When you are tattooing, nothing helps you more than a good tattoo transfer paper to do a cleaner and more detailed tattoo.
A good tattoo transfer paper or stencil paper makes life easier for both the artist and the client. The transfer papers allow clients to check their tattoo designs before they become permanent. It also enables tattoo artists to know exactly what the client wants and if they are happy with the design. It is much easier to remove a stencil than a tattoo.
So, if you’re a tattoo artist looking for the best tattoo transfer papers or someone who does tattoos as a hobby and you are wondering how to use a tattoo transfer paper, then we have got you covered. In this article, we will review some of the best tattoo transfer papers or stencil papers that are currently available in the market. We will also talk about the types of transfer papers and how to use them correctly. Let’s start!
- 1 5 Best Tattoo Transfer Papers
- 2 Best Tattoo Transfer Paper Reviews
- 3 What are Tattoo Transfer Papers and Why do You Need Them?
- 4 How Does a Tattoo Transfer Paper Work?
- 5 Types of Tattoo Transfer Paper
- 6 How to Use Tattoo Transfer Paper?
- 7 How to Use a Thermal Printer for Tattoo Stencil?
- 8 How to Use Tattoo Transfer Paper Without a Machine?
- 9 FAQs
5 Best Tattoo Transfer Papers
Best Tattoo Transfer Paper Reviews
Y-NOT Thermal Tattoo Transfer Paper
This professional-grade transfer paper is perfect for tattooing and stencil use. You can use them with a stencil application solution, or thermal transfer machine. Every purchase includes 100 sheets of transfer paper. Y-NOT Tattoo Transfer Paper produces crisp, clean copies.
- Great transfer
- Stick on the skin very well
- Value for money
- Doesn’t work well in some thermal copiers
Bekith Transfer Stencil Paper
Bekith transfer stencil papers can be used for both tattoo and stencils. They come in 100 Pack premium quality tattoo transfer papers. Perfect for tattoo shops and can be used in thermal copier or freehand.
- Great price
- Good quality
- Durable sheets
- Sheets are a little wider than the average
Cridoz Tattoo Stencil Transfer Paper
Cridoz tattoo transfer paper kit comes with 100 sheets of tattoo stencil papers. They are great for tattooing, trace & transfer images onto the body. These tattoo transfer papers can be easily and neatly transferred to the skin. They can be used in thermal copier or freehand.
- Can be used in thermal copier
- Come with 100 sheets
- Great value
- Doesn’t work well on all machines
Pirate Face Tattoo Transfer Stencil Paper
Pirate Face Tattoo brand of thermal transfer paper is used by tattoo artists to transfer designs, images on to the skin. The 4 ply sheet includes a purple ink layer to easily transfer clear perfect images on to your skin. This transfer paper is suitable for use in a thermal copier machine or freehand drawing. This company has been producing quality tattoo products since 2008.
- Easy to use
- Thermal copier friendly
- Might need to be pushed hard for the picture to transfer
Pirate Face Tattoo Transfer Stencil Paper
H88 carbon transfer paper is a new brand in the tattoo community. Suitable for both professional and beginner and tattoo artists. Perfect for making stencils by hand. The transfer papers come in an A4 design that can fit many printers making it very versatile. It also comes in a 25 pack for plenty of different tattoo jobs.
- Great for freehand drawing
- Comes with 25 transfer papers
- Value for money
- Ink washes off really quick
What are Tattoo Transfer Papers and Why do You Need Them?
Tattoo transfer paper is very common in the tattoo world. Tattoo artists use them almost all the time to transfer the artwork onto their client’s skin. Before getting a tattoo, the client tells the artist what kind of tattoo he/she wants. The tattoo artist then sketches the design on the transfer paper. Once the client is happy with the design, the artist then transfers the stencil on to the skin.
By transferring the tattoo design on the skin, it gives the artist an outline of the entire design to trace over with tattoo ink. Expert tattoo artists often freehand the whole design, but if you lack the experience, then you must use a tattoo transfer paper or stencil. Without the stencil, the tattoo might not meet your client’s expectations, and the outlines could be off. For a clean and detailed tattoo, Tattoo transfer paper is a must.
If your clients provide their drawing or design, you can also trace them on the transfer paper by hand or use a tattoo thermal copier to create tattoo stencils. Thermal transfer papers are activated by heat, which allows them to function with a particular copier called thermal copier. Almost every tattoo parlor across the globe uses a thermal copier to make tattoo stencils. They make life a lot easier for tattoo artists.
How Does a Tattoo Transfer Paper Work?
Let’s talk about how tattoo transfer papers work before we move on to the next topic. Transfer papers originally came from old school typewriters.
Back then, if you wanted to create a second copy of a letter or any document, you couldn’t just use the print command and select the quantity. To make a second copy while you were typing a letter, you would use a carbon paper between two papers. The pressure of the typewriter keys will create a copy of the first page on the second paper from the ink of the carbon paper. Before the invention of computers and printer, this was exceptionally useful when you needed a second copy of the original letter. People also used this technique at the shops, cafes, banks where they would issue a copy of the receipt to the customers and kept one for their ow record.
From the old school carbon papers, research has brought us to the thermal tattoo transfer paper. Now there are used exclusively for tattoo stencils. Temporary tattoos also use a similar method of transferring ink onto the skin. We will talk more about the types of tattoo transfer papers in the following section.
Types of Tattoo Transfer Paper
There are mainly two types of tattoo transfer paper: Thermal and Hectograph. Both of these transfer papers do the same thing, but they also have a few significant differences. For example, Hectograph papers do not use thermal copier like thermal transfer papers. It is essential to understand their differences so you can pick the best tattoo transfer paper for your job.
If your client has already provided a design, then a thermal transfer paper will be the best for it. You can either trace the design by hand or use a thermal copier to create the stencil. Because of its ability to produce a clear image, thermal transfer papers have become the standard in the industry for tattoo stencil paper.
Thermal papers are best to use with a thermal copier. It provides sharp, crisp images that look great on the skin and that preserve all the details of the design.
You can also trace a design by hand or freehand it with thermal transfer paper. Remove the third layer and place your design on the first layer, then trace or draw your design with a transfer pencil or ballpoint pen for a great result.
Thermal stencil papers have four layers.
- The top layer is a white paper where the design gets transferred on to.
- The second layer is a thin anti-scratch paper only for protection. You can throw it away before using the transfer paper.
- The third layer is called the ink or carbon layer. It is either blue, red, black, or purple. In a thermal copier, when you press a design against this layer, it uses the ink to transfer the design on to the top paper.
- Finally, the yellow bottom layer holds all the sheets together.
Hectograph transfer papers are excellent for freehand designs. They were originally used in old school typewriters. Hectograph stencil papers use pressure to create a duplicate image.
Unlike the Thermal papers, hectograph transfer papers have three layers.
- The top sheet is where you draw your design.
- The center layer protects the transfer paper from the carbon paper. Remove this layer before using it.
- The bottom layer is where the design gets transferred. It is carbon-like, and you can get them in different colors.
You can use a hectograph stencil paper for tracing by hand, freehand drawing, or using a dot matrix printer (if you still have one). Hectograph stencil papers are cost-effective than thermal transfer papers. However, if you are doing the designs by hand, then use a hectograph pencil to ensure the quality of your artwork.
The video will show how to use both thermal and hectograph stencil papers and the difference between them.
How to Use Tattoo Transfer Paper?
Now that you know all about Tattoo transfer papers let’s talk about how to use tattoo transfer papers. Before we start, you will need the following items:
- Tattoo Transfer Paper
- Drawn/Printed Design
- Ballpoint pen
- Skin Cleanser
- Green soap
- Cotton Balls
Step 1 – Trace the design
Remove the middle anti-scratch paper from the transfer sheets. Place your drawing or printed design on top of the transfer sheets. Trace the design firmly with a ballpoint pen. The pressure of the pen will transfer the design to the back of the transfer sheet using the ink from the inked page.
Step 2 – Cut the design out
Once the tracing is complete, separate the two sheets and cut out the design from the top page. Be sure to keep track of the side that has the ink on it.
Step 3 – Prepare the skin for transfer
Make sure the skin is clean and free of lotion and oil before applying the stencil. Also, shave the hair off where you will be placing the design. Use a cotton ball to apply alcohol to the skin where you want to put the stencil. We recommend you to use Witch Hazel because it is gentler and not as drying to the skin like alcohol. Wet the skin with Green soap, but avoid droplets of liquid, or they will cause the ink to blotch. It should be more of a “sheen,” similar to how the skin gets damp when you sweat. Just keep blotting to remove excess soap.
Step 4 – Transfer the design
Get the cutout transfer paper and place it on the skin (ink-side down). Press and hold for 10-15 seconds then pull off the transfer paper. Your skin might still be damp at this point, so wait for 20-30 seconds before proceeding.
Step 5 – Repeat
Always remember that removing stencils are a lot easier than removing a tattoo. So, if it doesn’t look right, then repeat the process until you are fully satisfied.
How to Use a Thermal Printer for Tattoo Stencil?
There are two ways to make a tattoo stencil using a thermal transfer paper. You can either use a thermal copier or draw the design on the transfer paper freehand.
If you are using a thermal copier, then follow the steps below:
- First, you want to get your design on a piece of paper.
- Then get yourself a thermal transfer paper.
- Remove the protective sheet between the first and the third layer. Also, tear off the yellow shit from the back.
- Insert the carbon paper face down through the slot in the back of the printer.
- Lift the cover and pull the sheet in and close the lid. The sheet should stick out a little bit.
- Grab your design and insert it in the front slot. Make sure the design is facing down.
- The machine will start pulling down the paper and stop.
- Now hit the copy button, and it will start transferring the design.
How to Use Tattoo Transfer Paper Without a Machine?
If you don’t have a transfer machine or thermal copier printer but still want to make tattoo stencils, then there are ways of doing it. You can draw directly on the transfer paper. The result might not be as clear as a thermal copier, and it will rely on your ability to draw things right the first time. If that sounds good to you, then there is no other problem. You can also use a printed design and place it on the transfer paper. Trace over the design firmly with a tracing pencil or a ballpoint pen.
Instead of doing a freehand sketch on the client, the advantage of tattoo stencils is that you can show your clients exactly what they are getting before the needle hits the skin. It will also help you get the size and shape right, even if the tattoo area is on a curved part of the body. Other than the consistency and ease that a thermal copier printer allows, this has all the same positives that a thermally printed stencil would give.
Where Can I Buy Tattoo Transfer Paper?
Tattoo transfer papers are available on Amazon, eBay or any online tattoo supply retailers.
What Kind of Paper is Used for Tattoo Transfer?
There are two types of papers used for tattoo transfer: Thermal and Hectograph.
Can You Put Tattoo Transfer Paper in a Printer?
There are some printable tattoo transfer papers that you can use in a printer. If you have a dot-matrix printer, then you can use it for a hectograph transfer paper. You will need to use a particular thermal copier for thermal transfer papers. Before you use any transfer or stencil paper in a printer, make sure to read the instructions from the manufacturers.