There are two features for you on this page:
Temporary tattoos, otherwise known as "tattooze", are a form of waterslide transfers in which licking the skin is the usual method of applying moisture. They are the simplest and cheapest form, and do not require sliding away the carrier layer, which can simply be lifted off. This is more or less just a method of wetting ink so that it will leave an imprint wherever you stick it. Potato printing uses much the same idea, so this method is presumably prehistoric. Temporary tattoos, because they are so cheap to produce, are a staple of the confectionery industry, where they are commonly sold in sealed packets along with a piece of chewing gum.
(On eBay or somewhere.)
— It's a Mig Fighter, everybody.
(Yes, that IS the Yellow Submarine Dalek operating the other camera.)
If you live in an area with a hard water supply, you might like to boil the water first & then let it cool down; or you could use still bottled water. Please do not scald the recipient.
It is NOT recommended that you use a potato peeler for this procedure.
Dab — do not rub. Or you will risk damaging the transfer.
Jerri Walker: Seriously — WHY is there burning?
Tom Vinelott: That's the burning question.
Allergies to whatever mysterious chemicals were used back in the 60s to print Temporary Tattoos are not anticipated. No celebrity musicians were injured in the application of this tattoo.
Best that can be hoped for with these, I'm afraid. They are, after all, just cheap toys. I don't know how good they were to start with, but the technology is inherently problematic, & the fifty year maturation period probably didn't help…
We had much better results with the other types of transfer.
More sophisticated tattooze come with a protective backing tissue to prevent the transfer sticking to anything until ready; so after cutting out the selected transfer, the tissue should be removed. This step is not illustrated above, simply because no backing tissue was provided to remove!
Here are some Letraset Super Heroes Tattooze with the backing tissue in place (above), & with it removed (below):
Letraset Tattooze "Multi-Coloured Skin Transfers" without the backing tissue:
And of course we have to show you the backing tissue on its own:
Finally, the packets they came in, with nice clear instructions on the back.
Picture Credit: The SPLAT Scan Archives — Photography by Tom Vinelott at Triplica.com.
Models: Charley Stone, with Gemma Gompertz.
© Tom Vinelott 2023