Cricut temporary tattoos are great fun, especially in the summertime! We’re spending more time outdoors, at the beach and celebrating. We’re wearing our shorter sleeves and shorts, and it’s always a little bit of fun to try out a tattoo or two. And the kids love them!
Temporary tattoos are easy to make with a Cricut. In fact, you don’t even need a cutting machine to make temporary tattoos, but using a Cricut makes them clean and very nice looking. So if you’re looking for something fun for the kids during Summer, favors for a birthday party, something special for them for a trip to Disney or for the fourth of July, or something special for you, keep reading!
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In this post I’ll show you how to find designs in Cricut Design Space library, Print then Cut them and finally apply them. I will be using Cricut Design Space 7.10.163 on Windows 10. Cricut Print Then Cut is also available on Mac, iOS and Android. I will be cutting with a Cricut Maker 3. You can use Cricut Maker Series and Cricut Explore Series machines for these temporary tattoos.
Can’t see the video? Click here.
What are Cricut Temporary Tattoos?
Cricut temporary tattoos are designs you can wear on your skin that last for one to two days. They are made with temporary tattoo paper and use Cricut’s Print Then Cut feature. The process to create the tattoos is similar to Print Then Cut stickers.
You can create temporary tattoos from many different designs, uploaded designs, or use the designs provided in Cricut Design Space library that are free and provided with Cricut Access.
- Silhouette Tattoo Paper
- Cricut Maker series or Cricut Explore Series machine
- Cricut LightGrip Mat
- Spatula (optional)
- Brayer (recommended)
- Cricut Design Space
Print Then Cut Designs
This post does not cover how to create offsets for “Basic Cut” designs to turn them into Print Then Cut designs. This will be covered in a future tutorial. For Design Space tattoos, I will use Library Print Then Cut designs and Tattoo category designs.
Step 1 – Cricut Design Space
Open Design Space and Look Through Images
- Open Cricut Design Space and click on “New Project” in the upper-right hand corner of the screen.
- Select “Images” from the left-hand side of the screen. We will look at 2 different types of images.
- From the list, select “Tattoos” under “Graphics”.
Note that some of these tattoos have unattached cut lines. In order to cut our tattoos on Cricut, our tattoos must have all attached lines.
If there are any unattached cuts in the middle of the tattoo like this first image, an offset will need to be created (or contours removed if possible) and the tattoo will need to be flattened and changed to “Print Then Cut”, which removes the cut lines in the middle. That process is outside the scope of this tutorial, and will be taught in a later post.
Look through the tattoos for ones where all the lines touch, such as the second image above. Find designs where all the lines are connected, and none are unattached.
You can also use Print Then Cut designs for Cricut temporary tattoos. Navigate to Print Then Cut images.
- Click on “Tattoos” next to “Category” in the upper-left hand side of the screen.
- Select “Browse All Images” from the middle of the screen.
- Expand the “Operation Type” in the left-hand area of the screen by clicking on the “+”, then select “Print Then Cut”.
There are over 250,000 Print Then Cut images as of the writing of this blog post, so you might want to narrow your search by what you are looking for. Print Then Cut images are great for temporary tattoos for kids! Try searching for “mermaid”, “lion”, or whatever you like.
I have created a Design Space temporary tattoo Project that I am going to use for this exercise. You can use it too. It uses Cricut Access images (as of the date of this blog post) so you will need to have Cricut Access.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to get Cricut Access, now is a great time to do it. There are hundreds of thousands of images, phrases, monograms, projects, etc. for you to use, and more come out all the time.
Select Your Cricut Temporary Tattoo Designs
- Use either the Cricut Design Space images or the Design Space tattoo project link above (or even upload your own designs) to select the Cricut temporary tattoo designs you’d like. Our print space will be 6.75″x9.25″, so be sure to select more than a few.
- Check each design to see if it’s set to Basic Cut or Print Then Cut under Operation in the upper area of the screen.
- For each design set to Basic Cut, select the design, then click the drop-down and select “Print Then Cut”.
Create a Guide
A guide is a boundary/box that doesn’t print. You can make it any size, and we will make it the size of the printed area for a Print Then Cut. You can use it to place your designs inside to make sure you don’t have too many designs and that they aren’t too big for the print area.
- Select “Shapes” on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Click on the square with the sharp corners.
- On the top of the screen under the “Size” area, with the square selected, change the width of the square to 6.75″ and the height to 9.25″.
- Under “Operation” on the top of the screen, click the drop-down and select “Guide”.
- While the Guide is selected, right click on the screen and select “Send to Back”.
- You should be able to select your images and move them on top of and inside the guide now.
Resize Your Cricut Temporary Tattoo Designs
Most designs will need to be resized based upon where they will be placed. Areas to measure might be the arms (especially for children), inside of wrists, ankles, back or shoulder area, back of hand, and more. Resize the designs based upon where they will most likely be placed.
To resize Cricut temporary tattoos, select the tattoo and change the width and height in the size area at the top of the screen next to “Size”.
All of the temporary tattoos on my project are between 2″ and 3″ in width, and are sized for adults (I didn’t have any children around for measurements, unfortunately!)
Maintain Image Ratio
If the image height doesn’t resize correctly when you change the width, the little lock between the width and the height may not be in a “locked” position. Hover the cursor over the lock between width and height, then click the lock into a closed position. Now, when the width is changed, the height will change properly, and vice versa.
Make It: Cricut Temporary Tattoos
- At the top of the screen on the right-hand side, click on the drop down and select the machine you will use to cut out your Cricut temporary tattoos if you have multiple machines.
- Click “Make It” in the upper-right hand corner of the screen.
- Make sure all designs are “Print Then Cut”.
- On the left-hand side of the screen, toggle “Mirror” on.
- Click “Continue”.
- While Cricut Design Space tries to connect with your Cricut machine, select “Send to Printer”.
- Keep “Add Bleed” toggled “On” and toggle “Use System Dialog” on. We will need to make modifications for our printing.
- Select “Print.” The System Dialog for your printer should appear. If it does not, check behind Cricut Design Space on your Desktop.
- Select the “Preferences” area for your printer, or the equivalent where you can set paper type and more.
- Change the paper type. I use glossy photo paper. Change the print quality to “High” (this is not in the video.)
- I have a rear feed tray, and I use this for my paper. You may not have one. If you are putting your temporary tattoo paper in the main paper tray, make sure that it prints on the glossy side.
- Click “Ok”.
- Put the Silhouette temporary tattoo paper in the printer.
- Click “Print”.
Find out which way your printer prints pages
If you are unsure which way your printer prints paper, write a, b, c and d on the top and bottom, catty corner on both sides of your paper, and print a test page to see which side it prints on, and which is top and bottom.
- Select “Browse All Materials”.
- Type “Tattoo” in the search box.
- Select “Tattoo Paper”.
- Select “Done” in the lower-right hand corner.
- Select the pressure that works best for your Cricut machine. In my case, Default works best for Silhouette Tattoo Paper.
Step 2 – Prepare for Cutting
Apply the Adhesive Sheet
- Remove the strip across the top of the Silhouette Adhesive Sheet.
- Carefully place the Adhesive Sheet, adhesive side down, straight across the Silhouette tattoo paper at the top.
- Using a scraper, begin to peel back the backing of the adhesive paper, smoothing the adhesive onto the tattoo paper as you go with the scraper.
Load the Tattoo Paper onto a Mat
- Place the Silhouette tattoo paper to a sticky Cricut LightGrip mat.
Step 3 – Cut the Temporary Tattoos
- Load the LightGrip Mat into the Cricut machine.
- Press the blinking arrow button.
- Press the “Go” button when it blinks.
- When the cut is complete, pull up a bit on one of the tattoos to ensure it cut completely through. If it did not, do not unload the mat. Press the “Go” button again to run it one more time. If it did cut through completely, unload the mat by pressing the arrow button.
- Peel the LightGrip mat away from the Silhouette tattoo paper.
- Use the spatula to remove the Cricut temporary tattoos from the mat.
If your Cricut has trouble reading the registration marks (bold lines) around the temporary tattoos on the Print Then Cut sheet after placing the adhesive sheet on and attempting to cut, place matte Scotch tape on the registration lines to remove the glossiness and try again. You can also try dimming the lights near the Cricut machine.
Applying Cricut Temporary Tattoos
- Remove the clear plastic layer from the tattoo, exposing the adhesive.
- Place the adhesive side against the skin and place a wet cloth against the outside of the tattoo for 10-15 seconds, or until the backing slides off easily. It will last a day or two.
- Show it off!
Temporary tattoos do not need to be cut with a cutting machine. However, the adhesive leaves a bit of a shininess to the tattoo. Cutting the tattoo will keep the shininess on the tattoo only, whereas cutting by hand will leave shiny adhesive over the entire cut.
If you choose to cut temporary tattoos by hand, you can print any design in any program that prints graphics, and are not limited to a size of 6.75″ x 9.25″. For example, if the designs you are using are all available outside of Design Space, you could print them from Microsoft Word, then cut them by hand. Just note that there will be shininess around the tattoo where you have cut. It will still look nice though!
If you want to print designs that have unattached cuts in the middle, you will need to cut them by hand. Cricut would cut out the unattached areas of the designs, whereas you can cut around the designs by hand. If you do this, however, there will be white tattoo paper where the unattached cutouts would have been. (See the butterfly design above.)
Cricut temporary tattoos are so much fun, whether you’re a kid or an adult! Summer is a great time to make them, especially if you’re at the beach or the lake. Celebrations like the 4th of July and birthday parties are also great times to pull out the temporary tattoos.
When have you used temporary tattoos? Let us know in the comments! I love hearing from y’all. If there’s something you’d like for me to cover, or you have something for me to add, or have a question, let me know below.
Until then, happy, happy crafting!
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