As tattoos become more and more common, the trends keep coming. Just last year, the most popular tattoo styles consisted of over a dozen options for those who want to be trendy when it comes to their ink. From realistic looking tattoos and flash tattoos to zodiac and neo-traditional tattoos, there was something for everyone. But while 2023 may be behind us, the wave of tattoo trends hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down — which is great for tattoo lovers. One of those styles is sticker sleeves.
Seen on celebrities like Zoe Kravitz and Miley Cyrus, sticker sleeves are a series of tattoos that, instead of being a conventional full sleeve of ink, are split up so you can have multiple small tattoos, in compared to just one or two large tattoos. “It’s a different approach to decorating your body and a chance to collect small tattoos and experiences over time, like little badges or gems,” tattoo artist Nano Ponto told Byrdie.
What’s cool about sticker tattoos is that you can do one at a time – if you’re not in a rush to see the final product – or do a group at once. You can also make themes or just a collection of things that are meaningful to you. There is no wrong way to get your adhesive sleeve. If you’re thinking you might want to invest in this trend but aren’t sure where to start, here are some ideas.
Want to have a bunch of images and quotes that you absolutely love, but have nothing to do with each other, on your body forever? Big! Sticker sleeves give you the chance to celebrate your love of pizza, coffee, Hemingway and Botticelli all in one place without having to be part of a big party.
Although many stick-on sleeve tattoos have images that aren’t connected, that doesn’t mean there’s a rule against them. Opting for a clothesline, string of lights, or something else to “hang” your tattoo collection on also works. It’s your body and your vision, so go with what you think looks best on you.
Sticker sleeves tend not to be multi-colored, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be. Whether you prefer red, blue, pink or any other shade in the world, an expert tattoo artist can easily give your sticker sleeve a whole rainbow of colors. Just remember that colored ink fades faster than black, so be sure to always cover those tattoos with wear or SPF.
While choosing a theme for your sticker sleeves isn’t necessary, it can pull all the images together to create a whole concept. If this is something you think you want to do, then sit down and decide what kinds of things move or inspire you. Make a written list if it helps. You just might find that all of those things fall under the same umbrella, giving you the perfect starting point for a sleeve topic.
What’s great about adhesive sleeves is that the adhesive part of the equation makes it so you can get a variety of designs tattooed on a body part that isn’t an arm or a leg. The back is a really nice place for tattoos and with so much blank canvas, you can get even more than you would on your arms.
Tattoos are a great way to explore the weirdest parts of yourself. From the angel number 222, to fairies and mermaids, to the divine, heavenly energy you want to bring into your life constantly, stick-on sleeve tattoos are a great way to put all of your most meaningful iconography in one place.
Stick-on sleeve tattoos not only look cool, but they can also be really symbolic. For example, butterflies are representative of change, while flowers, trees and other types of flora show growth. If you want (or need) positive affirmation of where you are and how far you’ve come, sticker sleeves are ideal.
Images of the lower arm
Similar to traditional sleeve tattoos, with stickers you can choose the whole arm or just the upper or lower part. While all of your tattoos spread over the full arm can look spacious and airy, condensing them all to just the upper or lower arm can create an intense look of pictures and words.
Love the concept of stick-on sleeve tattoos, but don’t want them on your arms or back? Then go for the chest instead! Granted, this can be a sensitive spot to get tattooed on – although pain levels vary from person to person – but it will look amazing when it’s done. You can even tattoo stickers on your chest, then have them run down your arms, making it a whole body art.
What’s important to remember when considering sticker sleeves is that whatever you get is entirely your call. Whether you want a handful of images and quotes that are important to you, or a set of tattoos that mean nothing, it’s up to you. Don’t let anyone talk you into something you’re not 100% into because – and never forget – the trend will eventually fade like all trends, but ink is forever.