Arm tattoo

How To Do Stick and Poke Tattoos ?

To understand how stick and pokes work, it is helpful to know how tattoos generally work. The basic principle, whether engraved with a machine or by hand, is the same: with the help of a needle, tattoo ink is brought under the uppermost skin layers with many small stitches. After the healing phase, the stitched motif is visible through the upper layers of the skin. The biggest difference between a machine-made and a manually-tattoo, however, is the speed at which the needle penetrates the skin. A tattoo machine stings about 80 to 150 times per second. Since only a fraction of this speed is achieved with a hand-guided needle, stick and poke tattoos are many times more tedious and time-consuming to sting. Even for very small subjects, you can easily expect a few hours of procedure, while the same motive could be finished by a professional tattoo artist in a short time.

How do stick and poke tattoos work?

For some, the thought of getting a tattoo at all may be bad enough. However, it is still a number crass: Tattoos prick themselves. While this form of body modification used to be popular only in jocks and in the punk scene, so-called stick and poke tattoos are now more common than ever. On Instagram and Pinterest are eagerly presented the latest homemade tattoos. We will show you how the stick and poke technique works and what materials are used for it. But before you roll up your sleeves and plan a tattoo session at home, you should pay attention to a few things!

Stick and poke tattoos are usually small simple tattoo motifs, which are engraved by laymen without a tattoo machine. Simply a needle and ink are used. In the simplest version actually any sewing or safety pin and black ink or ballpoint pen ink is used here. After all, something more ambitious stick and poke fans use special tattoo needles, which are actually intended for use with a machine, and tattoo ink. In America, even complete stick and poke sets are offered for fast stabbing at home, but in this country tattoo needles * and ink * are available on Amazon. This may give the impression that everyone is able to sting himself a tattoo. We’ll show you how time-consuming stick and pokes really are!

What you can expect from a stick and poke tattoo?

The question of which type of tattoo can be realized with the stick and poke technique is not easy to answer. Basically, black linear or dotted motives are more likely to sting, while flat and colorful tattoos are not suitable. Above all, the realization of your desired motive depends on the skill and patience of the tattoo artist.


You should not get misrepresented by pictures of ornate stick and poke tattoos in social networks. Just because a tattoo was made by hand does not mean that the tattoo was also made by a layman at home. Many of the frequently shared photos on Instagram, which inspire so many to make a tattoo on themselves, have been stung by experienced professionals – or myself, but it took me about eight hours.


Often first own stick and poke attempts look rather unclean. So if you are not sure about your artistic finger skills, you better leave stick on poke Tattoos! Otherwise, then anyway, the transition to a professional studio is required to cover your failed work again.

Even though tattoo sets for the home give the impression of tattooing itself is very simple, the reality looks different. Stick and poke tattoos should only be stung by people who already have experience and know what they are doing. If you’re considering stick and poke tattoos to save money, you’d better check out a tattoo parlor first. Small motives can be stung faster than you might think and cost no fortune.


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