DIY Glitter Tattoos

I think this should be obvious, but I figured it would be best to put a little disclaimer up here since this post has been getting a lot of traffic lately. Basically – don’t be an idiot. Use a non-toxic glue stick (Do they even make toxic ones anymore?), don’t put the tattoo on your child’s face and don’t let them just eat it right off their arm or something. (Also, you probably shouldn’t let your 2 year old dump the glitter on your carpet unless you want a sparkly living room for pretty much ever.) And while this glue idea worked GREAT for a quick afternoon glitter tattoo, they don’t last very long. My sister-in-law brought some eye lash glue to Juniper’s birthday party and that worked fantastically. They lasted over a week! It made for a very happy little girl.

Last week I came home from work to a very passionate Juniper. She had watched a video on Youtube advertising glitter tattoos, and she had decided that she absolutely NEEDED them for her birthday. Juniper is a December baby, only a week before Christmas. And since my own birthday is only a week after Christmas I totally understand how that could stink. So when she was born I decided that I would always make sure she felt special on HER day. And if that means glitter tattoos, then she’s getting glitter tattoos!!!

I almost bought some stencils from (I might still order them for her birthday party. I mean, it’s Pinkie Pie!) but then I thought, these couldn’t possibly be too hard to figure out myself. After a little internet research I found this technique. And I already had everything on hand, which made it extra awesome.

You will need a small piece of contact paper, scissors, a glue stick, and glitter. A paint brush helps with spreading the glitter, and you can also use cute paper punches to make stencils if you want.

Step 1- Cut out your stencil. Juniper really wanted a big butterfly, so I just cut it free hand.

Step 2 – Stick the contact paper on wherever you want the tattoo to go.

Step 3 – Cover the area in a good amount of glue. I found it easiest to place the glue stick down and then twist it around a few times before pulling it up, instead of dragging it around like if you were using it on paper. That helps the glue not go under the contact paper. Make sense?

Step 4 – Cover the area in glitter! Before it dries, pull off the stencil and admire your tattoo.

It’s pretty simple really, and the tattoos are very pretty. I might also be slightly obsessed with them. And look at that face! Even if these were super hard and expensive to make, that face would have made it all worth it! We have done several different shapes this week. (We went to church with matching purple hearts last Sunday.) They don’t last as long as “proper” glitter tattoos, but for a nearly-four year old, they are perfect. Flynn also likes them. Of course, he also likes dumping my glitter all over the living room… That boy.

9 thoughts on “DIY Glitter Tattoos

  1. For longer lasting "tattoos" try eyelash glue instead of a glue stick. I did this for my last birthday and mine lasted a week, through daily showers and sleeping on it every night. I really had to scrub when I finally did want it off. When I went after halloween shopping I bought an oversized tube on sale strictly for this purpose. I have plenty if you want to check it!

    Love, Shannon*

    • I would not have thought of that! I would definitely love to try it. Juniper wants to have glitter tattoos at her birthday party.

  2. It’s super irresponsible of you to do a tattoo demo wit products that are clearly meant for paper and not your child’s body. Professional glitter tattoos use a high quality skin safe FDA approved adhesive & a fine cut specific cosmetic glitter…you should never skimp on the safety of your kids skin…and if you are for it a party then you are chancing an allergic reaction….do you give a demo on face panting with acrylic paints? Just because something may be safe if your kid accidentally injests it..does not mean its INTENDED for use on skin.

    Eyelash glue intended for use long term on skin but its a way better alternative then regular glue.

    • Thank you for posting your comment. I am glad to see that there was someone else out there as irritated as I was about reading all of the misinformation provided. Safety should be the number one priority when working with children and unfortunately the instructions listed on this site are not safe at all. I just hope the readers did more research before trying their own glitter tattoos.

  3. This is a great idea! We are definitely going to have a shimmer tattoo station at my daughter’s bday party (also a mid December baby). I’ve got some old glitter makeup that we’ll try. I knew I hoarded it with purpose! Yay!

    • Fun! Definitely try eyelash glue instead of the glue stick, it works so much better! My sister-in-law brought some to Juniper’s birthday party, and her tattoo lasted over a week.

  4. This post is so upsetting to read. If you are going to post information on the internet please take the time to do more than a “little” research before sharing said information. This is absolutely not the correct way to do glitter tattoos. I own a business doing glitter tattoos and we always get the parents who say “this looks so easy I could do it,” and no doubt try to do what you have incorrectly recommend. First of all you should never put any adhesive on your child and especially other children that isn’t made for the skin. Many kids have sensitive skin and/or latex allergies and some glues do contain latex. If you are at all interested in a quality tattoo just spend the money and buy the products made for glitter tattoos. You need to use skin glue. It is FDA approved and hypoallergenic. It is high quality and very durable. Your glitter tattoo will last much longer and will have a much nicer appearance. You shouldn’t have to scrub your child’s skin to remove the glue. You simply use baby oil or alcohol and that will dissolve the skin glue. Secondly, NEVER put craft glitter that you have lying around the house on your children’s skin. Craft glitter is made of pieces of cut metal and plastic and can cut your child or get into any small cuts they may already have. You should only use cosmetic glitter. Anything that you are applying to the skin should be cosmetic in nature. Next, making paper stencils will not give you a quality tattoo. Just spend the .45 cents to get the proper tattoo stencils from Not only do they have an amazing selection but the stencil is made on vinyl that will stick to the skin while you are applying the tattoo. Kids will move and if you are trying to hold down a piece of paper and the child moves or you get the glue under the stencil it will ruin your design. The vinyl tattoos stay perfectly in place as you apply the glue and form to the curves of different body parts better than a piece of card stock ever could. There are so many other things to know about applying these but the fact that the basic information that you have listed is so incorrect is appalling. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that show the correct way to do these. Check out Glimmer tattoos for videos and product. You can even go to almost any large retailer or craft store and get the whole kit of FDA approved and safe materials for less than $10. Again, please spend some more time educating yourself before trying to educate others on topics that you might not know too much about.

  5. Thank you for this

    All those that are moaning about child safety glue etc glitter. ..get over yourselves …this person is a mother and if course she will take all the safety measures ….haven’t any of you that are moaning done something to your child without realising!! Of course you have you all aren’t perfect saint of mothers …. Seriously get over yourselves !!!