How Much Does a Half Sleeve Tattoo Cost?

how much does a half sleeve tattoo cost

The term ‘half-sleeve tattoo’ is quite self-explanatory.

It’s basically a tattoo half the size of a full-sleeve a tattoo.

Do they have any perks?

There are many, actually. Besides the fact that you can hide it more easily, it also costs less than a full-sleeve tattoo.

For one reason or another, some people prefer to not be showy with their tattoos.

While they have genuine love for the body art, they probably want to enjoy it themselves.

Another possible explanation is they can’t do it for professional reasons.

Whatever the case, getting a half-sleeve tattoo is great if you want it to be more understated.

half sleeve tattoo price

There are two options available.

First, you can get it all at once, meaning that you ink the skin in a single tattoo session.

Or you can also make it by creating smaller tattoos on different occasions.

Let’s say you want a heart tattoo now, and then come back for more in the upcoming months.

The whole pieces will form a half-sleeve tattoo eventually when they’re connected to each other.

If you want to do it gradually, please work with the same tattoo artist, so that he knows what to do next without disrupting the flow of the design.

How much does a half-sleeve tattoo cost?

Given that it’s smaller than a full-sized tattoo, it should also cost less.

You can read to find the answer.

Average price for half-sleeve tattoos


As we’ve always said, the cost of a tattoo depends on its size, intricacy, and pigments.

At the very least, you can pay around $800.

Remember that a half-sleeve tattoo is still large enough to warrant a hefty price tag.

Now if you decide to take it to next level, e.g. making it encircle your upper arm, adding a bunch of details and colors, then the price would easy hit the $1,000 mark.

It may even cost over $2,000 if you want to visit a famous artist.

An artist’s credibility is a huge factor because established artists usually charge way higher than those new to the scene.

The amount of tip also adds to the cost, so does the aftercare products you should buy to aid in the healing process.

When it comes to the final figure, one thing for sure is that a half-sleeve tattoo ain’t cheap because it’s not the same as an arm tattoo.

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Any tattoo placed on the arm can be classified as an arm tattoo.

A half-sleeve tattoo, on the other hand, has to encircle the upper arm and look like an actual sleeve.

Also, find out the artist’s hourly rate.

Many artists charge on an hourly basis instead of offering fixed prices.

By knowing the rate, you can calculate the cost yourself.

Does it matter to work with a famous artist?

It’s not mandatory, but if satisfactory results are what you’re looking for, it’s should be on top your priority list.

Things to know before getting a half-sleeve tattoo


Preparation is an important step in the creation of a tattoo.

The process leading up to the inking session can be quite lengthy especially if you’re totally inexperienced in this body art.

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Assuming this is your first time, start by finding an artist.

Many artists work for studios, so you can start with any of these options.

High-profile studios usually employ highly talented artists.

Thus, if you’re concerned about quality, then go find a well-known artist, like one with a long list of clientele.

In exchange for the remarkable work, though, you need to spend more.

But what if the budget isn’t realistic for that?

Working with a new artist is good, too. Just make sure he’s licensed to do the job.

A. How long do half sleeve tattoos take?

It can take around 5 hours.

That’s the lower threshold for a rather straightforward tattoo.

For a more complicated design, the artist will need extra time which easily tops 8 hours.

How much does a short sleeve tattoo cost?

Now that you know the duration required for a half-sleeve tattoo, it’s reasonable that a full-sleeve one would take more than that, probably around 15 hours to completion.

And if the artist charges $100 an hour, you should pay at least $500.

Again, that’s for a simple tattoo and by a regular artist.

If you work with one that has a solid resume, the hourly rate would rise steeply, and it will affect the amount you have to pay as well.

It’s not uncommon to pay more than $2,000 for a half-sleeve tattoo.

A lot of effort and time go into that, so we should reward the artist with a proper fee.

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For those wondering why it costs so much, a tattoo price is consistent with the size.

As we know, this type of tattoo is done on a broad area, so it’s not surprising that the price would soar.

B. How much does a short sleeve tattoo cost?

A shorter sleeve tattoo can cost around $500.

To put it into perspective, a full-sleeve tattoo can cost upwards of $3,000.

This means a half-sleeve should cost half that amount.

how much does a half sleeve tattoo cost reddit

Now if you make it shorter, the price should also go down. Moreover, the sum would correspond to the nature of the tattoo.

For example, if you want to use black ink only, then it should also be cheaper.

And if the design is quite easy to work on, the price should also drop naturally.

Quite the contrary, a colored tattoo with a bunch of fine details will cost a fortune.

It’s all up to you whether you want an elaborate tattoo or not.

Basically, ask less, you’ll pay less.

C. How much does a 3 hour tattoo cost?

There are two pricing methods commonly used by artists in charging their clients.

The first one is a fixed price.

In this method, no matter how long it takes to get a tattoo done, you only need to pay the price agreed upon in advance.

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Conversely, if he can do it much faster than expected, it won’t result in a price reduction.

The second common method is an hourly rate.

When an artist charges by the hour, the amount one pays will correspond to the time spent.

Let’s take a 3-hour tattoo as an example.

All you have to do is multiply it by the rate.

Let’s say an artist’s hourly rate is $100 and he finishes a half-sleeve tattoo in 6 hours, then you should pay around $600.

It could be more if the hourly rate is higher.

D. How painful is a half sleeve tattoo?

The pain that comes with getting a tattoo is subjective.

It depends on your pain tolerance.

That said, many said the pain is quite mild compared to more sensitive areas like the rib cage.

There are parts that will hurt more, but it’s bearable mostly.

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how much does a half sleeve tattoo nz

Another thing that will affect your perception of pain is how long the session goes.

The longer you sit on your table, the more likely it’s going to hurt more.

That’s why we’re usually advised to divide it into shorter sessions, so that the pain becomes more manageable.

A half-sleeve tattoo is quite large, anyway, so it shouldn’t be a shock if it ends up being 2 or more segments.

Some people have interesting stories to share about their sleeve tattoos.

Instead of feeling intense pain, they actually become numb to it after a while.

If you’re one of these people, you might as well keep going.

It’s the pain that usually keep us from getting a lengthy tattoo session.

So when you can overcome the issue, a long tattoo session shouldn’t be a problem.

E. How much do you tip a tattoo artist?

Tipping is one of etiquettes you shouldn’t overlook as it is used to reward in high quality service.

Tipping is a nice gesture that any artist will appreciate. Besides, he deserves it for spending time to complete the tattoo as you wish.

half sleeve tattoo design cost

Now another question arises, ‘how much should you tip?’

The thing is there are no rules on how much one should tip.

Technically, you can tip as much as you can, but it’s more of a thank you, so it’s not the same level as a tattoo cost.

The typical tipping amount is around 20 percent, but you can leave more if you want.

Final Thoughts


Getting a tattoo is a big commitment especially when it covers a big portion of the skin.

A half-sleeve tattoo fits in this category, so be well informed before you go to a local tattoo artist.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to design.

You can stick to one or combine several ideas into one seamless tattoo.

As for inspiration, there are many tattoo designs online.

Or you can also visit a tattoo artist for some suggestions.

Apart from design, price is another thing to consider.

How much does a half-sleeve tattoo cost?

In general, you can pay from $500 to more than $2,000.

Take into account the size, design, the artist’s reputation because they all contribute to the cost.

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