2 Best Methods How To Make Homemade Tattoo Ink [2024]

Homemade Tattoo
We analyzed and selected the two most effective methods on how to make homemade tattoo ink, as well as described the ways of using them, the risks, and differences between purchased and homemade tattoo ink so that you can find out all the necessary information about homemade tattoo ink in one article.

Want to become a professional tattoo artist, and have already started looking for the necessary equipment for practice? Then you have noticed that high-quality equipment is not cheap. The solution to this problem can be homemade tattoo ink, which will allow you to save on the practice stage.

In our article, we described two recipes with step-by-step instructions on how to make homemade tattoo inks, what they can be used for, the risks of using homemade tattoo inks, and also identified the differences between purchased and homemade tattoo inks.

Way To Use Homemade Tattoo Ink

Way to use homemade tattoo ink

In the initial stages of studying, future tattoo artists need a lot of practice (for example, making a tattoo on fake skin or pigskin). To do this, you need to buy the necessary equipment, which is quite expensive. The cost of tattoo ink in stores can reach over $ 50 per bottle. Using homemade tattoo ink is one option to save several hundred dollars on tattoo art practice. 

2 Effective Methods for Creating Homemade Tattoo Ink

2 effective methods for creating homemade tattoo ink

On the Internet, you can find many different ways to make tattoo ink at home, but not all of them are effective and safe. Below you can familiarize yourself with recipes of tattoo ink, which in the end are not inferior in quality to store ones, but will cost you much less.

Method 1. Using a Dry Pigment

Method 1. Using a dry pigment

You can create tattoo ink at home using pigment powder. Choose the color you like and purchase it online or in a tattoo store. You will also need:

  • Dry powdered tattoo pigment
  • 32 ounces of witch hazel
  • 0.38 ounces of glycerin
  • 0.38 ounces of propylene glycol
  • Blender
  • Sterile container

๐Ÿ’ก Tip:

We recommend buying medical-grade glycerin, witch hazel, and propylene glycol to be sure of their quality and safety. These ingredients are best purchased from trusted stores or a health store.

  1. Combine all of the liquid ingredients: witch hazel, glycerin, and propylene glycol in a deep bowl.
  2. Add the pigment powder little by little. The required amount of pigment depends on how saturated the color of ink you want to get.
  3. Combine the ingredients in a blender. Start at a low speed and watch for consistency. If necessary (mixture is too thin) add more pigment. Next, increase the speed to medium and mix for an hour.
  4. The resulting ink must be transferred to a sterile impermeable container. Store it in a place away from sunlight.

โ— Attention! Keep all ingredients and the resulting ink out of the reach of children.

Method 2. Using Wood Ashes

Method 2. Using wood ashes

One of the fairly popular methods of making natural tattoo ink is by mixing wood ashes with a liquid. For this method, you will need:

  • Wood
  • Vodka
  • Blender
  1. First, you need to burn the wood to ashes and let it cool down. Be careful when choosing wood: the darker the wood you take, the darker the ink color will turn out.
  2. Next, you need to grind the cooled ashes as finely as possible so that the ink turns out to be uniform and of high quality. You can use a bowl and spoon for this.
  3. Next, you need to mix the grinded ashes with liquid. We recommend using vodka to keep the mixture sterile. You need to add more alcohol than ashes, but it is important not to make the mixture too liquid.
  4. For a good mixing of ashes and alcohol, we recommend using a blender. 15-20 minutes is enough to obtain the desired consistency. Your natural ink is ready!

Risks of Using Homemade Tattoo Ink

Homemade tattoo inks can only be used to practice tattooing on silicone skin, pigskin, or fruit. We strongly advise against getting a tattoo using homemade ink for yourself or anyone else, as this can lead to serious consequences such as:
  • Getting an infection. Purchased tattoo inks are made under sterile conditions, which are difficult to achieve when making ink at home. It is also difficult to ensure proper storage conditions at home, as a result of which tattoo ink can become a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria.
  • Fading and discoloration of the tattoo. Making tattoo ink yourself, it is very difficult to achieve the correct proportions of ingredients and high-quality ink mixing, as a result of which they can turn out to be unstable to the environment. This can lead to the early fading of the tattoo or discoloration.
  • Allergic reactions. In the factories where the tattoo ink is made, is very careful to ensure that it contains as few allergens as possible. When making ink at home, you cannot be sure that it will not provoke an allergic reaction.

Find a Tattoo Artist

Use the search form below to find an artist by their name, location, or style of work.

Use the interactive USA map below to open a new page with all tattoo artists from a certain city or state. Hover on the state to see a hint, do the same with a marker to read the explanation on following steps.

The Difference Between Homemade and Purchase Tattoo Ink

The difference between homemade and purchase tattoo ink

  1. First of all, factory-made tattoo inks and homemade tattoo inks differ in composition. Even though manufacturers may have slightly different compositions, most purchased tattoo inks are made using: pigment, carrier (most often ethyl alcohol, distilled water, denatured alcohols, methanol, rubbing alcohol, propylene glycol, or glycerine), thickeners, and stabilizers to ensure uniformity and avoid delamination of the ink. In turn, homemade tattoo ink can consist of various ingredients, some of which can be found in your home, which cannot be said for purchased ink.
  2. Also, the big difference between purchased and homemade tattoo inks is the variety of shades. Most methods of making homemade tattoo inks involve the use of some basic ingredient from which the color is extracted, and it greatly limits the ability to obtain a variety of tones.
  3. Another difference is the expiration date. Unopened purchased tattoo ink can be stored for 2-5 years (shelf life may differ depending on the ingredients used and the ink container) in a cool dark place. In turn, homemade tattoo inks should be used soon after manufacture, as it is difficult to ensure proper storage conditions at home.


If you want to save on tattoo practice, then you can try making homemade tattoo inks that are perfect for tattooing on fruit, pigskin, or silicone skin.

You can make tattoo ink by mixing wood ashes and vodka or using dry pigments, propylene glycol, glycerin, and witch hazel. We strongly discourage the use of any homemade tattoo ink to tattoo yourself or anyone else, as it can lead to infection, allergic reaction, or early discoloration and fading of the tattoo. 

Despite the fact that homemade tattoo inks differ from purchased ones in composition, variety of colors, and expiration date, they are great for practicing tattooing at the highest level.


๐Ÿงด What Can I Use for Homemade Tattoo Ink?

At home, you can make tattoo ink using a dry pigment with the addition of witch hazel, glycerin, and propylene glycol, or using ashes with the addition of liquid. You can find step-by-step instructions for making tattoo ink using these two methods in our article.

๐Ÿ”ฅ Can You Make Tattoo Ink Out of Ashes?

Yes, there is a method of making a homemade tattoo ink using ashes, to which alcohol is added, and then all this is mixed with a blender to obtain ink. More information about this method is in our article.

๐Ÿ–Š What Pen Ink Can You Use for Tattoos?

For tattooing, it is strongly not recommended to use pen ink, as it can be toxic, and it also increases the risk of getting an infection. We recommend using tattoo inks that are sold in specialized tattoo stores.

๐Ÿ  How To Make Homemade Tattoo Ink From Household Items?

You can make homemade tattoo ink with wood ashes and alcohol. Find out more about this method in our article.


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