How To Make Temporary Tattoos From Real Dried Flowers - That Cheap Bitch

How To Make Temporary Tattoos From Real Dried Flowers

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Flash tattoos are officially a thing. They’ve been trendy ever since Beyonce made them cool at the end of last summer, and they’re all over Coachella at this very moment. I really love the idea of showing off a tattoo that I can wash off later, but I just can’t get behind the “festival wear” thing. Plus…and call me a hipster/snob if you want…if everyone’s doing something…that makes me want to do it less.

When I saw gorgeous photos of dried flower “tattoos” during a recent Pinterest binge, I knew I had found a flash tattoo inspired DIY I had to try. It was the perfect compromise of festival style, dainty elegance, and originality. My results were everything I had hoped for. Check out how I did it below and learn how to make temporary tattoos from dried flowers at home.

To start off, I headed to the florist. I bought two potted African violets: one with pink flowers and one with dark purple. I figured if I ever wanted to do this again, I’d have a tattoo tree ready for me in my kitchen. They were only $4 a piece. I don’t have much of a green thumb, but maybe I will miraculously keep them alive.

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I also wanted some red in my fake tattoos, so I bought two red carnations. I ended up only using one of them for my arms. I felt pretty goofy buying flowers just so I could rip them apart, but, okay.

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Pressing flowers the traditional way can take weeks. Instead of sticking my buds in a book and waiting, I dried them out in 30 seconds with a microwave. I put my flowers face down on a paper towel on top of a plate. Then I put another paper towel on top of the blossoms, and then pressed them down with another plate.

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The carnations kept a lot more of their color during the drying process. The purple and pink flowers turned brown on the edges and looks a bit transparent. how to make temporary tattoos from dried flowers 4

The petals on the carnations were much sturdier than the African violets. I thought it would be easier to let the violets dry a little bit on the paper towel before I pulled them off, (you know how things can be a little moist after you take them out of the microwave?) but that did not work. When using delicate flowers, the key is to take them off of the paper towels immediately, and transfer them right-side-up to a dry paper towel.

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To adhere the flowers, I used brush-on eyelash glue. I painted a little bit on my skin and carefully patted the flower into place. On petals that didn’t quite stick, I used the eyelash glue like ModPodge and decoupaged them into place. After I finished my design, I sealed the flowers by spraying them with hairspray. Here’s how it finally turned out:

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Even though the petals I used to make these tattoos were delicate, the finished product was anything but. They stayed on through wind, under my jacket, and took quite a bit of effort to eventually get off. If you don’t want to commit to having these glued on your arms all day, the tutorial that inspired my process suggests using vaseline to stick on the flowers. I for one will stick to eyelash glue for optimal durability. I’m looking forward to doing this again in the summer for outdoor parties, concerts, or days spent drinking cocktails in the sun.

how to make temporary tattoos from dried flowers dress

Also, I am OBSESSED with this blue tea dress from Uniqlo’s Ines de La Fressange collection. I’d been eying it for awhile before purchasing, and it was definitely $50 well spent. It makes me feel like Audrey Hepburn…if Audrey Hepburn had mint green hair.


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What do you think of my dried flower flash tattoos? Let me know in the comments.

  • good gawd this is freaking awesome! I love my tattoos and shall soon be going under the needle for my 5th but shall definitely be giving this a go with my kiddo – this is much nicer alternative to the ones she proudly draws on herself with permanent marker 😉

  • Laura Bill

    Is there any particular hairspray you would recommend, or just use a basic Aqua Net hairspray? (Any particular “hold” as well?) Also – what about spirit gum?

    • I’ve never worked with spirit gum…how thick is it? That’s what you use to adhere fake beards and special effects makeup, right? I think that would work! It’d also make it super, super durable, I’d imagine. So it’d depend how long you wanted to keep it on for. I used aerosal hairspray, I think that works best…specifically Tresemme Tres Two hairspray level 3 hair spray.

      • Laura

        Yep, that’s what you use for adhering pretty much everything in costuming. I think it would possibly be a trial-and-error situation, because personally I’m not sure how it would interact with a layer of hairspray as well. Thanks so much for this tutorial!

  • Dude_No_Edge

    What is the texture of the finished product like?

    • The petals are pretty smooth – the yellow pollen parts are more raised, you could certainly take them off if you want. It was pretty comfortable on my skin. I wore them all day, just took them off before I went to sleep so I didn’t get flower bits in my bed. Does that answer your question?

      • Dude_No_Edge

        Yes, thank you!

  • melissa

    that looks sooo cool!!!

  • Love it~! Very creative~!

  • Michelle Bradley

    I have an even better (and LESS EXPENSIVE) idea. Go to your local Dollar Store and buy stick on tattoos. Y can mix and match, plus they are by far, much more comfortable than hard petrified flowers. Still, I liked the Glitter Boots on this site- PURE GENIUS!

    • I really don’t think dollar store temporary tattoos would look the same! But thanks on the compliment for glitter boots.

  • Vanessa Leigh

    Good Dress Great tutorial! <3

  • PopShopAmerica

    Amazing! Definitely trying this diy.