60+ Jaw-dropping Arm Tattoo Ideas You Can Do

By Jason Hamilton / July 24, 2019
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Today, tattoos have become a cool way to show off your personality or sentimentality. Though you may have an idea of what you’re after, the final decision of what to get can be challenging. After all, it is going to be there forever. Plus your arm spends roughly half of the year on display, so it is going to get noticed. Arm tattoos can be detailed and look seriously cool if you do them right. So to help you out, we have created this guide filled with inspiration and advice on how to choose your arm tattoo.

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The Sleeve Tattoo (Upper Arm / Full Arm Tattoo)

Whenever we think of men or women with tattoos on the arm, you would either think of men or women that have forearm tattoos or sleeve tattoos. These two kinds of tattoos are the most famous and are often interchanged because sleeve tattoos usually cover the entire arm, hence the name sleeve tattoos. There are two kinds of sleeve tattoos out there in the world, half-sleeve and full sleeve tattoos, but there are hundreds of tattoo designs out there that will be very applicable as a sleeve tattoo. We are here to help you out in picking the design that would be absolutely perfect for you so just relax and let us do the work for you.

Half Sleeve Tattoos vs Full Sleeve Tattoos: What Do You Prefer?

The preference of half sleeve tattoos and full sleeve tattoos are generally molded by the specific needs of each tattoo enthusiast and the ability of the tattoo artist. If the tattoo enthusiast would like to have a tattoo design to be easily concealed by a shirt, then the way to go is a half sleeve tattoo. However, if the tattoo enthusiast would like to have his tattoo be visible except when wearing a jacket or any long sleeved upper wear, then the full sleeve tattoo is for them.

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No matter, sleeve tattoos, half sleeve or full sleeve, will be beautiful on your skin. It really all boils down to the tattoo enthusiasts’ pain tolerance, the factor of concealment, and their patience in getting the tattoo design.

Sleeve Tattoo Designs For Guys

It is common knowledge that guys would most often have this kind of tattoo on their skin which is why guys will have the most tattoo designs for sleeve tattoos. Here are just some of the sleeve tattoo designs for guys that we saw on the internet:

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Skull Tattoo

Skull tattoos are generally conceived as a masculine tattoo design because of the aura and vibe it gives to whoever sees this design. This tattoo is often associated with rockers especially those in the death metal branch of rock music. Goths are also one of the types of people that are associated with this tattoo design since they have this dark aura that surrounds them.

An upper sleeve tattoo of a skull and two roses.

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A sugar skull tattoo

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A sugar tattoo with roses and other symbols

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Another sugar skull tattoo

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A traditional intricately designed half sleeve tattoo of a skull with a fiery head.

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A half sleeve tribal skull tattoo.

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a sleeve tattoo a skull wearing a pilot’s goggles during the early ages of flight.

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This tattoo design is more often accentuated by roses and other ornaments to make the tattoo design softer and increase it visual impact when you see it the first time. Since this tattoo has a more classic feel to it, a lot of the 80’s and 90’s kids (the golden age of rock bands) get this tattoo to go back to their roots.

a large sleeve tattoo of a skull and a blue hibiscus flower.

A colorful neotraditional sleeve tattoo of a skull with a fiery background.

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A highly detailed and intricately designed artsy sleeve tattoo of an angry wolf with a helmet made of a skull.

A traditional sleeve tattoo of a skull with a goatee beard.

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A colorful sleeve tattoo of a skull with two roses and a green butterfly and additional watercolor tattoo design elements.

Pirate Tattoo

The pirate tattoo is one of the most intricate tattoo designs in this bunch since it has a mostly sketch or painting-like visual appeal. This tattoo design would often not be offered by tattoo artists in their portfolio due to its complexity. The usual shade gradient used in this tattoo is very hard to achieve.

A half sleeve tattoo of an intricately designed pirate ship sailing with all masts down.

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A sleeve tattoo of a large pirate ship.

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A highly intricate half sleeve tattoo of a pirate ship with stormy skies as the backdrop.

An intricately tattooed sleeve tattoo of a large pirate ship with the jolly roger printed on the mainsail.

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A sleeve tattoo of a tattered jolly roger flag usually found in pirate ships.

Typically, the imagery that is used in this tattoo design, ships, helm (steering wheel of a ship), ships under attack by a sea monster, and of course, the classic jolly roger. The jolly roger and helm tattoo designs are the simplest while ships are more intricate and complicated. Anyhow, if you will come across a tattoo artist that has this tattoo style featured in his or her portfolio, without a doubt, go for this design! You will not regret it!

Sleeve Tattoo Designs For Girls

When women first entered the modern tattoo scene, only a few designs are available to them. Now that more and more women are now drawn to the tattoo community and body art industry, more designs are now sprouting across the globe to accommodate their tattoo design needs. Here are some of the tattoo designs we saw on the internet that we consider as “buzz-worthy”.

Flower Tattoo

The flower tattoo is the most common tattoo design for women out there since this is undoubtedly the first design that was made to cater both ends of the tattoo enthusiast spectrum (i.e. boys and girls). This tattoo would most often be accompanied by other tattoo designs but it can stand on its own if done properly.

A white tattoo of a rose and its leaves inked on the sleeves.

An upper sleeve cherry blossom tattoo watercolor tattoo flower

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An inner upper sleeve tattoo of a pink rose with leaves.

An upper sleeve tattoo of a yellow rose with the leaves still attached.

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An upper sleeve rose tattoo with intricate shading techniques used to do the shadows.

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Most often, these flower tattoos will feature a rose of various sizes and colors and then detailed with thorns and leaves just like a real-life rose. However, more and more flowers are now being featured by this tattoo design such as the chrysanthemum.

An upper sleeve tattoo of chrysanthemum with a snake slithering between its petals.

An intricately designed half sleeve tattoo of a black chrysanthemum.

A half sleeve tattoo of a chrysanthemum.

An intricately designed neotraditional sleeve tattoo of a chrysanthemum.

A large half sleeve tattoo of a blue chrysanthemum.

chrysanthemum blue sleeve tattoo

Expect more flowers to fill the tattoo design market in recent years as more species of flowers are being discovered in various parts of the world annually.

The Forearm Tattoo (Lower Arm)

For most of you who are following this website, by now we are pretty sure that you are convinced that tattooing is a form of art that aims to express the wearer’s expression, personality, emotions, and feelings. It is an explicit and creative way to show to the world how you truly feel and what you really are. One kind of tattoo that explicitly shows the design is the forearm tattoo. This tattoo is not hidden from the public which is good if you are aiming to express yourself. For first-time tattoo wearers, this might also look like the perfect tattoo for you.

Forearm Tattoo Ideas

Well, there are a lot of tattoo designs out there that we personally think that will be perfect on your forearm. From simple designs such as the simple geometric tattoo to the more complex neo-traditional tattoo, a lot of tattoos can be done on your forearm. Here are some forearm tattoo ideas to get you started:

Geometric Tattoos

Geometric tattoo designs are a new addition to the tattoo design family. To be quite frank, most of the tattoo artists in the tattoo community and body art industry have not mastered this tattoo design yet. Despite the challenges it presents to the tattoo artists,  once you have this tattoo perfectly done, you will never regret having this one on your skin. This tattoo design is pure perfection!

A small triangle geometric tattoo on the forearm.

An intricately designed large geometric forearm tattoo of the eye of Osiris with other geometric tattoo design elements to improve the overall look of the design.

A geometric tattoo on the forearm of an abstract artwork.

A geometric tattoo on the forearm of differently sized rhombus shapes.

On a tattoo artist’s point of view, this tattoo is considered as the tattoo design with the highest visual impact and aesthetic value on all tattoo designs out there. It is artistic, unique, trendy, and modern. This tattoo design really screams millennialism when first seen.

A forearm tattoo of a lion with geometric tattoo design elements to accentuate the design.

A large forearm tattoo of a tree with geometric tattoo design elements.

An Indian-inspired geometric tattoo on the forearm of an elephant.

A large armband like geometric tattoo on the forearm of geometric patterns inspired by the art deco movement of the 1920’s.

On a tattoo enthusiast’s point of view, this tattoo design does not only present itself as a beautiful and intricately designed tattoo but it also does not hold any predetermined meaning which makes it a blank canvas. you can add meaning to it without anyone questioning your own interpretation of the design. This is the beauty of geometric tattoos. It is a new blank canvas where artists and enthusiasts can play and mold it for their own.

Neo-traditional Tattoos

Neo-traditional tattoo designs lie in the middle of the tattoo design age line. They have been around since the late 1990s and have started the new designs race in various parts of the globe. This is the origin of the new tattoo designs we see today done by different tattoo artists.

A neotraditional tattoo on the forearm of a mountainside and waterfalls near a campsite.

A neotraditional tattoo of a compass on the forearm.

A large forearm tattoo of a red and green crocodile in neotraditional tattoo fashion.

A highly detailed and vibrantly colored neotraditional tattoo of a compass and a message in a bottle.

A highly detailed and colored forearm tattoo of hand decorated in street fashion like a graffiti on a brick wall.

Despite being middle-aged and now somewhat old, the designs under neo-traditional tattoos still can hold itself against other more modern and exciting tattoo designs. Just put a little dash of color and poof! You have a very modern tattoo design that will not show its age for at least a decade or more.

A large and intricately designed colorful dragon head neotraditional tattoo on the forearm.

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A colorful and highly detailed neotraditional tattoo on the forearm of three eyes.

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An intricately designed neotraditional eagle tattoo on the forearm.

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A large highly detailed and vibrantly colored neotraditional tattoo on the forearm of some sort of an abstract art piece with pagan symbolism.

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An intricately designed and extremely colorful neotraditional tattoo on the forearm of a coat of arms.

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Although some neo-traditional tattoo designs will show their age at some point in the future, whenever you are unsure of what to adorn your skin, rest assure that this tattoo design will rock on any body shape and in any skin color.

Forearm Tattoos Ideas and Designs  For Men

Forearm tattoos are generally famous for men because it is a visible tattoo that can be made hidden by simply sporting a long sleeves top. Aside from this, as we said above, forearm tattoos are the gateway tattoos for most tattoo enthusiasts out there. With its moderately painful installation and a large variety of designs out there that can be placed onto your arm, we are pretty sure you would also be enticed to have one (if you still do not have one).

Here are some of the forearm tattoos on the internet that captured our attention:

A large and intricately designed forearm tattoo of a hissing snake.

An intricately designed tattoo of two highly detailed snakes in a copulation bond on the forearm.

Coiled Snake Arm Tattoo

A forearm tattoo of a palm tree on the beach near the water framed by a diamond with the palm tree jutting out of the frame.

A forearm tattoo of a skinny palm tree on the beach near the water with the clouds and the sea as a backdrop.

A highly detailed and intricately designed forearm tattoo of a clock and a sundial.

A forearm tattoo of two arrows that has bohemian detailing.

An artistic and well thought of tattoo design on the forearm of an arrow and a cogwheel acting as a compass.

A highly detailed tattoo of a pirate ship on the forearm with the jolly roger printed on one of the main sails.

An intricately designed wolf forearm tattoo wherein half of its face is in tribal form.

An intricately designed forearm tattoo of an eagle and a rose.

Forearm Tattoos Ideas and Designs For Women

Forearm tattoos are also becoming famous for women of today’s time. Since the variety of designs that are available for women is continuously growing in a rapid pace, more and more designs are being offered for women’s forearms which have also been the entry area for them to the amazing and colorful world of tattoo designs.

Here are some of the amazing forearm tattoo designs for women that we saw on the internet:

A beautifully designed forearm tattoo of flowers and leaves with numerous curving lines to accentuate the design and topped with a butterfly as a finishing touch.

A large tattoo of a highly-designed intricate three flower arrangement in neo-traditional style.

A watercolor forearm tattoo of a mother and child.

A forearm tattoo of a highly detailed heart shape gem stone.

A large and intricately designed forearm tattoo of a highly crafted three-dimensional gemstone.

An artistically designed forearm tattoo of brush strokes.

A vibrantly colored forearm tattoo of cherry blossoms and other scent flowers.

A small colorful heart shape cut diamond tattoo on the forearm.

An intricate forearm tattoo of flowers and leaves.

An intricately designed forearm tattoo of a highly-stylized mandala inspired tattoo.


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About the author

Jason Hamilton

Jason has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon. Jason would be very happy to answer any questions about tattoos that you may have! Leave a comment below and he’ll answer it for you right away!

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