30 Stunning Shoulder Tattoos For Women (2022)

The shoulder is a beautiful canvas for tattooing. The area is large, so you have more space to work with. Tattoos on the shoulders look great when you wear a dress or shirt that exposes your arms and back! Here are some of our favorite examples of stunning shoulder tattoos for women from around the world. 

1. Shoulder Blade Tattoo

Shoulder blade tattoos are a solid, symmetrical tattoo design that can be worked across the shoulder blades of both men and women. They’re considered to be among the biggest tattoo designs, which makes them great for everyone looking for a larger than life tattoo. They are truly timeless tattoos that have been inked for centuries. Those with round shoulder blades or upper back muscles (like swimmers) love this design because it works well with the natural curve of the body.

2. Shoulder Sleeve Tattoo

This style leaves a woman’s shoulders free while a design wraps around just the top portion of her right or left arm. The shoulder and half sleeve tattoo for women is usually placed on the upper arm but can also be used as an accent to other arm band tattoos. However, this tattoo style is an excellent option if you are looking for a larger work of art than what the average arm band allows.

3. Back Shoulder Tattoo

The back shoulder tattoo usually covers the shoulders and upper back. Often, it contains strong symbols like the anchor, eagle, or tiger.  These symbols represent strength and power. Tattoos in this style leave the wearer with an impressive piece that covers the largest part of their body.

4. Shoulder and Chest Tattoo

A shoulder and chest tattoo for women usually includes bright colors such as reds, oranges, yellows or blues. They are designed to be eye-catching and this may also include shapes which emphasize the actual tattoo. A few examples of what might appear in a shoulder and chest tattoo for women would be dragonflies, flowers, stars, anything that is bright and vibrant. The outline will usually be black or grey but the interior colors will really depend on personal preference. The design will usually be larger than a tattoo on other parts of the body. The reason for this is due to the large surface area and in order to stand out and be noticed, it has to really pop out and attract attention.

5. Shoulder and Arm Tattoo

These tattoos are big pieces that extend down the arms to show off your best features. Keep lines straight and use solid colors to keep the tattoo simple yet stylish. Most tattoos of this size will usually be done in black ink, but if you’re feeling creative, you could try color or add some highlights with white or grey ink for a unique effect. If you want your tattoo to be the star of the show, make sure it occupies at least half of your arm.

6. Small Shoulder Tattoo

A small tattoo on the shoulder is the best option for girls, who are looking to get their first tattoo. Small tattoos are feminine and sexy, but still look great. They can also be placed anywhere else on the body if later on you decide you want something more complex.

7. Shoulder Skull Tattoo

A skull tattoo is one of the most popular tattoos for women. It’s got a way of representing strength, elegance, and beauty. Most female skull tattoos are seen on the back or shoulder area with feminine yet daring lines.  The skull tattoo for women is a way of telling the world they are strong and fearless, but also have a soft feminine side.

8. Shoulder Clock Tattoo

A clock design is a cool idea for a shoulder tattoo. You can mix the numbers, Roman numerals, and hands in different styles to create something meaningful yet so unique. A clock tattoo represents our limited time on earth. It may remind you to do what you always want to do in life. It also tells you to cherish every second with your family members, friends or lover before it is too late.

9. Cross Shoulder Tattoo

The most common place to get this type of design is on your shoulder, with the crucifixion depicted in the center of your upper arm. Some women choose to go with the traditional crucifixion, while others choose something more stylized. When done correctly, this type of tattoo looks stunning. It is perfect for women who want to show their faith without having overtly religious tattoos on their body. This type of design can be great for any woman looking for a feminine cross tattoo.

10. Dreamcatcher Shoulder Tattoo

A dreamcatcher tattoo for women symbolizes their connection to the natural world. It’s a way to show other people that you have an affinity for nature and its beauty while also having elements of something that brings us dreams. Dreamcatchers are one of the most symbolic designs in Native American history. The Ojibwe Tribe of North America wear them as pendants or on clothing to protect young children. As a tattoo design, the dreamcatcher is also meant to inspire hope and provide its wearer with motivation.

11. Star Shoulder Tattoo

A shoulder star tattoo for women can take the form of small to medium-sized clusters of stars on the top, outer portion of a woman’s shoulder. However, they can also be drawn alone or with other elements such as hearts and flowers with differing color schemes that may match or contrast with the rest of the tattoo. They are most commonly used as symbols of good luck or hope. The woman may want to aspire to always stay on the bright side and never lose sight of her goals, dreams, etc. It is also often used as a representation of a woman’s goals being “shooting” stars that she wishes to accomplish in her lifetime.

12. Dragon Shoulder Tattoo

A dragon shoulder tattoo is a great way to announce that there is nothing fragile about your spirit or your femininity. This tattoo design includes a full curvy sleeve, the head of which starts out on the upper edge of the shoulder and descends halfway down the upper arm. The neck of the dragon rises from this point and curves around the shoulder blade. The lower end of this neck is usually connected to the arm and wraps around it, just above the elbow. The body and tail of the dragon snake around and cover parts of both sides of the upper back, winding down along either side of the spine. This design represents  power, femininity and protection. This animal’s physical presence is imposing and makes a statement of strength to anyone who sees it.

13. Lion Shoulder Tattoo

This tattoo usually includes a large lion head on the shoulder, but it can vary depending on the person.  This tattoo has deep meaning, and it involves several strong messages. The strong face of the lion is usually the main focus of the tattoo.  It can be a cartoon lion or a realistic-looking photograph in black ink.  People who get this kind of tattoo usually want to express their personality with it—meaning that they are proud, powerful, and strong-willed.  They want to show that they are fearless lionesses or lions that are able to go out into the world with confidence.

14. Tiger Shoulder Tattoo

This tattoo can be large or small, but typically covers most of the area from the back to under the arm and somewhat down to the breast. The tiger itself can be either realistic or illustrated. This tattoo represents being powerful, fierce, and brave. Some believe that a tiger tattoo represents a connection to the spirit world because of the animal’s mystical qualities.

15. Eagle Shoulder Tattoo

The most common place for the eagle tattoo is on the shoulder, right in between the shoulder blade and collarbone. The design is usually very detailed with the wings spread out across the entire length of the back, coming down just below the shoulder. The eagle’s head is typically facing to the side, with its wings extending around to cover either both shoulders or each shoulder separately. This is seen as a powerful tattoo for women because it represents power and freedom through flight. The wings are often said to symbolize freedom, while the animal itself is known for its courage and strength.

16. Angel Shoulder Tattoo

The most popular tattoo designs for women include a guardian angel, a winged angel, and an angel within a flowery background. One of the most popular types of angel tattoos for women is a guardian angel design that has a female figure with an open robe and large wings. The guardian angel tattoo design is often inked in color on the shoulder to give it a more vibrant look.

17. Butterfly Shoulder Tattoo

The shoulder is the perfect place for the popular butterfly tattoo design because it’s highly visible when you need it to be, but also easily hidden if that’s what you prefer. Women like butterflies because they are free spirited and often considered magical. Most women keep their shoulder tattoos fairly small, but they can vary in size from very large to quite tiny. The underlying shapes that make up a shoulder tattoo will differ depending on whether you go with a realistic or abstract design and whether or not your tattoo includes other elements like flowers and vines. A shoulder tattoo can be in color or black and white, but it’s mostly done in a single color. Some people add shading and highlights to make their tattoos look more lifelike.

18. Feather Shoulder Tattoo

Feathers are often used in tattoos to symbolize the transcendence of both time and space, as well as freedom. A feather half-sleeve tattoo is a very popular choice for women because it’s feminine and whimsical without being overly sexual or ostentatious. Feather tattoos represent something that one has endured and come out of it better on the other side. Other people get feather tattoos to commemorate an important journey, graduation, trip or achievement. Feathers are widely used as a tattoo design because they are seen as having both spiritual and physical meanings.

19. Flower Shoulder Tattoo

The perfect way to express your love for flowers is through a half sleeve tattoo. This piece is quite popular among women who are fans of the outdoors and nature. Flower tattoos don’t have to be restricted to just their looks since there are so many meanings behind them too. If you’re a fan of the Victorian era, then you might want to consider getting a Gothic style flower tattoo.  This type of tattoo features dark petals that are full of thorns, which shows how beautiful but also dangerous flowers can be.

20. Colorful Shoulder Tattoo

These tattoos can be original and creative while still being feminine and will look stunning on any woman. Women’s shoulder and half sleeve tattoos often include bright colors such as pink, purple, yellow, orange, green, blue, and red.  They may also include various patterns including flowers, stars, butterflies, hearts or vines.  They can even incorporate specific symbols like angel wings that spread out over the shoulders, feathers, swans, dragonflies, Lilies, and lotus flowers.

21. Geometric Shoulder Tattoo

A geometric tattoo design will look like it’s been made using math symbols such as triangles, squares and circles. The shapes look cool, sharp and edgy which is why they look so good as tattoos, especially on the shoulders. A geometric tattoo on your shoulder can symbolize many things, such as order, simplicity, perfection and connectivity.

22. Compass Shoulder Tattoo

A compass shoulder tattoo symbolizes guidance and direction in life. Tattoo designs depicting compasses are best chosen by women who need a sense of inner direction. The open side of the compass points to where they have been; the other end is pointing towards their future goals, dreams, and life aspirations. A compass shoulder tattoo is also a symbol of protection. The circle surrounding the needle that points to true North promises to protect the wearer from all negative influences, forces, and events in your daily life. It serves as a reminder to focus on your dreams, goals, and work towards achieving them instead of being distracted by worldly influences and temptations.

23. Mandala Shoulder Tattoo

The Mandala is a popular tattoo choice for women. Often used as a symbol or decoration, the Mandala typically features intricate symmetrical designs in varying colors. The word “Mandala” in Sanskrit means “circle,” which often represents wholeness, completeness or infinity in various cultures. It is an amazing piece of art that often signifies one’s connection with themselves, spirituality or even life in general. It is said that when you get this type of tattoo, your mind becomes more relaxed and less anxious, as the process of receiving it is done in a very calm state where there are no worries.

24. Polynesian Shoulder Tattoo

Polynesian shoulder tattoos are usually very detailed, colorful and symmetrical. There are several variations of the tattoo , but there is always one symbol that remains unchanged – it is always a flower.  The flower usually has five petals – four of them represent nature, while the fifth one represents a human soul. Doves and dolphins indicate the peacefulness of the person. The sun symbolizes protection and good luck, while barbed wire stands for hard life.

25. Maori Shoulder Tattoo

Maori tattoos have a lot of variety, but most commonly they are large pieces with many elements. A good example of a shoulder and half-sleeve maori tattoo design is the “Koru”, a spiral design that represents the fern frond as it opens up. This symbolizes new life, growth and strength. The Maori name for this tattoo is “korut” and it typically takes several hours to complete. Usually, the koru begins on the back of one’s hand and sweeps around the arm, shoulder and toward the chest. The koru has many different interpretations but is most commonly associated with new life, strength, growth or power.

26. Celtic Shoulder Tattoo

Celtic tattoos are known for their distinct knotwork. The designs were often abstract but could also be representative, like the trinity knot. Celtic knot tattoos are often done in blackwork or grey scale but can also be colored. One of the most popular modern Celtic symbols is the Triskele, three interlocking spirals that represent past, present and future, as well as mind, body and spirit. The Celtic Shoulder Tattoo generally begins between the shoulder blades and wraps around the front of one’s body, ending up somewhere in the middle of one’s chest.

27. Tribal Shoulder Tattoo

Tribal shoulder tattoos are one of the most amazing examples of tribal tattoo designs for women because it has such a wonderful uniqueness to it.  The shoulder is an area perfect for women because it presents the ability to be creative and it showcases a woman’s femininity. Tribal tattoos are defined by an artistic style, rather than one specific design. This gives each tattoo the opportunity to stand on its own with its own significance.

28. Religious Shoulder Tattoo

This design is often a colored drawing depicting an image of a god or goddess. These tattoos are typically done in black ink, but some artists use color as well. They commonly show deities from Greek mythology like Athena and Zeus, Hindu gods like Ganesha, or Celtic symbols like the Celtic cross. Most religious tattoos are done as half-sleeves or shoulder pieces to cover a large area of skin. The designs are often symmetrical with images mirroring one another across the body’s center line. Those who wear religious tattoos often do so because it allows them to honor their religion and express themselves in a creative way.

29. Sexy Shoulder Tattoo

This design is often done as a small, colored drawing or it can be larger and more elaborate. Sexy tattoos are usually not very large (often covering only one shoulder) because they are worn by women who want to make an impression with their skin art but do not want something that’s too bold or noticeable. The design is often very feminine with flowers, hearts or other symbols of love. It can also have  words across the front of the shoulder. A popular phrase  is “live, laugh, love”.

30. Abstract Shoulder Tattoo

The main difference between a realistic tattoo and an abstract one is the lack of clear details. In this type of design, colors are usually more vibrant than in photo realistic tattoos, because less attention is given to the actual shapes of things. The main goal is to express emotions and capture moments rather than reproduce exactly what is seen in nature. Abstract tattoos are usually done with only black ink, but sometimes they may transition into colorful artwork or even realistic illusions. It represents memories and moments that are sentimental.


How long does it take to make a shoulder tattoo?

It depends on the size and complexity of the design. A small tattoo can be done in one hour. Some large and complex tattoos can take up to 30 hours (or more) in total. If it will take more than 4 hours, you can have it done in two sessions, or a whole day session with necessary breaks in between. Large tattoos are done over several non-consecutive days, allowing the tattoo to heal before adding more ink.

What does a tattoo on the shoulder symbolize?

The shoulder is a symbol of strength and support. A tattoo on the shoulder is a constant reminder of the support and strength that the person is supposed to carry. It also enhances the projection of the image and meaning of the tattoo.

Why do women get shoulder tattoos?

Besides being a strong point of appeal and emotional support, the shoulder is also a sexy part of a woman’s body. A woman gets a shoulder tattoo for herself, and enhancing a sexy shoulder provides affirmation of a woman’s sexiness and identity.

What are the most common shoulder tattoos for women?

The most common tattoos that women have on their shoulders include flowers, butterflies, and birds. The trend is to have a single image black work tattoo, small tattoos with fine lines or watercolors of flowing images.