We sent one of our kits to a friend who had never created a stick and poke tattoo before to get their honest opinion on our equipment and how they felt using it.
Over the past few years, stick and poke tattoos have made a significant comeback. These handmade tattoos, most popular back in the 70s with the arrival of the punk movement, are now more accessible and provide a unique style that can’t be achieved with a machine. While you can get a hand poked tattoo from a professional artist in a studio, there are also kits available that allow you to practice from the comforts of home for a fraction of the price.
We sent one of our kits to a friend who had never created a stick and poke tattoo before to get their honest opinion on our equipment and how they felt using it. Here’s what she had to say:
I tried a machine tattoo once on a friend and absolutely loved it. I love drawing and being able to permanently create your own designs is an incredible feeling. But, as I couldn’t afford a tattoo machine, I thought it would be interesting to try stick and poke tattooing. I’ve always been concerned about the idea of using a sewing needle so finding this kit with professional needles and getting a chance to try it out was a great opportunity to create my own tattoos on both myself and my friends. Here’s a breakdown of the equipment you get:
I wanted to get the best kit possible so I ordered the $99 one that comes with fake skins, practice needles, and all of the professional equipment you need to tattoo safely from home. The packaging was so simple and elegant. Better yet, it’s completely eco-friendly, which was a big win for me.
I had completely forgotten about the “How To” guide until I opened the box and read the entire booklet for good measure. If you have no idea how to get started, this is a great reminder that is very detailed and will help you to not miss any crucial steps during the tattooing process so that you achieve the best results possible.
The kit I received came with two practice skins as well as a selection of practice needles so I could get to grips with the style of tattooing before working on myself and my friends. Don’t get me wrong, using fake skin is not the same as tattooing on a real person, however, it was a great introduction to the feeling and sensation you should have when creating DIY tattoos. Without these skins, I would have had no idea how deep to go with the needle, or how often to dip the needle in the ink.
Moreover, the practice supplies gave me a chance to get a feel for everything. I was able to see how much ink the needle absorbed and how much was left in the skin in preparation for the real experience. I also got a chance to try various needles sizes which was great as my friends wanted very different types of designs.
Tattoo Needles, Grip Tape, and Wipes
Once I finished practicing and was ready to tattoo my friends, I was happy to have so many professional tattoo needle sizes available to choose from. The kit comes with two 1RL, two 3RL, two 5RL, and two 7RL needles. My personal favorites were the 5RL as they offer the perfect width for simple line work, which is what I started with before going into more complex work.
As someone who has never done a stick and poke using professional equipment before, I was relieved to find the grip tape in the kit. It makes holding the needle so much easier and more stable. Without it, achieving straight lines would be near impossible and the process would take even longer.
When I read that the kit came with wipes, I could picture myself using a piece of tissue but, I was completely wrong. The wipes that come in this kit are absorbent, sturdy, and don’t leave any fibers on the tattoo. Tattooing with these has made me realize how high a risk of infection or mistake there is when using any other material.
Ink and Cups
The black ink included in the kit is really high quality. It’s not tested on animals, is vegan, and is extremely concentrated meaning aside from a few touch-ups here and there, I got my designs down on the first try. The kit also comes with 4 cups which are the perfect size to limit wastage as well as 2 tongue depressors so you can secure your ink while tattooing.
I also ordered red and green ink. The red ink is really vibrant and stuck well on my lighter skin tone. The green ink was used on a slightly darker skin tone and therefore, does not show quite as well but the light splash of color still looks awesome.
I used to hate stenciling as a kid at school so this was the part of creating my own designs that I was dreading the most. Luckily for me, I was wrong. The A6 stencils that come in this kit are really easy and quick to use. Transferring my designs onto them took no more than 15 minutes and the ink really stayed on the skin throughout the whole process thanks to the transfer lubricant, even after multiple wipes with the Hustle Butter.
Safety and Sanitization Materials
Cards on the table, I’ve only ever tattooed one person and as they were a professional, they dealt with all of the health and safety elements involved. The “How To” guide tells you everything you need to know about tattooing safely, however, you’ll also find everything from gloves to surface covers, alcohol wipes, and natural ingredient balm in the kit to help you prevent infection or the spread of disease. It was eye-opening to learn about the precautions that should be taken when tattooing and I was extremely grateful to have everything I needed on hand without having to go to the shop for more supplies.
To top it all off, everything you need to undertake the correct aftercare is available in the kit. In the past, I used petroleum jelly to cover my tattoos with a small layer of saran wrap but, now that I’ve learned about Hustle Butter, there is no going back for me! The balm is smooth, easy to use, great for both tattooing as well as the aftercare process, and it smells delicious. Also, you don’t have to worry about having saran wrap handy as the kit includes 2 protective breathable tattoo films which are far easier to apply and specifically designed to keep the tattoo safe from bacteria.
I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the kit and am really excited to get my next batch of needles so I can continue tattooing my friends at home!
To find out more about the various kits we have available, check out our online store today!