All The Cool Girls Have Sticker Sleeves — The Tattoo Trend We're Obsessed With

As tattoos become more and more mainstream, the trends keep coming. This past year alone the most popular tattoo styles consisted of over a dozen options for those who like to be in fashion when it comes to their ink. From real-looking patch tattoos and flash tattoos to zodiac and neo-traditional tattoos, there has been something for everyone. But while 2023 may be behind us, the wave of tattoo trends hasn't shown any signs of slowing — which is great for tattoo lovers. One of those styles is sticker sleeves.

Seen on celebrities like Zoe Kravitz and Miley Cyrus, sticker sleeves are a series of tattoos that, instead of being a conventional full sleeve of ink, are spaced out so you can have many small tattoos, as opposed to just one or two large tattoos. "It's a different approach to decorating your body and a chance to collect small tattoos and experiences as time goes by, like little badges or gems," tattoo artist Nano Ponto told Byrdie.

What's cool about sticker tattoos is you can get one at a time — if you're not in a rush to see the final product — or do a bunch at once. You can also do themes or just a collection of things that are meaningful to you. There's no wrong way to go about getting your sticker sleeve. If you're thinking you might want to invest in this trend but aren't sure where to start, here are some ideas.

Personal favorites

Want to have a series of images and quotes that you absolutely love, but have nothing to do with each other, on your body forever? Great! Sticker sleeves give you the option to celebrate your love of pizza, coffee, Hemingway, and Botticelli all in one place without having to be part of one huge piece. 

Clothes line

Although many sticker sleeve tattoos have images that aren't connected, it doesn't mean that there's a rule against it. Opting for a clothes line, string of lights, or something else on which to "hang" your collection of tattoos works too. It's your body and your vision, so go with what you think looks best to you. 

Colorful twinkles

Sticker sleeves tend to not consist of many colors, but that doesn't mean they can't. If you prefer reds, blues, pinks, or any other shade in the world, an expert tattoo artist can easily give your sticker sleeve a whole rainbow of colors. Just remember that colored ink fades faster than black, so be sure to always cover those tattoos with clothing or SPF.

Ocean theme

While choosing a theme for your sticker sleeves isn't necessary, it can really pull all the images together to create an entire concept. If this is something you think you'd like to do, then sit down and decide what types of things move or inspire you. Make a written list, if it helps. You just might find that all those things fall under the same umbrella, giving you the perfect starting point for a sleeve theme. 

Back stickers

What's great about sticker sleeves is that the sticker part of the equation makes it so you can get a bunch of motifs tattooed on a part of the body that isn't the arm or leg. Backs are a really beautiful place for tattoos and with so much blank canvas, you can get even more than you would on your arms.

Divine imagery

Tattoos are a great way to explore the more whimsical parts of yourself. From angel number 222, to fairies and mermaids, to divine, celestial energy that you'd like to bring into your life permantently, sticker sleeve tattoos are a great way to get all your most meaningful iconography into one place. 

Butterflies

Sticker sleeve tattoos don't only look cool, but they can be really symbolic too. For example, butterflies are representative of change, while flowers, trees, and other types of flora indicate growth. If you want (or need) a positive affirmation about where you are and how far you've come, sticker sleeves are ideal.

Lower arm images

Similar to traditional sleeve tattoos, with stickers you can opt for the whole arm or just the upper or lower parts. While having all your tattoos spread out over the full arm can look spacious and airy, condensing them all to just the upper or lower part of the arm can create an intense appearance of pictures and words. 

Chest stickers

Love the sticker sleeve tattoo concept, but don't want them on your arms or back? Then go for the chest instead! Granted, this can be a sensitive place to tattoo — although pain levels vary from person to person — but it's going to look stunning when complete. You can even do sticker tattoos across your chest, then have them cascade down your arms, making it an entire body of art. 

Meaningful collection

What's important to remember when thinking about sticker sleeves is that everything you get is totally your call. Whether you want a handful of images and quotes that are important to you, or a bunch of tats that don't mean a darn thing, it's up to you. Don't let anyone talk you into something that you're not 100% about, because — and never forget — the trend will eventually fade as all trends do, but the ink is forever.