How to Make Sharpie Stay on Skin

If you’re interested in getting a tattoo but feeling unsure about which design you want, using a Sharpie drawing can be a great starting point. Getting a permanent tattoo is a big choice to consider due to how it stays on your skin forever, and it can also be costly…not to mention that some people are also afraid of ink poisoning and using a tattoo machine.

So, if you wanted to give yourself temporary tattoos, a Sharpie pen could be a great alternative. This post outlines how to use the pen ink from a Sharpie marker to add a temporary tattoo directly onto your skin and keep it there for at least a while, to see if it’s something you’d potentially then want as a permanent feature. 

Gel Deodorant and Permanent Markers

  • Grab a piece of tracing paper and place it over the top of your chosen design. Use a Sharpie to draw over the image to outline the details.
  • Add a coat of gel deodorant to the area where you want to apply the fake Sharpie tattoo. 
  • Put the design paper on top of the fake tattoo and use firm pressure to make sure that the ink from the paper transfers to your skin. 
  • Sprinkle baby powder on your tattoo design. This soaks up any excess moisture and helps the Sharpie ink to set better.
  • Let it completely dry before using a cloth to wipe away the gel layer. 

Hairspray and Baby Powder

  • Use Sharpie markers to draw a design directly onto your skin. 
  • Once the Sharpie ink has been left to dry completely, apply baby powder to the tattoo design. 
  • Gently rub it in, making sure that it doesn’t smudge, before wiping away the excess powder. 
  • Spray a generous amount of hairspray onto your skin, ensuring that the entire area of the design is covered. The hairspray that contains isopropyl alcohol is effective at making sure the entire thing stays on your skin.
  • Once the hairspray dries, wipe away the leftover powder and hairspray with a tissue. 
  • Check to see if the ink is still wet. If it is, let it dry for a while longer before doing your usual washing routine. 
  • You may want to use a small quantity of rubbing alcohol on a q tip to clean the area.

Also read: How to Get Marker Off Skin


That concludes our post on how to get ink from a Sharpie pen to stay on your skin for great Sharpie tattoos. Follow the tips mentioned above to give yourself or others a temporary Sharpie tattoo! We hope that the information has been useful in helping you to feel more confident about giving it a shot and getting fake tattoos.


How long does a king-size Sharpie magnum ink stay on the skin?

Typically, a temporary Sharpie pen tattoo lasts between four and seven days. This depends on how well you followed the above steps for keeping Sharpie pens permanent on your skin. Some find that their tattoo ink can last for up to a month.

Is a king-size Sharpie ink safe to use on the skin?

Sharpie fine point markers are considered to be one of the safest pens to use for skin contact due for most people. However, if you have sensitive skin, it may be best to avoid writing with Sharpie ink. 

It may also be a good idea to test the permanent marker ink in a small quantity on your skin to see if there are allergic reactions or skin issues. Not everyone will react the same to the ingredients contained in a Sharpie marker set, and you may have a bad reaction to some of the undesirable chemicals, so always better to be safe and perform the small test first.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.