How To Do A Stick And Poke Tattoo

Tattooing — sounds like a huge commitment. But trust me, it’s going to be worth it if you get one that suits you well. Many people prefer going with the stick and poke method for tattooing rather than the traditional tattoo gun.

There are many reasons for this, but the most common of them all is the fact that the stick and poke tattoo method definitely causes less trauma to the skin. This helps the skin to heal faster and recover well. But what is a stick and poke tattoo, and what is the best way for you to do it?

A stick and poke tattoo is a non-electric tattooing method that uses a needle attached to a rod-like contraption to apply ink to the skin. It is done by hand and resembles a pencil and thread.

You will find a few different methods on the internet, all the way from preparation to carrying out the technique, but I have the easiest and by far the safest one for you!

stick n poke tattoo

Designing your tattoo:

Designing a tattoo holds immense importance. You need to know what you want to get since getting inked is a huge commitment, and it is also permanent. Go with something that inspires you or something that makes you happy.

Something that reminds you of a good memory in your life is also a great option. But don’t worry if nothing comes to mind, as there are many options out there for you to pick from.

There are a lot of tattoos that have specific meanings. You can look them up and see which one resonates with you and your soul. After all, no one wants a tattoo that doesn’t mean anything to them, right?

Once you have designed your tattoo, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Choosing a location for your tattoo:

To help you get started, look for areas of your body that are not too sensitive to needles and have a higher pain tolerance. This way, you will be able to resist the pain from the needle better.

Make sure it’s not on your hands or feet — areas that are either in constant motion or are being washed a lot. Some great areas for you to consider are your forearm, shoulder, ankles, and back. These areas showcase your tattoos well and also don’t rub against surfaces a lot.

Make sure you avoid places close to any mucus membranes or any orifice since the needle will penetrate the skin. Wounds are to be avoided as well.

Preparing the equipment:

Before starting with anything sanitary, you need to make sure you are sanitized. Wash your hands thoroughly until you are sure there are no germs on your hands. You should also cover any wounds you may have that can infect the needle upon contact.

The last thing to do is to put on some medical-grade gloves to start the process.

You need to have a clean and wide-open workspace where there is no clutter whatsoever. You don’t want anything in the way of your work. You can make a disinfectant solution at home, or you can buy it from the store.

An easy way to make it is to mix 1 part bleach with 9 parts water, and voila! Have plenty of paper towels to put your stick and poke tattoo contraption on. You can find tattoo contraptions easily online. Or if you want to make it yourself, it’s not hard to do at all.

You need a wooden rod to which you attach a needle using strong tape or thread. We would recommend buying it online as it will reduce human error.

Take 2 separate containers and put tattoo ink in one, and rubbing alcohol in the other. At this point, you need to make sure you do not cross-contaminate the two containers. If you touch one container and touch the other with the same hand, it is cross-contaminated.

Avoid that at all costs. If you need to refill the container with ink at any point during the tattooing process, discard the container and make a new container of ink.

Preparing your skin:

Your skin is the largest organ and has a lot of pain receptors on it. So, preparing yourself mentally and preparing your skin for the process is extremely crucial to the success of the tattoo. Wash the tattoo area with soap and water thoroughly so there are no germs present on it.

Then shave it with a sharp razor blade, so it cleans all the hair present without irritating the skin in any way. Now use your rubbing alcohol to sterilize the area of the tattoo. Sterilize a larger area than where the tattoo would go to be safe than sorry.

A tip is never to use the same shaver twice. It adds an extra layer of safety for you.

Tracing your tattoo:

Using a tattoo stencil or a tattoo pen will be your best bet as they make so many things easier by providing you with a designated area to sketch your tattoo on your skin and be satisfied with it. However, you can also use a pen, but make sure it is new to minimize errors and infection issues.

Take sweet time to make sure you get the best sketch in. You can go back and start again as many times as you want. After all, this is a big decision!

Do not stretch your skin when sketching your tattoo, no matter how bad the urge to do it may be. Because once the skin returns to its normal position, the tattoo may look weirdly skewed.

Now sketch your tattoo and make sure you are delighted with what you draw.

Test run:

This one is optional, but you will have a more set hand when making your tattoo if you do it. Take the stick and poke tattoo contraption and poke your skin without the ink a few times. This will help you figure out how deep to go.

Don’t go too deep since it can start bleeding and not too shallow, so the ink pools on top. Once you have grown accustomed to contraption and are well acquainted with it, you can start tattooing!

Tattooing an outline:

Fill the needle with ink and start poking away at the skin. You will know when the needle penetrates the skin, and prior experience with testing will come into play here. Typically, you will require a refill after 2 to 3 pokes, but it can vary according to your use.

While making sure not to go too deep, you will trace an outline for your tattoo. You will notice that the ink spreads every time it touches the skin, so the lines may not look perfect at the start but don’t panic. It will get better and better as you go; just have faith!


Keep removing the excess ink using rubbing alcohol and makeup remover as you go. Either works fine, but using them together will work better. You may notice the skin getting swollen at times. Do not continue at this stage as it will pool the ink, and the tattoo will not come out well. Just wait and let the skin settle, then start again.

Once you are satisfied with the tattoo, clean the tattoo with rubbing alcohol and cover it with a bandage to protect it from the atmosphere and its elements.


With this, you are done with your stick and poke tattoo! It is not hard if you follow the steps carefully. You will absolutely love what you create, and it will boost your confidence!

You deserve a great stick and poke tattoo, and we are here to make that experience as easy and fun for you as possible. So, get ready to start tattooing!