How Much Does an Armband Tattoo Cost?

Written by: Staff

Armband tattoos are also known as cuffs since they encircle the wrist or upper arms just like real cuffs do.  The design can also be made around the forearm, upper arm, biceps, calf, and thigh, depending on your preference.

My first tattoo by Aine D, on Flickr
My first tattoo” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  Aine D

How much does an armband tattoo cost?

The cost of an armband tattoo will depend on the design, the time involved and the tattoo artist you choose.  Plan on spending anywhere from as little as $50 for something simple to as much as $500 for a complex, customized design.  Keep in mind most shops will have a minimum in the $50 to $100 range.  A solid armband tattoo, for instance, is extremely simple and can cost less than $200, whereas one, similar to the tattoo in the picture above, could be much more due to the complexity of the drawing and the colors involved.

According to, a survey conducted by showed that 39 percent of poll-takers paid between $100 to $250 for a single tattoo, 60 percent paid less than $250, and 40 percent paid more than $250.  Those who spent over $1,000 for a single tattoo (that is, 8 percent of the respondents), got a customized piece design by a world-class tattoo artist over several sessions.

At, an armband tattoo ranges from $40 to $150, depending on the design.  The cheapest design is a star band at $40.  Customers can have a tribal, Celtic, and Aztec bands at $15.

Factors that affect the price


Tattoo artists can charge differently depending on the location of the shop as well as the reputation.  The more experience and expertise he or she has, the higher the price will be.


Areas that are harder to access and work with can be more than a simple to reach area.


As previously mentioned, the design you choose can be stock, custom made, or a personal design.  Choosing a design available at the shop will be the cheapest while having a design made specifically for you by an artist will be the most expensive.  Custom designs will depend on the complexity of the design and how much time the artist has to put into it.


As expected, the larger the tattoo is, the higher the price will be.


A basic tattoo is going to be very dark gray or black in color.  The more colors you want to add, however, the higher the cost will be.

Session time

The more complex the design is, the longer it will take for the artist to complete.  Some designs may even take more than one session, and if this were the case, the cost of your tattoo will be much higher than one that can be done in one session.

What are the extra costs?

There may be additional charges for more elaborate designs, additional color and variety.  Original designs also tend to cost more than generic designs or tattoos from a flash.

Once the tattoo is completed, there will be different products you will need to apply to keep it hydrated to ensure that it heals properly.  There are also different balms that can help relieve any pain that you feel.

Tips of at least 10 to 15 percent of the price will always be appreciated.

Tips to know

Armband tattoos designs often include tribal and Celtic styles, flowers, solid, barbed wire, vines, hearts, and even the use of lettering as popular designs, but like any tattoo, the sky is the limit when it comes to a design.

Since most armband tattoos tend to be relatively small, most will take less than two hours.

Need inspiration for an armband tattoo?  This article has more than 95 designs, along with the meanings.

How can I save money?

Talk with a few studios in your area to see what they charge and what kind of work they have done in the past.  While pricing should be a factor, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor as you can often get what you pay for.  Aside from the pricing, be sure to pay close attention to the cleanliness of the studio, the reputation of the artist and the reviews online.

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