoo transfer paper is also known as manual transfer paper, where the artist needs to draw manually all the contours, angles, and main outlines. The principle of work here is identical to carbon copy paper. You can see these types of paper in older printers.

Here you have 3 sheets of paper; the first for the manual drawing, the second one is removed at the start, and the third one receives the transfer. Once you draw the image, you cut it from the paper sheet and put it on the skin (previously prepared accordingly). Then you dampen it and start tattooing.

The thermographic tattoo transfer paper has 4 sheets; the first one for the design transfer, the second one is a milky thin barrier, the third one is the purple ink layer, and the fourth one is the yellow sheet that holds every other sheet in place. Here, you first need to create the art on white paper and then insert this between the ink and yellow sheet layer. Then, this whole set is placed in a thermogenic transfer maker. On clean skin, apply the carbon copy, and start tattooing.

Read also: Best Temporary Tattoo Paper

What are the perks of purchasing tattoo transfer paper and what do I get out of it?

There are many perks of using tattoo transfer paper, and you can count on many benefits from such purchases. A good example of an amazing tattoo transfer paper offer is when you get many good features, all in one. For example, here the material is top-notch in all 4 layers, and only good pigments are used. You won’t have any problems with applying it onto the skin, and also you will have many opportunities for tattoos because you will receive 30 sheets in total.

Boolavard Stencil Paper 30 Sheets

Boolavard tattoo transfer paper for tattoos is made with the high quality dyes and tattoo stencil paper,tattoo transfer paper tattoo supplies allows professional tattoo artists saving time and money.

If this wasn’t enough, here is another great example of tattoo transfer paper. Again, you can expect the best materials used to make and produce 30 sheets of paper, 4-ply as well. Make your tattooing process simple and enjoyable with easy application and transfer, and enough materials and quantity needed.

CINRA 30 Sheets Tattoo Stencil Transfer Paper

CINRA tattoo transfer paper for tattoos including 30 sheets stencil paper for tattooing for tattoo supplies, CINRA tattoo stencil paper can help can help professional tattoo artist tattoo design transfer on skin.

Why is it useful to use tattoo transfer paper?

If you have a customer that has a demand for a very complex or detailed and massive tattoo, this type of paper is your go-to, essential piece of equipment. It is almost impossible to do a very large and detailed tattoo without transfer paper; there are many delicate lines, precise angles, or details, and all of these are crucial for the final flawless outcome. You can do amazing works of art if you use tattoo transfer paper.

Read also: Best Tattoo Transfer Stencil Machine

How to exactly use the tattoo transfer paper?

First, you need to know that the best quality paper is preferably 4 layers/sheets. The first layer is the white one, and this layer will have the image transferred to it. The second layer is a milky tint and ends up in the trash can. The third layer is the ink pigment (violet/blue) and you need pressure here to apply for the transfer. The fourth layer is yellow and holds every sheet so far in place. But, let’s go step by step.

use the tattoo transfer paper

You, as the artist, first need to run all contours and lines in a thermographic transfer maker, to get a copy of the design. This copy is closely viewed by the customer, to check if they like it. If approved, you can move on to the next step.

Then, on clean (and shaved) skin, you need to apply some dampness, with soap, or deodorant, or any tattoo transfer solution you use. This enables the transfer paper to stick to the skin and copy the design on it. Then, place the transfer paper on this dampened skin, gently, and without shaky hands! Press, and make sure the paper doesn’t lift anywhere or shows any bubbles. Moving paper or air inside will make the design not so perfect, and you might need to reapply all over.

Next, gently peel the paper from the skin, and you will see the blue ink contours and outlines on the skin. If the customer dislikes something, such as the placement, you can easily wash off these lines and start anew. If the customer approves, you can start tattooing!

How is the skin fully prepared before the tattoo transfer paper?

There are few simple guidelines to follow here, all easy to do.

First, the skin mustn’t be covered with a moisturizer of any sort. Even if it is, you will clean it on the spot, to make it ‘crisp’ and ‘dry’. Then, if needed, you can/should shave that certain spot where the tattoo is going to be placed. It is complex to do a tattoo on unshaved skin – the transfer paper could copy well, but the tattooing will be almost impossible, painful, and the artist would not have full control and visibility over the needle when it ‘touches’ the skin pores.

What happens if I am bad at freehand drawing?

In that case, you can and should use the thermographic tattoo transfer paper, if you are more into easier preparations of the final design.

If I mess up the first copy on the skin, is it too complex to start all over with the paper?

No, not at all. For example, if for some reason the customer doesn’t like the placement, you can cleanse the skin all over, wait a few seconds, prepare the skin again the same way, and again re-apply the transfer paper. It is a process lasting just a few short minutes!


In conclusion, the tattoo transfer paper is really useful and almost obligatory tattoo equipment to have. Whether you are good or bad at drawing, it is not so crucial, as long as you have and use this type of paper.

And of course, if you are amazing at drawing, you can use the hectograph tattoo transfer paper, otherwise, you can use the thermographic tattoo transfer paper. The whole process is simple as you have seen above; just prepare the drawing, use up the papers as explained, clean and prep the client’s skin well, and hope that the client likes what is copied. Then, just get to work, as simple as that!

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