175 Best Hand Tattoo Ideas with Meanings!

Tattoos are one of the most famous ways for someone to express themselves or show their beliefs. However, one such place where people are somewhat hesitant to get their tattoos is their hands.

Hands are one of the most visible parts of your body, and a person can tell a lot about you just by looking at your hands. Whether you’re shaking a hand or moving them as you talk, you are always making an impression with your hands. So, leave a lasting impression with a fantastic hand tattoo. 

Although it may be hard to get one in the first place due to the immense skill required to pull off a fantastic hand tattoo, hand tattoos are still incredibly beautiful and good looking. With a skilled tattoo artist making your hand their canvas, you can ensure that you will get a fantastic tattoo.


Reasons to Get a Hand Tattoo


Getting a tattoo, other than being a little painful and very time consuming, is an exciting experience. While many tattoo experts advise against hand tattoos, if it is your first time and you are up for the commitment, you can have yourself a beautiful work of art etched on your hand.

Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot more to tattoos than just aesthetics. Tattoos hold spiritual or metaphorical meanings for the bearer or are just a token for them to remember someone by. With that said, here are some reasons you should get a hand tattoo.


1. Freedom of Expression  

Very few activities or forms of art allow you to express yourself as much as tattoos do. From expressing how you feel to displaying your beliefs and ideals on your shoulder – literally – the ways that you can express yourself through tattoos are limitless.

Whether it is the lyrics to a song or a mantra that you have lived by your entire life, you can always feel free to express yourself with tattoos. You can emphasize this freedom of expression with the enormous selection of styles and colors that are available.

From Neo-traditional tattoos to tribal tattoos with thick black stroke-like designs, there is an enormous pool of styles and designs that you can choose.

If you don’t like what the artist has in their portfolio, you can always provide them with a design that you would like. This step is, of course, something that you will have to give them weeks or sometimes months in advance before they can ink you.

Furthermore seeing how your hands are the most exposed part of your body, it further emphasizes how you express yourself through your tattoos.

2. Absolutely Beautiful

Tattoos are an underrated art form, which takes extensive time, patience, and practice. The result of all that time that the artist spends on you is a work of art that possibly deserves to be in a museum.

Tattoos are nothing short of beautiful and stunning to look at, even if they are on a canvas as small as your hand. While many argue that tattoos on the forearm or near the shoulder tend to look a lot better tattoos can look just as stunning on a hand if not more.

Moreover, smaller hands allow for incredibly detailed and picturesque tattoos often made of vivid colors. Speaking of vivid colors, colors also add to the beauty of each tattoo, making them all the more attractive. From watercolor effects to industrialized dark colors, you can always find something that matches your idea of a good tattoo.

3. Show Your Love and Appreciation

Tattoos are also an excellent way to show your love and appreciation for certain movements or ideologies. Whether it is a memorial for a friend or a loved one, or a symbol of peace or a movement that you believe in, a hand tattoo is an excellent way to show your appreciation or affiliation with a specific cause.

A good example of raising awareness is Project Semicolon or the Semicolon Movement. Started in 2013, Project Semicolon is a non-government organization that is making strides in mental health awareness. Its symbol is the semicolon, and many of its followers as well as people who believe in their message, get a semicolon tattoo to spread awareness about this cause.

You can also show your love for a loved one with a hand tattoo. It is most common among friends or loved ones to get matching tattoos to strengthen their bond and love for each other. Your tattoo can also be a memorial for someone who has passed, or for someone who has helped you through rough times.

Finally, your tattoo does not only have to show love for someone, as you can also show your love for your religion; or if you are very patriotic even your country.


4. Motivate Yourself

A prevalent form of tattoo that people tend to invest both time and money into are motivational tattoos. Whether these be writings or drawings that help motivate you, motivational tattoos are ubiquitous among most people in the tattoo community. 

A widespread form of motivational tattoos is mantras or motivational dialogues from pop culture. A ubiquitous mantra that most people get is the phrase “this time shall pass,” which is itself a compelling statement.

These types of tattoos are often on people who are dealing with addictions or people who are suffering from mental trauma. Motivational drawings are also incredibly popular as they show signs of strength.


5. Not a Big Deal

There is a lot of stigmas that surrounds people when it comes to tattoos. From talks about the pain and scars to concerns about sanitary conditions, there is a lot of stigma surrounding tattoos outside of the tattoo community.

While these may have been valid concerns 20 or 30 years before, they do not apply to today’s standards. Even smaller tattoo artists ensure that all of their equipment is hygienic, along with the place where you will be sitting. Maintaining hygiene is a grave concern for any tattoo parlor as it can lead to serious diseases.

As for pain, one of the first steps that any tattoo artist takes before they can start inking you is to give you some anesthetic — seeing how your constant struggling because of the pain will keep them from completing the tattoo. With the help of an anesthetic, they will be able to properly work on your tattoo, while you are at ease. 

On the other hand, concerns like the expense of tattoos and the uncomfortable seating arrangement are part of the package. Although most studios have very comfortable chairs, sitting in one position for extended periods can lead to cramps and even aches in the body. This reason is why most artists give breaks from time to time or have daily sessions for their customers. Regardless, the expenses and the time that a good tattoo takes is something that you will have to bear.

Best Hand Tattoo Ideas

If you find yourself convinced that you need to get a good hand tattoo, well then here are some hand tattoo ideas that you can try out for yourself.

Traditional Rose

The traditional style rose is one of the most beautiful and elegant tattoos that women can get. With bright and vivid colors making up the majority of the tattoo, this tattoo can look incredibly fierce yet delicate. The traditional style makes the tattoo look all the more beautiful and colorful. While this tattoo may be of a rose, traditional style flower tattoos work on any flower. So if you feel like a rose doesn’t reflect you, you can always get a flower that might.

Calligraphy or Graffiti

Graffiti is one of the most famous forms of art and can make for a gorgeous tattoo. With either color or a more monochrome aesthetic, graffiti looks good in both and is mostly dependant on what you get. If you don’t feel like getting a graffiti style tattoo, then you can always opt for a calligraphy style tattoo. Calligraphy is very famous among most people in the tattoo community, as they look incredibly stylish.

Pop Culture References

If you ever have trouble finding the right kind of tattoo that should go on your hand remember that pop culture references as tattoos always work. Whether it is a dialogue from a movie or symbol from a show, pop culture references are still a good idea. An excellent example of this could be the many amazing sigils of clans in the Game of Thrones or their slogans.

Day of the Dead

If you don’t mind a massive colorful skull on your hand, the day of the dead skulls is one of the best hand tattoos to have. Show your love for the Mexican festival with the Day of the Dead skull on your hand. There are plenty of styles and colors to complement better the type of tattoo that you want, and whether you want it to be a little goofy or terrifying.

Knuckles Tattoos

If you are not looking for a tattoo that will take over your entire hand, you can always go for much cooler knuckle tattoos. If you are ever getting a hand tattoo, most people will recommend getting knuckle tattoos. Knuckle tattoos can be letters, or they can be a proper design that spans over your knuckles. While it is not uncommon for people to get proper designs on their knuckles, most of the community prefers letters or symbols.

Animal Tattoos

Animal tattoos are possibly one of the most famous types of tattoo that you can get. Throughout the community, there are a lot of people that prefer animal tattoos over any other type of tattoo. The style of tattoo that you prefer will impact the final product, as you can have an ultra-realistic depiction of a lion or a more cartoonish drawing of a cat inked on your hand.

Japanese Kanji

If you are a fan of Japanese culture or are just looking for something cool for your hand, Japanese Kanji is always a good option. The logographic of the Japanese language often make for very amusing and awesome tattoos. The Kanji that you choose can also have a metaphorical meaning, Through which you can express yourself.



Tattoos are a considerable investment, and not just financially. Not only does it take a lot of time for you to get a tattoo, but once you finally get one it becomes almost impossible to get rid of it. This reason is why most veterans of the tattoo community on forums advise newcomers to do a lot of research before going settling on an artist and design.

Speaking of doing research, finding an artist willing to do a hand tattoo is a challenge in its own right. Most artists kindly decline because of the amount of skill and experience required to do craft a proper hand tattoo. Moreover, hand tattoos are also very sensitive, as there are a lot of veins in the location of the tattoo. This factor makes it especially challenging to get a hand tattoo, as artists are often afraid of messing up. 

Finally, you will also have to care for your fresh tattoos by treating them with proper lotion and keeping them away from the sun. Fresh tattoos especially fade faster when exposed to the sun, so it is best to keep them covered. You should also try your best to keep water away from the tattoo, and this will be challenging seeing how the tattoo will be on your hand.

However, regardless of all of these safety precautions that you have to take, hand tattoos are one of the best types of tattoos that a person can get. Although it may be hard finding the right artist, it all pays off in the end when you get an absolute masterpiece on your hand.