Use homemade tattoo guns at your own risk, and be aware of any laws where you live about tattooing others if you plan to use it at home. That said, it is possible to quickly make your own tattoo gun.
Homemade Tattoo Gun: Method One
What You Will Need
- A Crest SpinBrush toothbrush
- 11-gauge guitar string
- Bic mechanical pencil with full eraser
- Razor blade or knife
- A small screw that is longer than one half the length of the eraser
- Pliers for bending the guitar string
- Duct tape
How to Do It
Do your prep work first. Remove the head of the SpinBrush and remove the eraser from the mechanical pencil. Use the knife or razor blade to cut the eraser in half horizontally (not along the length of the eraser), then use the screw to poke a hole through the center of one half. Untwist the tip of the pencil so that it separates from the main part of the barrel. Take about 2-3 inches of the guitar string and bend the very end at a ninety degree angle with the pliers. Slip it through the hole you made in the half of the eraser, securing it with the bend in the string. Attach the eraser to the metal shaft of the toothbrush with pressure from your thumb or fingers, leaving the guitar string hanging free. Thread the string through the plastic tip of the mechanical pencil and secure the tip to the toothbrush with duct tape. Cut the end of the string at an angle so that it will be sharp enough to do its job, making sure that it's short enough to go inside the pencil tip when it's on.
Homemade Tattoo Machine: Method Two
What You Will Need
- Bic pen
- Motor (from a Walkman, recorder, etc)
- Small paperclip
- Knife or razor blade that can cut through the pen
- 10/13 sewing needles
- Power cord
- Hot glue gun
- Very thin, flexible wire, like that from the inside of a pair of headphones
- Button with four holes
- Rubber band
How to Do It
- Cut the pen roughly three inches from the tip. Also cut the closed end of the cap off. Use the candle flame to heat up the plastic of the clip so that it's malleable, then bend the clip of the pen into an L shape, coming out at a 90 degree angle from the cap itself. About halfway out, bend the plastic back up at another 90 degree angle, resulting in an L shape. Be sure to let the plastic harden after the first bend before going on to the next.
- Take the longer end of the pen and rotate it above the candle flame to slowly melt it. Very gently and slowly, pull the end out and sculpt it into a thinner, smaller tube. Cut about two inches of the smaller tube off and securely slide the wider end into the hole where the tip of the pen used to come out of the previous three-inch part of the pen. On the other end of the three-inch piece of the pen, attach the cap with the L-shape pointing upward.
- Hold the motor vertically over the top of the pen, with the motor positioned on the L. Make sure the middle of the motor is lined up with the hole in the top of the pen. Glue it into place.
- Open up your paperclip so that it is as flat as possible and heat it up over the candle flame by holding each end with a pair of pliers, pulling outward to stretch it out. Then take three needles and group them so that the tips form a circle. Use a very thin wire to wrap the needles and hold them in that shape. Solder the paperclip to the set of needles, and solder the needles together. Use the pliers to bend the top centimeter of the paperclip at a 90 degree angle.
- Slide the needles in through the cap with the L shaped clip and through the barrel and determine how short to cut your needle. Once it's cut, put the smaller bent section through a hole in a small button and use the hot glue gun to attach one bottom hole of the button to the center of the motor. Wrap a rubber band around the motor and button to keep them stable when the gun is turned on.
- Hook your power source up to the motor and you're ready to practice with your homemade tattoo gun.
Words of Caution
Homemade tattoo guns can be tricky to make and use, so practice, practice, practice on something else (like a banana peel) first. Be sure to research all of the laws for your area that involve tattooing someone else. Always make sure your equipment has been sterilized prior to use.