Inside: Sleeve Tattoos Definition & Inspiration. 

A tattoo sleeve is a statement that you can carry with you wherever you go. Most celebrities have them too, take David Beckham for example!

But, getting a tattoo sleeve is not all fun and games. It is costly and can take a long time to complete. And, it requires a lot of patience and pain endurance.

If you are ready to get one and wish to learn about the basic questions related to its costing, procedure, and types, then read ahead.

What Are Sleeve Tattoos?

What is a Tattoo Sleeve?

A tattoo sleeve as the name suggests is a tattoo that covers your arm, leg or back. It can be of different types – half sleeve, quarter sleeve, or full sleeve. The types of sleeve tattoos you go for depends on your personal preference.

Here are some great options to start with:

The Process:

Sleeve tattoos requires a lot of time and hard work. The entire process can be stretched out into multiple sessions. On average you can expect the following in each session:

First session:

In this session, your tattoo artist will sketch the design over your arm. This is done by placing a stencil onto your skin. Once the placement and design are confirmed, the artist will start tattooing the outline.

Second Session:

The second session (these can stretch to a few sessions as well) is dedicated to adding in the details. The small intricate aspects of the tattoo are added.

Last Few Sessions:

Lastly, the tattoo artist will fill in the tattoo sleeve with your desired color. The shading and color gradient is included in your tattoo design to make it come to life. The finishing touches are done after which the tattoo artist will apply an aftercare lotion on your tattoo and wrap it up with a sterile bandage.

How Much Do Sleeve Tattoos Cost?

On average a tattoo sleeve covering the entire arm can cost anywhere between $1000 to $5000. This also depends on how detailed you want your tattoo sleeve design along with the experience of the tattoo artist.

A professional tattoo artist will usually charge based on the number of hours taken to get the tattoo sleeve on your arm. The tattoo artist will ask for the payment depending on their skills and terms and conditions. Some may charge the full payment upfront, while others may charge per session. Whichever you are offered, be sure to look into the tattoo artist’s experience and sample work first.

Is Getting a Tattoo Sleeve Painful?

Surprisingly tattoo sleeves are not as painful. This is since the skin on the arm is not as sensitive. The main take back here is the aftercare procedure after each session. You want to follow the instructions given by your tattoo artist and use an antibacterial wash and apply an aftercare lotion as directed.

If you have a high threshold of tolerating pain, then you can get a tattoo sleeve on your whole arm or just the outer part in one session as well. The design and coverage depend on the individual’s preference – there is no hard and fast rule here. You can customize the size and design to your liking.

Tips For Getting Any Kind Of Sleeve

Here are a few tips to follow when getting a tattoo sleeve.

  • Wear loose clothing for your tattoo appointment. Wear a shirt without sleeves to prevent any discomfort after the session
  • Make sure your tattoo artist starts with the shoulder and works the way down to your hand. If the tattoo artist doesn’t follow this technique, chances are they are amateur
  • Follow the aftercare instruction stringently to prevent bruising and expedite the healing process
  • Stay hydrated during each session – take your water along with you

Sleeve Tattoo Ideas

Wish To Learn More?

Are you curious to learn about other types of tattoos such as back tattoos, or even traditional or aboriginal tattoos? Here you will find a wide range of articles and blogs on different types of tattoos, design inspirations, and protocols for tattoo aftercare.

A tattoo sleeve is as fascinating to get as it is to look at. And, you can get this on your arm as well if you are someone who is patient.

If not, you can start with a few small tattoos and build up on this pattern till your arm is covered with a tattoo.

Also, it is important to note that a tattoo sleeve may take more than one session to complete. This is to allow yourself to recover from the pain and let your skin heal without facing the risk of getting an infection. In most cases, a tattoo sleeve can be completed in two full days.