How to Make Tattoo Needles at Home (Step-by-Step Guide)

Tattoo needles can be expensive to buy, and it’s frustrating if you want to tattoo yourself, but you’re on a tight budget. This is where making your own can be a good idea.

Making tattoo needles at home is fairly simple and only requires a few basic items. The easiest way is to use a sewing needle and a soldering iron or hot glue gun to get everything together.

However, it should be noted that making your own tattoo needles is not recommended because it’s unsanitary and could cause infections.

As a result, you should never use homemade tattoo needles on anyone else.

Key Takeaways:

  • In order to make tattoo needles at home, you only need some basic supplies.
  • You will need a soldering iron or a hot glue gun.
  • Remember that it is not recommended to use homemade needles on other people.
  • You can use sewing needles as a quick hack.

CHECK: Best Things to Practice Tattooing On

How to Make a Tattoo Needle at Home

If you want to know how to make tattoo needles at home, you’re in the RIGHT place.

Let’s take a detailed look at the step-by-step process required to go from standard needles to tattooing ones.

What You Will Need

  • Needles (usually sewing needles)
  • Pliers
  • Soldering iron or hot glue gun
  • Gauze
  • Electrical tape
  • Motor (if making your own tattoo gun)

Step One: Sterilize Your Needles

Before you start, it’s important to sterilize your needles(the obvious part). This helps to PREVENT bacteria from entering the body while tattooing, which can lead to infection.

To do this, you can use a flame or a UV sterilizer [1].

Step Two: Place the Needles into a Vice

Place your needles into the vice or grip, making sure that they’re all in the SAME direction. This will make it easier to keep everything aligned when soldering or gluing them together later on.

Step Three: Use the Pliers

Take your pliers and bend the needles at one end until they’re all ALIGNED. This will help to ensure that the tattoo needle is properly shaped when you apply the soldering or hot glue.

Step Four: Heat the Needle with the Soldering Iron

If you’re using a soldering iron, ensure the temperature is set to around 300°C and then place the needle into the heat.

This will help to MELT the ends of the needles together and form your tattoo needle.

Step Five: Wrap with Gauze

Take a piece of gauze and wrap it around the tattoo needle. Make sure that the gauze is TIGHTLY wrapped to ensure that the tattoo needle is secure.

Step Six: Secure with Electrical Tape

Take a piece of electrical tape and wrap it around the tattoo needle to ensure the gauze stays in place. This will also provide extra PROTECTION from any potential infections or other unwanted external elements.

Step Seven: Trim the Excess

Once everything is secured, use a pair of scissors to trim any excess materials. This helps keep the tape and gauze NEAT while making the needles.

Step Eight: Place the Needles Back into the Vice

Place the tattoo needles back into the vice/grip and ensure they’re secured TIGHTLY.

Step Nine: Repeat

Repeat these steps for any additional tattoo needles that you need to make. You can use this to make a homemade tattoo gun if you have MULTIPLE needles and add a motor.

Step Ten: Finishing Up

Once everything is secure, you’re ready to tattoo and have your own tattoo kit (well done). Make sure to PRACTICE on a piece of fruit or something similar first before tattooing yourself or someone else.

CHECK: Easy Beginner Tattoos to Try

Can You Make Tattoo Needles with Metal Wire?

Yes, you can make tattoo needles with metal wire. This is a GREAT option if you don’t have access to soldering irons or hot glue guns.

Making tattoo needles at home isn’t as hard as it might seem. With the right supplies and some PATIENCE, you can easily create your own tattoo needles in no time at all.

Just make sure to always practice on test materials first before tattooing yourself or someone else, and NEVER use homemade tattoo needles on anyone else as this is unsanitary and could cause infections.

What Other Materials Can You Use to Make a Tattoo Needle?

Other materials you can use to make tattoo needles include:

  • Copper
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Titanium

However, these metals are much more DIFFICULT to work with than sewing needles and require specialized tools. As a result, they’re not recommended for beginners who are just starting out.

READ MORE: How Deep Does a Tattoo Needle Go?

Is a Hollow Piercing Needle Better?

Hollow piercing needles are the preferred type of tattoo needle for most tattoo artists, as they allow ink to flow through more SMOOTHLY.

However, starting out with tattooing at home, a STANDARD sewing needle should suffice.

You should see a professional tattoo artist if you want a tattoo and ensure that they use an actual coil tattoo machine to ink your body.

While homemade tattoos can be a lot of fun, it is important to remember that they come with HEALTH risks.

How to Do a Stick and Poke Tattoo

Making tattoo needles at home is just ONE part of the tattooing process. The other part is actually tattooing yourself. A stick-and-poke tattoo is a classic and the most common self-done tattoo [2].

Pro Tip: If you want to poke tattoos, ensure that your hands are clean before beginning and any other materials used during the tattooing process.

Step One: Disinfect the Area

Use rubbing alcohol or another disinfectant to CLEAN the area of the skin where you’ll be tattooing.

Step Two: Outline the Design

Outline your desired tattoo design with a SKIN-SAFE pen or marker. Make sure your lines are as precise as possible, as this will make tattooing easier.

Step Three: Dip the Tattoo Needle into the Ink

Dip your tattoo needle into some tattoo ink, and make sure to cover the ENTIRE needle with this ink. You can also use a tattoo gun if you prefer, though needles are generally better for smaller designs.

Step Four: Stick and Poke

Using the tattoo needle, SLOWLY poke the tattoo into your skin. This will create a small tattoo that should heal fairly quickly.

Step Five: Clean and Disinfect

Once you’re finished tattooing, clean the area with rubbing alcohol and apply some HEALING ointment to prevent infection.

Can You Use Pen Ink for a Stick and Poke Tattoo?

No, you shouldn’t use pen ink for a stick-and-poke tattoo. Pen ink is NOT sterile and could cause infections if used on the skin.

Stick to tattoo inks that are specifically made for tattoos, as they are much safer and will give you better results.

ALSO CHECK: Tattoo Needle Sizes and Uses

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Homemade Tattoo Needles Safe and Sanitary?

No, homemade tattoo needles are not safe and sanitary. The process of making tattoo needles at home can be unsanitary, and it is highly recommended that you do not use them on anyone else.

Are Homemade Tattoo Needles Legal?

It depends on the laws and regulations of your region. It is advised that you check with local tattoo shops or tattoo artists before making tattoo needles at home.

Is a Homemade Tattoo Needle the Same as a Stick and Poke?

No, tattoo needles and sticks and pokes are two different methods of tattooing. Stick and pokes use a single needle, while tattoo needles typically consist of multiple needles soldered together.


Making tattoo needles at home can be a FUN and creative project, but it should not be done lightly.

Make sure to keep safety in mind and always consult tattoo professionals before tattooing yourself. Professional tattoo machines are ALWAYS the better choice.

With the right materials, patience, and know-how, you can make your own tattoo needle at home in NO TIME. Just remember that if you do make your own needles, they should not be used on other people.

We hope this guide about how to make tattoo needles at home has been able to help you on your journey to crafting your own tattoo needles and that you manage to achieve it safely.

man holding a DIY tattoo needle


  1. Whelan C. How to Sterilize a Needle at Home. Healthline. Published May 21, 2019. Accessed December 23, 2022.
  2. Stick and Poke Tattoo Tools – Published May 28, 2016. Accessed December 23, 2022.

About Edith Russo

Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. READ HER LATEST ARTICLES. FOLLOW HER on Linkedin and Twitter. Learn more about her HERE.

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