20 Skeleton Hand Tattoos That are Terrifying and Cool

Skeleton Hand Tattoo


Skeleton hand tattoos are every bit as awesome as they sound, although they are most certainly not for those who want to blend into the crowd. They make a powerful statement because of their visibility and the fascinating, often scary, appearance. The human skeleton is associated with death, but, depending on the design, it can also represent fearlessness, renewal, and impermanence. There are positive and negative interpretations and various techniques to choose from to make your piece individual and unique. Deciding to get tattooed on your hand is also a bold choice. It is a placement that is rebellious, and it hurts. Those who are fearless and not afraid of pain, keep reading for all the inspiration you need for your next body art.


RELATED: 50 Awesome Hand Tattoos For Those Who Love Ink


1. Skeleton Hand Tattoo Outline

If you want ink that is interesting and cool, then a hand tattoo is a great choice. That said, a skeleton outline takes things up a notch, making a dramatic statement. Many people are drawn to images of skeletons and skulls because they serve as a reminder of their mortality. The only thing in life that is certain is death, and although this may seem dark, it can have a very positive interpretation. Deciding on a design like this could be a reminder to live each day to the fullest or have no regrets. Hand tattoos are also seen as rebellious because there is no hiding them. Plus, it hurts, so it should be reserved for pieces that mean something to you.


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2. Realistic Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Hyper-realistic ink is incredible and also a little bit creepy. The tattoo artist’s skill makes your chosen design look as though it’s come to life, and there are many pros to getting this style. These inkings are very detailed and will take a lot of time and money to complete. That said, they are worth it. Deciding on a realistic skeleton for your hand tattoo will make people do a double-take. You can opt for a design that appears as though someone is looking through transparent skin with detailed bones and muscles or pick an X-ray-inspired artwork.


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3. Skeleton Face Hand Tattoo

Hand tattoos are a position that should be reserved for designs that mean a lot to you. This is because they hurt, but it is also a spot you look at every day, and your chosen ink is highly visible. Individuals who are fascinated with life and death may choose to represent this with a skeleton face tattoo. It can depict how fleeting your existence is or be symbolic of a balance between good and evil. There are many ways to interpret this piece, including featuring an image of a person with half their face looking normal and the other half bearing their skeleton. Regardless of how you choose to design it, we can all agree that this is an interesting and meaningful tattoo choice.


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4. Skeleton Bone Hand Tattoo

The human skeleton is quite remarkable. It comprises of two-handed and six bones and choosing to get a replica of some of the ones found in your hand makes for an interesting and detailed inking. A skeleton bone tattoo makes a statement, but it is also profoundly symbolic and represents death, bravery, fearlessness, and protection. Each design will have a different meaning to the individual who gets it inked, but in general, this is a compelling piece of body art. The hand is an excellent placement for a tattoo if you’re someone who wants to show off your artwork. That, and if you’re not afraid of pain. Due to the thin layer of skin and many nerve-endings in this spot, it is considered among the most painful to get tattooed.


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5. Simple Skeleton Hand Tattoo

If you want a skeleton hand tattoo but do not want to opt for too much detail because it’s time-consuming, expensive, or you prefer a more laid-back approach, then a simple option is a great alternative. This design will still have the same meaning as detailed and hyper-realistic designs but only needs a basic outline or little shading. There is a definite appeal with this inking; however, the hand is a location that tends to blur and fade because of frequency of use and exposure to the elements.


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6. Skeleton Mouth Hand Tattoo

One of the most popular hand tattoos is the skeleton mouth. The idea is for the design to feature the mouth and nose of a skeleton, so when the wearer brings their hands towards their face, it creates a creepy illusion effect, making them look like half their face is a corpse. Why someone would want to get this inked? Well, it is trendy for starters and is easy to find inspiration on social media, but it could also be a nod to The Joker’s tattoo in the movie Suicide Squad.


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7. Skeleton Face Tattoo on the Hand

There are many different designs to choose from, whether that is a full set of bones or just the skull. A skeleton face tattoo on the hand has powerful symbolism, and the location is a fantastic place to show it off. The skull is linked to strength and determination. It could also show that the wearer has overcome a difficult period in their life and wants to remind themselves of their achievement. Or it could be a way to show they are not afraid of death or the unknown. There are many different interpretations of what this piece can mean, so choose the option that best reflects your thoughts and feelings.


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8. Traditional Skeleton Hand Tattoo

The traditional technique of tattooing first became popular in the 1930s and was inked by those on the fringes of society. During WW2, it gained even more popularity amongst sailors. The style is defined by its bold black lines, limited yet bright color palette, and often contains specific themes — for example, nautical, zoomorphic, or skulls and hearts. The distinct style is bold and eye-catching, making it an excellent choice for a design that you want to show off. You can include interesting catchphrases, names, and dates, and various other imagery to make your piece unique to you.


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9. Minimalist Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Simple inking consists of outlines or line art, and it has its appeal. A minimalist skeleton hand tattoo doesn’t need heavy shading or too much detail but instead focuses on the basics. The result is cool in a sort of effortless way. Your skeleton design can represent fearlessness, death, strength, and even protection. People who choose this inking could also do so as a tribute to those they have lost or a reminder of impermanence.


RELATED: 25 Minimalist Tattoos that Say More With Less


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10. Small Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Deciding to get a hand tattoo can be seen as an act of rebellion or defiance because the spot is so visible there is no chance of covering it up. Your ink also doesn’t have to be large to make a statement, and a small tattoo is just as powerful. Skeletons are symbolic of death and mortality. Although there is a wide range of things that they are associated with, depending on the design. This placement is not very big; therefore, it works best with tiny designs, which could be on the finger and knuckles or in the center of the hand. Opting for smaller pieces will also be less painful, and this is an area known for causing a lot of discomforts.


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11. Rock and Roll Skeleton Hand Tattoo

A rock and roll skeleton hand tattoo can say a lot about your music preference. The sign, which features the middle fingers down and the index finger and the pinky facing upwards, while the thumb is facing inwards, is a salute often used by rockers and their fans. Deciding to get it done in skeleton form instead of the standard hand creates a bold appearance.


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12. Skeleton Metal Hand Tattoo

The rock and roll hand and the metal hand are the same. Known as a sign of the horns, it is a gesture that has been used by fans of both music genres and is a way to express their desire to keep the music playing. That said, the design can mean slightly different things to the individual who has chosen to get it inked. It could show a connection with music, the metal subculture, and musicians. For some, it is also a way to express love for a particular genre. It is also a sign with various cultural meanings and could also be seen as a symbol of protection to ward off evil.


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13. Skeleton Skull Tattoo With Snake and Flower

The skull is a universally recognized symbol and one that is often representative of death. If you are an individual who contemplates mortality, then this is an interesting choice for you, but one that takes on even more meaning when combined with other images. For example, a skull with a snake and flower tattoo is often seen as a struggle between good and evil — the balance between purity and corruption and often desire or sin. Someone who thinks profoundly and wants a reminder not to give in to temptation and stay on a path of righteousness will be drawn to this body art.


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14. Day of the Dead Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration that honors those who have passed. Decorations include skeletons and skulls. The sugar skull, especially, has become a popular image to tattoo because it is beautifully detailed and symbolic. They represent death and remembrance and can be inked to honor a loved one. Or it could be a way to celebrate your Mexican heritage. The skulls are often brightly colored, and you can choose to recreate your body art with bold shades or keep it simple yet detailed with black ink.


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15. Skeleton Holding a Rose Hand Tattoo

A skeleton holding a rose tattoo may seem like an odd combination, but it represents two main ideas; love and death. The bloom is often associated with the balance between pleasure and pain as well as passion and new beginnings. The hand of a skeleton, however, symbolizes the hand of death. Together, these images make for a visually interesting design that is open to the wearer’s interpretation. Perhaps you want to indicate that you’ve lost a loved one. It is the end of a romantic relationship or a way to tell the world you are not afraid of what comes next.


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16. Skeleton Hands Making a Heart Tattoo

Skeleton’s hands making a heart tattoo may seem like a morbid design, representing the loss of love, but this can also be a powerful statement. You may want to show that you have overcome heartache. That you are stronger after a period of darkness, or perhaps you are honoring a loved one who has passed. There are so many different ways to interpret this inking that you can decide which holds the most meaning to you. When deciding on a placement, pick somewhere that is large enough to allow for the detailing. For some, that is over their heart. For others, it may be a thigh or an arm.


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17. Skeleton Skull and Snake Hand Tattoo

It is not uncommon for a snake and skull tattoo to be combined, creating an exciting and meaningful option. The images are quite dark, with both of these things often representing death and destruction, but there are also more positive associations. For some, they represent renewal and a new chance at life. It could also be inked by an individual who has overcome a struggle and become stronger for it. When deciding on the placement for your piece, the hand is a good spot for someone who wants visibility. It is a location you can look at every day and remind yourself why you got it tattooed. That said, hand ink does hurt, and it will fade quickly.


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18. Skeleton and Face Hand Tattoos

Skeleton and face tattoos are prevalent combinations. Perhaps because they look cool, or maybe because they are so rich in symbolism. The human skeleton, specifically the skull, is a universally recognized symbol of death. It can also have positive associations and represent life and the desire to live to the fullest. There are also many different ways to design this artwork. Some people want to opt for a realistic representation of a human face, with half of it missing to reveal a skeleton.  Others may choose to get these images side-by-side or opt for the face of a skeleton, including bones and muscles. The choice is obviously yours, so pick something that appeals to you.


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19. Skeleton Clock Hand Tattoo

If you want body art that looks cool but is also thoughtful, then a skeleton clock hand tattoo is a great choice. The combination of these two images is compelling and has strong symbolism. The skeleton hand is often linked to death. It can be reaching into the afterlife or represent your life. There are many different ideas of what skeletons mean, but the most common ideas revolve around mortality. A clock has a similar meaning associated with it and is often seen as a symbol of life and death. It could be a reminder of how fleeting our existence is, that everything is temporary, or that time is running out. This can have both negative and positive interpretations.


RELATED: 20 Clock Tattoos for Men That are in With the Times


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20. Realistic Skeleton Hand with Snake Tattoo

Tattoo artists who specialize in the hyper-realistic technique are incredibly skilled, and this artwork looks like a real object or photograph. Opting for a realistic skeleton hand with a snake tattoo is one that will make people do a double-take. It can also be quite terrifying. Serpents are symbolic of many things, including resisting temptation and evil. They can also represent pain and death, or renewal. There are many reasons to love this style, but there are also some drawbacks. These include the fact that it will cost more because it requires so much detail. Therefore you will also experience prolonged pain, especially if you choose to get inked in a spot with little fat or muscle and many nerve-endings.


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What does a skeleton hand tattoo mean?

A skeleton hand tattoo can represent many things, depending on the design and the images you choose to incorporate. In general, skeletons are associated with death and the afterlife, but they can also have more positive meanings. To some, they represent a desire to live life to the fullest, renewal, and overcoming a challenge. They can also be symbolic of change. The meaning changes slightly when you include other elements, for example, a snake which can be seen as a symbol of protection to ward off evil. A clock could represent time running out, and a rose is a balance between life and death and beauty and pain.

Why are hand tattoos a bad idea?

There are pros and cons to getting a hand tattoo. It is a highly visible placement, for starters, which makes it perfect for a meaningful design. This visibility also makes it an act of rebellion as there is no way of covering it up. Employers may be reluctant to hire someone with body art in this location, especially if you’re seeking employment in more traditional or corporate roles. On the other hand, ink is particularly painful because of the thin skin, lack of muscle and fat, and high concentration of nerve-endings. It is also going to fade faster because of exposure and frequency of use.

How much does a skeleton hand tattoo cost?

The amount of money you will pay for your tattoo will depend on several factors, including sizing, detail, and the chosen tattoo artist. In general, you will pay a minimum price, regardless of how small your inking is, and this could be around $100. A bigger piece that requires shading and a lot of time to complete can cost $200 or more.

How bad does a hand tattoo hurt?

If you’re interested in getting a hand tattoo, you should be aware that it is considered high on the pain scale. This is because of the thin skin and lack of muscle in the area, high concentration of nerve endings, and proximity to bone. The bigger and more detailed your ink is, the greater the discomfort. That said, everyone’s tolerance for pain is different.



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