Tattoo Sleeve Designs

Forearm and Quarter Sleeve Tattoo Designs

tattoo sleeve designs

A tattoo sleeve design is a tattoo that covers large parts of the arm. It's called a sleeve because it behaves much like a shirtsleeve would. If the design is dense enough, sometimes the sleeve tattoo design can look like a shirt from a distance (no skin showing through).

There are 3 types of sleeves out there: the full sleeve tattoo, the half sleeve, and the quarter sleeve. These denominations refer to the amount of arm coverage. Since tattoos are entirely up to the individual, the actual area of coverage may vary; the front, back or underside may be covered, while the rest is bare.

If you're planning a custom sleeve tattoo design, it can be intimidating. There are a few common planning techniques that might help you organize your decision.

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The Complete Vision Method

Sleeve Tattoo Design Creation

forearm tattoo design

The first tattoo sleeve design method I'll talk about is what I like to call the 'Complete Vision' method. Basically, this is where you plan out your entire design from the get go. You may pick a tattoo from a database or from a tattoo shop ahead of time, or you might sketch it yourself.

Since it is a finished product, you need to consider exactly how much arm coverage you'll want. Is it going to be a forearm sleeve tattoo, or a quarter sleeve? Will this tattoo sleeve design be for a man, or for woman? 

This method of sleeve tattoo design creation is a difficult way to plan, but it's also the most likely to please you. You know exactly what you're going to end up with. 

The 'Bit By Bit' Tattoo Design Method

Sleeve Tattoo Design Creation Methods

mens tattoo sleeve design

The next planning method of sleeve tattoo designing is called the 'bit by bit' method. You don't need to worry too much about figuring out your tattoo sleeve design. You just pick out one arm tattoo after another, and place them along your arm as you go.

This is a less expensive method (at least more sustainable), and it allows you to put thought into each piece. You can even start out with a quarter sleeve tattoo design, and work your way up to a half or full sleeve over time. 

Downsides are fairly clear. This method can make the overall design less cohesive, and it can look silly if you run out of steam or money halfway through. That said, this makes sure that your design has lots of personal meaning to you.

Pick A Theme

Tattoo Sleeve Design Methods

quarter sleeve tattoo designs

The best piece of advice I can give is this: regardless of what design you choose, you should pick a sleeve tattoo design theme. This theme with orient your different designs over time, and will help make sure your tattoos are cohesive.

Check out some tattoo designs and see if you find anything you like. There are lots of great men's and women's full, half and quarter sleeve designs out there!