Stick and poke tattoos are becoming a staple of DIY culture and for great reasons. If you use the right tools to make your stick and poke tats, you’ll minimize the health risks involved and potentially end up with a small and simple piece you’ll absolutely love.

Below, we’ll go over the definition of a stick and poke kit. Plus, we’ll also tell you how to use one of these kits to get the best results from your DIY tattoo.

What’s a Stick and Poke Tattoo Kit?

A stick and poke kit is a set of supplies specifically designed for DIY body ink. While there are some variants, basic kits usually include a bottle of ink, a few needles, safety supplies, and materials you can use to create stencils for the skin. For people who want to dive in deeper, you can also acquire more advanced kits that include practice skins, additional needles, and similar additions.

How to Use a Stick and Poke Kit

The Stick and Poke Tattoo Kits are pretty standard and they include everything you need to tattoo yourself or your friends. Below, we’ll go over the detailed steps you should follow to safely perform a handmade tattoo. Our advice is to always read the instructions and safety guidelines within each kit before starting to ensure you don’t miss anything that can cause issues later on.

1. Read all the warnings and instructions within your DIY tattoo kit.

2. Select the part of your body you want to tattoo. Keep in mind that this should not be close to a mucous membrane, like the mouth, eyelids, or genitals.

3. Get an empty bottle or can and use as a needle disposal bin. You can also purchase a tattoo needle disposal accessory that you can use to transport the sharp waste to the right discarding areas. To find out where you can discard these items safely, contact a pharmacy or hospital.

4. Find a flat and clean surface where you will place a protection sheet found in your kit. This area will serve as your work station, so you’ll be able to place all of your tools here.

5. Open your stick and poke kit and take out its contents, including the wrapped elements.

6. Place the medical-grade protection sheet on the flat surface found in step 4. Put all of the materials on this surface and keep the empty box close so you can dispose of trash quickly.

7. Work on your stencil, if you’re using one.

8. Before starting the process, wash your hands and the area you’re tattooing thoroughly with antibacterial soap.

9. Take out and put on the gloves found in your kit and wear eye protection if possible.

10. Put a small amount of Hustle Butter on the bottom of the ink cup and attach it to the tongue depressor. This will prevent the ink cup from falling when placed on your workstation.

11. Next, vigorously shake the ink bottle and empty its content into the ink cup. Firmly squeeze until you fill the cup and place the bottle on the side. The amount of ink provided should be enough for a small stick and poke tattoo, so place the bottle on the side and avoid touching it again.

12. If the area has some hair on it, use the razor to shave it clean. The used razor is a biohazard, so throw it in the box and avoid touching it again.

13. Use one of the alcohol-treated pads inside of your kit to sterilize the area. When finished, throw the pad and its wrapping in the box.

14. In case you use a stencil, rub some stencil transfer gel on the area and spread it around so that it covers the area you want tattooed. Make sure the skin is moist, but not wet to prevent the ink from running. Put the stencil on the skin and press firmly for approximately one minute. Gently remove the stencil and allow it to dry for 8 minutes to ensure the ink stays on for longer.

15. Unwrap your needle and place the grip on it.

16. Apply a thin layer of Hustle Butter on the area you want to tattoo. This will allow you to wipe excess without leaving stains and make it easier for the skin to absorb ink.

17. Grab the needle by the grip and dip it in the ink without touching any part of the cup. A small droplet of ink should remain on the tip of the needle.

18. Start puncturing the skin slowly and ensure that you only penetrate the top layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis. This can measure anywhere between 0.2 to 1.5 millimeters depending on how thin the skin is. Start by poking gently, you should feel a bit of resistance and a tugging sensation when you take out the needle. Remember, if the ink doesn’t go deep enough the tattoo will not be permanent. Likewise, if you go too deep, it may result in blown out or raised tattoos.

Tattoo Process

Photo credit: Tumblr HowStuffWorks

19. Frequently clean the area with the sterilized wipes in your kit. Each time you wipe, apply a tiny bit of Hustle Butter.

20. You should repeat steps 17 through 19 until you’re satisfied with your tattoo. Remember, you should not touch anything else with your hands while you’re tattooing the skin.

21. After finishing the homemade tattoo, wipe the area with an alcohol pad, spread some Hustle Butter in the area, and cover the area with the sterile bandaid included in your kit.

22. Place the needle or needles in the can, bottle, or disposal accessory without touching it. You will need to transport these to the nearest safe disposal facility, which you can find by asking your local pharmacy or hospital.

23. Take all of the items you used and put them inside the box. Carefully take off your gloves by pinching one wrist, pulling it off halfway, then pinching on the second wrist and pulling so that both are wrapped into a small ball. Throw these in the box.

24. Close the kit and use the “biohazard” sticker inside to seal it shut. Throw it in the trash, wash your hands thoroughly, and clean your workstation with a water and bleach solution.

25. Take the time to read the aftercare instructions found in your kit.

Note: The single kit is for one time use. Discard kit contents after use (except the ink inside the bottle)

Stay Tuned and Learn More About DIY Tattoos!

Interested in learning more about DIY body ink? Stay tuned to our blog or check out our stick and poke tattoo kit page to find the best option for your next homemade tat.

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