Sunday, 9 June 2013

HOW TO: Tattoo Tights

In my last outfit post I promised to do a DIY on these tattoo tights that my cousin made me:

Since then I have improved the technique to try and minimise the tattoos looking stretched out. It is a tiny bit trickier but nothing too hard. This DIY is really quick and easy and a lot cheaper and more customisable than going out and buying a ready made pair.

Draw out a tattoo design onto the centre of your piece of card.
You can google some stencils if you're not too keen on freehanding it and I found doing it in pencil rather than pen was easier to then tell where I traced over it on the tights later.

Roll up your card so that it is of roughly the same width as the part of your leg where you want the tattoo to be placed. Secure with tape.
I wanted mine on my lower thigh which is why it's a slightly conical shape. You may also need another sheet of card if your card isn't long enough.

Place the rolled up card into one of the legs of the tights, making sure that it is at the right height.
You'll probably want to try on the tights beforehand and draw on a small dot in biro where you want your tattoo to be, to make sure it's placed in the right place. I also found it easier to put the card into the tights when I put the card around my leg to stop the card from scrunching and then putting on the tights as you normally would.
This stretches out the tights so that the design doesn't become distorted once you actually put the tights on.

Trace the design with a permanent marker.
This photo is just for a comparison of thick and thin markers. You can choose to use whatever thickness you want. 
This is what it should look like once you've finished.
I found it easier to trace the design in short strokes or dotting motions. Otherwise the pen seemed to drag on the tights, then moving it into a different position from the stencil.

And you're done:

Hopefully you should tell that the tattoo comes out a lot less distorted when drawing it onto stretched tights rather than onto non-stretched tights (comparing the tights my cousin made and the ones in this tutorial).

You can trace over the stencil multiple times to make the tattoo darker but I was a bit too impatient for that. You can also draw on multiple tattoos of various sizes as my cousin did in the first photos or shade in your tattoo with coloured permanent markers.

Hopefully this was helpful and I've explained it all clearly :-)


follow me on:


  1. does it stay on even after washing? I love this tutorial, I was looking for something like this. Will definitely try out :)

    1. It can possibly fade with a couple washes but it will never completely fade as far as i know. If you're worried, you could use fabric pen instead.
      Glad to hear that this post has been helpful :-)

  2. This is SO cute, can't wait to actually make a pair! (✿◠‿◠)

  3. That's pretty awesome :) I've always loved tattoo tights. Does the ink fade on washing?

    1. thanks :-). I've not actually got around to putting mine in the wash yet but as far as I know they will probably fade but never completely wash out.

  4. Thank you for this tutorial! I just tried it and I'm really pleased:) (I actually drew on the fabric while I was wearing it - with the picture I wanted to use wrapped around my leg - to make sure it won't stretch in a weard way afterwards, and it worked fine that way)

    1. I'm glad that you found it useful! :-)