how to do a stick and poke tattoo the ultimate guide

Stick and poke tattoos are a tattooing technique that requires a lot of attention and the use of the right tools. There are different schools of thought about how to do stick and poke tattoos, but there are some universal rules to be respected. Because they are easily accessible to everyone, they are often called handmade tattoos, handpokes, or DIY tattoos. Among the youngest, it’s been really popular getting a tattoo at home, but it requires many precautions. There are numerous risks and dangers if it is not performed correctly. For this reason, we have decided to show you a step-by-step detailed beginner guide on how to do a stick and poke tattoo safely. It is important that you know how to follow the rules of safety and hygiene before injecting ink in your skin, or someone else’s skin.

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Reading time 7 minuti.

Table of Content

  1. What you need to make a Stick and Poke tattoo

    All the equipment needed to make a great handpoke.

  2. Design your tattoo

    In this phase, you’ll learn how to create the design of your tattoo.

  3. Prepare the necessary tools and equipment

    Preparation takes time, here every step you need to know before start.

  4. It’s time to tattooing

    Once everything is ready, you can start poking.

  5. What to do after

    Immediately after the tattoo phase, what you should do.

  6. Aftercare

    How to take proper care of your new tattoo,

What you need to make a Stick and Poke:

  • High-quality tattoo ink.
  • Needles of various sizes (depending on what you want to make) sterile and absolutely new. NO old needles!
  • Medical equipment to remove germs and bacteria (rubbing alcohol, cotton thread, water, paper towel, and medical gloves)
  • A stencil (optional)
  • So much, but so much attention to cleanliness, hygiene, and safety!

Many of these tools can be found easily online, but be sure to buy high-quality products. There are so many bad products on the market that could cause you serious problems. Don’t save on products! For this reason, we decided to create a small list of recommended products ready for you!

Check out our selection of the best products you need to start having a handpoke tattoo.

If you are a beginner and need help on how to do stick and poke tattoos, there are comfortable Stick and Poke kits, made with all the necessary tools. They are cheap, safe, and contain detailed instructions! We recommend trying this. These are certified and high-quality products.

Step 0: Design your Stick And Poke Tattoo

Even before you try to get your hands on needles, it is important to have an idea of what you want to impress on your skin. If you are undecided about what to do, we collected some of the best ideas for a stick and poke. Once the design is established, you can bring it back on a stencil or, if you are very good at it, draw the subject you have in mind directly on your skin (do this only after applying step 1).

stick n poke tattoo ideas sketch doodles

Step 1: Prepare the necessary Stick And Poke Tools and Equipment

Hygiene is very important, so first and foremost worry about having your hands clean and cover them with a pair of gloves (medical gloves are just fine, but be sure they are new and sterile). Then, worry about carefully cleaning the area you are going to tattoo and, if there are any, remove any hair with a razor (a new one). It is important that the area to be tattooed is well cleaned and disinfected, in order to avoid unpleasant accidents. Always keep some paper towels near you and make sure you have a clean and sterilized area where you can store all your tools (having spare gloves nearby is always a good idea).

It’s time to prepare the ink. Open it and, before storing it in the appropriate containers, give it a nice shake for at least a minute!

Ok, perfect now you just have to take the needle and you can start (the needle must be sterile! You find several on the market or already included in the stick and poke tattoo kit. Absolutely avoid using old or already used needles !!!)

Step 2: Tattooing your Stick and Poke tattoo

If you followed all the tips, you are now ready to start tattooing!

Before proceeding, let’s take a step back. Do you remember the stencil of Step 0? Here is the time to apply it to the skin. It will take between 5 and 10 minutes to make it adhere perfectly and, once ready, you will have the guidelines to follow to proceed with the tattoo. If you really don’t want to use a stencil, there are special pens for tattooing on the skin. Absolutely avoid normal pens or markers because they could cause infections. Always check all angles very well, if the skin is bent the tattoo may become deformed.

Take the needle, dip it in the ink, and start tattooing! It will be painful the first few times, so it is best to start cautiously. Every 2 or 3 pokes remember to refill the needle, otherwise, the ink would not penetrate. You don’t have to go too deep with the needle, otherwise, you’ll notice it because you’ll start bleeding. In this case, try to put less pressure on the skin. Proceed by points, to complete lines. The first few times it will be very difficult to get perfect lines, but you will see that with time and practice you will be able to improve. To remove excess ink use a make-up remover pad soaked in rubbing alcohol. Then continue tattooing until the tattoo is complete!

Small tip: to allow the tattoo to remain as clear as possible over time, apply a little bit of aftercare balm. In this way, your stick and pokes tattoo will remain intact for a long time.

Be careful

There are cases, however, where the skin will be too swell and therefore you will have to stop. The skin at that point will no longer hold the ink because it is too damaged. In this case, we advise you to stop and continue your tattoo once the skin has healed. Having said that, you should have no other complications, and your stick and poke tattoos will be ready.

If your skin changes color or looks unusual, you may have suffered a bad reaction. Consult your doctor immediately and stop tattooing immediately.

Step 3: After finishing the tattoo

Once the tattoo is finished you will have to clean it properly for the last time with the rubbing alcohol and apply a bandage.

Tip: A little trick that experts use is the use of a mixture of green soap and water instead of alcohol. The skin will be less dry.

A very important thing is the correct disposal of the instruments used. A needle with human blood could be really dangerous if not properly thrown away. Concerned with disposing of all waste in the best possible way, avoiding harm to other people. If the needle you used would injure another person, it could incur serious illnesses such as HIV or hepatitis C. It is your duty to worry about the correct disposal of the equipment.

Step 4: Aftercare

At this point, you have clearly understood how to make a stick and poke tattoos, but that’s not enough. You also need to know how to take care of them after the session. Preserving the tattoo is as important as making it, so be concerned about using specific products for their care.

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how to do stick and poke tattoos guide simple and easy diy infographic