How to Design Your Own Tattoo Sleeves

Updated July 20, 2017

The phrase "tattoo sleeve" refers to a group of tattoos that wraps around or covers a portion of an arm or the entire arm. The many different types of tattoo sleeves include full sleeve, three-quarters sleeve, half sleeve and quarter sleeve, all of which refer to the amount of skin the tattoo is covering. When designing your own tattoo sleeve, there are many things to consider, such as the placement, theme and colour. It is very important to think long and hard about the decision, as tattoos are virtually permanent.

Decide on a theme. There are many themes to consider. Determine if you want black and white, or if you want all colour or just hints of colour. Other popular themes include Tribal, kanji, Chinese, Celtic, religious, biker and zodiac. Another common theme is incorporating existing tattoos with new tattoos and then adding a background pattern.

Determine the placement. Decide which arm the tattoo will be on and also the length of arm the tattoo will cover. A full-sleeve tattoo goes from the shoulder down to the hand, wrapping around the entire arm. A three-quarters sleeve generally goes from the shoulder to the wrist or halfway up the forearm. A half sleeve is from the shoulder to the elbow or elbow to the wrist, and a quarter sleeve is just the shoulder.

Consult a professional tattoo artist. Take all images and drawings you have collected with you. Tell the tattoo artist your ideas and compare thoughts. Ask for his opinion and suggestions. Some tattoos are not possible to do because of the detail involved. The tattoo artist will let you know what is possible and what is not. He will also be able to help with colour ideas.

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About the Author

Based in Ogden, Utah, Brady Frazier has been writing professionally since 2007. His articles have appeared on such websites as ehow. Frazier has experience writing about subjects such as online businesses, computer technology, software, programming and PC tune up and repair. He is currently attending Weber State University, studying for a B.S. in computer science.