Tattoo fillers, filler tattoos, and gap filler tattoos all name a special type of tattoo that is essential for creating a full or half-sleeve tattoo. These small, often simple, designs help build cohesion and harmony between your existing tattoos. Further, these tattoo fillers can make your existing designs look even better by providing contrast or accentuating the design or designs around them. If you have a bunch of tattoos that feel too sparse or look as if there’s too much space between them tattoo fillers are definitely what you need.
Now, filler tattoos can be anything you choose. You can even pick some of your tattoo artist’s flash designs to get the job done. But, we understand that because the possibilities are almost endless that it can be hard to come up with tattoo filler ideas. We’re here to help! We have rounded up some solid gap fillers for you to get some ink inspiration. Take a look and find the right fit for you!
A Classic Tattoo Filler Idea
Two of the most popular gap fillers are roses and spiderwebs. In this classic style of tattoo, we find a skeletal hand holding a beautiful rose. If you like traditional and neo-traditional tattooing, consider something similar. Because of the simplicity of this design, you could easily scale this down to fill a much smaller gap.
Here is an example of how cobwebs can be used as a tattoo filler. More often than not, you will find them in black and grey inks but this one is a touch different with an infusion of color.
Over the last couple of decades, clients and tattoo artists have agreed that geometric patterns are great tattoo filler ideas. These candidates can be inserted and worked around existing designs for a truly cook effect. As you can see above, using different ink colors, the artist has filled the gaps with a repeating star design.
A Closer Look
Here’s another example of geometric filler. The hand tattoo was already there but the artist surrounded it with a very visually appealing geometric design. While we encourage you to experiment with color, black ink does have its virtues.
A Pairing or a Theme
In the above example, the lock and the key are the two new elements added to help fill this sleeve. Despite the two objects being completely different in shape and size, each one fits perfectly into the surrounding designs. If you are not going geometric, consider a theme and choose imagery accordingly.
Shape Is Key
Get whimsical by all means, but be certain to take into account the shape of your filler to make sure it either contrasts or accentuates what is already there. The happy sprout character is the filler design that is perfectly nestled between a butterfly tattoo and a botanical one.
In the previous flower tattoo filler we showed you, the design was an old-school, traditional rose. That can make the design seem rigid. If you need or want something more fluid and adaptable, consider a botanical element that your artist shapes to perfectly fit the gap. Here, we find some gorgeous orange flowers with blueberries. Very nice!
Any tattoo idea can be turned into a tattoo filler idea with the right artist in control. We find a bat, a crescent moon, and a red star here, filling some blank space. Pro tip: black and red inks look fantastic next to each other so if it looks cool to you, consider those colors for your gap filler tattoo.
This is an interesting and remarkable tattoo filler. Look to the top of the cloud and you will see that the artist has applied the design to look as if it is under the existing one. It’s a small detail but a very cool one and you might as well consider a style like this.
Use Your Imagination
Any sort of design that can take on an organic shape is going to be your friend when you are thinking of tattoo filler ideas. This vaguely “tribal” type of design has been shaped beautifully to fill that very strangely shaped gap.
Bits and Bobs
If you do not want just one tattoo filler, don’t settle for less. You can choose a few small designs to fill between the larger existing ones of your sleeve. In the above example, some musical notes and elements, a razor, and some basic star shapes have all been employed to fill the gap.
This is one of our favorite filler tattoos on this list. The dagger here has been misshapen to fit the area that this person wanted to be filled. Think outside the box and you could walk away with something equally as innovative and fun.
Similar to some of the geometric filler tattoos that we looked at earlier, these clouds provide plenty of coverage. Think of anything that is in an organic shape like waves in the ocean, flames, etc. Those kinds of designs can be used to totally fill in the gaps.
Another way to go is with abstract shapes that fit into any space. These wavy lines seem to bounce off the tattoos to the left. It offers a bit of drama and a touch of mystery which is always a good thing when we’re talking tattoos.
In addition to flowers and spiderwebs, another really popular subject matter for a tattoo filler is arrows. Arrows can take up a rectangle of space, especially if it is a single arrow tattoo. But, this person had a backward “D” shape to fill so they used a bow and arrows to take care of business.
When considering tattoo filler ideas, there is something that you will need to decide. If your sleeve has a color scheme or certain style to it, do you want your filler to fit in or stand out? For this person, who has a sleeve consisting almost entirely of pastels, the gummy bear was a logical choice to keep everything cohesive.
Squeeze a Scene in There
On the left, you can see where the tattoo artist has mapped out the outline of the tattoo filler. They have managed to squeeze an entire landscape scene into the space. You can easily do the same. Think of the mountains, cityscapes, or even celestial bodies to fill the gap.
Tattoo filler ideas can also be found in ornamental and decorative arts, architecture, and even industrial design. We find a sort of Baroque flourish that you might find on molding, furniture, or over a window on a stately building. Ornamental elements like it work exceedingly well as tattoo fillers.
Never Break the Chain
Another popular type of tattoo filler is chains. Chains, necklaces, pocketwatches, etc. all have the ability to be shaped into whatever shape you and your artist are after. In the above example, we find a heart tattoo that is attached to a chain that accentuates the tattoos next to it.
You can elevate mundane objects into art with your filler tattoo. Anything goes! We find an umbrella here purposed to fit the gap perfectly in this person’s sleeve.
Cut It Out
If you have a gap with a really strange shape, you can do something similar to this lady face tattoo above. Your artist can create the shape and then tattoo elements of the face inside of it for a unique look that feels both traditional and fresh at the same time.
Yes, anything can be a filler tattoo and this slice of mushroom pizza proves it. For a triangular spot to fill, consider anything in that shape. You can even take a completely different shape and then top it with pizza elements and you would have an even more offbeat design.
For an energetic tattoo filler, consider a bolt of lightning that spreads over the blank space. Similar to clouds or waves, lightning can be designed to fit into any size or shape. It’s an ideal candidate for any filler tattoo.
Light Your Fire
Candles, torches, campfires, etc. all make great tattoo gap fillers because the flames can be manipulated into fun shapes that make the rest of your tattoos look even better. For a long gap, consider something similar to this.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Take a Look at These Dramatic Sleeve Tattoos for Women
Traditional At Its Best
Iconic tattoo artist Sailor Jerry was a fan of using dots and stars as tattoo filler between larger designs. If you like this traditional look, it really does offer so much texture in visual interest considering it is just a bunch of dots and basic stars.
There you go! We hope you found some great tattoo filler ideas you can take to your artist. Tattoos are all about self-expression so just make sure you are staying true to yourself and your vision for your sleeve. If you liked these designs, keep scrolling for even more tattoos!
Get Some Lovely Ink Inspiration from the Stunning Sleeve Tattoos for Women Below:
Dark Flower and Mandala Sleeve
The above example is something you will see iterations of again and again among sleeve tattoos for women. Florals meeting some other design elements are the hottest among women today.
In general, there are two major ways to go about sleeve tattoos. Do you want a cohesive design that’s well-planned and mapped out or do you prefer to have a variety of unrelated small designs that you add “fill” to? This person has chosen the latter and it looks fantastic.
Blast over tattoos are designs that are done mostly in all black ink and they partially or fully cover existing tattoos. In the above example, you can see the swirling black ink wrapping around the arm again and again. What a dramatic effect!
Here’s another one of the floral sleeve tattoos for women. It also includes mandala-inspired shapes and patterns which is a very popular thing to do. The flowers have been artfully applied and really pop in this half sleeve.
Here, we find botanical elements that seem to be blown up and enlarged to cover more of the arm. Beautiful leaves, fronds, and flowers truly shine in this remarkable sleeve.
Here is one of our favorite sleeve tattoos for women on this list. Tons of detailed ornamentation have been employed to cover this arm in contrasting patterns. There are some floral elements here as well for good measure.
Black and Grey Roses
If you’d like to go a more traditional route with your floral sleeve tattoos for women, consider going black and grey for a sleeve that really delivers drama. Don’t these flowers look handsome and moody?
Berry Good Color
By far, black ink sleeve tattoos for women are the norm and colorful ink is less popular. If you’re not afraid of color, we urge you to consider warming things up with vivid inks that will bring your designs to life.
Here’s a Japanese-inspired cat mask sleeve tattoo that has a mesmerizing floral backdrop. Turn to existing art for your tattoo and you’ll have a wonderfully inspired design.
Bold Will Hold
Here’s another one of the sleeve tattoos for women that uses mandala-style patterns. It is done in a unique way with the pattern being very large and bold with plenty of black ink.
A Bit of Blackout
Here’s a similar sleeve to the last one that is all about big, bold shapes. We love the graphic quality of these sorts of designs and how abstract imagery can still be quite stirring.
Here’s one of the most ethereal sleeve tattoos for women on this list. The artist has done an excellent job, employing realism to bring the grey flowers to life. What a dreamy and haunting sleeve.
A Celebration of Wildlife
From this angle, you can see a tiger, a ram, and a swan on this scenic tattoo sleeve. If you have a love for wildlife, let your favorite animals inform your design.
Half sleeve tattoos for women are popular and this one on the upper arm looks smart. We find a clock flanked by two roses. The great thing about a half sleeve is that it will look awesome on its own but it can be extended over time to build a full one.
The Wild Side
Here’s another one of the half sleeve tattoos for women. Again, there are plenty of lunch florals but there’s also a sort of goddess character and a wolf. It’s a stunning portrait and an interesting concept.
We absolutely love colorful sleeve tattoos for women. This one consists of a variety of warm colors that evokes imagery of the fall season. Mushrooms, leaves, flowers, and animals all come together for a winning design.
Florals and a Portrait
Heavenly chrysanthemums steal the show on the upper arm while an understated portrait at the bottom makes the sleeve feel more personal. Work with an artist to help you realize your own unique vision and you will walk away with something you cherish for life.
Here’s one of the most delicate sleeve tattoos for women on the list. Delicate and sleeve tattoo are not often seen in the same sentence but this one has plenty of space between the flowers which makes it look lighter, breathier even.
We Won’t Name Him
People love their Harry Potter tattoos and this is one really big one that takes up the majority of the arm. The artist has mastered the art of dotwork here to give each element plenty of texture and depth.
A Purple Dazzler
For a cohesive look, go monochromatic. This person has chosen a pinkish-purple color for the flowers and gems in this design. Go with your favorite color and you’ll not live to regret it.
A Rockin’ Robin
Delicate, thin lines build this sleeve tattoo that includes mandala-inspired elements along with floral ones. The star of the show is the robin that’s nestled in the flowers on the upper arm. How tweet!
Red and Black
For tattoos, there’s no better winning color combination than red and black. The colors play well against one another offering tons of contrast. That red snake looks so alive as it slithers through a sea of flowers.
Here’s yet another one of the floral sleeve tattoos for women that’s covered in botanicals with an animal character. There are some bugs and birds thrown in to complete the whole look.
Here’s a fun half sleeve that looks like a painting of a bust. It references classical art while creating something fresh and new in tattoo form. What a magical design!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 25 Astonishing Sleeve Tattoos That Will Leave You Speechless
This Will Change Your Life
Finally, we leave you with a magnificent sleeve tattoo that incorporates elements from traditional American tattooing and puts them to good use in a sort of collage with tons of decorative elements that have been expertly paired together. This is one of the best sleeve tattoos for women or just sleeve tattoos ever!
There you go! What did you think of these sleeve tattoos for women? We hope you feel inspired by them to start designing your own project. Sleeve tattoos often take multiple sessions to complete and they are a real commitment. We hope by seeing these inspired designs you feel great about moving forward with your own! Happy tattooing!
- 0.1 A Classic Tattoo Filler Idea
- 0.2 Webs
- 0.3 Go Geometric
- 0.4 A Closer Look
- 0.5 A Pairing or a Theme
- 0.6 Shape Is Key
- 0.7 Botanical Possibilities
- 0.8 Anything Goes
- 0.9 Fitting In
- 0.10 Use Your Imagination
- 0.11 Bits and Bobs
- 0.12 Conceptual Filler
- 0.13 Clouds
- 0.14 Abstract Shapes
- 0.15 Arrows
- 0.16 Continuity
- 0.17 Squeeze a Scene in There
- 0.18 Ornamental Elements
- 0.19 Never Break the Chain
- 0.20 Everyday Objects
- 0.21 Cut It Out
- 0.22 Yummy
- 0.23 Lightning
- 0.24 Light Your Fire
- 0.25 Traditional At Its Best
- 1 Get Some Lovely Ink Inspiration from the Stunning Sleeve Tattoos for Women Below:
- 1.1 Dark Flower and Mandala Sleeve
- 1.2 The Mix
- 1.3 Blast Over
- 1.4 Floral Decadence
- 1.5 Botanical Beauty
- 1.6 Ornamental Goodness
- 1.7 Black and Grey Roses
- 1.8 Berry Good Color
- 1.9 Cat’s Mask
- 1.10 Bold Will Hold
- 1.11 A Bit of Blackout
- 1.12 Haunting Realness
- 1.13 A Celebration of Wildlife
- 1.14 About Time
- 1.15 The Wild Side
- 1.16 Autumnal Masterpiece
- 1.17 Florals and a Portrait
- 1.18 Delicate Flowers
- 1.19 We Won’t Name Him
- 1.20 A Purple Dazzler
- 1.21 A Rockin’ Robin
- 1.22 Red and Black
- 1.23 Bambi, Baby
- 1.24 Classic
- 1.25 This Will Change Your Life
Mamas Uncut is THE online place for moms. We cover the latest about motherhood, parenting, and entertainment as well – all with a mom-focused twist. So if you're looking for parenting advice from real parents, we have plenty of it, all for moms from moms, and also experts. Because, at the end of the day, our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for in one safe space.