How to make a temporary floral tattoo that looks real


Here’s my guide to making a real pressed flower tattoo- inspired by ‘oh comely’ magazine.

What you’ll need:

STAGE 1: drying and pressing the flowers: (1 week)
  • selection of flowers
  • scissors
  • 4 sheets of kitchen towel per batch of flowers
  • thick, heavy book
STAGE 2: sticking the flowers on: (30 minutes)
  • picture of the flowers you’re going to use, laid out in the position you want them to be in
  • vaseline or eyelash glue
  • tweezers
  • mirror


I simply choose flowers with colourful petals that lie flat. It’s best to pick and press quite a large quantity as well as varying types and colours, in case some crumple or rip. The larger flowers maintain their shape better and keep in mind that the petals get darker when they’re dried out.

To press the flowers place them in between kitchen roll, face down, and leave them amongst pages of a heavy book for about a week. Once you’ve got a good collection of pressed flowers you can re-use them and repeatedly return to your stock for more flower tattoos. Or to make other things like greetings cards.

How to prepare the flowers


With some flowers, I leave about 2cm of the stem to keep the flower whole. For others,  I cut only 0.5cm away from the bud so some of the petals detach. This is more delicate and you can apply the petals one at a time, which gives you a more intricate tattoo.


Plan the layout of your tattoo first
I created my flower tattoo across my collar bones but I think a necklace or bracelet would look equally dramatic. For a festival, try placing a few petals on your cheeks.
Lay out the flowers you want in the position you’re picturing them to be in along your body. Then take a picture on your phone or print one off to refer to as you apply the flowers because you’ll probably forget the design, as soon as you’re concentrating on picking up the delicate flowers.
When you’re ready, simply apply a layer of vaseline to the back of the flower and carefully press it against your skin, if it’s too fiddly to use your hands, use the tweezers.


The Vaseline works really well for sticking the flowers on, especially if you’re just using petals. Alternatively, you can use eyelash glue to make sure the petals stay put for longer.

The daisies on the tattoo started to come off towards the end of the day and the flowers with longer stems left on felt less secure but the whole tattoo stayed almost perfectly intact the five hours I had it on.


Credit:Verity Cumming. The make up artist who arranged the look for the front cover of ‘Oh Comely’ magazine issue 20.
Instagram @thinkinghatt 

7 responses to “How to make a temporary floral tattoo that looks real

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