If you want a tattoo that represents life, transformation, self-growth, freedom, or simply something pretty on your body, butterflies are the way to go! Butterfly tattoos come in various colors and shapes so you will surely find one that matches your taste. In this post you will find our best butterfly tattoo ideas to give you inspiration for your next tattoo.
Butterfly Tattoo Meaning
Butterflies are one of the most popular animals to design tattoos of. The butterfly is a symbol for transformation and self-growth, representing one’s ability to accept change and move on with their life. Butterflies represent the death and rebirth cycle in symbology, it means that we go through changes and these lead us to our final goal: maturity. It is an important part of the learning process that everyone goes through in life, no matter how difficult it can be at times. Butterflies also represent beauty and hope, because after passing through numerous changes you will inevitably bloom like a butterfly does.
1. Small Butterfly Tattoo
This is a simple design that utilizes a single color to create a small, yet impactful tattoo. It’s a minimalist tattoo that you can place anywhere on your body. If minimalism isn’t your thing, though, then try adding some color or more elements into the mix. A cute example would be having watercolor wings for this style.
2. Tiny Butterfly Tattoo
If you want to get something even smaller, go for a tiny design! A tiny butterfly tattoo will look incredibly cute. And because of its size, it’s super versatile too, which means you can put it anywhere on the body, and conceal it with ease with either clothing or makeup. Some popular spots for a tiny tattoo are the wrist, finger and behind the ear.
3. Butterfly Hand Tattoo
A butterfly design on the back of your hand will have a very artistic feel to it. The detail in this tattoo will be enhanced because of the placement. You will be able to admire it more closely than tattoos done on other parts of the body. It is said that getting tattoos on your hands is the most painful, but if you are no stranger to pain then this one should not give you any problems.
4. Butterfly Back Tattoo
If you want a tattoo that can easily be covered when necessary, then this would be the perfect choice. A design with a butterfly shape and watercolor wings will look very colorful and pretty on your back. If you want a big tattoo, the back is a great place for this.
5. Butterfly Shoulder Tattoo
The shoulder is one of the sexiest parts of the body to get a tattoo. A butterfly design will look very attractive when inked on this part of the body, especially because it tends to be feminine and delicate looking. Butterfly shoulder tattoos look good whether they are large or small in size. They are also not too difficult to hide.
6. Butterfly Ankle Tattoo
Just like the wrist, a small and simple butterfly design can look cute when inked on the ankle. The ankle is a very delicate-looking part of the body, so it goes well with feminine tattoos. It’s also easy to conceal when needed.
7. Butterfly Leg Tattoo
Butterfly tattoos can also look great when inked on the legs. Like the arm, the leg is long and slim, so you could go for a design that compliments the shape of this area of the body. One design idea can be multiple butterflies in flight, wrapped around the leg.
8. Butterfly Tattoo on Arm
The arm provides ample space for intricate and large tattoos. A smaller butterfly design on the upper arm can look very cute, and will be easy to hide if necessary. For a full sleeve tattoo, go all out and utilize the space well by putting in as much detail as possible.
9. Butterfly Wrist Tattoo
The wrist is one of the least painful places to get a tattoo, so if you are afraid of the pain then this would be a good choice. A simple butterfly design will look very cute when drawn in this area.
10. Butterfly Finger Tattoo
You can also have a butterfly tattoo on your fingers. This will look very cute, unique and eye-catching. While the fingers are a sensitive area, you will typically be getting a very small and quick design, so the pain will be over quickly.
11. Butterfly Neck Tattoo
Butterfly tattoos look good on the neck because they usually have intricate designs which show beautifully in this area. Smaller designs are both cuter, and much more tolerable since the neck is a sensitive area to tattoo. Make sure you are confident about getting this area inked, because the neck is one of the most visible areas of the body to get a tattoo, and one of the hardest to conceal!
12. Butterfly Chest Tattoo
This design can be placed above and across the chest, or between and under the breasts in the sternum area. A butterfly design inked on the chest can look stunning, especially with a stylish top that reveals the area.
13. Butterfly Tattoo Behind Ear
A simple and small butterfly tattoo behind the ear will look very cute. If you have long hair, you can control how visible you want this area to be.
14. Lower Back Butterfly Tattoo
Butterflies have a very elegant look to them, so they are perfect for the sexy lower back area. This is a bold placement and can look raunchy depending on how low you get the tattoo, and how much of it you reveal!
15. Butterfly Thigh Tattoo
Whether you have big or small thighs, a butterfly tattoo in this area can look stylish and sexy. Large tattoos tend to work better on the outer thigh since it offers a larger area to work with. The inner thigh is a more intimate area that is also visible when you wear short skirts or shorts.
16. Blue Butterfly Tattoo
Apart from looking gorgeous, blue butterflies are also symbols of luck and joy. A blue butterfly tattoo features a stylish and timeless piece that you can always carry with pride. Whether you go for a darker or lighter shade of blue, this design will not fail to impress.
17. Black Butterfly Tattoo
A black and white butterfly tattoo is a timeless, classic design that is simple yet elegant. Looks great especially if you love wearing all black.
18. Red Butterfly Tattoo
A simple, yet striking red butterfly tattoo can be very eye-catching. A fiery red tattoo will contrast well against all skin tones. If you want multiple colors, pairing the red with either black, yellow or orange will look best.
19. Purple Butterfly Tattoo
Purple is the color of royalty. It can also represent spirituality and wisdom. The color purple goes well with the butterfly, so if you want a tattoo that is both pretty, and meaningful this is a good choice.
20. Celtic Butterfly Tattoo
Celtic tattoos can represent freedom, protection, love, and strength. If you love Celtic inspired designs, then a celtic butterfly tattoo will be a great choice.
21. Butterfly Tattoo Outline
A simple outline of a butterfly makes for a surprisingly dazzling tattoo. The absence of color and shading will put added focus on the thickness and intricacy of the ink strokes. This tattoo design will typically be small in size.
22. 3D Butterfly Tattoo
A design with a 3D look is a great way to make your butterfly tattoo stand out. Adding depth and shadows is a perfect way to do this without overdoing the amount of color you have inked into it. One of the most popular and impressive 3d design concepts for the butterfly tattoo is to have it appear as if it’s about to take flight off your skin.
23. Realistic Butterfly Tattoo
To make your butterfly tattoo as realistic as possible, go for a design that looks as close to the real thing as possible. This will be a lot easier if you have clear and sharp images of butterflies from which you can base your design on. As with all tattoo designs, the more skilled your tattoo artist, the better design you can get.
24. Unique Butterfly Tattoo
There are so many different ways you can personalize a tattoo so that it is unique only to you. The combination of different symbols, colors, textures and effects will let you create something truly original. You can even add words, letters or phrases around your butterfly design to make it even more specific to you.
25. Semicolon Butterfly Tattoo
Combining the semicolon symbol and butterfly tattoo represents resilience and strength. The semicolon tattoo represents overcoming struggles through tough times. What’s cool about the semicolon butterfly tattoo is that you can have the design use the semicolon as the body of your butterfly.
26. Butterfly Flower Tattoo
The design for this tattoo is inspired by Asian-themed tattoos that are inspired by the use of flowers within the culture. There are some variations that you can do with this style, such as adding colors or even various other elements to make a more interesting piece.
27. Butterfly Tattoo With Name
Name tattoos are also quite popular for individuals who want to honor or cherish their loved ones, or simply have their own name inked along with a butterfly design. This tattoo also works well for people who want to pay their respects to someone they lost, by including their name and the date of passing in the design.
28. Rose and Butterfly Tattoo
A combination tattoo featuring a rose and a butterfly symbolizes love, passion, and transformation. The rose has a long history of being a symbol for love and passion, while the butterfly represents transformation. Getting a tattoo that combines both symbols into one design will powerfully represent your feelings.
29. Skull Butterfly Tattoo
A butterfly and skull tattoo design brings together the symbols of mortality and new life. The skull tattoo represents the fragility of life and the butterfly stands for hope, new beginnings, and rebirth.
30. Monarch Butterfly Tattoo
Monarchs are one of the most popular types of butterfly. These beautiful creatures can move thousands of miles during their life cycles and emerge from a chrysalis as butterflies. A monarch butterfly tattoo is a great way to symbolize a person’s willingness to go through struggles, but still continue on with life.
31. Traditional Butterfly Tattoo
These tattoos are detailed with bold colors, drawing inspiration from classic and American Traditional tattoo styles that have been used for decades. This is a good choice if you want to get something truly eye-catching.
32. Watercolor Butterfly Tattoo
Tattoos that are painted with watercolor look very elegant and sweet. They give a feminine touch to tattoos, as well as a dreamy effect. Since this design uses very light colors, it’s more suitable for people with a lighter skin tone. Also note that watercolor tattoos are known to fade faster than regular tattoos that have heavier ink saturation.
33. Simple Butterfly Tattoo
The expression “less is more” couldn’t be more true for a simple butterfly tattoo design. These can look awesome when done right and will be easy to hide if necessary. It’s also one of those designs that work great for first-time tattoo wearers because its subtle and simplistic nature won’t suddenly look too over the top.
34. Tribal Butterfly Tattoo
Similar in appearance to a celtic design, a tribal tattoo design is very eye catching and stylish. You could also create your own style by using elements from other tattoos such as celtic knots and symbols.
35. Harry Styles Butterfly Tattoo
One of the most talked about butterfly tattoos in celebrity culture is the one Harry Styles got inked on the middle of his torso in 2013 by tattoo artist Liam Sparkes. He was just 19 years old at the time. While Harry hasn’t commented publicly on what it means to him, his butterfly tattoo is most likely a symbol for his transformation in life.
Butterflies have been a popular tattoo motif among women. That’s because they look stunning and hold a deeper meaning. They’re known to symbolize freedom, beauty, and transformation. In short, butterfly tattoos are the perfect design for people looking for a fresh start.
Butterfly tattoos look best on areas that are exposed, like the neck, ankles, or wrists. That’s because these areas are open and visible, adding to the appeal.
Butterflies are a flattering focal point for a tattoo design complimenting your style. For this reason, butterfly tattoos have become popular, showcasing femininity and beauty.
In some cultures, butterfly tattoos symbolize great change and personal growth. Because of this, many believe that getting a butterfly tattoo can bring good luck.