Inside: How Much Do Tattoos Cost + 5 Ways to Make it More Affordable.
Considering some new ink? Knowing how much it will cost will help when planning your dream tattoo. Many factors determine the price: Skill, reputation, artistic ability, location on the body, size of the tattoo, and complexity.
Typically, a quality tattoo performed in a registered professional studio or parlor would be more expensive than one done by some scratcher working out of his backroom. In general, the old saying, You get what you pay for, applies. Though there’s no guarantee that the quality of the tattoo increases with its cost, at least you can ensure that you’re somewhere on the playing field.
How Much Do Tattoos Usually Cost?
Average tattoo prices range from $30 to $100 for sizes under 2×2, between $100 and $200 for a 3×3, and around $250 or more for a 4×4 tattoo. Prices depend on where you live, the experience level of the artist, their hourly rates, and if it’s a custom tattoo. There are a few details to consider when determining the cost of a tattoo.
Many factors decide how much a tattoo is going to cost:
- Where you live
- The experience level of the artist
- The equipment and the amount of ink they use
- How long of a waiting list they have
- The total amount of time it takes them to make your design and tattoo you
- Your tattoo’s location
- The complexity of your tattoo artwork
How Much Do Small Tattoos Cost?
A small tattoo costs $50 to $250 on average for designs that cover 3 square inches of skin or less. Regardless of the size, you have to pay the shop minimum fee of around $50 or more, and then they usually charge an hourly rate as well after the first hour. Also, you may pay extra for them to work on a custom design for you.
Here is an easy way to categorize size
- Small – from a star the size of a dime on your wrist to a pirate ship covering your deltoid to a wedding ring tattoo.
- Medium – from a koi fish swimming in a waterfall on your side—from under your arm to your thigh.
- Large – from a set of angel wings starting at your shoulders to the base of your back, to a complex story that covers your entire upper torso. This category also includes full and half-sleeve tattoos.
How Much Do Tattoos Cost Per Letter?
Getting one short word tattoo that covers 2 to 4 square inches runs from $50 to $200, depending on the size of the letters, and usually takes an hour of work or less. Most artists don’t charge on a per letter basis. When you’re talking to your tattoo artist, ask for their hourly rates and how long it would take to do a lettering tattoo in the size you want on which specific part of your body. Bring some samples of the fonts you like so that they understand what kind of details you’re looking for.
How Much Does a Sleeve Tattoo Cost?
A full-sleeve tattoo costs between $2,000 and $4,000 and can take up to two days or more of work for the artist to complete. This figure assumes that your full sleeve tattoo cost includes a detailed outline using black ink only. Filling in the image with multiple colors costs more.
How Much Do Half Sleeve Tattoos Cost?
A half-sleeve tattoo will cost $1,000 or more if you get an original design, in full color, with multiple types of tips used, done by a top-level exclusive tattoo artist.
Finding the Perfect Spot
Wrist Tattoo Prices
The general cost of tattoos on wrists is $50 to $150 if you’re getting common designs like letters, words, symbols, or even a compass rose.
Ankle Tattoo Costs
Small ankle tattoos can start at $60 for a simple 1-inch design and go up to $200 or more for larger ankle name tattoos with elaborate details and colors.
Lip / Inner Lip Tattoo Cost
From a permanent makeup artist in New York, a typical lip tattoo cost is $375 for a lip liner tattoo and $600 to fill in your lips completely. Your inner lip tattoos start around $100. However, the inner lip is very sensitive, and inner lip tattoos start fading after one month, disappearing entirely with 1 to 5 years.
Finger Tattoos Cost
The cost of finger tattoos that have a word or symbol are usually around $50 to $100. Do keep in mind that it’s best to pick a small, simple design for your finger because of the way the skin on your hand will age over time, which can distort complex images.
Rib or Side Tattoo Cost
For a tattoo that’s 6 to 8 inches in diameter filled in with colors, expect to see rib tattoo prices from $600 to $700. They take longer than most tattoos because this is a delicate area with irregular shaping that requires more expertise.
Hip or Leg Tattoo Prices
A leg or hip tattoo that covers your whole shin and the front sides of your lower leg costs about $500 if you get a black-ink-only design that’s an outline. To fill in the outline with colors and completely cover your hip can easily cost up to $1,800.
5 Ways to Make Your Tattoo More Affordable
1. Size Matters: Naturally, smaller ones cost lesser than a bigger one. The bigger designs take more time to finish and resources to use, so it’s fair if artists would demand more for them. But there’s an exception though. Small tattoos with exquisite designs may cost more. If it’s not the design that’s pricey, the location of the tattoo in the body will determine its price.
2. Coloring: Naturally, a tattoo with a single color is cheaper. Why? Because multicolored ones require more attention to detail, time, anesthetic gel for skin, and resources to finish it.
3. Tattoo Placement: Somebody parts pose a challenge for tattoo artists to draw on, so the place where you want your tattoo would influence how much kachings you would be spending. What areas are considered hard to draw on? It is mostly on body parts that are very sensitive due to the presence of a lot of nerve receptors like the neck, feet, hand, and the genital areas.
4. Location of Shop: Tattoo parlors located in the heart of the city are mostly more expensive than those located farther from it. It takes serious bucks to run a tattoo parlor in a lavish city, so artists would normally charge more to pay for rent, salary for staff, taxes, etc.
5. Skill Level: The experience and skill of the tattoo artist highly affect the cost of having a tattoo. The more experience and skills they gain, the more expensive they would charge. Most experienced artists charge a per hour rate so a very detailed and customized design would mean more bucks to shed. But having a tattoo done by a skilled artist would also ensure you to own a fabulous masterpiece.
Here are a Few Tattoo Ideas You Might Like
- Daisy Tattoo Ideas – Honestly, daisies are one of my all-time favorite flowers, they are just so bright, fun, and full of life. Daisy is a form of flower purely for the female kind and is one of the most versatile tattoos you can wear on your body. The tattoo is highly decorative and comes in different colors and sizes. You can even add a custom design to the tattoos depending on your preferences. With soft petals and humble appearance, it is almost impossible to ignore its fascinating design. If you are looking for some stylish and fashionable daisy tattoo ideas then the below recommendation might help you in decision making.
- Meaningful Tree Tattoos – Trees are one of the main purest of elements on this earth, they help us breathe by providing oxygen for our bodies, they are a beautiful reminder for nature loves, and they help preserve our environment. Tree Tattoos are a great way to represent growth, healing, beauty, and strength. They can serve as beautiful reminders of mother nature and our dedication to treating her right.
- Cute Little Tattoos – Small tattoos may be discreet, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a huge impact. In fact, sometimes little tattoo ideas for women are the most meaningful! Plus, if you’re getting a tattoo for the first time. You may want to consider getting a tiny tattoo design somewhere that can be hidden.