What Is a Tattoo Party?

by Kent Page McGroarty
Research tattoos prior to the party to get an idea of what you want.

Research tattoos prior to the party to get an idea of what you want.

Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Tattoo parties are not so different from your average party -- except for the tattoo artist in the middle of the room inking your friends and family. Drinks and food are set out for guests to nosh on while browsing the artist's portfolio for the tattoo they wish to receive. Always use a licensed tattoo artist with a professional background for any tattoo party you throw.


Organizing a tattoo party involves finding at least five to 10 friends, co-workers and family members interested in getting a tattoo. Collect a set amount of money from them, depending on the deposit rate for the tattoo artist you wish to hire, which typically must be turned in to the artist at least a week before the party date. Make a list of the people who really want a tattoo, as opposed to to those still thinking it over, to avoid wasted time during the party. Depending on how many people are tattooed at your party, you might get a discount on your own tattoo.


Preparation for the tattoo party involves creating a clean, sterile environment in which the tattoo artist can work. All pets must be removed and kept in an area where they cannot disturb the artist or party guests. Electrical outlets must be readily available in the tattoo area for tattoo machines, lighting and any other equipment. Allow time for the tattoo artist to arrive for setup, which should occur at least one hour before the party starts.

Party Rules

Any equipment damaged during the tattoo party becomes the responsibility of the party host. Books, magazines and portfolios used during the party are to be handled carefully, or the host will be responsible for these damages as well. Tattooing is generally payable by cash only, and prices are based on the size and design of the tattoo as well as the color choices. No reputable tattoo artist or salon will tattoo someone under 18 years of age without parental consent, and most artists require that children not be present at tattoo parties. They also generally require the signing of release forms before tattooing. Clothing should be kept in mind while attending tattoo parties, as expensive or favorite clothing items can become damaged. It should also be noted that guests receiving tattoos should monitor their alcohol consumption, if not avoid it entirely, before tattooing, as alcohol thins the blood.

Types of Tattoo Parties

Tattoo parties can be used to celebrate many different events, such as birthdays, holidays and other memorable occasions, including anniversaries, graduations and retirement. Another option is to throw a tattoo party in lieu of a bachelor or bachelorette party. Surprise friends who have been saving for their first tattoo or who want one as a Christmas or birthday gift. Most tattoo parties involve permanent tattoos, though airbrush and henna tattoo parties are also options.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images