Woman in a bathing suit who has a sun tattoo on hip

Kinda sorta want a tattoo, but you’re afraid of needles or you don’t want to make that commitment? Then you have a hot solution: sun tattoos. To achieve a sun tattoo, you simply get a tan everywhere except where you want the pattern (aka tattoo) to be. Boom, instant “sun tattoo.” Best part is that it fades! Below are several DIY ways to get a sun tattoo.


One of the easiest ways to get a sun tattoo is to simply put a sticker on your skin while tanning. This can be done with a real tan and a spray tan. Since stickers come in all sorts of shapes, and they’re easy to keep on your skin, they’re a popular option.

You can find types of stickers that are specifically made for tanning purposes. A lot of these are made to include cool outlines that will show on the tan itself, like open lips. You can also find packs of them, so you can try out a different design when your current tan fades. You can find such a pack here. They’re easy to apply and affordable!


Woman holding sunscreen on the beach

Have a super sweet idea, but you can’t find a sticker for it? Then maybe it’s time to get creative and paint on the design yourself. You’ll simply apply a thick layer of sunscreen to where you want the sun tattoo to go. You can even use paint or old makeup brushes to make sure you apply just the design you want.

Silly Bandz

If you don’t want to get your skin all sticky or don’t have stickers on hand, another easy idea is to use Silly Bandz while tanning. These are a great way to get a sun tattoo that is just an outline. They come in all sorts of fun outline shapes. If you find that you like to switch up your sun tattoos or have more than one, you can find super cheap packs of different designs.

Nail Polish

Spilled blue nail polish on a pink background

If you’re up and moving a lot, like swimming and playing beach games, you’ll need something that stays put better than stickers and sunscreen. Simply paint on some nail polish, which will stay on and obstruct the sun so you can still get that sweet design. Use white or black polish to make it look like a cool design that resembles an actual tattoo. All you have to do is remove it with nail polish remover at the end of the day.

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