100+ Meaningful Hourglass Tattoo Designs

In the present times, every person wants to be unique in all respects and tattoo art is no exception to this rule. As a result, tattoo enthusiasts and artists are constantly working on innovative design options in tattoos. One of the unique designs in tattoo art, which is scaling the heights of popularity these days, is the mystifying hourglass tattoo. The hourglass is an ancient symbol of time, comprising of two glass triangles, one inverted over the other and containing fine sand in between which falls from one into the other. It was used in ancient period to measure time and though, the object is an outdated one today, it still continues to be in attention of the human race because of a captivating quality about it.

Hourglass Tattoos Meanings

Hourglass is a historical instrument for measurement of time and despite the fact that it has been replaced by watches a long time ago, it is still revered for its aesthetic as well as symbolic value. It will not be uncommon to see an hourglass being used as a decoration piece in homes of tasteful owners. The main reason of reverence of hourglass is its association with time, the most precious thing in human life as the time once gone never comes back and becomes a lost opportunity. An hourglass is also a constant reminder of mortality, the ultimate truth of life. An hourglass tattoo reiterates the value of time and the truth of immortality.

At the same time, it inspires the bearer that good times as well as bad times are just passing phases and they are bound to come to an end because change is an inevitable part of human existence. It can also symbolize balance in the Universe. In ancient times, the alchemists regarded the hourglass as the symbol of earth and sky, with the lower half representing the earth and the upper half standing for the sky, and energy making a transit between these two realms on a continuous basis.

Some other meanings related with this fascinating object are cycles if nature, life and death, transience and inevitability. At the same time, hourglass is also a symbol of femininity adds a meaning to the famous expression the “Hourglass figure” of a woman, which is an attribute of a woman with a curvaceous figure. Therefore, for females, the hourglass tattoo can stand for the cycle in the lifetime of a woman, across various stages of her life. Similarly, the hourglass ahs a gender based appeal too, as the two triangles represent the male and the female and this object stands for the all important relationship between them, which is the basis of the entire human existence.

All these amazing symbolic meanings of the hourglass tattoo make it an extremely popular element in tattoo art today, with men and women around the world considering it as a much sought after design element for them.

Placement Guide

Needless to say, it is all up to the wearers where they want to put their hourglass tattoos. Even so, there are some common placements for these tattoos that you might want to consider, regardless of the culture that you are following. Here are some of these common placements:

  • Tattoos on Chest – Chest is common body placement. This is very common to men since women have breasts that may affect the entire gorgeous illusion. From the chest, you can extend the design to your stomach or to your shoulder.
  • Tattoos on Arms – They will also look great on your arms for sure. It is simply because human arms are naturally long, making it perfect for hourglass. You can decide where the tattoo would start. It is either right there on your shoulder or from your wrist. It is up for you to decide.
  • Tattoos on Legs – Human legs are also long, so these can also be perfect locations. Of course, it is also your decision if you want to get tattooed both on your right and left legs or just one. To make the tattoo design more interesting, you can tell your professional tattoo artist to extend the tattoo towards your thigh part.
  • Tattoos on Neck – If you want smaller design, it is actually possible. Even so, it needs great expertise from the tattoo artist since the details is very tiny, which need an expert hand. In this case, the neck area is the best body placement for the tattoo.
  • Tattoos on Wrist – Your wrist can also be a perfect location for your smaller art. However, it will be a little bit painful for you since wrist is packed with minor and major nerves that connect to some other organs of yours. Hence, you must be brave enough to endure the pain.

Popular Design Options

An hourglass has become one of the most popular design elements in tattoo art today because it has fascinating looks and is meaningful too, which are the attributes every tattoo lover looks for in a design. Moreover, this element is versatile in the sense that it looks good in singularity as well as when combined with other design elements too. An hourglass tattoo can be inked in small or large designs and accordingly, it can be placed on various parts of the body. Here are some popular designs:

  • Classic Hourglass Design – This design features this classy element on its own and looks amazingly attractive as it is, besides constantly inspiring the bearer about the importance of time as well as truth about inevitability. Small tattoos look good as wrist, ankles, behind the neck and behind the ear tattoos, while larger ones can be featured on the lower back, shoulder, chest, arm or leg.
  • Hourglass with Rose Tattoo – Another popular design option is the hourglass with rose tattoo design, which looks very beautiful and at the same time, reminds that beauty is something transient and should be appreciated while it is still there.
  • Hourglass with Skull Tattoo – Hourglass with skull tattoo stands for the dark truth that death is the ultimate reality of life and man should make use of time in the right way, so that its loss is not repented later on.
  • Hourglass with Wings Tattoo – All of us must have heard of the expression that time flies away and this is what is depicted through an hourglass with wings tattoo, which represents impending end of human beings and limited time they have to complete all the jobs they want to.
  • Carpe Diem with Hourglass – One of the most popular designs in tattoo art is the use of text and famous quotations with design elements. Carpe Diem is the phrase best combines with hourglass design because it reiterates the value of time for human beings.

In this way, creative designers can add some other elements with hourglass designs to create some amazing and unique tattoo designs, which are sure to grab attention.


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