How to Apply Tattoos with a Tattoo Gun

by Contributor

If you are going to do a home tattoo, you should use a real tattoo gun. You shouldn't use homemade tattoo guns.

Items you will need

  • Tattoo Gun
  • Clean sterilized needles
  • Sterilized tattoo ink
Step 1

The first thing you should do when giving yourself a tattoo with a tattoo gun is to read the instructions that came with the gun. By familiarizing yourself with the equipment you are much more likely to be pleased with the results.

Step 2

Next you should set up your work area. You want this to be a clean and well lit area. Make sure that you can reach everything that you will need during the tattooing session. Preparing in advance before you start tattooing will help ensure that your tattoo turns out like you want to.

Step 3

The next step is to thoroughly clean the area of skin in which you will be applying the tattoo to. Keeping everything clean will help ensure that there is no infection from the tattooing process.

Step 4

Next you want to either draw the tattoo onto the skin or use a stencil to apply the outline of the design.

Step 5

Next you should insert a new sterilized needles into the tattoo gun. Never reused needles even on yourself.

Step 6

Next you should dip the tattoo needle into the tattoo ink. Be careful to just get the tip of the needle into the ink. Getting too much ink on the needle can cause a mess.

Step 7

Next turn on the tattoo gun on and then begin outlining the tattoo with the tattoo gun. Be careful not to go too deep and make sure that you are getting the ink below the top layer of skin. The top layer of skin is called the epidermis and this layer of skin is continually shed over a period of weeks. The lower level of skin is called the dermis. This is where you want the tattoo ink to be embedded into.

Step 8

After you have completed the tattoo, you want to wipe the area clean. Apply a light coat of Vaseline and cover the tattoo lightly with a gauze bandage.


  • It's always a good idea to get your tattoos from a licensed tattoo artist. They're experienced and have the necessary equipment to ensure that the tattoo is being applied in a sanitized area.


  • If you choose to apply your own tattoos, you may not be as happy with the results as if you would have paid a licensed tattoo artist to do it for you. There is also a higher risk of infection if you are not familiar with all the safety protocols involved in keeping the tattoo area clean.

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.