Patchwork tattoos are all the rage right now. Everyone from celebrities to rockstars to tattoo virgins are jumping on the bandwagon.
An effortless mismatching of designs characterizes this style of tattooing. Wearers can add to their body art as they wish, never needing to commit to a large piece or sleeve.
Making a patchwork sleeve an easy, affordable, and nearly limitless option for those looking to get inked.
Patchwork Tattoo Sleeve
Patchwork tattoos exude confidence and experience. Each design stands on its own and can be incredibly meaningful. Patchwork sleeves are constructed one idea at a time. Then, moving at one’s own pace, tattoos are added to the body like patches on a quilt.
The personal freedom doesn’t end with design selection. In choosing the placement for each tattoo, one can determine the size, scope, and amount of negative space the sleeve has.
Patchwork Arm Tattoos
Arms are one of the most popular places for Patchwork tattoos. Years can pass between additions to the tattoo, or groups of tattoos can be added together. This allows the wearer to use designs to mark moments or memories, creating a story through the patchwork. The arm is a great place to proudly display meaningful designs.
Forearm Patchwork Tattoos
Patchwork tattoos can begin anywhere on the body. A sleeve can start on the forearm or upper arm and grow in the opposite direction.
Each addition to the tattoo adds to its size and determines the tattoo’s growth.
A forearm piece could become a full sleeve. Or, designs can be added with little space in between, becoming a condensed forearm piece.
Patchwork Leg Sleeves
The legs are another great blank canvas to begin curating a collection of small tattoos.
With so much vertical space, they offer more room play with designs than the arm does. They’re also the perfect place for anything from bold images to delicate designs.
Patchwork Leg Tattoos
The beauty of Patchwork tattoos is that they can grow over time. Similarly to Patchwork sleeves, you can start a leg sleeve on the calf or thigh, and let it grow from there.
Maybe the best part of a Patchwork sleeve is that the two halves of a sleeve don’t have to match. In fact, no part of a patchwork tattoos has to look a certain way, it’s entirely up to the wearer!
Patchwork Torso Tattoos
There’s no denying Patchwork tattoos are aesthetically pleasing.
Because they evolve wildly across the body, there’s no limit to how far they can spread.
A Patchwork sleeve can turn into a stomach or chest piece, or crawl up the neck.
With so much input from the wearer, these tattoos don’t necessarily carry a feminine or masculine energy. They take on their owner’s personality as they grow.
This can be seen in the variations between bold American Traditional designs on one body and small, doodle-drawings on another.
Stylized Patchwork Tattoos
If the mismatched style of a Patchwork tattoo isn’t right for you, but the method of design is—style is a great way to get the best of both worlds. Creating a sense of cohesion with Patchwork tattoos is simple, either choose an art style to tie the tattoos together or find the right artist to go back to for every addition.
A great way to determine which style is the right one is by choosing a line weight, shading technique, or image to base a Patchwork tattoo on.
This helps to bring each piece of the quilt together into one large design.
Delicate Patchwork Arm Tattoos
Patchwork tattoos are all about giving the wearer the freedom to curate their own piece.
They aren’t characterized by a particular line weight or imagery. Patchwork tattoos are a quilt, each patch is unique to the wearer.
Some Patchwork sleeves you’ll see are actually quite delicate.
Patchwork Tattoos with Large Patches
Patchwork tattooing is all about personalization. While these tattoos are typically created with small to medium designs, they can also be made up of larger pieces.
Going this route allows tattoo artists more room to play and show off their talent while still giving the client freedom to curate their tattoo.
How To Start A Patchwork Tattoo
If you’re like me, just looking at Patchwork tattoos makes you want to start (or add to) your own.
It’s all too easy to get started, all you really need is a design idea and placement. However, it always pays to plan ahead. Thinking about style, how big you’d like the tattoo to be, which way it will grow, and artists you may want to include are great starting points.
It’s a good idea to research similar tattoos and find ones you gravitate toward. Reference images can give clues as to how much space should be left between designs and help you navigate through the world of Patchwork tattooing.
Filling in the Gaps
Once you have the first few pieces of your Patchwork tattoo added, it’s time to begin thinking about how to connect them together. From illustrative designs to fairy dust, there are so many creative ways to fill in the negative space of a Patchwork tattoo.
Remember, this isn’t necessary. There are no requirements with Patchwork tattoos. It’s entirely up the wearer whether the patches grow together, or grow at all.
The number one rule of Patchwork tattooing is to enjoy the freedom.