45 Hourglass Tattoo Designs with Symbolism

Due to its rich symbology and philosophical meanings, the hourglass tattoo design attracts more and more tattoo-lovers all over the globe. People get etched the hourglass on their bodies to remember yourself and the others that the sands of time are inevitably running out, so stop wasting your time on the things that don’t matter, and people who don’t care. Live for today for tomorrow never comes!

As per some legends, the hourglass was invented in the ancient Egypt, but it was used widespread only in the Middle Age. The hourglass became a great find for the monks and the seafarer. Nowadays, the hourglass is used for decorative purposes, or while cooking.

We’ve put together a list of the most jaw-dropping hourglass tattoo ideas for you to get inspired! Pick up your favorite design and hurry up to get inked it!

Hourglass Tattoo Symbolic Meanings:

  • Time- is, of course, the prime and major significance that the hourglass tattoo holds, but there are some other meanings that the hourglass carries:
  • Transience of life;
  • Guidance;
  • Protection;
  • Harmony;
  • Disappointment;
  • Mortality and Death.

Hourglass Tattoo Designs

The monochrome designs take the leading positions, but the colorful ones crafted in Old School, and New School styles are not less popular. The guys also give the preference to the surrealistic, realistic, and Blackwork styles, whereas the girls go for minimalism, pointillism, and watercolor. Where to place your hourglass tattoo is entirely your choice, but the most appropriate locations are the inner arm, half sleeve, chest, forearm, thigh, and biceps. You can include some elements to change the meaning of the design. It can be:

Broken glass- despair, disappointment, lost hopes, and sorrow;

Skull– death, loss of the second half, and the afterlife.

Rose- love, and harmony.  

Owl- wisdom, knowledge, and protection.  

Raven- mystery, trickery, strength, and cunning.    

Heart-immortal love, devotion, and loyalty.

Butterfly- new life, changes, and transformation.

Full-rigged ship– luck and success.

#1. American Traditional Hourglass Tattoo on Arm

This flamboyant traditional hourglass tattoo with the cute hearts inside it reminds us that everything temporal in our life, only love lasts forever.
American Traditional Hourglass Tattoo on Arm

#2. Antique Hourglass Quarter Sleeve Tattoo with Waves Inside

In ancient times, the sailors used the hourglass actively, while it helped them to measure time and speed, and served as a powerful talisman.
Antique Hourglass Quarter Sleeve Tattoo with Waves Inside

#3. Simple Hourglass Tattoo Design with Spider Web

Don’t wonder, but the spider web is a common pair for the hourglass tattoo because it plays the role of the trap which catches and keeps the best memories of life.
Simple Hourglass Tattoo Design with Spider Web

#4. Small Hourglass Tattoo in Black and Gray on Forearm

The hourglass is the best metaphor of our fleeting life: the sand in the hourglass flows as quickly as our days fly.
Small Hourglass Tattoo in Black and Gray on Forearm

#5. Rad Black and White Hourglass Tattoo with Mountain

It was really an offbeat idea to depict the bowls of the hourglass in the shape of the mountain and the night sky! The design looks pretty impressive and eye-catching, even being monochrome.
Rad Black and White Hourglass Tattoo with Mountain

#6. Gothic Broken Hourglass Tattoo with Meaning on Arm

Broken hourglass, screaming ravens, piled skulls – this macabre forearm piece sparks off the thoughts of the death, mortality, and afterlife. You immediately realize that our time is limited in this world.
Gothic Broken Hourglass Tattoo with Meaning on Arm

#7. Broken Hourglass with Sand Pouring out To-do

“Chilling out when you have time, while it’s leaking out like the sand”- maybe it’s the message of this New School broken hourglass design with the beach image in the upper vessel?
Broken Hourglass with Sand Pouring out To-do

#8. Cool Hourglass Tattoos in Dots

This dotwork hourglass tattoo is so cool that it makes our jaws drop! The stippling work is so meticulously organized they it brings the hourglass to life!
Cool Hourglass Tattoos in Dots

#9. Cracked Hourglass Tattoo in Oriental Style on Half Sleeve

If the wearer opts for the broken hourglass as a tattoo design, in most cases, it means that he has missed out something important in his life.
Cracked Hourglass Tattoo in Oriental Style on Half Sleeve

#10. Amazing Death Hourglass Tattoo

The hourglass is not only a symbol of life, but it’s also a sign of death, that’s why there’s no surprise that many tattoo-enthusiasts include the skull and the scythe into the hourglass design.
Amazing Death Hourglass Tattoo

#11. Female Hourglass Tattoo in Black on Triceps

Due to its smooth curves, the hourglass is often associated with the female figure and considered to be the symbol of female elegance – this same fact makes the hourglass tattoo so attractive to the ladies.
Female Hourglass Tattoo in Black on Triceps

#12. Gray Geometric Hourglass Tattoo on Forearm

What a badass forearm piece! It’s unlike everything you can see in our list! Surreal, intricate, and thought-provoking. We can only guess what the idea lies behind this tattoo!
Gray Geometric Hourglass Tattoo on Forearm

#13. Memorial Hourglass Tattoo Design for Guys

Time takes our loved people away from us. Thus the hourglass is chosen so frequently as a memorial tattoo design.
Memorial Hourglass Tattoo Design for Guys

#14. Surreal Hourglass and Clock Tattoo for Men

Enigmatic tattoo! Female face, hourglass, clock with the eye, the Gream Riper’s hand all these indicate the loss of the closest person.
Surreal Hourglass and Clock Tattoo for Men

#15. Neat Hourglass and Roses Drawing on Arm

Hourglass with roses – is a timeless concept! Such mixing characterizes the owner as a romantic and well-balanced person, who takes his life and time under control.
Neat Hourglass and Roses Drawing on Arm

#16. Dope Hourglass and Skull Tattoo in Old School Style

Great Old School piece with the heart and the skull! Unfortunately, the death gains the victory over life, but not over love. Cultivate a love for your close people, when there is still time!
Dope Hourglass and Skull Tattoo in Old School Style

#17. Colorful Hourglass Chest Tattoo in Classic Style

Another brilliant hourglass and rose tattoo, but this one is made in “traditional-styled colors”, and absolutely don’t yield in beauty to the monochrome variant.
Colorful Hourglass Chest Tattoo in Classic Style

#18. Gorgeous Hourglass Half Sleeve Tattoos for Girls

The creator of this tremendous hourglass design with the girl’s face wanted to show us that the real and surreal can amazingly coexist together in one piece. Detailing and the idea itself really impress!
Gorgeous Hourglass Half Sleeve Tattoos for Girls

#19. Awesome Hourglass Tattoo Dotwork on Forearm

How to honor the memory of the lost shipmate? Of course with the help of tattoo! Such dotwork hourglass design with the candle, steering-wheel, and rose expresses your sorrow and respect in full.
Awesome Hourglass Tattoo Dotwork on Forearm

#20. Black and Gray Hourglass Tattoo with a Butterfly

Time changes everything and everyone. From the ugly caterpillars, we all turn into the beautiful butterflies with the time.
Black and Gray Hourglass Tattoo with a Butterfly

#21. 3d Hourglass Tattoo for Men

Terrific 3D hourglass tattoo design with the surreal touch! It can be a wonderful tribute to the lady who has stolen your heart.
3d Hourglass Tattoo for Men

#22. Unique Hourglass Tattoo on Forearm

If you the regular hourglass tattoo designs aren’t your cup of tea, this extraordinary lantern-hourglass tattoo can be to your liking.
Unique Hourglass Tattoo on Forearm

#23. Colorful Hourglass Tattoo Ideas on Biceps

What a fabulous motif inside this traditional hourglass tattoo! The night sky, the rising sun, the mountains- you can admire it eternally!
Colorful Hourglass Tattoo Ideas on Biceps

#24. Winged Hourglass Tattoo Outline on Chest

Time flies! It’s hard to find a better remembrance of this fact than this winged hourglass tattoo design made in a linework style.
Winged Hourglass Tattoo Outline on Chest

#25. Watercolor Hourglass Tattoos for Women

It’s absolutely fantastic! This mesmerizing galaxy coloration inside the hourglass creates an incredible aura of mystery and fairy-tail. Can’t stop looking at it!
Watercolor Hourglass Tattoos for Women

#26. Impressive Hourglass Time Tattoo Designs

Are there horror and vampire-fans? We’ve dug out a badass hourglass tattoo for you! The bones, leaking blood, spiky teeth, spider webs – all these vampiric attributes are got together in one design!
Impressive Hourglass Time Tattoo Designs

#27. Minimalist Hourglass Tattoo on Forearm for Ladies

Minimalistic tattoos is a craze of the last few years. Only a pair of lines and a handful of dots and a nifty design is ready.
Minimalist Hourglass Tattoo on Forearm for Ladies

#28. Neo-Traditional Hourglass Tattoo on Leg

Here is a live sample of the memorial tattoo: the pretty girl’s face turns into the ugly skull, and all of this happens inside the hourglass. Extremely touching and meaningful design!
Neo-Traditional Hourglass Tattoo on Leg

#29. Great Owl Hourglass Tattoo on Torso

The owl is holding the hourglass in its claws- very symbolic design: the owl is an eternal epitome of wisdom, and the hourglass represents time, as we know, wisdom comes only with time.
Great Owl Hourglass Tattoo on Torso

#30. Pictures of Hourglass Tattoos on Thigh

Tattoos containing the skulls and bloody eyes aren’t for every lady: they can suit only daring, feisty and horror-loving females.
Pictures of Hourglass Tattoos on Thigh

#31. Realistic Hourglass Tattoo on Arm

The aim of the realistic tattoo is to make the onlookers guess if it’s real or unreal. Looking at this hourglass design, we have the same question. Incredibly stunning work!
Realistic Hourglass Tattoo on Arm

#32. Best Sand Clock Tattoo on Biceps

Common but cool Old School hourglass tattoo design with the ship on the lower bowl. Probably the bearer is a seafarer, or maybe he got inked this design because of its coolness. Who knows?
Best Sand Clock Tattoo on Biceps

#33. Half Sleeve Hourglass Tattoo Ideas in New School Style

All the girls will be yours if go for such marvelous and meaningful hourglass tattoo! The cracked skull signals that you have no fear of death and the red rose says that you live in harmony with yourself.
Half Sleeve Hourglass Tattoo Ideas in New School Style

#34. Sick Half Sleeve Hourglass Tattoo with Inscription

The Latin phrase ‘Momento Mori’- ‘remember that you will die’ is the most-chosen pairing for the hourglass tattoo design, while it motivates to seize the day and value every moment.
Sick Half Sleeve Hourglass Tattoo with Inscription

#35. Limited Edition Hourglass Tattoo

We are all unique, but some individuals eagerly need to highlight their exclusiveness. We think that this trad-styled hourglass tattoo with the inscription ‘limited edition’ will ideally accomplish this mission.
Limited Edition Hourglass Tattoo

#36. Black and Yellow Hourglass Tattoo on Inner Arm

‘Watch your time’ recommends us this astonishing Old School tattoo design with the human eyes on the both sides of the hourglass. Let’s follow this recommendation!
Black and Yellow Hourglass Tattoo on Inner Arm

#37. Snake and Hourglass Tattoo on Forearm

This snake entwining the hourglass tattoo resembles a famous medical emblem ‘the Rod of Asclepius’ where the serpent coils around the rod. Do you agree with us?
Snake and Hourglass Tattoo on Forearm

#38. Killer Hourglass Tattoo with Skeletons

What a bone-chilling design! Once you see this hourglass tattoo, you will never forget of these skeletons falling into the coffins. It’s the best visualization of the death!
Killer Hourglass Tattoo with Skeletons

#39. Romantic Neo-trad Time Glass Tattoo Made of Hearts

True love never dies, it’s immortal! The wearer of this sweet heart-shaped hourglass tattoo is for sure of the same opinion.
Romantic Neo-trad Time Glass Tattoo Made of Hearts

#40. Seductive Big Sand of Time Tattoo with Raven on Thigh

Girls, it’s a fantastic design for your thigh! When combined together, the raven and the hourglass accentuate female wisdom, cunning, intelligence, and mystique.
Seductive Big Sand of Time Tattoo with Raven on Thigh

#41. Traditional Sand Timer Tattoo on Half Sleeve

The nature motives are the most inspiring and attractive, that’s why many tattoo-aficionados prefer to incorporate them into the hourglass designs.
Traditional Sand Timer Tattoo on Half Sleeve

#42. Spectacular Sand Watch Tattoo with Roses

It’s glorious! Especially we like the red rose which represents love! In the background, you can also notice the sun and the crescent moon elements which reveal the concept of duality.
Spectacular Sand Watch Tattoo with Roses

#43. Cute Little Hourglass Tattoo on Biceps

Can’t believe my eyes, is it only a tattoo? Yes, it is. It’s a hyper-realistic hourglass tattoo design made on the biceps. Due to the professionalism of the tattoo-artist, it has such a realistic appeal.
Cute Little Hourglass Tattoo on Biceps

#44. Dainty Lines and Dots Flowers in Hourglass Tattoo Design

Dotwork combined with the Linework create such elegant and minimalistic tattoos as this hourglass with the flowers design. Overwhelming tattoo variant for the ladies!
Dainty Lines and Dots Flowers in Hourglass Tattoo Design

#45. Old School Hourglass Forearm Tattoos

Even if you aren’t a sailor, we advise you to get inked this terrific nautical-themed hourglass tattoo because of its positive symbolic meanings: success, luck, and guidance.
Old School Hourglass Forearm Tattoos

#46. Tiny Hourglass Tattoo with Space Background

The hourglass tattoo has an undeniably awesome appeal in all styles, but when it’s done in the watercolor style with the cosmic touch, it looks so hypnotizing that you can’t take your eyes off.
Tiny Hourglass Tattoo with Space Background

Ideas of Tattoo Designs

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