How to Create a Full Sleeve Tattoo Out of Individual Tattoos

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Many beginning human canvases believe the tattoo sleeve is something that is created in one sitting. But, contrary to this thought, most tattoo sleeves are created out of individual tattoos gathered on the arms over time. The key is to find a talented artist who can fill in the gaps.

1 Plan the tattoos that you want

Plan the tattoos that you want. You will want to fill in just about every inch of space on the arm with individual meaningful tattoos. You will not want to lose any valuable arm real estate by adding anything considered to be filler.

2 Find a great tattoo artist

Find a great tattoo artist. Filling in the spaces between your individual tattoos means finding a tattoo artist who does more than just tattoo. The filler tattoo will need to look more like a background than a fill and that requires a talent far greater than the one needed for the individual tattoo.

3 Decide on a theme

Decide on a theme. The most basic of filler tattoo for the arm sleeve will be a tribal or flame-based image. Based on the tattoos already on the arm, the filler tattoo may need to change from the upper to lower arm or even on the same part of the arm. The tattoo artist will help to guide you in the proper direction, but you will need an end vision.

4 Heal and repeat

Heal and repeat. The filling session will certainly take more than one sitting. Ample time for healing between sittings will be based on the amount of skin tattooed and your individual healing time. The shortest time between sittings should be at least one week, and even then, different parts of the arm will need to be tattooed at sittings this close together.

Summer Banks is a freelance writer with more than three years of professional writing experience. Her work can be found on, and Banks has four years of nursing and business education at Glenville State College and Shepherd University in West Virginia.