Home » 20 Cool & Terrifying Skeleton Hand Tattoo

20 Cool & Terrifying Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Are you’re thinking of being the kind of person who always blends into the crowd? Then this page isn’t for you. Once you get a creepy, cool skeleton hand tattoo, it’s not only there for good but also for the masses to see. Unlike arm or leg tattoos, you can’t cover up your hands most of the time, except in sub-zero temperatures when you need to wear gloves. If you’re a bold, unafraid enthusiast who’s in love with terrifying tattoo designs, then yes, you’ve landed on the right spot!

Skeleton hand tattoos appear scary. The meaning can represent death, fearlessness, impermanence, and rebirth. The purpose specific to each design depends on the technique the artist uses for the outcome. The hands are among the most painful placements for a tattoo. It’s a bony area with thin skin, so there’s bound to be distress there with the needling process. However, the pain is worth it for those who get tattooed there. They’re bold and fearless, which is why they’re opting for a skeleton tattoo in the first place.

If a trendy skeleton hand tattoo is what you want, you’ll find lots of inspiration from the designs in this article. In addition, the artist/source is mentioned beneath each image to help you discover more art directly.

The Best Skeleton Hand Tattoos

#1. Eye Of Providence And Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Eye Of Providence And Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @rubiedraws via Instagram

To kickstart this incredible and terrifying skeleton hand tattoo list, we have the above-triangled eye combined with a skeleton hand design. The eye of providence is an eye enclosed within a triangle. The symbolism of that imagery alone is “divine providence.” In other words, God is watching over all of humanity. No wonder this great symbol goes well with the skeleton hand. The skeleton represents death, pain, and rebirth, while the eye of providence is the hope and divinity of God that shelters us. This tattoo is a great tattoo option for those on a keen lookout for a skeleton hand tattoo with a geometric tattoo theme.

#2. Skeleton Hand Outline Tattoo

Skeleton Hand Outline Tattoo
Source: @rubiedraws via Instagram

The above skeleton hand outline makes a dramatic statement. This image serves as a reminder of mortality, or that death is inevitable. The fascinating reasoning behind such tattoos is that they remind you that life is a gift and should be lived to the fullest. Hand tattoos hurt and cannot be hidden. Hence, there is a rebelliousness behind getting one, which becomes part of the meaning. In terms of artistry, the tattooist has done a splendid job with the use of space. The fine line work and perfection in detailing speaks volumes about the quality of this tattoo.

#3. Skeleton Hand Sleeve Tattoo

Skeleton Hand Sleeve Tattoo
Source: @shaunboweink via Instagram

The above tattoo design hits the bullseye if your criterion is a skeleton tattoo that extends to your elbow. So, essentially this is a three-quarter sleeve tattoo. Be ready to add creepiness to the environment around you. Summer or winter, there’s no hiding this tattoo completely. It’s not only on the full-frontal top of your hand, but it’s also dark and seen from afar. It’s a fantastic design overall, and onlookers are going to be all praises. So get ready for it! Also, notice the realistic watch on the wrist placement? That’s an incredible addition and reinstates the meaning of life and death, or time is running out. The positive connotation is to enjoy life while it lasts, doing good deeds along the way.

#4. Skeleton Hand Bones Tattoo

Skeleton Hand Bones Tattoo
Source: @manleybryanttattoos via Instagram

The above tattoo has an incredible amount of detail. Unfortunately, it’s pretty dense, which means the pain level of getting one would be high. Also, the skin is thin on the hand. That’s what makes it even more painful. As you can see, however, the result is remarkable and well worth the temporary discomfort. Generally, folks try to go light on the tattooing on the hand because of the delicate skin. The design above depicts the human skeleton hand’s bones. Rather than an outline, there’s a significant amount of shading and even some red background design. Overall, it’s a bold, creepy, and heavy look opted by someone sure about what they’ve gone for. After all, you can’t hide a hand tattoo for too long.

#5. Abstract Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Abstract Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @studio.ohaana via Instagram

It’s lovely how the artist has shown the skeleton hands by leaving that bit to negative space. So, essentially the skin is the bones, while the black ink does the job of bringing the design to life. Left to the hands of a rookie artist, and this is a risky proposition. You must ensure the artist has sufficient experience to undertake this technique effectively. One mistake, and you’ll need a cover-up, which would be difficult since, as it is, this design is super dark.

#6. Rose Held By Skeleton

Rose Held By Skeleton
Source: @iwas_tattoos via Instagram

Are you new to learning about skeleton tattoos? If yes, a rose and skeleton may seem a tad bit striking. Yet, this is a powerful combination that has lots of takers. The two primary thoughts that this combination symbolizes are love and immortality. The blooming rose stands for love and transformation, while the skeleton represents death, pain, and rebirth. While the rebirth and transformation bits are remarkably similar, the overall meaning focuses on the balance between love and renewal versus death and pressure (or pain). The specific symbolism of the two elements together depends on the wearer’s interpretation. It could, for example, represent the loss of a loved one.

#7. Skeleton Hand And Clock Tattoo

Skeleton Hand And Clock Tattoo
Source: @tattoosbynoreen via Instagram

There are several reasons the skeleton hand with clock tattoo is popular and worth your bucks. Let’s start with the similarities. They both are symbols of life and death. Well, not always, but often. The clock, for example, can be thought of as an instrument that displays the fact that time is running out. Or, the day will end soon. Alternatively, it also means a new day, a new beginning — much like a new life or rebirth. The same goes for the skeleton. It is a symbol of life and death, and time is running out, etc.

#8. Bio-Bone Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Bio-Bone Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @zombiebellabug via Instagram

The above bio-organic tattoo shows more than you’d expect from a hand bone tattoo. However, it’s going above that anticipation to give you more intricate imagery. The curved, pointed bone structure juxtaposes human bone elements to provide an abstract yet realistic depiction. This type of design is sure to get eyeballs glazing with curiosity. So be ready to answer some questions while also facing a fair share of praises. This particular design is also a fantastic idea for a skeleton-themed sleeve because the tattoo extends beyond the hand significantly. The colors and shading give a 3-dimensional effect, which further enhances the beauty of this design. Although it’s shown on a woman, the tattoo looks equally appealing inked on a male.

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#9. X-Ray Skeleton Hand Tattoo

X-Ray Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @awztattoos via Instagram

What makes the above tattoo so creepy is its resemblance to a hand x-ray impression. For skeleton hand tattoos to look incredible, the skeleton design must be proportionate to the individual’s hand shape. Black and white tattoo ink in the above tattoo emits a hyper-realistic image. This technique is trendy amongst tattoo enthusiasts madly in love with the concept of skeleton tattoos. An astounding level of detailing went into this tattoo. Also, in all probability, it all happened at a relatively high cost and amount of time. It’s an investment worth the pain, time, and money if you’re going to take the suitable aftercare measures.

#10. Traditional Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Traditional Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @tat2s_by_seeker via Instagram

Adding brightness, dark colors, and a specific theme such as the romantic one results in a traditional skeleton hand design. Other popular, conventional techniques have elements such as hearts, skulls, and other interesting cultural symbols. The primary inspiration youngsters get from this style is combining interesting catchphrases, quotations, dates, names, or other creative imagery to make the design stand out further. It’s more common to find a dense hand tattoo on those already densely tattooed on the rest of their bodies.

#11. Skeleton Face, Rose And Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Skeleton Face, Rose, And Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @celebrityinksa via Instagram

A lot is going on in the above design. It’s a bountiful level of interest created for sore eyes wherein the skull represents an achievement, a new beginning. The rose love. The skeleton bones stand for death and pain. In the overall image, one gets the balance in life. Life is beautiful. We should enjoy all aspects and not be afraid of death — which is as natural as birth. Also, that’s a lot of pain to go through during the tattooing process to get the immeasurable gains one gets. If you know an experienced artist good with hand tattooing, it’s well worth it to opt for the above imagery.

#12. Half Hand Skeleton Tattoo

Half Hand Skeleton Tattoo
Source: @lucky9tattoo via Instagram

The fingers are blank in the above skeleton hand. This tattoo is unique because instead of only bones, the depiction is that of the tissue surrounding the skeleton and the skeleton. It’s a pretty creepy tattoo sure to terrify many onlookers. However, the fact that the fingers are left natural is astonishing. Perhaps, later on, the wearer can get it completed if that’s the intention. That’s the beautiful thing about getting tattooed by highly experienced artists; you can discuss various options and take the most risk-free route as per your preference. In designs like these, the effect is optimized when the artist takes great care in blending the ends of the tattoo in as natural a way a possible.

#13. Shaded Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Shaded Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @me_my_self via Instagram

Lovers of the shaded look of tattoos would admire the above piece completed with incredible mastery. It shows a hand skeleton customized to the wearer’s hand shape and size. It’s a creepy design, though, in a subtle way. The emphasis is not on too much detail but on getting the effect entirely right through excellent shading work. It also gives the effect of spray paint, a technique that is appreciable by veteran tattoo enthusiasts.

#14. Henna Style Hand Skeleton Tattoo

Henna Style Hand Skeleton Tattoo
Source: @malfridurstattoo via Instagram

Notice the sun midway of the middle finger? It represents the brightness and rays of hope as well as strength and protection. But let’s talk about the beauty of this subtle, elegant piece. The fact that it’s not creepy enough to be a skeleton tattoo makes this a subject of great interest. It’s a henna-style tattoo, and those familiar with the ancient art of henna tattoos would know what they’re all about. That said, this is most certainly a pick for women rather than men.

#15. Skeleton Hand Tattoo With Snake

Skeleton Hand Tattoo With Snake
Source: @tattgod616 via Instagram

The purpose behind the above skeleton and snake tattoo is to show a balance between good and evil. It must’ve been quite a milestone for the artist to develop such an intricate design and inking it on thin skin on a restricted body surface area. Yet, it’s those achievements that make such pieces of art stand out in the long run. Not only the wearer but even the onlookers would always get enthused by such fantastic artwork. Getting to the bottom of the techniques used, you can see delicate shading, dark solid work, dot work, and great play with white, grey, and black ink overall.

#16. Black Ink And Negative Spaces Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Black Ink And Negative Spaces Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @tattoografik via Instagram

The imagery above shows another tattoo of a technique already talked about earlier. This time the negative spaces have light shading to give a more robust appeal. There are also realistic effects — if you notice, the finger skin folds are highlighted at the tips. That’s strange to do in a skeleton tattoo, but in art, that’s what appeals — doing things uniquely, to surprise expectations. You can also spot some traditional elements, specifically the smoke going around the bones. That adds humor to this tattoo, which is a twist that inspires many, many people.

#17. Emerald Stone And Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Emerald Stone And Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @kimberlyfisher.cf via Instagram

Very few skeleton hand tattoos have color in them. This piece is exceptional. It shows an emerald stone on the middle bone finger. The symbolism is that love is eternal. An emerald engagement ring represents love, luck, hope, and beyond all peace. The beauty of the stone makes emeralds the number one choice when it comes to engagement rings. The tattoo above symbolizes that death will eventually come to everyone, but the love they encountered in life lives on forever. Love is a powerful thing and leaves lasting impressions.

#18. Laid-Back Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Laid-Back Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @axelhoney via Instagram

I’ve termed the above skeleton hand tattoo “laid-back” because it’s way too simple. However, the meaning is as significant as for any other hand skeleton tattoo on this excellent list. Folks sure of getting a skeleton hand tattoo, but have budget and time constraints, go for this type of design. Such designs take only a couple of hours on the tattoo shop chair. As seen above, there is minimum shading; it’s mostly outlining. To add to the interest level, the artist has added some lettering at the tips of the fingers. The only drawback of hand designs that tilt towards the lighter side of things is that they may fade faster. That in itself shouldn’t be a cause of worry if you’re willing to make revisits to the same or another artist for tattoo touchups as and when required.

#19. Streamlined Clock and Hand Skeleton Tattoo

Streamlined Clock and Hand Skeleton Tattoo
Source: @jaytatts23 via Instagram

A clock and hand skeleton tattoo was previously shown in this list of awesome hand skeleton tattoos. But this one is artsier. You’ll notice only two of the fingers are inked. The rest of the tattoo is on the hand itself (excluding three fingers). There’s a quotation, a clock, and the symbolism is about how precious life is. One should make the best of times before it ends one day like for everyone. The quote aptly reads, “nothing is forever.” That in itself displays the meaning of the tattoo. As far as the talent of the artist is concerned, it’s impressive. The shading, solid blackwork, and attention to detail are spot on.

#20. Skull Face Skeleton Hand Tattoo

Skull Face Skeleton Hand Tattoo
Source: @daverodriguestattoo via Instagram

The bold and rebellious generation of tattoo lovers often selects tattoos for the fingers for themselves. This concept comes in various choices; the above is one of the trendiest in current times. Having a skull alongside the skeleton finger bones adds more power to the overall symbolism. Skulls symbolize having overcome a difficult period in life. In many ways, the skull design gives you a sense of pride and achievement. Overall, the interpretation is not one that’s carved in stone. It can be different for different wearers. It all depends on their life circumstances and personal inspiration behind getting the design inked. For example, many get one to signify they’re not afraid of death or danger.


Q1.What do skeleton hand tattoos Symbolize?

Ans. The answer to this question largely depends on the specific design and any other elements clubbed with it. However, the general associated meaning is “death” and the “afterlife.” That’s a somewhat negative connotation. The positive has to do with the symbolism “renewal,” “overcoming obstacles,” “positive transformation or change,” and a “fulfilling life.”

Including other elements such as a clock or snake alongside the skeleton changes the meaning. The clock or an hourglass represents time is running out. Another popular piece — a snake — can be incorporated to mean protection or warding off evil. Finally, to show the balance between life and death or beauty and pain, a rose could be added as the additional element juxtapositioned with the skeleton.

Q2.What are the drawbacks of getting skeleton hand tattoos?

Ans. First off, the high visibility of any hand tattoo makes it worthwhile for those that want just that. You can’t cover it up. No matter how hard you try to hide it, your hands will constantly be exposed. That’s a sign of rebellion itself. The drawbacks might be the advantages that hand-skeleton tattoo lovers seek. The most significant disadvantage — a significant disadvantage to those with a low pain threshold — is the thin skin of the hands. The direct implication is a painful tattooing experience. The density of nerve-endings and the hand’s low fat and muscle composition results in higher pain while tattooing there. Finally, any area of the body prone to high exposure will cause the tattoo there to fade relatively faster.

Q3. Are skeleton hand tattoos expensive?

Ans. Like any tattoo, the price depends on the size, detailing, and technique required to ink the design. Add to that the category of the tattoo artist. After all, either they charge per the design or their hourly rate. Each artist’s rate depends on their expertise and value in the market. Generally, the minimum you can expect to shell out is $100, and for larger pieces, look to spend $250 onwards.

Q4. Do hand tattoos hurt?

Ans. The hands are among the most painful body parts to ink. The culprits are thin skin and lack of fat and muscle in that area. Further, the other culprits are the high density of nerve endings and proximity to bone. The level of pain also depends on the size of the design and the individual’s pain tolerance.


Skeleton tattoos on any placement are hugely popular. Your hands are an excellent placement, provided you take steps to ensure adequate aftercare since the hands are prone to being highly exposed to the sun, water, and humidity. If you’ve set your mind on getting your hands inked, the skeleton theme is a great choice. The internet is currently going crazy over the skeleton hand tattoo designs shared in this article, and you can rest assured you won’t regret getting one yourself.

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About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!