Posted on October 26 2021
Having a professional stick and poke setup is the key to creating a good quality hand poked tattoo. Not to mention sterilising and organising your space well too, so that the process is safe and you aren’t awkwardly reaching for products mid-tattoo. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a list of ten items you need for your stick and poke setup, along with the links to buy them.
Gloves and apron
First up, you’ll need some disposable gloves and a disposable apron for your setup. Make sure you put on a fresh set each time you perform a new tattoo and dispose of them when you’re finished. To avoid cross contamination, it’s important that your gloves don’t come into contact with anything else when you’re poking your tattoo. Furthermore, to safely take off your disposable gloves, don’t touch the outer side of them. You can do this by turning them inside out as you’re taking them off. To view our disposable gloves, click here.
Surface cover and disinfectant
It’s crucial that your workspace is clean, including where your equipment will go. We recommend using anti-bacterial spray to clean your area, followed by covering it with a medical grade surface cover. These dressings are built with a paper top to absorb any fluids from spillages, with a plastic base to prevent any damage to the surface underneath. Once you’ve cleaned your area and covered it with your dressing, place all the equipment you’ll need in a flat and organised manner. This way everything will be easy to reach and you can focus all your attention on your stick and poke.
The needles you use for your hand poked tattoo affect how long it’ll last and it’s overall look. We recommend using professional needles for your stick and poke, and avoiding sewing needles. Professional needles are a high quality, sterile and affordable option. Meaning you’ll get a more precise line for your tattoo. There’s also a range of different needle types available which are suitable for different lines. Including round liners for outlining and magnum shaders for shading. To learn more about the different needle types in depth, click here.
Hand poke tool
While professional needles are long enough to hold comfortably, a lot of people like to use hand poke tools to give themselves more control. They’re usually chunky and wrap around the needle to make it more comfortable. There’s a range of types available, including tubes that you place your needle into and even disposable tape to wrap around your needle. If you’re using a reusable tool, it’s crucial to fully sterilise it before each use to make sure it’s clean and safe to use. To view our range of hand poke tools, click here.
Another element that’ll affect how long your tattoo lasts and the overall look of it, is the ink you use. We recommend using professional ink for your stick and poke, as similar to professional needles, it’s high quality, sterile and affordable. The most popular professional ink type is pre-dispersed, meaning after it’s been shaken, it’s ready to use. We currently have over thirty colours of Stick & Poke Ink available, so there’s something for everyone. If you’re vegan we’ve also got you covered with the Intenze Black Liner Vegan Ink. To view our full range of stick and poke inks, click here.
To avoid cross contamination, it’s super important to pour your ink into disposable cups when creating a stick and poke, instead of putting your needle directly in your ink bottle. If you’re using multiple colours for your tattoo, you’ll need an ink cup for each colour. To view our ink cups, click here.
Another key item for your stick and poke setup is tattoo wipes. Having these to hand whilst tattooing is key so you can wipe away any excess ink. Our S8 Tattooing Towels are a great alternative to paper towels and are made specifically for tattoo procedures. They’re compressed into tablets, meaning they’re convenient for storage. Made from non-woven cotton fibre sheets, these towels are softer on the skin compared to paper towels, and they’re more durable. To use them, simply wet the towel with water and it’ll expand, ready for use.
If free hand poking is a bit much for you, buying some stencil supplies for your setup is a great idea. This allows you to draw your design on paper and transfer it to your skin, where you can start poking it. You’ll need some tracing paper, stencil paper, a sterile marker and some stencil gel. Whether you want to buy your stencil items individually or as a kit, we’ve got you covered. To read more about how to carry out a stencil transfer, click here.
Disposing of your needles correctly is crucial for safety, and having a sharps bin in your stick and poke setup is the way to do this. The way to use it is to place your used needles in it with your gloved hands, when you’ve finished your tattoo. It can then be taken to a disposal facility so that your needles are disposed of safely. For information on where your local disposal facility is, contact your local pharmacy.
Lastly, having a good set of aftercare items for your setup is a great idea. When you’ve finished your tattoo, you’ll want to wrap it in a bandage. After 2-6 hours, remove the bandage and wash your tattoo with some soap and water with clean hands. Pat your tattoo dry with a clean towel instead of rubbing it, as the abrasion can damage your tattoo. You’ll then want to apply a thin layer of moisturiser to the area, as well as a salve to form a protective barrier. The key is to keep the skin hydrated but not overly applying the product. We recommend repeating the hydrating steps three to four times a day for seven to ten days. To view our aftercare products, click here.
We hope you found this blog post useful for creating a professional stick and poke setup. To view our full range of products, click here.