How to Use Borders on Tattoo Flash Sheets

Borders on your tattoo flash sheets are a great way to make your designs look professional and work together as a set. Even though it’s a small thing, using a border will make sure your work stands out to customers.

In this article, we’ll break down what you need to think about when adding borders to your flash sheets, like:

  • Letting your designs “overlap” your border
  • Adding a watermark to your designs
  • Creating a background to stand out online

The Importance of Borders in Your Tattoo Designs

If you have a few designs made, the best way to make your flash sheet look more professional is to add a border around your designs. 

1

Space Out Your Designs

Before you go to add a border, you want to make sure that your tattoo designs are spaced out how you would want them on your final flash sheet. They should be visually appealing without having too much space between them that they don’t look cohesive.

Pro Tip:

On a flash sheet, all the designs should be in the same tattoo style and use the same color palette. This will make sure your designs look like they belong together and aren’t randomly placed on the same sheet. 

2

Place Your Border

Once you’re happy with where the designs are placed, you can place the border.

If you are working on Procreate, you’ll want to do this part on a different layer. Use a thicker brush, and then add your border. Remember to hold down the pen on the screen to get Procreate to automatically make your lines perfectly straight.

If you are working with pen and paper, use a ruler to keep your border straight.

Border Options

You can use a plain straight line as your border, or you can use a border you find online to make your sheet look more detailed. However, be careful that you don’t choose anything too decorated that it takes away from your artwork.
No matter what you choose to do, we recommend lowering the opacity of your border so it doesn’t overpower your tattoo designs.

Overlapping Your Border and Designs

To make your designs pop, you can move the border in so that it slightly overlaps your tattoo designs. From there, just erase the areas of the border that overlap so the design looks like it’s overlapping and on top of your border. 

Pro Tip:

If each of your tattoo designs is in a different layer on Procreate, just move the layer so that it is the bottom layer of the design.

3

Add Your Watermark

You want to make sure you’re watermarking your designs. This means adding a signature to your flash sheet. You can create a design or have a stylized version of your name, but you want to make sure it’s specific to you. For example, in the video, Brandon uses his initials for his watermark. 

Depending on the design, you might want your watermark to be large and dark. Other times, you’ll want it to be smaller and in the corner of your sheet.

Line Up Your New Design

Once you’ve picked a design, line it up with the old one so it is more easily hidden. 

After you finish drawing, you can then print your design off to size.

Note:

Your watermark should be a symbol or signature that you can use to promote your brand. That way, when people see your watermark, they automatically know that it’s your work. 

4

Create a Background

If you want to post your individual designs online, you can create a background to make your work stand out. This will keep your Instagram and Facebook posts from having a plain white background. 

Here’s the method Brandon uses in the video:

  • Choose the design you want to post online and copy it onto a new layer.
  • Choose just the line work of the design and put it on a layer below your completed design.
  • Make the line work larger and shift it to an angle that is visually appealing.
  • Lower the opacity of your line work layer.
  • Add your watermark to the new design.

Become a Tattoo Artist With the Artist Accelerator Program

student work from the Artist Accelerator tattoo artist training programs

Having a career in tattooing is not only fulfilling, but it’s also the most stable way to make a living as an artist. However, for decades, the process to become a tattoo artist has been notoriously difficult. 

The apprenticeship process requires aspiring tattoo artists to work 50-60 hours a week without pay for 2-4 years. That, combined with the toxic culture of abusing apprentices, makes getting into the industry almost impossible for newcomers. 

That’s why we created the Artist Accelerator Program. Our online course provides a simple, structured way of learning to tattoo that has been proven to work by over 2500 successful students, with many of them having gone on to open their own shops all around the world. 

Inside the program, we’ll take you through every step of the tattooing process in 9 clear, easy-to-follow modules and support you along the way within the Tattooing 101 Mastermind online community.

In the Mastermind group, you’ll collaborate with other students, get answers to your questions, and receive personalized video feedback on your artwork and tattoos from professional tattoo artists. With this friendly community of both new and experienced tattoo artists, you’ll never be stuck again. 

When you join the Artist Accelerator Program, you’ll have instant access to the full course and the Mastermind community, as well as our 30-Day Flash Challenge and recorded interviews with tattoo artists from all over the world. 

Click here to learn more about the Artist Accelerator Program

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
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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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