How to make a tattoo gun at home

A tattoo machine is a hand-held device mainly used to make a tattoo. Recent tattoo machines make use of electromagnetic coils that move the armature bar up and down. A barred needle is connected to the armature bar; the needle pushes ink into the skin. These machines are mainly used by professionals as they are convenient while making tattoos over a period of time. For the ones who are new to tattooing or those who are still learning, this machine would be a bit difficult to handle. Such people can use a homemade tattoo gun. Here is how you can make a tattoo gun at home with things that are easily available.

Difficulty Level


Time required

One whole day

Resources required

1. A toothbrush

2. A ballpoint pen with a metal tip

3. One inch section of a clean ink tube

4. 4 to 5 inch section of a guitar string

5. A pencil eraser

6. Tape

7. An electric motor

8. An adapter

9. Scissors

10. A lighter

11. A file


1. Cut the bristles off the toothbrush

Trim off all the bristles of the toothbrush using a sharp knife or scissors.

2. Bend the toothbrush

Once you have trimmed off the bristles you need to bend the toothbrush. For that observe where the toothbrush’s handle turns in to the head. Now that you have found that part heat it using a lighter and try to bend it in the shape of number 7. Grasp it in place till the plastic gets hard again. This seven shaped toothbrush now acts as the frame for the tattoo gun.

3. Prepare the pen

Now take an old pen and disassemble it by taking everything out. To remove the ball-point from the tip you need to file it cautiously. Once the ball-point comes out, a small hole is left that can be used to place a needle. Now prepare the clean ink tube. Make use of scissors to cut just about 3/4 to 1 inch from the top of the ink tube detached from the pen. Ensure the tube is clean to avoid having an untidy needle or a guitar string.

4. Insert the needle into the pen

Now position the cleaned ink tube on the end of the ball-point’s metal piece. The attached piece look somewhat look like a regular pen, which is just an inch long. Now attach the assembled piece to the pen shell’s tip. Ensure the tip is hollow. By now you will have a pen with a hollow tip and a frame.

5. Assembling the motor

Put the pencil eraser very close to the center of the motor in a way as such that the tip of the motor is in the centre of the eraser. Now tie the motor to the toothbrush frame using a tape.

6. Insert the guitar string/needle

Take the guitar string which is the second thinnest of all the strings. Cut a 6 to 7 inch section of the string, you can keep it longer if needed and later trim off the excess. Put the guitar string into the base of the pen with hollow opening. You can also place the string from the top but going from base is far easier. Later bend the top of the string in a 90 degree angle and press it onto the eraser, close to the edge and off the center. Now to add power strip the ends of the adapter’s wire and connect these wires to the wires of the motor and to make sure it doesn’t move paste a tape.

7. Test the handmade tattoo gun

One you are done with all the wiring plug the gun to see if it functions properly or not. In case it doesn’t then try attaching different wires or change the motor if required. The home-made tattoo gun is ready to be used.

Frequently asked questions

Question. Which kind of ink should be used with this tattoo gun?

Answer. Keep in mind to not make use of ordinary pen ink. Go for professional ink it works the best. Some commercial inks are also safe to use.

Quick tips

1. To find out where to bend the brush check the slimmest part of the toothbrush and heat it over there.

Things to watch out for

1. The motor should be placed at the peak of the seven shaped part.

2. The string should be attached properly to the eraser. This step needs to be done with accuracy as it is essential for the proper operation of the tattoo gun.

Today's Top Articles:

Scroll to Top