While recipes vary, one common recipe for prison tattoo ink comes from boot polish, baby oil and a small amount of water. Other recipes may include pen ink, melted plastic or Styrofoam, and shampoo colored with soot.
Combine boot polish and baby oil
Open the boot polish can, and fill it up with the baby oil.
Puncture the top of the boot polish can
After replacing the lid on the combined baby oil and boot polish, create a small, round hole in the center of the lid with a sharp implement like a pen or paper clip.
Place a wick in the can
Create a wick using a piece of cloth or rope. Place it in the hole on the boot polish lid.
Light the wick
Light the wick with either a lighter or a match. Allow the baby oil to burn off completely. This process leaves a layer of soot on the inside of the top of the can.
Scrape off soot
Scrape the soot off the lid using a razor blade or plastic utensil. Place the soot on a white piece of paper, and use a napkin or paper towel to pat away any remaining baby oil.
Put the soot in a tube
Place the loose soot into an empty tube, such as an old toothpaste tube. Add a few drops of water to moisten the soot and complete the ink.