What Happens When You Get A Tattoo?

I’ve had several people ask me what happens when you get a tattoo, so I figured I’d snap a few pics with my cell phone the other night when I got my Fraggle Rock leg piece done.

First, your tattoo artist draws up the piece they’re going to be working on. They print it on transfer paper so they can apply it as a stencil on your leg.

Tattoo Applying Stencil

Don’t mistake a drawing on transfer paper to simply copying a design. Dan Dittmer, my rockstar tattoo artist (at Electric Dragonland), does all original artwork. He then turns his original masterpieces into stencils so he can turn them into a tattoo. Since it’s easier to draw on paper than a person, that’s how the artwork gets transferred from his drawing pad to my leg.

Tattoo Stencil Applied To Leg

Next, the tattoo artist preps their tools. A good tattoo artist will use only single-use needles and will check the tips for sharpness and straight edges, like Dan’s doing here.

Tattoo Checking Needles

They’ll also prep their tattoo machine and inks so everything is ready to go.

Tattoo Prepping Machine

Now for the fun (painful) part – the actual tattoo. You’ll notice there’s plenty of light for Dan to see all the lines he’s inking, and he’s wearing gloves and an apron to protect himself from airborne particulates. The table is also covered, and when he’s done, he’ll sanitize the whole space to keep things healthy and safe.

Tattoo Getting Inked

This particular piece is pretty big, so I sat for about 3-4 hours while he did all the outline work. After we finished, he wrapped my leg up in gauze to protect it. Within 24 hours, the bandage came off and I was ready to show off my new Fraggles.

Tattoo Finished Outline Red

Of course, it wouldn’t be Fraggle Rock without a few Doozers and more fraggles, right?

Tattoo Finished Outline Fraggles Doozers

This outline will probably take 2-3 weeks to fully heal, and then I’ll be ready to go back for color. I’m really excited to see how it all turns out!


  1. That is bad ass. I cannot wait to see the finished product!

  2. That is awesome!!! I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  3. That thing is narly! I used to have a recurring dream growing up that in our basement, behind the vent, was the passage to the Fraggle Rock world and I could go there and visit them. It kind of creeped me out.

  4. That’s is really cool. So for a tattoo like the one ur getting how much wud it cost? Im trying to find a good but not to spendy place to get a few!

  5. Very neat! I too look forward to seeing it upon completion!

  6. your pics make me want another tattoo. oddly addicting! i love fragglerock, havnt thought of this show in so long. gotta search for it so when my boys are older they can love it too! keep on keepin on mama!

  7. I big puffy heart the fact that you got a fraggle rock tattoo!

  8. It looks really great. I hope you plan to post pics each step of the way. I feel like I am I am watching a mini series and I have to wait to see what happens. Well I guess I do have to wait to see. LOL

  9. You are one amazing woman! I had an itty bitty star done on my foot that took maybe 10 minutes and it hurt like crazyyyy! Can’t wait to see your finish product!

  10. Thanks for sharing that…I’ve been thinking about getting one and I’m such a chicken! Your Fraggle Rock is awesome!

  11. Lindsay Lee says:

    What an awesome post! I loved fraggle rock!!! I have 3 tattoo’s so far, I just LOVE getting them. I can’t wait to get more!!!

  12. LOVE Fraggal rock!

  13. I should post what happens when you get a bad tiger tattoo on your tummy and than have 5 kids! Ha – your tattoo is awesome.

  14. I love Doziers and Fraggles…good thing you didn’t get the trash heap.

  15. I love it! I have never seen a Fraggle Rock tattoo, yours is very unique. I looooved the show when I was growing up. Seeing your pics of you getting tattooed makes me want to go back and get #6 done, but I can’t figure out where to get it. I’m running out of inconspicuous spots on my body!

  16. Jessica P. says:

    That looks awesome so far!

  17. Wow – thanks for sharing this process with us! I don’t have any tattoos, so it was really enlightening to read your post. I can’t wait to see the color.

  18. I have thought of tatoos a very small one but the idea of a needle scares me.

  19. Michelle F. says:

    I love the fraggle rocks! 🙂

  20. Suehey De Jesus says:


  21. D Schmidt says:

    I have had a few tattoos but never documented it. Great post! Cannot wait to see the colors added in a few weeks.

  22. Looks like it hurts! Props for getting that done. It’s a pretty sweet tattoo. 🙂

  23. Nena Sinclair says:

    Love the tats, they are unique and different! I hope you’ll keep us posted as they progress!

  24. wow I love Fraggle Rock. The was my favorite cartoon when I was little. That show rocks and I love your tattoo. Very unique! Looks like it hurts lol!

  25. How painful is it?

  26. I have one tattoo which i had done at the age of 16,i have regretted it to this day,because you are marked for life,and they fade and look blurry as you get older.

  27. all i can say is wow! that is a crazy tatoo.

  28. Stacey T says:

    Love Fraggle Rock. The tattoo looks great so far – its going to be awesome with color.

  29. Lisa Brown says:

    Great tattoo, love the design. Looks painful though 🙂

  30. Elaine Bell says:

    Why would you want to do this to your body? And you pay for it too! I just don’t get it!!

  31. cool.. Is this tattoo permanent? How do we get rid of it when we don’t want it?

  32. Bekah Kuczenski says:

    Wow that’s a huge tattoo it looks so painful!

  33. Now that is a tattoo! Very cool!

  34. Stefanie McMullen says:

    Looks great! I think it’s really neat that you chose to get a Fraggle Rock tattoo. That was my fave show when I was really little lol.

  35. Geri Fink says:

    That is amazing! I loved Fraggle Rock when I was a kid. Actually, I still do. I got a DVD set a few years ago. Go Doozers!

  36. Jill A. Collins says:

    Wow! That is one detailed tattoo! The color will really make it pop.

  37. Sara Campbell says:

    Awesome tattoo. I have three tattoos but I would not be able to get one this big. I love fraggle rock as well. I also can’t wait to see the finished product.

  38. Jeannette Laframboise says:

    Wow, frankly I had no idea it was that involved to get a tattoo. My 2 oldest boys both have tattoos and it truly never occurred to me to ask about the process…they don’t get cute things like Fraggles, they have spiders and webs and weird looking things…spoken like a true mother I think. 😉 Thanks for posting, it is true, you do learn something new every day!

  39. kelly nicholson says:

    My power to all of you,but not me baby!

  40. i got a tatoo and i think the black out line hurts bad my hubby says i am just a baby

  41. Christy Maurer says:

    I used to LOVE Fraggle Rock! Your tattoo is awesome, but it looks so painful! Idk if I could even get a tiny one, let alone that one!

  42. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    This looks like a quite intricate tattoo. I am excited to see the finished product. Do you have a say in what colors are used in your leg?

  43. What an interesting post! I’ve always been so nervous at the thought of getting a tattoo.

  44. Lisa Burke Cook says:

    That is sp interesting my daughter got a tattoo this summer and now I know how it happens.

  45. Betsy Barnes says:

    That looks so cool! 🙂

  46. Alexandra Roach says:

    Wait you did this permanently?

  47. mimi larrea says:

    Love Fraggle Rock- what a cool tattoo!

  48. I’ve never had a tattoo, but I’m wanting one. I would like to have a portrait of my father done in black and white. My only question is should I put it on my back or my forearm? Which would be less painful?

  49. Rachel Robertson (Azrael) says:

    Loved the play by play! I got my first tattoo at 18 and had no idea what I was in for! I don’t regret it all and still am getting them now 🙂 Luv your Fraggle!

  50. The fraggles! I just introduced my 2 1/2 year old to them. Such a cute series and one of my faves! Awesome idea! My husband would love it too!

  51. Amy Adams says:

    Wow! That’s an awesome tattoo! I can’t imagine how much that will hurt to fill in though!

  52. Whoa… that’s pretty amazing. I’d never be able to sit still for 3 to 4 hours. It probably Takes even longer when you go back for color, doesn’t it?

  53. Amy Siggelow says:

    Love the design ~ its a great graphic!

  54. Have never had a tatoo and that one you are getting is huge- how long does it take to color something like that in?

  55. deb kovac says:

    This was very interesting. I have never gotten a tattoo so this was very good information. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see the rest.

  56. kelley wood says:

    My sister and I watched Fraggle Rock all the time! Love this!

  57. Wow! I did not know what was involved in getting a tattoo! There is a lot of design and drawing that goes into getting a tattoo! I can not wait to see the finished product!

  58. darlene bohannon says:

    i dont know if i could stand that much pain ,a little tatoo hurts enough

  59. Holly Thomas says:

    I love looking at tattoo’s on others, just not my thing.

  60. How did you pick Fraggle Rock!?! So creative.

  61. FRAGGLE ROCK?! no freakin way! Seriously awesome.

  62. Chelsea Saulpaugh says:

    I love your tatoo. I have been thinking of getting a tatoo of my cat that recently passed away.

  63. OMG FraggeRock! It’s been forever since I though of that. Grea Tatoo

  64. So how did you choose the design? Did you go in with a detailed idea, or did you just give him a little info and he took it from there?

  65. Vesta Mason says:

    I LOVE Fraggle Rock! What an AWESOME tattoo!

  66. Danielle Papsis says:

    What a cool blog post. I’ve been curious, but not sure I’d ever get one. Thanks for sharing. I hope you post pictures when it’s complete 🙂 My daughter loves the Fraggles and Sprocket.

  67. Toni Porter says:

    I loved that show growing up! I’m excited to see it colored.

  68. Love Fraggle Rock, was always scared of the Gorgs though!

  69. Ouch!! I could never get a tattoo. I’m just too much of a wimp. I will just have to admire them on others.

  70. Seyma Shabbir says:

    Wow that is a lot of ink! You don’t go small 🙂

    You will have to post a pic when all the color is in. It is cute.

  71. alice lee says:

    WOW I’m amazed at your pain tolerance… Can’t wait to see the final results. I wanted tattoos back when I was 18 but never stuck with it.

  72. kimberly velkovski says:

    neat idea! i would love to see the end result

  73. Tara @momtwomonkeys says:

    I love this tattoo, I haven’t seen something quite so unique and it sure takes me back to childhood, watching this show on tv!

  74. Elaine Bell says:

    I’m curious as to how much a tattoo like this costs. Is it really worth the expense?

  75. Catherine Sayson says:

    how i wish i could have one in my leg too

  76. Can’t wait to see how it turns out

  77. It’s interesting getting a glimpse into the tattooing process. I didn’t know that the tattoo has to heal after.

  78. Wow…I had no idea so much went into getting a tattoo! Make sure you post the finished tattoo!!!

  79. Can’t wait to see it when it’s finished.

  80. SelectZen says:

    I’l never forget going in with my wife for her first ever tattoos, we were in for seven hours getting her shin’s tattooed. That looks really cool, don’t know if I would be brave enough to get anything. 🙂

  81. you got gut to do that i thought the piercing of the nipple were bad but i could not do that

  82. ana baltazar says:

    I’ve always wanted a tatto! That tattoo is so badass. Your blog is so interesting.

  83. You are one amazing woman!

  84. Nice!

  85. Love this blog and how you documented your tat experience.

  86. Finally a mom blogger with some awesome ink! Love it!

  87. Amazing! I loved that show as a kid. Great tat!

  88. Although I do not have a tattoo, I found the process fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

  89. omg i love it!! i have a few tattoos and they are sooo addicting if i had a million dollars i would be covered from head to toe! they cost so much money its like being a drug addict mind u it would probably be cheaper to be one:P lol but i love your tattoo i loved fraggle rock as a kid! so awesome!

  90. Thanks for posting this . I know lots of people with tattoo’s but I never really seen what all is involved in doing one. Your a brave lady is all I can say . I dont like needles at all. It seems alot of woman are also getting their kids names on them tnow a days. I would like to see it when its all done. My cousins daughter had angel wings done covering her whole back. You go gyrls – but its not for me Im a chicken bok bok bok

  91. Ginger Furr says:

    Very cool! Love tattoos! I got bit by the tattoo bug. I am up to 10 and don’t have any plans to stop.

  92. I would never get a tattoo! Sorry about that, all you tattoo lovers.

  93. heather holmberg says:

    awesome idea !! i love it

  94. Catherine Robichaud says:

    Coo Tattoo!

  95. jamie davis says:

    As soon as i am done breastfeeding i think i want to get a chest piece but i still have another unfinished piece and a few more sessions under the laser for the mistake my 18 year old self made. Really liked the band Korn so i got their logo tat’d on my back. some ppl think its cool some not so much. oops!

  96. Carolann Foerch says:

    Interesting. I didn’t know they did a transfer first. makes sense tho.

  97. interesting

  98. adrienne warren says:

    fraggle rock rules. love the tattoo

  99. Kelly King says:

    That is so awesome that you got a Fraggle Rock tat.

  100. Look great. I have always wanted a small tattoo on my ankle but just haven’t got the nerve to do it yet

  101. peggy curry says:

    i love my tatoo! however i have never gotten one where the person uses stensil usually theyfree hand mine on the spot where i want it and then they go and tatoo it on….

  102. Love the tattoo. I know I love all mine and they each mean something to me. I cant wait to get more

  103. Heather F says:

    Love the ink! very unique!

  104. Raina Delrio says:

    Awesome tat! I love Fraggle Rock!!!

  105. I can not wait to show this to my daughter! I love it!! I used to not like tattoos. Now, I love them! I don’t think I will get one, but, I just love the meanings behind them and the secret is ,deff go to a Tattoo Artist!
    My daughter got beautiful ones on her wrists, from her tattoo artist ; which because of this post, I am going to actually blog about them!!


  106. feathermaye says:

    So cool!! I have two tats, and would love to have more, but I got sick after each of mine and haven’t taken the chance again. Can’t wait to see your finished fraggles! 🙂

  107. What a cool mom!!! Love it.

  108. My sister is thinking about getting a tattoo, but she wants to know the kind of process she’ll go through before getting one. This being said, I really appreciate you giving me some insight about this and letting me know how the drawing and needle process works. I’ll be sure to show this to my sister right away so she can figure out what she wants to do. Thanks a ton for all your help.

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