How To Make Homemade Tattoo Ink Using Pen Ink, Ashes & Baby Oil?

You can make tattoo ink at home in several ways. Homemade tattoo inks are not only safe to use but, also natural and organic in most cases. All you need to know is how to make these the right way.

Let us help you with some of the safest and easiest ways to make tattoo inks at home. Before we speak of the positives of homemade tattoo ink it would also be wise to know the negatives as well.

Some tattoo experts may not advise you to make tattoo inks at home. They have logical reasons too.

These are done by trained professionals and manufactured with the utmost care by tattoo ink manufacturing companies.

Let’s understand the pros and cons of homemade tattoo ink before getting into the details of its process of making it.

Pros and Cons of Homemade Tattoo Ink

Homemade tattoo inks no doubt help you save a lot of money than at tattoo parlors. Tattoo inks are a costly investment and not many can afford to buy the best quality tattoo inks from the store.

Another reason for enjoying homemade tattoo ink is that these give you something to learn and try all by yourself!

If you love the idea of DIY, this could be the most exciting creative art. You can flaunt your tattoo to your loved ones and share the secret of the ink with them.

The cons of homemade tattoo ink are no less. Unless you have professional training, not many experts will ask you to try the tattoo pigment at home.

You cannot risk your health by saving a few bucks on tattoo ink. Be wise as tattoo pigmentation can cause a lot of bacterial infections and skin allergies. Thus, it is a riskier task to try making tattoo ink at home.

What Is a Safe Alternative to Tattoo Ink?

Few main ingredients of nontoxic tattoo ink include witch hazel, purified water, and Listerine. Many people have researched, tested, and tried these safe alternatives to tattoo ink.

These options are clean, sterilized, and safe to use as researched online. They make the best alternatives to tattoo inks.

Any good tattoo artist will ask you to stay away from toxic, chemical-based, and pen-inks, and non-approved inks.

India tattoo ink is considered to be the safest and best as these are organic and nontoxic. A few examples include Higgins, Winsor, Newton, and Speedball. These can be bought online too.

Our recommendations:

What Color Tattoo Inks Are Possible to Make at Home?

Many tattoo companies and tattoo stores sell pigment powders of different colors. Black is the ideal pigment that you make at home with the standard home procedure.

However, you can mix other tattoo pigment powders while making the ink at home. We shall discuss it ahead at length.

The process of mixing colors is slightly different. Let us tell you that making homemade tattoo inks and mixing colors is no piece of cake. You need patience, creativity, and practice for the same.

How To Make Homemade Tattoo Ink with Ashes?

The idea of homemade tattoo ink with ashes is brilliant only if you know that you have to take this pigment to a trusted artist and the professional artist inks you safely.

The only qualified tattoo artist can help you prevent chances of infection.

Required material:

  • Black carbon ashes: 1 cup in quantity
  • Vodka

Step by Step Process:

  1. Put the ashes in a blender.
  2. Ensure that your blender is clean and sterilized to avoid infection.
  3. Add vodka in little amounts and slowly until the consistency of the liquid is equal to commercial tattoo ink.
  4. Continue to blend at least for an hour. The speed of your blender must be medium.
  5. If the mixture feels thick, you can add more vodka. If you want the mixture too watery, you need to add ash.
  6. Transfer in a sterile bottle and use it immediately or same day.
  7. Check with your tattoo artist on the final result.


  • Sterilize all the tools and equipment before starting the tattoo process.
  • Use sterilized gloves and a mask.
  • Avoid naked hands while preparing the ink and do not store it for too long.

How To Make Homemade Tattoo Ink with Pen Ink?

To begin with wisely and honestly, this is not a good idea if you don’t have much experience with it.

If you are thinking of using a fountain pen, many would get heartache thinking it is a bad idea; however, there are slight possibilities of using the same to make tattoo ink. However, we cannot go ahead and ask you to take the risk.

Pen ink can be poisonous and thus it is not advisable for the skin. More than ink, pen inks are more like dyes, alcohol, and chemicals in a large amount. These can be highly toxic to health as well as skin.  

Below are the potential health concerns due to pen ink:

  • Skin scars
  • Stains
  • Stomach upsets
  • Digestive disorders
  • Skin allergies
  • Skin infections

Don’t be disappointed. We can still suggest ways to get inked with a pen. But, you need to remember that this tattoo ink is temporary and won’t last long. The process is simple and not similar to stick and poke ink types.

Required material:

  • Ink pen
  • Toothpaste

Step by Step Process:

  • Wash the area where you want the pen ink for the tattoo
  • Apply a thick layer of toothpaste onto the desired tattoo area and rub it gently. (It will help remove excess oil from the skin).
  • Wipe off the excess toothpaste.
  • Pick the marker pen and start drawing your desired design to get inked.
  • After the ink has settled onto your skin, dust your tattooed area with talcum powder or baby powder. (It helps to keep the area waterproof).
  • To lock the ink into your skin, you can apply a thin layer of Vaseline and dry it for 30 minutes for longer results.
  • You don’t need a professional to use pen ink for a homemade DIY tattoo. Thus, enjoy the entire process all by yourself!


  • Don’t get into the pool, sauna, steam, showers, and keep the tattoo area dry.
  • Homemade tattooed ink with marker pens is safe for kids and can also be used to try or test new tattoo designs. Thus, before you get yourself inked in real, this is the best precaution.
  • Prepare your mind for this temporary ink. It is not a permanent tattoo solution for your tattoo expectations.

How To Make Homemade Tattoo Ink with Baby Oil?

Homemade tattoo ink with baby oil is also known as prison tattoo ink. It falls into the budget of those who do not wish to spend on pricey tattoo pigments.

Before we begin with the actual process, you need to remember that this homemade tattoo ink is illegal in most places as it leads to risks of blood infections.

If you are ready to take the risk, then you can make a homemade tattoo ink by mixing charcoal, baby oil, and water.

Required material:

  • Water
  • Baby Oil
  • Clean and sterilized metal container
  • Charcoal
  • Cotton ball
  • Matchstick
  • Dropper
  • Flat clean metal top
  • Toothpaste cap

Step by Step Process:

  • Use a clean can or metal container.
  • Pour 4 to 6 ounces of baby oil.
  • Dip the cotton ball inside the can. (Leave some portion of the cotton ball dry so that it can act as a wick to ignite properly).
  • As an alternative to a cotton ball, you can use a piece of cotton cloth or small paper tissue. The objective is to have something flammable.
  • Place a flat clean metal top that fits the can/container well. It shouldn’t cover the can completely though. The flat metal top helps to collect the sooty powder that will help you with the ink mixture.
  • Use a lighter to burn the baby oil and cotton ball. The easiest way is that you ignite the dry area of the cotton ball and let it burn the oil.
  • When the smoke starts flying collect the sooty powder using the metal sheet. The burning baby oil will make the metal sheet black. Burn the baby oil several times as you will not be able to collect sufficient sooty powder in just the first attempt.
  • Allow the metal to cool down before you touch it directly.
  • Take the support of a plastic card or paper to transfer the black powder from the metal sheet. Do not use a scraper or anything sharp to remove the black powder from the sheet or the edge might also come off with the powder.
  • Pour the powder into a small-cap or container. You may also use a toothpaste cap.
  • Add a drop of water to mix the soot. Begin with small drops of water as you mix the powder.
  • Now you may also add a few drops of baby oil to thicken the mixture.
  • Stir well and make a consistency similar to pen ink.

*Tip: To thicken the soot, you need to add more soot and to make the mixture think some drops of water or baby oil would do the wonder.


  • Do not touch the metal sheet until it is completely cool or you will burn your hands.
  • Always use a clean and sterilized container.
  • Show the ink to the tattoo artist and take their opinion to be on the safer side.

Recommended Baby Oil:

Final Words:

To make homemade tattoo ink may not be a good idea but, it is a creative thought! You can always take the opinion of a professional tattoo artist to make sure that you have made the right ink for getting inked.

We suggest checking a few readymade tattoo inks from the market that may not be too pricey but of quality similar to homemade ink.

If you have made up your mind, be confident to take this opportunity of making your own homemade tattoo ink!