Does your custom figure need that last touch to look just right? Are you tired of trying to draw on the intricate details of wrestler tattoos? Well, it may be time for you to start printing your own Tattoo Decals at home.
Quick Note: Most people will have an Ink Jet, so I will go with the instructions for this. If you have a laser printer, it is actually LESS steps you need to take – I will highlight what you can skip.
Here is what you will need. They will be linked to their Amazon and eBay listings – or you can get them at your local Hobby Lobby or Micheals store (except the Micro Set and Micro Sol, I’ve never seen those in stores). Note: eBay prices are cheaper.
White or Clear background Waterslide Decals. If you are doing a tattoo or design on a white or bright background you will need the CLEAR Decals. If you are doing a design on dark tights or something like a t-shirt, you will need the WHITE background decals.
Recommended: Ink Jet Set of 3 Clear Background and 3 White Background (Good for stuff like Goldberg Tattoos (clear background) and Goldberg logo on trunks (use White background)) on Amazon
Use a photo editor like Photoshop or GIMP (free). Design your tattoo or whatever. If you are printing on to the White decal paper, you will need to color in the parts around your design with the color you will be applying it to. For instance, if you are making a white Goldberg logo that you will be placing on his black trunks, you will use the White decal paper and make the logo part white with black surrounding it.
Print the decals
Insert the paper into your printer and hit print. I usually use the “Photo Paper” and “Best Quality” setting when printing.
Laser Printed Decals can skip the Red Steps.
Allow to Dry Completely.
Seal it with a clear coat.
Use the clear coat to seal the ink to the decal paper. Start with a very fast light coat, on that first coat – spray it lightly over the decal letting the sealant fall on the printed paper. 15-30 minutes later repeat the process. 15-30 Minutes later give it a medium coat – spray it completely and quickly. Let it dry. Sometimes this can take 2 or more hours. I know this part sucks, but it is the most important step when using ink jet decals. It needs to be sealed! After 2 Medium coats, hit it with a couple of Heavy Coats. You want this sucker to be water proof! I usually hit it with a Heavy Coat, wait 4 hours and hit it again. I then let it dry overnight. Patience is virtue.
Make sure the paper is completely dry.
Cut out the decals
Cut the decals as close to the designs as you can. The closer the better, as you do not want to have a bunch of extra film around your decal.
Get them wet!
Place the decal in warm water. Let it soak for about 20 seconds then place it on a paper towel until you are ready to use it (not indefinitely. It should be on the towel less than 2 minutes).
::Optional – but for best results::
While waiting those twenty seconds, get a drop of MicroSet and “paint” it where you will be applying the decal. MicroSet helps the set in place by softening the decal and making it adhere better. (SET it in place)
Microset Microsol about $8 on eBay for the Set
Micro Sol about $7 on Amazon
Micro Set about $6 on Amazon
Apply your decal
Either use some tweezers or a paint brush and “slide” the decal about halfway off the backing paper. Set it in place and use the tweezers or small brush to keep it in place while you slide out the rest of the decal.
The decal should be in place wherever you want it. If you have any air bubbles or need to get it into a crack you can use your finger wrapped in a paper towel and “roll” over it to flatten it into place.
Apply a drop or two of MicroSol. This will help the Decal get the “Painted on” look. After a few seconds (or minutes) of the MicroSol sitting on the decal, you can roll your paper towel finger over it to get rid of any excess..
Allow to dry.
Pretty simple, let the decal dry completely.
Seal the decal in with a clear coat Matte Spray or a Matte Nail Polish.
Matte Polish on Amazon
You are done! Congrats on getting your decal done!