Printable Beginner Tattoo Stencils (3 Pages FREE)

As a beginner tattoo artist, the most important thing you can do (after learning about proper sanitation in tattooing) is get hands-on practice with fake skin.

If you’re still new to tattooing, we recommend focusing on only using beginner tattoo stencils that are designed to help you focus on building your skills fast. 

If you’ve been looking for free tattoo designs made for new artists, you’re in the right place.

The designs in this article:

  • Can easily be downloaded and printed
  • Use small images, so you can practice lots of designs quickly
  • Are specifically designed to focus on linework, which is the first skill you need to learn as a tattoo artist

Free Tattoo Stencils

To get a printable PDF of all the tattoo designs below, click here to download your free tattoo designs.

space themed and character symbolism tattoo art vectors for henna
traditional tattoo, flower, and earth theme body art tattoo stencil ideas
traditional skull art tattoo designs print with detailed information

Using Your Tattoo Stencils on Fake Skin

Ready to get started but not sure how? Here’s a few tips to get you started with your new tattoo designs.

1

Pick a Quality Fake Skin

Cheap fake skins off Amazon can cause your tattoo stencils to turn out bad and make it harder for you to do your best work. This means that instead of spending your time improving, you’ll be dealing with mistakes that wouldn’t have happened on a high-quality fake skin.

We recommend ReelSkin, Pound of Flesh, and Frankenskins for beginner tattoo artists. You can learn more about the differences in tattoo fake skins here:

2

Stencil Your Designs

You can make stencils in two different ways: by hand or with a thermofax machine. Which method you should use depends on where you are in your tattooing journey. 

If you’re new to tattooing and working with simpler designs, it’s best to make your stencils by hand. This gives you more practice with the design before you tattoo it and lets you build up muscle memory.

If you’re working with more intricate designs, a thermofax machine is your better option because it will make perfect stencils for you to follow and make it easier to show line weights in your designs. 

You can see both of these methods in action - and decide which one is right for you - here:

3

Transfer Your Tattoo Designs (The Easy Way)

If you’re going to be practicing these designs on fake skin, you don’t have to buy expensive Stencil Stuff (though you will need that type of high-quality primer when you make the jump to tattooing human skin).

While you’re still practicing, you can transfer your stencil using stick deodorant. Here’s how:

4

Practice Your Tattooing Skills

We recommend focusing on your linework first, and then saving the fake skins you practiced on until you’re ready to go back in with shading and color. Putting all your focus on linework will help you master it faster.

Need help? Check out our lining tutorial video:

Take Your Tattoo Designs to the Next Level

flash tattoo design book
prints of custom tattoos

As a new tattoo artist, smaller flash tattoos are the best place to start to build your skills. However, as you move forward, you’ll need to be able to design larger, more intricate tattoos for your clients. 

To do that, you’ll need to know how to draw with the flow of the muscles - and make sure your designs fit on the body without it wrapping too far around and overlapping. Without the right fit and flow, your tattoos will look awkward and limit your earning potential as a tattoo artist.

However, learning to draw with flow takes most artists years of trial and error…

And it can be really hard to wrap your head around when you’re just starting out. The best way to get the hang of it fast is to look at references of other artists’ work and see how they did it so you can replicate it in your own work.

As you practice drawing and tattooing those professional designs, you’ll naturally learn how to create designs that have flow.

That’s why we created the Tattooing 101 Sketch Book

Inside, you’ll find 74 tattoo designs drawn for you by our professional tattoo artists. You can use them to inspire your own designs - or you can stencil them up and start tattooing right away.

Instead of hoping another tattoo artist doesn’t see that you’re practicing with their designs, you can rest assured that these are 100% for you to use however you like. 

When you draw the designs inside or use them as tattoo stencils, you’ll get used to creating designs with flow, which means you’ll be able to draw tattoos that always look good on the body. If you would like to get your hands on a digital copy of 74 pro designs, hit the link below:

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

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AUTHOR
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain.

When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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