If you’re someone who likes to make a major statement, a hand tattoo may be the perfect placement idea for you. Considering a hand is rarely covered (depending on time of year and your profession), they’re always visible and are not easy to conceal. And they’re not only visible to others—they're also constantly within your own line of vision, so it's important to make sure you choose a design you absolutely love.
Hand tattoos also tend to fade over time due to being placed on a high-movement body part that's washed and worn away at often, and it’s common for them to heal poorly. This kind of tat also tends to be fairly painful thanks to the thin skin and the boniness of the hand.
It’s not all negative with hand tattoos; they tend to be beautiful, meaningful, or otherwise statement-making. If you’re considering getting a hand tattoo, it’s imperative that you heavily prepare. Talk to your tattoo artist ahead of time to make sure the design you want will work on your hand and won’t be warped in some way. And if you’re looking for inspiration for that design, we’ve got you covered—here are 40 hand tattoos for you to admire.
Rose Hand Tattoo
A rose looks great anywhere on the hand. To really give it space to bloom, though, place it right above your thumb.
Henna Hand Tattoo
Keith "Bang Bang" McCurdy and his colleague Cally-Jo created this intricate henna inspired ink on Rihanna's hand, spending hours drawing out the design. "We drew on her hand from 7 p.m. to midnight," McCurdy told E! News. "We were drawing and changing things. I'd take a break and Cally-Jo would draw, then I'd draw ... The inspiration was henna art, we wanted something really decorative, feminine, and sexy."
Centered Butterfly Hand Tattoo
Make a statement with your tattoo choosing a large design and placing it in the center of the back of your hand. The colors and styling remain dainty, but it takes up enough space to really pop.
Celestial Hand Tattoo
If you’re a fan of a specific tattoo type—like American traditional—the hand tattoo is the perfect place to get a piece done in the style. If you’re passionate about it, show it off!
Lotus Flower Hand Tattoo
Lotus flowers make for great hand tattoos because of the shape and the way the petals are typically displayed. Stick to black ink to make the design pop while keeping it minimal.
Bumblebee Hand Tattoo
A fun design feels even more personal as a hand tattoo because you obviously love it enough to show it off! This bumblebee is relatively plain and uses the same line thickness all over to stay simple.
Geometric Hand Tattoo
A geometric design looks really cool on the back of your hand. Go for more circular shapes to disrupt the natural shape of your hand for a tattoo that really pops.
Wrist Cuff Hand Tattoo
In the same way you can get finger tattoos that look like rings, why not go for a hand tattoo that looks like a wrist cuff? While this design radiates from the wrist, it extends onto the hand for an elongated effect.
Outer Edge Hand Tattoo
Consider getting your hand tattoo on the outer edge of your hand. Placing a piece of ink here will be less obvious and more unique.
Fern Hand Tattoo
Hand designs don’t have to be big or dark—they can be minimal, too. This design keeps the lines thin and the elements spaced out to keep the tattoo feeling weightless and dainty.
Realistic Hand Tattoo
A tattoo placed closer to the knuckles than the wrist is one that wants to be seen—even under long sleeves. Even a subtly-styled design, like this realistic rose, will catch attention in this spot.
Along-the-Thumb Hand Tattoo
Play with the lines of your hand by getting your design tatted along the finger bone but above the finger itself. This will mimic the shape of your hand and complement it.
Thin-Lined Hand Tattoo
Hand tattoos don’t have to fill the whole space—keep the design small and use thin lines to create a minimalistic, intricate tattoo.
Excitingly Detailed Hand Tattoo
Make a relatively simple design more exciting by playing with details. This tattoo uses dots for the ornamentation and varies the shading style.
Curved Word Hand Tattoo
Play with the different shapes of your hand by mimicking them with your tattoo. This word tattoo, for example, curves along the edge of the hand to emphasize the shape.
Wrapped Hand Tattoo
Spread a finger design down onto the back of your hand to play with its shape. Keep it minimal and in one color to place the focus on the movement rather than the detailing.