How To Use Tattoo Transfer Paper Without Thermal Copier?

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Written By Umair Mirza

Umair Mirza is an accomplished writer specializing in the art of tattooing. With a passion for creativity and self-expression, Umair has developed a deep understanding and appreciation for the culture of tattoos.

Photo Disclaimer – Images used in this article are owned by the respective individuals, artists, or other parties who post on their private social media accounts. These images only serve for inspiration and cannot be copied (images or the designs) for personal use.

Many beginners have a lot of challenges and difficulties while using tattoo designs to create temporary and permanent tattoos on their skin. This is especially true for tattoo artists who are still learning and need more skillful experiences to be more precise and efficient at their craft. These issues combine naturally to create unrequited pressure on these tattooers and learners. We will discuss how to use tattoo transfer paper without a thermal copier. It will ultimately remove one main beginner hurdle from your way to mastering the art of tattooing.  

Learning how to draw and utilize tattoo transfer paper in tattooing is important. This helps tattoo artists be more creative and design personalized tattoos for their clients. Most artists prefer using a thermal copier to inspire a skin tattoo from the initial sketch. Moreover, stencils are also used by many bodies marking experts to design tattoos on clients’ selected body regions. In this article, we are about to learn some methods and alternatives to use if there is no tattoo transfer paper available. 

Is It Possible To Use A Tattoo Transfer Paper Without Thermal Copier:

You can utilize tattoo transfer paper without a thermal copier effortlessly and efficiently. Ideally, the most suitable method to use tattoo transfer paper is with the help of a thermal copier. But sometimes, for various reasons, no thermal copier is available to artists. In such a scenario, you can use thermal paper without the copier for tattooing. A hectograph transfer paper is very suitable and highly recommended in such scenarios. A hectography transfer paper is unique in its design as it has a two-sheet layering. Therefore, artists can use the upper sheet to draw initial designs, while the lower sheet is made of carbon paper. This allows you to create a professional and beautiful stencil while crafting the tattoo design. 

Related: How To Remove Saniderm If It’s Stuck To Tattoo

How To Use Tattoo Transfer Paper Without Thermal Copier:

Utilizing a tattoo transfer paper without a thermal copier is uncomplicated and comfortable. There is a proper method of doing it, which many professional tattoo artists highly praise. However, many beginners are confused about the process because they don’t have the proper idea of using transfer papers without a copier. You don’t have to stress about it, as you consulted professional tattoo artists to create proper guidelines for you. 

Following are the measures you should observe to use the tattoo transfer paper without a thermal copier:

Firstly, you need to understand the composition of the tattoo transfer paper. It consists of three layerings which are used for their different functions. The first layer is made to draw your preferred tattooing design and highlights. The middle layer is tissue or connection, which has to be removed before applying transfer paper. The final layer is made with carbon paper to copy the tattoo design precisely. 

You should sketch the tattoo idea design on the upper layer after terminating the tissue/connecting layering from the transfer paper. This initiates using the tattoo transfer paper without a thermal copier. This will allow you to copy the tattoo design directly on the final layer. 

Now, you can use the tattoo designs as it is readily created on the final layering of the transfer paper. For this purpose, you have to trim the initially produced tattoo designs. It will look roughly like a stencil after cutting.

Now, apply the cutout tattoo design on the tattooing skin. To firmly attach the tattoo design to the skin, you must use a stencil lotion or other prescribed lubricant. This stencil lotion will add adhesiveness and firm hold to the cut tattoo design on the skin. 

Wait for a few minutes before removing the tattoo transfer paper, and remove the paper as soon as you are sure the design is applied to the client’s skin. This will provide initial and temporary outlining and a base to create a temporary or permanent tattoo. 

Tattoo Transfer Paper: 

If you don’t know what a tattoo transfer paper is, don’t worry, as we’ll explain the meaning first. The tattoo transfer paper is “a specialized quality thermographic paper used by tattoo artists to transfer the initially created sketch of tattoo onto the selected skin region of the client.” It mainly consists of three layers to draw, connect and copy the tattooed design.

All you have to do is to create the initial design on the tattooing sheet with proper attention and crafting skills. As you have created an initial design, the next step is to modify the tattoo design as per the client’s requirements and standards of professional tattooing. Once the initial design is representable and professional, you can switch to the next part of the process. This is when you can use the tattoo transfer paper as a reference to copy the tattoo on actual skin. Again, start by highlighting and outlining to avoid sudden mistakes or interruptions. It is also helpful to initially practice on fruits, animal skin, or artificial skin as directed by your tattooing expert instructor. 

Thermal Copier:

Once you have understood what I meant by tattoo transfer paper, the next question in your mind will be about the thermal copier. “The copier/printer used by tattoo artists to transfer the imagery from tattooing paper to actual skin by heating it” is known as a thermal copier in the tattooing industry. 

It is really helpful to understand the initial positioning and outlook of the tattoo design before using the tattooing machine on the client’s skin. Then, you can easily modify, replace and change the tattooing outline created by transfer paper. This is why tattoo artists frequently use thermal copiers to start the tattooing procedure. This is a less risky, more efficient, and professional method to create high-quality tattoos. 


Tattoo transfer papers are commonly used in the tattooing industry in vast applications. Many beginners use them to practice and enhance their skills, while professionals use them to maintain standard tattooing experience. Regardless of the skill and experience of the tattoo artist, they all should learn how to use tattoo transfer paper without a thermal copier. It will help them be more creative and efficient at tattooing if a thermal copier is not readily available. You can always consult professional tattoo artists if you have any confusion or query regarding tattoo transfer papers or thermal copiers. Thanks for reading. 

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