There’s nothing wrong with playing it safe and sticking to the traditional tattoo locales. But for those of you looking for something different, unique locations can prove to be even more attractive than the tried-and-true places people usually get inked. Because you’re here, I’ll assume that the idea of getting a tattoo in a unique location, like on your hand, is something that entices you. Below, I’ve rounded up some of the best examples of tattoos people chose to get on their hands. You can thank me after everyone in your life falls in love with your new tattoo.
This is not the only wolf tattoo you’ll see on this list, but it is the best. What really stands out about this design is the pose of the wolf. Finn isn’t afraid to make a design his own by tackling perspectives and poses that are rarely attempted by others.
A pink rose
Not to sound like a broken record but this rose tattoo is the first of many you’ll see on this list. Roses love hands and hands love roses. Or at least that’s the vibe I got during my quest to find the best examples of hand tattoos the web has to offer.
A mandala design with an amazing gradient fade
It took a very close look before I was able to verify that this was indeed a real tattoo. The perfect lines and impressive consistency are almost too good to be true, which is why I was initially convinced that this was a computer generated layover instead of a finished design.
Saving the best for last is a concept that has always been lost on me. This gnarly skull is my favorite design on the list and something I would seriously consider getting if my employer permitted it.
A pink peony
The artist labeled this design as a “peony” but boy oh boy does it look like a rose. Beautiful tattoo designs are something Olga specializes in, and whenever Olga goes full floral, it’s a guaranteed win.
A few faces
As you can see, hand tattoos are highly addictive. And not just for you, but for everyone around you as well. The second your friends notice your cool new tattoo, a swift wave of jealously usually follows close behind. These large portraits were born to be hand tattoos.
Since SB just dropped a complete guide to lion and tiger tattoos, big cats were all I was seeing for days, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a few of those designs are spilling over onto this list. Hope you don’t mind. And yes, this is a leopard not a lion or tiger.
After viewing no less than a thousand hand tattoos, I can tell you with confidence that floral hand tattoos are among the most popular if not the most popular. And after you’ve seen all of the examples on this list you’ll definitely understand why.
A negative space bee
What makes this not-so-basic fly tattoo so unique is, well, everything. For those of you concerned about running into someone with the same tattoo, taking the extra time to insure your design is truly unique always pays off in the long run.
Thomas has an unbridled fascination with eye tattoos. His style is unique, and his blackwork designs have a sinister vibe about them that I absolutely love. If you like this particular eye design then stay tuned. His work is featured throughout the list.
Here we have another tiger which is a repost from the lion and tiger article I posted a few days ago. I don’t usually like to post a design more than once, but what would this list be without this magnificent example of a hand tattoo.
A radiating pattern of dots
Subtle but not too subtle, this dotwork design is one of those tattoos that you can stare at for hours. Symmetric designs have a pleasing aesthetic that make them popular choices for both men and women.
A panda in a tuxedo to be more precise. Make your hand all the more interesting by adding something in ink. This panda design has its own identity. One that goes further than a simple geometric design or a clever phrase.
A little G
Cool, creative, and cute is this tattoo of a little homie. Using the fingers to illustrate the bandana was genius, and I would love to see this design in person.
A smoking woman
This woman enjoying a cigarette is one heck of a conversation piece. Talented tattoo artist Jefree from Istanbul is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists. His skill and versatility put him right up there with the best in the business. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Bang Bang comes a knockin’. That is, if they haven’t already.
A couple bracelets
Most of the designs on the list are of a more substantial nature. However, delicate designs like the bracelets above are just as impressive. I would have included more of these type of designs on this list but they aren’t so easy to come by.
OOZY has a really special illustrative style that’s extremely distinctive. If I had to describe it, I would say it looks like it belongs in a comic book. This portrait of Johnny Depp from Edward Scissorhands was done to perfection. The negative space portion is especially interesting.
A whisp of smoke
Abstract tattoo designs are a relatively new concept. It wasn’t until about 10 years ago that artists started to incorporate abstract art into tattoo design. Since then, we’ve been treated to some pretty spectacular designs, including this wandering whisp of smoke.
Never underestimate the power of the lynx. The way this design seems to hug the curvature of the hand makes for a super clean appearance—it looks like it belongs on this guys hand.
For girls with way more style than me, something along the lines of this rose tattoo will no doubt give you that extra oomph you need to push you into that fashionista category.
A pastel mandala flower
This design looks like it was colored with crayons (in a good way of course). The mandala flower is something the tattoo industry has embraced like no other design before it. I did my best to limit the amount of mandala designs on this list for the sake of variety—something far easier said than done.
There are people who get tattoos on their hands and then there are people born with tattoos on their hands. This is the latter. Or so it would appear. It’s designs like these that make me seriously consider adding a little character to my hands.
After looking at hand tattoos all day, they are really starting to grow on me. What I once thought was only for the the bravest of aficionados, now seems so normal to me that I find myself recommending them to people who are looking for their first tattoo design. This rose is a perfect example of just how beautiful a stand alone hand tattoo can be.
This peacock tattoo is a pretty bold design. I mean, it’s so in-your-face and colorful that you can’t ignore it. Certain designs are more muted than others, and this definitely isn’t one of those designs.
Tired of missing out on much needed sleep due to nightmares? Then maybe a dreamcatcher is just what you need to get those valuable deep sleep hours. Everything from the texture of the wood to the detail in the feathers is nothing short of extraordinary.
Compass tattoos are awesome. In fact, I’m in the process of creating a list of compass tattoos and so far it’s shaping up to be a good one. This nautical compass is every hardened sea dog’s dream.
Birds are a popular choice when it comes to hand tattoos. It feels odd saying that, but the amount of bird designs I’ve seen in the past few days struck me as excessive. However, if I had to get one, something like this swallow would probably be it. The placement, pose, and overall execution is very pleasant.
A neo traditional couple
Neo traditional tattoos will always hold a special place in my heart. When I was growing up, these type of tattoos were pretty much the only style that existed, so I guess there is a certain level of nostalgia that accompanies any neo traditional tattoo design for me.
A crescent moon
Perfectly placed and oh-so-interesting, this detailed crescent moon tattoo is something that will literally haunt your dreams it’s so good. This design is so incognito that it could easily be mistaken for a watch or a bracelet.
Doctor Woo’s tattoos are always so interesting. These two skeletons dramatically acting out something or another are just two examples of the genius that is Doctor Woo.
You don’t have to be a fan of the morbid to appreciate this particular design, which features dotwork lines and a two-dimensional vibe. As you’ve seen so far, there’s always a million different ways to go about illustrating a design, no matter what the subject matter may be.
Here we have another example of just how stunning a small phrase or word can be. As you can see here, the hand is a perfect location for even the smallest of tattoo designs, and this little four letter word might just be the most elegant design on the list.
Hand tattoo wrist tattoo there really is a fine line separating the two. This diamond is neat concept and the way the artist illustrated the light reflecting off the facets of the diamond is truly a sight to behold.
If Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty or Bella from The Beauty and the Beast had a tattoo, this is probably what it would look like. So if you’re looking to get your princess on, you really can’t go wrong with something like this rose tattoo, which, if you ask me, is the complete package.
Early on, tattoos were almost always associated with pirates and sailors. Skull and cross bone flags, anchors, wooden ships, and nautical compasses were the norm. But after being introduced to this circle of the sea, I can’t help but think every other nautical themed tattoo design before this piece was just white noise.
A little jewelry
This is more than just a tiny hand tattoo—it’s a piece of jewelry that will go perfect with any outfit no matter what the occasion. The only downside of being the owner of this piece is that you won’t be able to stop taking photos of it.
A beautiful pattern
If we were giving out an award for elegance, this design would no doubt be deserving. Akin to a lacey cuff on a wedding dress, this ornate design would be something any girl would be happy to have.
All encompassing photo realism designs make for great hand tattoos. If you’re even a semi-frequent SB reader than you know how much I love my dogs and how hard it is for me not to fill every list with puppy dog tattoos. This is the only one, promise.
A linework eye
The more creative a design is, the more you’ll enjoy it in the long run. This linework design is something I wasn’t initially in love with but the more I looked at it the more it grew on me. As this piece ages and the lines widen a bit, the eye should become more pronounced and easier to distinguish.
Why only get one hand tatted when you can get both? Geometric gloves are a thing, and here is an amazing example. Since most of us don’t have it in us to go out and get both hands blasted, we owe a lot to people like this who give us these awesome examples to get inspired by.
This fly isn’t the only tattoo on this hand but it definitely feels like it. In all fairness, it is a lot bolder (fresher) than the other design so there’s that. The dotwork wings are so divine, it’s truly a shame that tattoos lose their crispness as they age.
A dotwork eye
If you’re starting to see a theme here, you’re not imagining things. For some reason eye tattoos are a very popular subject matter for hand tattoos. However, the example above is far and away my favorite.
An owl and tiger
This is another design which was previously featured on our Lion and Tiger list that we published last week. Hand tattoos are really cool, and these two designs are some of the most impressive I’ve yet to come across.
An animetal design
Animetal tattoos were a relatively new concept to me about a month ago, but ever since I discovered Brando’s Instagram account I’ve completely fallen in love with them. Think of animetal designs as a hardcore anime style. If you like what you see here, make sure to check out Brando’s complete portfolio over on Instagram when you’re done here.
A dotwork mandala flower
It’s finally here—a dotwork mandala design with enough dots to guarantee that you’ll never have to count sheep while trying to fall asleep again. This design is undoubtedly mandala by nature, but also displays a rhythmic pattern with little to no design boundaries.
This snake scale design is super groovy. And I know I’m not the only one who thinks this person shouldn’t have stopped where they did. A full suit of these scales would definitely be something that I would approve of.
You gotta give props where and when they’re due. A guy getting this butterfly tattoo is not only cool it’s down right commendable. Men with feminine tattoo designs = super suave.
Here we have another set of what can only be described as the coolest pair of hand tattoos to ever exist. Commitment has never looked sexier.
If you have little kids or a pet bunny rabbit then this tattoo probably isn’t a good idea. But if having a terrifying wolf on your hand doesn’t present any immediate problems in your daily routine, then I don’t see how you could go wrong with a design like this.
An Egyptian theme
Sleeves don’t have to stop at the wrist—a fact well known by Brazilian tattoo artist Felipe Rodrigues Fe Rod. In fact, continuing onto the hand gives you a lot more space to work with which in turn means a lot more wows.
While most people focus on a single design when it comes to getting a hand tattoo, a number of small designs can be just as impressive. I’ve always been a big fan of large amounts of tiny tattoos—the just give you so much more to look at.
A mandala flower
For all you mandala addicts out there, here’s another first rate design for your viewing pleasure. Mandala tattoos are like snowflakes; no two designs are the same.
This is one of those designs that sort of follows you around the room and looks the same from any angle. You know, like the Mona Lisa. I forget what that phenomenon is called, but I’m assuming it’s not too difficult to reproduce.
A black and grey ink pair
For people who get tattoos like the rest of us get car washes, the hands are often times the last pieces of real estate left on the market. And as many of them eventually find out, inking the hands can be one of the most rewarding sections of the body.
Everyone usually has some design in mind when they want to get a tattoo. But it’s really hard to imagine that anyone walked into a studio with an eye tattoo on their hand in mind. Or is it?
Show off your elusiveness with a subtle game of hard to get. She’s sexy and she knows it!
A lady and a tramp
Disney tattoos need no introduction or description. If you’re a kid who grew up on planet earth and are still able to read this then you know just how cool this tattoo design is. These old school Disney tattoos are everywhere right now, as the kids who grew up watching them are now of the tattoo-getting age.
A black and grey ink rose
Out of all of the rose tattoos on this list, this one reigns supreme. Stephan is one of my favorite tattoo artists, and If I were going to get straight blasted, I would do my best to retain this man’s services for each and every piece.
A floral vine
Well, this design is playful. If you’re looking for something super girly that shows off your appreciation for nature, then this is your design. Doctor Woo of course did an amazing job as always but I’d really like to see Mini Lau experiment with this particular design.
A collection of medieval designs
A mace, sword, skull, crown, turret, and a crescent moon symbol. I have a feeling that this collection is just getting started. Medieval tattoo designs are something a few artists specialize in. Thomas doesn’t, but his work reminds me of those who do.
A halftone spiral
With an intricate arrangement of dots, this mesmerizing spiraling design is one of those designs that you have to inspect up close and personal. Halftone is a term used to describe designs created with these circular dots.
An eye of providence
Don’t worry, this is the last eye tattoo on the list. This example features an eye of providence symbol with some great quasi-scroll work on the edges. The eye of providence is a a Christian icon which represents the eye of God watching over society. It happens to be a very popular tattoo design as well.
A Polynesian pattern
Are patterns and symmetry your thing? If you’re even half as obsessive compulsive as me, then you know just how satisfying these types of designs are for people who value symmetry and order.
Recently relocated Russian tattooist Sasha Masiuk makes her living inking these gorgeous floral masterpieces. Peonies, roses, whatever the flower may be, her unmistakable style always ensures that any flower that leaves her shop is something to be celebrated.
A pair of crazy patterns
Crazy cool of course. These designs look as if they belong to a fairy tale witch from a Disney movie. Designs like these on your hands will get you your fair share of looky lou’s that’s for sure.
A beautiful mandala design
A masculine mandala tattoo design if there ever was one. The different consistencies of each of the various elements of this design give it an added level of depth and dimension.
This is the second time this design has made an appearance on this list and the third time I’ve posted it on this site in the last week. Trust me, this is unusual and quite irregular but this design was so amazing that it just couldn’t be avoided.
Whether this piece is finished or not I do not care. It looks superb right now in its current state and I have to say I love the contrast between the textured section and the more minimalistic area.
An ornamental design
Give yourself a beautiful cuff with a dangling ornament that peeks out of even the longest of long sleeves. It’s almost got a Native American vibe to it, too.
A stylized cat
This cat looks as if it was done in that traditional Japanese style of ink. The white ink accents are a nice touch, and really bring together the design. Why aren’t more artists using white ink!?