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Have you ever thought of getting a tattoo?  Just thought about it…once or twice?

Well, I’m going to show you a way to make easy tattoos with Silhouette Cameo that look realistic and fool your friends!  This way you can try on a tattoo without having to commit to the rest of your days with it!  

Yep, I’m talking temporary.  Heck, you could even make several temporary tattoos, and wear a different one whenever you feel like it.  How does that sound?

DISCLOSURE: Some links in this post may be affiliate links. I may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these, but it will not cost you a penny more. Read my full disclosure.

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Step 1:  Let’s Look At the Paper

Before we start preparing the tattoos, let’s go over what paper I’m using.  I’m using the Silhouette brand Temporary Tattoo Paper.  It is a bit expensive, but it definitely does the trick!  It’s also a bit confusing how to use it, but I will be explaining that in this tutorial.  

Please Note:  I will update this post with more suggestions for alternative tattoo paper once I find some and have tested it.

Step 2:  Opening the Tattoos

To get started we want both our tattoo images on the sheet of paper  (the tattoo paper).  So let’s go up to File, Merge and pick the first design, and that will load it on to the page.  

File Merge
Picking Gnome Design

Now we want the other tattoo image on the same page.  To do that, you just go to File, Merge again then pick the Canada Day image.  

File Merge
Pick Canada Day Design

Step 3:  Tracing  the Tattoos

Now we want  to size them down a bit.  So click on the Canada Day one and resize it down.  

Select Canada Day Design
Shrink Canada Day Design Down

Next we are going to trace the two designs because, as you can see, there’s a white background on both of the images.  We don’t really want that so let’s get rid of it.  

Go to the Trace Panel.  Select both images then just zoom in a little so we can see it a bit better.  

Select Trace Area
Select designs to trace
Zoom in on trace

Now we want to move the threshold just a bit.  We want to make sure the outsides of everything are all there, and not choppy.  

Extra leaf bits

But we don’t want to go so far that we get bits here, outside the leaf.  We’re getting a little bit, so we want to kind of find a happy medium.  

Enough threshold

It looks pretty good there.  So let’s go down to the Scale.  Scale kind of smooths things out a little bit.  But we don’t want to go too crazy.  We just want a nice, smooth cut out.  

Scale not smoothe
Scale smoothe
Enough threshold

Now we’re going to click Trace and Detach.  Trace and Detach is going to detach the design from that white background.  So let’s click that.  

Click trace and detach

When we click on the white background and move it, you can see…there’s the white background.  It’s not around your design anymore, so just delete that.  

White background off Gnome

And the same with the Canada design.  You can see all the white is removed, so click that and delete.  

White background off Canada Day

Step 4:  Add Cut Lines

Next we want to put a cut line around our images and when I do that, I like to leave some white space around it, like a white margin.  So what we’re going to do now is go to the Offset Panel.  Now we’re going to select both designs, then click Offset, and click Apply.  

Open offset panel
Click offset
Click apply after offset

If you look, there’s some little bits here.  You can either leave them or remove them.  I think I will remove them.  

Offset bits in Canada design

Just right-click, release compound path.   

Release compound path

Now we can remove all the little bits.  You see boxes around them?  You’ll want to click outside then click back on one of the bits…hit Delete.  Delete all of those bits because we really only need the outside to cut.  

Step 5:  Registration Marks

Before we get to Registration Marks, make sure your Media size is set to 8 ½ x 11.

Media size letter

Now that we have our cut lines, we want to get our Registration Marks.  So click on the Page Setup Panel, and click on Registration Marks.  

Page Setup Panel
Registration Marks Panel

Select On.  I always move the Thickness right up to “1” so that those lines for the Registration Marks really show up.  If the marks are thin, your Silhouette Cameo might sometimes have trouble seeing them.  

On and Thickness

Step 6:  Sizing To Fit

Now we want to make sure our designs are the size we want.  We need to also group them so we don’t lose the cut lines from each design.  We’ll select both from the first design, right-click, Group.  And do the same for the Canada Day design.  Select all, right-click and Group.  

Group Gnome
Group Canada Day

Now I figure I want the little gnome to be about two inches.  So let’s move him so the top of his hat is on this line.  

Gnome size to 2 inch

I’ll use the squares on my mat to measure.  We want to also do the same for the Canada Day design.  

Canada Day size to 2 inch

Both designs don’t have to be the exact size, close enough is good enough.  

Step 7:  Mirror Tattoo Designs

When you’re doing tattoos, you have to remember you are going to want to reverse your images.  So let’s select them, right-click, Flip Horizontally.  

Flip horizontally

Click outside of them, and move them back to where I had them before.  Make sure you have them placed so they don’t go over the cut border or into the hash lines.  

Position designs

Yeah, don’t make that mistake of not Mirroring them…I totally did!  Sheesh!  

Step 8:  Printing

IMPORTANT:  Before we go ahead and print, just make sure that you do an ENTIRE PAGE OF TATTOOS.  So fill up your page with the same designs, or different ones.  That way you don’t waste a whole sheet of Tattoo Paper.

Now we are going to print them out.  So let’s go up to Send To Printer, then click on Print.  

Send To Printer
Print Tattoos

The tattoo paper that I’m using requires an inkjet printer, so I select mine, and go into Preferences.  

Click print preferences

I’m selecting the rear paper feed slot for mine, and I’m going to go down here and change the Paper Type to Photo Paper Glossy.  That’s fine if it goes back to auto select, just change it back.  

Photo paper glossy

Make sure it’s on Color.  

Color print

Now you can click on OK, and Print.

Click print

Step 9:  Prepare Tattoo Paper For Cutting

PLEASE NOTE:  Please excuse the double printing of the 2 designs.  I accidentally didn’t mirror my first designs, so I had to print them again.  Yep, I make mistakes, too!  So that is why the green strip is already on my paper

Both designs printed again

After we have printed our Tattoos we need to place the clear Carrier Sheet (the one with the pale green paper on it) on top of our printed Tattoo paper.

Just pull the strip of pale green paper off first and place it at the top of your paper.

Take green strip off
Attach clear sheet to top of the page

Then slowly and carefully remove the rest of the pale green paper while smoothing the clear, sticky sheet onto the printed paper.  It’s a little tricky at first, but just go slowly.

Peel off carrier sheet

You can even use your Scraper Tool to make sure you have all the bubbles out.

Use scraper tool

Step 10:  Cutting Our Tattoo Designs

Place the Tattoo Paper/Clear Carrier Sheet onto your cutting mat.  Just make sure it’s on there really good so it doesn’t slide around.

Place tattoo on mat

To cut them, go to Send.  

Click Send

We will want to use Line to cut, so that way it’ll only cut the outside offset that we did.  So check off the Red Line box.

Click on line to cut

For the cut settings we will use Temporary Tattoo Paper, as the Material; Cut; and 3 or 4 for the Ratchet Blade. 

Tattoo cut settings

Then click Send.

Now we’ve cut our tattoos out.  As you can see, it cut just on the offset lines.

Now we’re going to take the Tattoo Paper off.  The best way to do that is peel your mat off of the Tattoo Paper.  That way your Tattoo Paper won’t warp or roll.

Peel mat off tattoo paper

Now we’re ready to punch out our Tattoos.  If you end up with a few torn bits of the paper, don’t worry.  Because when you put it on your wrist, or wherever you’re going to put these Tattoos on, we’re just transferring the ink.  We’re going to get rid of the paper anyway.

punching out tattoos
Tattoos are cut out

Now let’s put them on!

Step 11: Putting On Your New Tattoos!

To put the Tattoos on, we’re just going to peel back the clear carrier sheet.  This might be a little tricky at first, so it might take a few tries.  Just peel it right off the design.

Peel carrier sheet off design

Once you do that we place it where we want to put the Tattoo.  I’m going to put mine on my wrist. 

Place tattoo on skin

Just make sure it’s on there, and take a wet cloth, and press it on for about 20 to 30 seconds.

Place wet washcloth on tattoo

Once the time’s up, take the cloth off and carefully peel off the paper backing.

Peel off paper backing

There you go.  You’ve now made your first Tattoo!  Doesn’t it look great?

Canada Day tattoo complete


Easy Temporary Tattoos Using Silhouette Cameo Fool Your Friends

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