Full sleeve tattoos are not only for the hardcore tattoo enthusiasts anymore. Sleeve tattoos, especially on the legs, look charming even without the whole dark ensemble. These pretty leg sleeve tattoos for women and men are perfect for showing off in shorts during the summer. Read on below to get ideas for your next tattoo project.
1. Rose passage
Have a few words to live by? Have them tattooed at the back of your thigh crawling up your waist for a real bikini stunner.
2. Butterfly garden
Butterflies symbolize transformation, and this pretty leg sleeve with roses to accompany it is a magnificent sight for anyone! The superb shading works well to emphasize the flower and butterfly details.
3. Human montage
Sleeve tattoos do not need to be done all at once. Some people enjoy adding elements whenever there are significant events in their lives, like this leg sleeve that uses a combination of text, portraits and surrealist drawings.
4. Coffee, tea or me
A full sleeve such as this deserves a standing ovation. The amount of time and dedication used to fill in all the blank spaces is excruciating, but the outcome is worth it.
5. Once upon a time
Disney Princesses can get tattoos too! Relive magical memories with a full leg tattoo of your favorite fairytales.
6. Ahoy matey
Pirate-themed tattoos great on anyone. Careful planning of tattoos like this one make it possible to have a full leg sleeve even with spaces in between the tattoos.
7. Leave space for the knees
Beautiful leg tattoos in defined designs have a whimsical feel. Leave a bit of space on the knees to avoid distortion of designs.
8. Peace out
The beauty of a full leg sleeve tattoo on one side is that it creates a beautiful contrast with the other leg. Fill your leg with brocade floral designs and it’s like leggings for your legs.
9. Select and collect
Art can come in installments, and while you are still thinking of your next design, carefully map out your tattoos. Have a massive piece on your thigh to fill in the gap.
10. In full bloom
This floral pattern is similar to retro florals found in books and paintings. Have something classy as your leg sleeve tattoo. Designs like these florals can transcend time.
11. Starting out fine
The fine lines used to create this thigh tattoo is a great foundation for a full leg sleeve. Stay consistent with your design with fine strokes that create subtlety.
12. Surrealist America
Nothing screams America more than a deranged Statue of Liberty with fighter planes in lightning skies. It’s a good take on society today, and an even better design as a full leg sleeve tattoo.
13. Bend the knee
Use a fully symmetrical design like a mandala for your knee to cover up the stretchy skin. The mandala is a classic design that can easily blend well with other designs like flowers.
14. Arabian nights
This beautiful piece of an Arabian princess is fit for a gypsy soul. The turquoise pops well with caramel skin tomes and are best accentuated with white undertones of jewelry.
15. Pharoah’s sleeve
Egypt is famous for being one of the greatest civilizations of all time. Embody the greatness of the deities by having them tattooed on your leg.
16. A tour of Disneyland
Leg sleeves are perfect for depicting vibrant worlds, like this colorful rendition of a Disney storybook.
17. To the moon and back
Alien abductions, full moons and space nebula? Count us in. This painting-like tattoo is an astronomer’s dream.
Medusa was regarded as a monster in mythology, but a strong woman at that. Whoever gazed upon her turned into stone, which can be a pretty cool power to fend off the real monsters.
Retro designs and pin-up themes in tattoos look cute when paired with pastel shading, as in these tattoos. Dark outlines and pastel colors are fun, girly and flirty.
20. Hodge podge
These full leg coverage is a mixture of a lot of elements, but still looks great as a whole. Know why? The technique was consistent all throughout, making the legs a canvas from a single art form.
21. Sailor’s leg
Show off your man tattoos in shorts and a leg full of tattoos. Old sailor tattoo designs still look good on modern clothing with the help of pops of color.
22. Arm and leg sleeve
Going all out? Match your arm sleeve with your leg sleeve. The details of horses and butterflies bring life to the floral theme.
23. Doctor’s notes
A deeper dive under the skin reveals this cool leg sleeve that shows the muscular formation of the leg. Biology, because why not?
24. Eye of the tiger
Wild animals are used as tattoos to embody a particular trait. Tigers symbolize strength as they are top predators in the food chain. Get a tiger tattoo next time you need an extra kick of strength!
25. Japanese hannya
Japanese hannya tattoos are popular subjects that have spread popularity even outside the region. Traditionally portrayed in theater as a tormented woman who was consumed by jealousy, it has grown to become one of the most popular Japanese symbols of all time.
26. Show your pride
Use your leg sleeve tattoo to show off things you’re proud of. Is it family, your friends or something you’re passionate about? Add them all up here in your own vision board…on your leg.
27. Lighthouse family
Nautical themes make a great leg sleeve! The lighthouse is a unique addition to this tattoo ensemble and is a good breaker to the usual ship and compass.
28. For the ladies
Who says you can’t look classy in heels with leg tattoos? This full thigh sleeve of a geisha and cherry blossoms is a feminine tattoo that continues to be hidden in your corporate wear.
Dragon tattoos symbolize protection, power and wisdom. These mythical creatures have been present in mythology and folklore from both the east and the west. Bearers of dragon tattoos in the past were considered as the strongest warriors, so get a full dragon on your leg if you’ve fought the greatest battles!
30. Underneath it all
Want to have someone dear to you tattooed on your leg, but you don’t want to show their identity? Add a mask that doesn’t hide the beauty of your subject. Instead, it accentuates the human features still making it distinguishable to its viewers.
31. Poison ivy
A single vine crawling from your foot to your upper thigh is a simple leg tattoo that is not too overwhelming. This is perfect if you want your leg to be more visible than the tattoo.
32. Owl wanna be with you
Aside from wisdom, owls have been known to be guardians of the dead. They are also believed to communicate with them, making it a mythical animal worthy of a full leg sleeve. If you lost someone dearly, an owl on your leg can help protect them int he afterlife.
The sun is represented as a male figure responsible for everything that has to do with life and energy. The tribal version int his legs sleeve adds a lot of details that can fill an entire leg.
34. Geometric prints
Fill in the gaps of your leg sleeve tattoo by adding geometric prints. They are modern and versatile enough to pair with various designs.
35. Crouching tiger
This popular image of a crouching tiger is commonly used in silk brocades, sukajan jackets and other Japanese art. To have this tattoo is to have a piece of ancient Japanese history representing power etched on your skin.
36. Bear hug
The image of this ferocious bear in pain symbolizes various things. It can be a good way to show off your loot as a hunter, or it can also be a reminder that even the strongest animals can get caught in a rain of arrows.
37. Closeup of a flower in bloom
Getting a closeup look of your subject, especially if it is based on patterns, is a unique leg sleeve tattoo idea. One cannot see the full design unless you really take a step back and see that the design here is not just a bunch of random patterns but are actually petals of a flower in bloom.
38. Forever marked by the predator
A photo of your loved one is a great way to profess your love, but make sure you are 300% sure about putting someone’s face as your tattoo! Add brocade patterns to frame a portrait to add a classic vibe.
39. The roots that nourish a tree
How strong a tree’s roots are define how beautiful a tree grows. This is a beautiful tattoo to remind you that no matter how much you’ve grown, it’s always where you came from that gives you nourishment and life.
40. An afternoon by the sea
Have a special moment you never want to forget? This picture-turned-tattoo of an adult and two kids having a good time by the sea is a sentimental tattoo that veers away from the usual portrayals of strength and
41. Fleur de lis frenzy
Want to connect to strong French roots, or you’re just really in love with the country? Have a fleur de lis tattooed on your thigh to provide a base for more tattoos for your leg.
42. Of cats and more
Have a bunch of random things in mind? Have your childhood memories tattooed on your legs from houses to trees and book characters.
43. Your favorite people
Have your favorite people in mind that you don’t want to forget? List their names with beautiful lilies that represent each person.
44. Solid patterns
Tired of finding the right subject? Your tattoos don’t have to be that meaningful. Just the right design and combination of patterns like this patchwork piece is a perfect tattoo idea for both men and women.
45. Hiss and hers
Contrary to popular belief, snakes do not represent temptation. Since they shed their skin, serpents are portrayed to represent transformation, rebirth and new beginnings. Next time you think twice about snakes, try to think of their true meaning, and how things are not always what they seem.
Pretty things deserve to be in pretty tattoos. This chandelier design of an inverted waterlily is a beautiful addition to a leg sleeve tattoo. It has charm, novelty and a vintage class that modern tattoos do not have.
47. Oh, deer
Stag tattoos in the mountains are reminiscent of canoe summers and hunting by the river. Hipster or not, this tattoo is a cool thigh piece to show off to willing lookers.
48. The birds, the bees and a witch spell
Like other tattoos in this list, this leg sleeve stays consistent even with different designs because of the same color scheme used all throughout. The shapes of the tattoos also fit perfectly in the spaces, so consult with an artist who cares about how all your tattoos will look as a whole.
49. Wear your heart on your (leg) sleeve
It doesn’t matter if the most vital organ of the body is on your leg. This realistic medical drawing of a heart radiates in a sea of other tattoos.
50. Kurt Cobain
Fan of a particular musician, dead or alive? Kurt Cobain was the poster boy of 90s grunge, and his lyrics spoke to his generation. His death crushed many, but he will forever be in the hearts of his fans through tattoos.
51. Not a bad omen
While crows and ravens reveal bad omens in most cultures, they also represent knowledge as seers. Crows are usually possessed by wizards to see different realities, especially in medieval folklore. Next time you see a similar tattoo, look on the bright side of these dark creatures.
52. Driving me crazy
Your new leg sleeve tattoos may get you excited in putting up your legs. You can create several sections of your tattoos and divide your design per portion. This leg sleeve has a special section for the brocade design.
53. Join the crusade
What is buried deep beneath your roots? Show your origins with a tattoo that shows the family coat of arms underneath an autumn tree.
54. These are a few of my favorite things
Childhood themed tattoos look great on a full leg sleeve, as long as the style is consistent all throughout. This example shows that it’s okay to overlap and some designs when space is really an issue.
55. Two ships in opposite directions
These two leg sleeve tattoos show a parallel look at two ships on sunny skies and one under a storm. Both are the same, but what they have gone through sets them apart.
56. Beauty in the unfinished
This unfinished leg sleeve is beautiful on its own as an outline piece, and can also be continued to have colored designs. There is beauty in things that are incomplete, and this tattoo is one of them.
57. Flowers? Or lamps?
Whatever these tattoos are, the use of retro animation as seen in cartoons from the 70s is evident. It depicts the subject in an abstract way, the kind that would take a second look or demand an explanation. Or, it could also just be a really cool design.
58. Feline friends
This beautiful sketch of a woman and her cat is a beautiful piece that is similar to vintage Mexican posters and advertisements. Pay a tribute to your feline friends with a full leg sleeve tattoo like this.
59. Pulled from a Japanese parchment
The ancient Japanese themes in these two full leg sleeves may seem disturbing, but for some, that is the beauty of it. Tattoos are not just supposed to portray the beautiful things in life, but also the ugly and the ones that might stick in your head.
Adding a black jaguar to a colorful tattoo creates a mark that can stand out from the other designs. It contrasts to the pale lines and colors of this tattoo and is a good breaker piece to a leg full of color.
The tiger and the lily are two inseparable concepts in history and literature. In Peter Pan, Tiger Lily is the princess of a Native American tribe living in Neverland. She was saved by Peter Pan when she was held by the knife of Captain Hook. This tattoo is a cool rendition to the phrase that is used commonly as a girl’s name.
62. Flora and fauna
Artist renders of flowers can be in different styles from hyper-realistic, to minimalist, to brocades, or like in this magical version straight out of a fairytale.
63. Leave space in the middle
The shins of these full leg tattoos are left blank because of the two tattoos on the left and the right of the lower legs. Even with varying designs, the effect is like creating a wrap for the calves which also works if you are not fond of your big calves.
64. Ready to pirouette
Not a ballerina (anymore) but the craft is still in your mind? Tie a ribbon mimicking the pointe shoes of a ballerina to remind you of all the hard work and pain that comes with the beauty and grace of the dance.
65. Sailing off
Sailor tattoos like this ship is not just for men. Even on women, it has a different effect that is beautiful and pretty instead of the usual quirk of a sailor’s tattoos.
66. Come hither
As tempting as it is, snake tattoos represent a rebellious attitude that is smart and cunning. If you’re going all the way, make them stretch to your entire legs down below.
67. Feather collection
Feather tattoos represent fragility, or, in a group like this, they can represent the different people in your life that you want to keep forever.
68. Lipstick red
Red tattoos can catch attention from afar, like this full red tattoo that’s as red as a lipstick.
69. Joint he tribe
Tribal tattoos have not yet lost their luster. When done properly, it can be a fierce tattoo coupled with graceful swirls like this piece.
70. You treat me like a rose
Rose are red, roses are still blue. Reversed colors are techniques used by tattoo artists to distinguish two almost identical tattoos. The sketch style of these roses also add beauty to the leg pieces.
71. Be like a bamboo
The strongest trees are not the hardest, but the ones who can bend in the toughest winds. Get a tattoo facing yourself to remind you of the right words you need to hear during difficult times.
72. Use similar strokes
The petals of the sunflower tattoo are followed by the hair of the lion in this leg sleeve tattoo addition.
73. Finding Totoro
Are you a Miyazaki fan? Your favorite anime can stay with you forever, especially if you dedicate a full leg sleeve tattoo to Totoro! It may be an anime piece but the use of leaves to fill in empty spaces is a mark of a skilled tattoo artist.
74. Up, up but not away
This colorful and dainty tattoo is a reminder for a hot air balloon that even they need to keep their ground. The ribbon details are beautiful accents to this girly tattoo.