Inside: Sleeve Tattoos Definition & Inspiration. 

What are Sleeve Tattoos?

A sleeve tattoo or tattoo sleeve is a large tattoo or collection of smaller tattoos that covers most or all of a person’s arm. In this manner, the term is also used as a verb; for example, “being sleeved” means to have one’s entire arm tattooed.

What Are Sleeve Tattoos?

Key Takeaways

  • A sleeve tattoo or tattoo sleeve is a large tattoo or collection of smaller tattoos that covers most or all of a person’s arm.
  • Most tend to take around 15 hours to complete, but there are tattoo designs that have taken over 80 hours.
  • A full-sleeve tattoo costs between $2,000 and $4,000

Where Should a Sleeve Tattoo Start?

If you know you eventually want a sleeve, or if you’re going full-sleeve right out the gate, then we recommend starting at the shoulder. From there, you’ll work your way down the arm. 

Ways to Fill a Sleeve Tattoo

  • Dates
  • Shading
  • Dot Work
  • Geometric Lines
  • Flowers and Vines
  • Tribal Patterns
  • Flowing Color
  • Stars
  • Waves

Sleeve Tattoo Ideas

How Long Do Sleeve Tattoos Take?

Most tend to take around 15 hours to complete, but there are tattoo designs that have taken over 80 hours. These hours are divided into multiple sessions, and the time between the sessions will depend on how quickly you heal. This means that a complex full sleeve tattoo can take up to a year or more to complete.

Can You Get a Full Sleeve Tattoo in One Session?

No. Big tattoos are always done in a few sessions. Nobody’s pain tolerance is high enough to endure doing the whole sleeve at one go. Also, the tattoo artist will need to take a break as well.

How Much do Sleeve Tattoos Cost?

Full 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.

Sleeve Tattoo Inspiration for Your Next Session