How To Make A Tattoo Flash Sheet: Your Guide To Making Awesome Tattoo Flash Sheets

Tyler Martina

How To Make A Tattoo Flash Sheet Guide To Making Awesome Tattoo Flash Sheets

How To Make A Tattoo Flash Sheet: Your Guide To Making Awesome Tattoo Flash Sheets

There are many different methods to creating a Tattoo Flash Sheet, and the creative process is different for every artist. However, this guide on how to create a Tattoo Flash Sheet will give a tried and true process to get you started.

First we will go over what a Tattoo Flash Sheet is and some of the history. Next, we will go over Tattoo Flash Sheet sizing and materials. And finally, we will go over coming up with a concept and how to lay out your Tattoo Flash Sheet.

By the time you are done reading this Tattoo Flash Sheet Guide you will be well on your way to creating your own Tattoo Flash Sheet.

What Is A Tattoo Flash Sheet?

A Tattoo Flash Sheet is a series of illustrations done by an artist that all relate to a central theme. For example, a Valentine's Day Flash Sheet could have hearts, love letters, and candy, like the example Flash Sheet below. The number and size of the drawings can vary from artist to artist, or from Flash Sheet to Flash Sheet. However, most Flash Sheets have at least 3 different flash designs.

Tattoo Flash Sheet Valentines Example

Flash by London


Tattoo Flash Sheets are designed to be placed in tattoo shops (and now online) to give people looking to get tattoos some tattoo ideas. Each Tattoo Flash Sheet allows the artists to showcase their individual style and artistic takes on things related to the Flash Sheet theme. It is original art that is designed to be tattooed on the skin.

In the  early 1900s Tattoo Flash Sheets began showing up in tattoo shops around America, and Tattoo Flash Sheets have been a mainstay of modern tattoo culture ever since.

Original Flash Sheet Designs

Early tattoo flash sheet from early 1900s image credit 

What Are The Size And Dimensions Of A Tattoo Flash Sheet

There is no exact size for a Tattoo Flash Sheet, however the common size for Tattoo Flash Sheets is 11” x 14” .  Again, there is no specific dimensions that Tattoo Flash Sheets must meet, it varies greatly based on the theme, the flash illustrations, and many other factors.

Tattoo Flash Sheet Dimensions

Common 14" x 11" tattoo flash sheet dimensions


This goes for the individual illustrations that make up the Flash Sheet as well, they can be any size from small to large. A Flash Sheet can also contain drawings of all different sizes on the same Flash Sheet, this is often encouraged to give prospective clients some different sizes to choose from. 

A Tattoo Flash sheet can also be designed based on body parts. For example, the Tattoo Flash Sheet below is designed for the back. This doesn’t mean you must get the tattoo on your back, or even all the elements of the Tattoo Flash Sheet, it is just designed to give you ideas.

Tattoo Flash Sheet With Body Parts

Example of tattoo flash sheet with body part placement

What Materials Are Used To Create A Tattoo Flash Sheet?

When gathering materials for a Tattoo Flash Sheet you have countless options, from a canvas, to a computer,  to a sketch pad, Tattoo Flash Sheets can be done with markers, paint, digitally, pen, pencil, literally anything or medium you would like to use.

This leaves you with many opportunities to create different tattoo designs based on your chosen medium. It also lets you choose the medium you prefer to showcase your designs on before they are transferred to skin.

How To Come Up With Ideas For A Tattoo Flash Sheet?

Coming up with Tattoo Flash Sheet ideas is one of the funnest parts of designing a Flash Sheet. There are almost limitless options for inspiration, so you will need to narrow it down to come up with an exact idea for your Sheet.

The best place to start is with an overall concept, or a Tattoo Flash Sheet Theme. Next, after you have decided on a theme, you will have to come up with ideas for individual flash drawings that conform to that overall theme. 

Below we will go into both of these steps in more detail below.

Overall Concept / Tattoo Flash Sheet Theme

Ideas for Tattoo Flash Sheets are everywhere, but one of the best ways to find an idea quick finding something topical including:

Holidays (Halloween Flash Sheet)

Movies or TV (Simpsons Flash Sheet)

Current Events (Stormy Flash Sheet) 

And more...


Another good way to come up with Tattoo Flash Sheet theme ideas is basing it around things you think are cool:




And so on...

You can also base your Tattoo Flash Sheet Theme off of different styles of tattoos like

Traditional Tattoo Flash Sheets

Anime Tattoo Flash Sheets

Blackwork Tattoo Flash Sheets

Any style that you like...

Or, literally anything you can think of. And, if you can’t come up with any Tattoo Flash Theme ideas, ask other people what they want to see! You can do this in-person, over questions on social media, and many other ways. The point is, that there is always inspiration, so get out there and find it!

Once you have come up with your tattoo flash sheet theme the next step is coming up with some cool tattoo flash ideas that fit the theme…

Individual Tattoos On A Tattoo Flash Sheet

Again, there are many different ways to get the creative juices flowing to come up with ideas for tattoo flash sheets, below I will outline the most effective process I use to come up with ideas for individual flash tattoos that fit my flash sheet theme.


Step 1:

First, I think of 2 flash designs I know people would want for sure. In the example Tattoo Flash Sheet below I chose the theme Butterflies, and the first two I did was the classic butterfly in the upper left and the butterfly holding the banner in the bottom right. These are both tattoos that many people will like and will want to get tattooed for sure.

Step 1 How To Make a Tattoo Flash Sheet


Step 2:

Next, I think of 2 flash tattoo designs that I think would be the coolest, they may not be the most popular or they may be, but they are tattoo ideas I would like to see tattooed. The flash tattoos I chose for this are the large ones in the center of the sheet. I put them in the center because these are flash tattoos I would really like to do, I also made them larger because there are a lot of details, and if they are larger I will be able to tattoo them easier.

Step 2 How To Make a Tattoo Flash Sheet


Step 3:

Then, I think of 2 tattoo ideas that I think no one would have tattooed, 2 ideas that are a little strange, and usually kind of funny, and are always very unique. On this Flash Sheet those tattoos are the “stick of butter butter-fly” and the “fire breathing skull butterfly”. I haven’t seen anybody with tattoos like this, I think they look cool, and I think they are pretty funny.

Step 3 How To Make a Tattoo Flash Sheet


Step 4:

Finally, based on the room available I may add some more or just finish the sheet with some filigree. On the example Flash Sheet below I added a couple more butterfly tattoo ideas and that filled up the Flash Sheet pretty well.

Step 4 How To Make a Tattoo Flash Sheet


As you can see, using this method is a very good way to come up with Tattoo Flash Sheet ideas. The example sheet below was done digitally and took me about 10 minutes to put together from start to finish. A high quality hand drawn Tattoo Flash Sheet will take longer to complete, but coming up with the actual tattoo ideas can be done fairly quickly and efficiently if you have trouble finding inspiration.

Completed Tattoo Flash Sheet How To Make a Tattoo Flash Sheet


That’s it, you now know how to make a Tattoo Flash Sheet! Just like any art form, the more experience you get, the easier the process will become, and in turn, the better your Flash Sheets will be. 

See you soon!


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