The Stencil – Successful Tattooing – Tattoo Magic

First, a word about the design outcome. When drawing a design on paper, it must be remembered that when it is flipped over to put on the skin, it will comeout in reverse. This is easily proven by drawing on a piece of paper. Flip it over and hold it up to the light. This is what you will geton theskin. With this in mind, all the designs will have to be drawn in accordance to where they will be placed. If you want the tattoo to appear in the same direction as the design, the design wilt have to be reversed or flipped over before the stencils are even commenced. It is wise to practice doing this on several different designs to understand this principle and to work out your own system of reversing. The Pencil

This is a simple but effective transfer method.


The materials needed are a design, a hectograph pencil or pen with hectograph ink and a sheet of high grade tracing paper. First the design (face up or reversed) is taped to a drawing hoard or secured to a clipboard. Then a sheet of high grade (racing paper is taped or secured over it- The paper should have a 100 percent rag content and be fairly thick in texture to take the abuse of handling. Be sure to cover the entire design and use an economical style of placement (like in a corner of the paper rather than in the middle, so you can conserve space and use the rest of the sheet for other designs). You should be able to see the design through the tracing paper. If you can’t, build yourself a small light table to make the job easier.

Thke a pencil and copy the design on the paper. It may have to be drawn over a few times to get a solid line. Cut it out, leavinga one inch border around the design. When you are finished doing this, you have the completed stencil. How you get thisstencil on the skin is the same method you would use with the ink method or the duplicating carbon. The best adherent to do this with is an ordinary deodorant in stick form. When you have a place where the tattoo is to be located, and have prepared the part with alcohol and a clean shave (covered in detail elsewhere), just rub a little light layer of

deodorant on the skin and place the paper stencil right over it Hub it with your fingers for a few seconds and whisk away the paper. Behold, the design is on the skin. Check the alignment and let the customer check it also. It takes a certain knack to do this cleanly every time, so a great deal of practice is required on the tattooist’s part to get it down pat. It is easy to practice this, since it can be washed off and tried again. Your friends, wife or yourself work well as practice models. The Ink and Pen

This method is identical to the pencil technique, but instead of a hectograph pencil, you use a quill type pen and a bottle of hectograph ink. This is much superior to the pencil for several reasons. First, the ink lines cover solid on one tracing and it doesn’t need to be copied over to get it solid on the paper. Also, the stencil can be used more than once if care is taken not to totally abuse it in the process. The pencil stencil can be used over again also, but the ink tends to last longer and can be used as many as six times without copying it again. Hectograph ink works quite well on tracing paper and is easier to copy because it flows smoothly on the paper. The only drawback is that the hectograph ink is very hard to find and the only known source of it as of this writing is from Spaulding & Rogers Mfg., Inc. The procedure for applying the stencil is the same as for the pencil stencil. The Duplicating Carbon

This basically gets you the same results as with the pencil or ink method, but is just a different route to get there. Materials needed are a design, a ball point pen (or something similar) and a sheet of either duplicating spirit masters or Meyer gelatin type duplicating carbon which are available everywhere in stationery stores or mail order supply houses. The middle separating sheet is first removed from a sheet of masters. Then it is taped, tacked or secured to a board or clipboard with the design placed right on top of it. Proceed to copy the design, line for line, with the ball point pen. When you are done, lift the carbon sheet and the design will be copied on the next sheet. This is the stencil. It then can be trimmed and put on by the deodorant stick application method. The stencil can be used more then once if careful, and this technique is simple because you can have a store of duplicating paper in your desk for future use that is quick and relatively clean.