Are stick and pokes dangerous?

We’ve written here before about the “sterility” and physical safety of do-it-yourself stick and poke tattoos. I wanted to tackle a different topic today… a topic I love… the topic of emotional safety.


woman with tattoos Photo by Timothy Paul Smith on Unsplash

Of course, emotional safety is far more subjective and contextual than physical safety – you can tell whether you have an infection pretty easily, but it can be much more difficult, and far more personal, to gauge your level of emotional safety. It depends on a lot of factors – how you define emotional safety for yourself, to what degree you see your physical & mental safety as intertwined with your emotional safety, and how much risk you feel good to undergo for some result that will bring you emotional fulfillment in the future.

So what’s the deal with stick and […]


why stick n poke tattoo

 woman with tattoos by Nappy on Pexels

Why choose stick n’ poke over other body art? 

Hey folks ! This is e., writing again for Stick & Poke Tattoo Kit! I love my tattoos, and I love getting tattooed. I have multiple machine-done pieces, and several stick and pokes. Today, I want to delve into why I’ve chosen the stick and poke style & technique many times, and why I’m excited to continue choosing it as I put more permanent art on my body.

While there are folks out there who might exclusively offer caution and warning about stick and poke tattoos, there’s plenty of videos, articles, and info, online and elsewhere, that explain how to do them safely and with fabulous results. Check out our blog for a ton of info about how to be physically and culturally responsible with your […]


How to stick and poke

How to “stick and poke tattoo” is a matter of opinion, however some aspects of this hand poke tattooing technique are universal. Here are detailed step by step instructions for a beginner to do their first DIY stick and poke tattoo safely.

This article contains links to other posts on our blog.  Click on the words for more detailed explanations of each step.

tattoo needle


Gather your tattoo supplies. Tattoos needles and ink are obvious. You’ll need several medical supplies to safely handle the minor injury inherent in all tattooing. Finally, you will need after care supplies that are specific to the tattoo industry. Here is a detailed list of what is in our beginner kits that you can use as a shopping list. Many of these supplies […]


Do stick and pokes fade?

Stick and poke tattoos are unique and different from machine-done tattoos in a lot of ways, but one way that they’re quite similar to other styles of tattoos is that they’re definitely permanent…although they may fade.

Tattoos do change over time. Tattoos are a part of our bodies, and our bodies are constantly changing, shedding skin, expanding and contracting, and healing. Luckily, there are a ton of factors that determine the ways tattoos change and how much they change, so it’s a process we have some degree of control over.

With all tattoos, how well you take care of them, both right after getting the art on your body, and continually over time, will affect how much your tattoos fade.

Some common tips and tricks for a long-lasting tattoo include:

  1. Be careful of sunlight! Limit how much direct sunlight your tattoos get, and/or slap on that sunscreen.
  2.  Keep your skin moisturized. Letting your […]

Are stick and poke tattoos safe?

After 5 years in business, I think I have enough data to say that “yes” if done safely, stick and poke tattoos are safe.

My first year selling these kits, I was honestly not sure. I knew only that people needed access to the supplies to do stick and pokes at least “safer” than they were currently doing them. A sewing needle and india ink doesn’t seem safe. Even so, I hadn’t heard any horror stories of infection using these primitive means. Now, after years of experience interacting with thousands of first time tattooers and talking to to health professionals and tattoo artists – both professional artist and casual/DIY artists, I can say confidently that anyone can do a tattoo at home that will avoid infection and spread of blood borne pathogens. And – it’s not that scary. It is certainly not surgery. It’s no wonder the ancient civilizations on every […]


Why not get an unalome tattoo?

Unalome and other traditional tattoos are growing in popularity as globalization, e-commerce, low airline fares and widespread digital social communication all contribute to the continuous swirling of people and goods from one end of the globe to the other. What a time to be alive! It really is exciting! If you are of European descent, you may be asking yourself: “Now that I’ve been to several Wats in Thailand,­­­­‑

…should I get an unalome tattoo?”

My advice is: Definitely, No! Read why below….

Traditional cultural symbols, like the Unalome or Om are from Buddhist and Hindu religions, respectively.

Om (Auṃ or Oṃ, Devanagari: ॐ) is the most important symbol in Hinduism (India). We are talking about a 3500 old culture and this symbol is the most sacred symbol for billions of people. Frivolous wearing of the symbol or printing it all over is considered by some, very disrespectful. Buddha and Lotus (or Padma) […]


New science of tattoos and tattoo removal

tattoo microphage

Scientists wondered (and didn’t we all) why our body holds the pigment within the skin’s layers to show off for a lifetime. Why not just take that foreign invader away to be processed like the trespasser that it is? How does this cell hold the ink after cell death? Well it turns out that the macrophages in our skin eat the ink and do eventually die. We don’t know why. But we DO now know that when they die, the next microphage grabs the ink to hold in turn – and so on, until organism death!

(See the above picture of the microphage with wee ink bits inside).

Temporary inhibition of skin macrophage function is a therefore a possible way to disrupt this cycle and to remove a tattoo. With this approach, researcher and Immunologist Sandrine Henri of The French National Institute of […]


Tattoo Aftercare

Most professionals at this point have started to agree on the best steps for “aftercare” or after tattoo care for your tattoo. You will want to:

    1. Prevent infection
    2. Prevent fading
    3. Encourage healing


after care for a new tattoo

This can be done using these steps as outlined in this image brought to you by Monster Steel Tattoo!

It includes the steps of Going Home, Keeping it clean, Moisturizing, Dressing appropriately, Healing, and Protection (or what to avoid).

Our DIY Hand Poke Tattoo Kits will soon include a breathable soaker pad bandages like the pro’s use.  😉


Stick n Pokes and Band Feelings

By Shelly Simon

When one forms a partnership, it’s not necessarily a permanent agreement. When one forms a band, it’s not necessarily a bond that will last forever. When one does a custom stick and poke tattoo with their bandmate and best friend; it’s a commitment that is constant. A reminder that resonates in more ways than one. The ink that was projected from the point of that needle into the flesh of my fellow music-maker, female muse of a bandmate; is a memory I can cherish forever.

I am the drummer of a dynamic duo called Tiides – based in Brooklyn, NY – I’ve gotten the pleasure of playing drums with Christiana Chavez for a majority of 2017. She’s the songwriter, guitar player and heart melter of […]