How to Customize a Tattoo Sleeve

Written by keith ruckus
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How to Customize a Tattoo Sleeve
Customising sleeve tattoos requires some design preplanning. (tattoo image by no-FaCe from

Tattoos can be a very personal addition to the body of any enthusiasts. Customisation of these tattoos is important for the wearer to ensure that they are unique. Sleeve tattoos are a special type of design that engulfs an entire section of the arm. The sleeve tattoos come in varying sizes, with a half sleeve being from the top of the shoulder down to the elbow area and a full sleeve being from the shoulder to the wrist.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Decide the theme of the sleeve tattoo. The entire design takes up a lot more room then a standard tattoo and encompasses several images. For example, a themed sleeve about cars may have several different car images as well as small car parts or symbols in between them.

  2. 2

    Find a tattoo artist. Look in local directories for tattoo artists and where their shops are located. Go to the shop and ask to see the artist(s) portfolio books. Go through different artists' books until you find an artist with a palatable style.

  3. 3

    Ask the artist to design the sleeve and give specific instructions on what is desired. Print pictures of images similar to what is desired from the Internet or find them in a book or magazine but make it clear that the sleeve should be 100 per cent original artwork.

  4. 4

    Include images in the sleeve that have particular emotional meaning and integrate them into the theme of the sleeve. Have the artist tattoo the sleeve onto an arm.

Tips and warnings

  • Getting a sleeve tattoo will be time-consuming and costly. It may need to be done over several tattoo sessions.

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