Life Style

35 Butterfly Tattoo Ideas to Inspire Your Next Ink

A forearm with a minimalistic butterfly tattoo

Butterfly tattoos are a popular design choice, and for good reason. Regarded as beautiful, delicate parts of nature, butterflies look great paired with the body’s natural form, no matter the placement. Plus, these designs are easily personalized, allowing you to create a truly unique piece of ink. If you’d rather play up the creatures’ intrinsic meanings instead, butterflies are known for symbolizing everything from freedom and transformation to delicate beauty.

Whatever your reason for wanting a butterfly tattoo, the most important part is to be sure of what you want it to look like. If you’re still searching for that perfect something, keep scrolling for 35 butterfly tattoo ideas that will help you design your next piece of ink.

01of 35

Knee Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly tattoo idea on knee
@JT_TATTOO

The shape of the butterfly’s wings looks great around circular bones like the knee. Keep the design otherwise simple to play up the shape.

02of 35

Minimal Butterfly Tattoo

Minimal butterfly tattoo idea on arm
@PERSEPHONITATTOOS

Butterflies are great design ideas because they can be stylized in a number of ways. If you prefer a minimal tattoo, stick to a few lines—maybe even just one—in your design.

03of 35

Playful Butterfly Tattoo

Placed behind the ear, butterfly tattoos gain a sense of playfulness, as they can only be seen from certain angles or when your hair is pulled back. The white detailing adds to the whimsical feeling as well.

04of 35

Line Art Butterfly Tattoo

Line art butterfly tattoo on inner elbow
@FFION.ELIZABETH.TATTOO

Because butterfly wings tend to be intricate, line art makes for a great style for this design. If you plan on adding a lot of lines, keep the decoration and coloring otherwise simple.

05of 35

Dynamic Butterfly Tattoo

Dynamic blue butterfly tattoo on forearm
@SONIATESSARI

Butterflies come in a variety of colors and designs, so they can easily match any aesthetic. This butterfly tattoo uses subtle shading and white ink to create a dynamic sense of light and dark.

06of 35

Shoulder Butterfly Tattoo

Realistic butterfly tattoo on shoulder
@JACKSONTATTOOART

The shoulder blade is a great location for a butterfly tattoo, as the amount of surface area means you can make it any shape and size that you’d like. The extra space also allows you to add more drawn-out details, like the shadow under the butterfly in this design.

07of 35

Arm Butterfly Tattoo

Tattoo of three butterflies on arm
@TATTOOIST_GAON

Placing a few butterflies along the arm gives the impression that they’re flying upward. Using a fine line style guarantees a sense of daintiness, and spacing out the butterflies adds to the weightlessness.

08of 35

Red Butterflies Tattoo

Butterfly tattoos don’t have to be super minimal or super maximal—feel free to play around with elements to find your perfect design. Here, a set of bold butterflies are customized with red ink to add visual interest.

09of 35

Small, Colorful Butterflies Tattoo

Just because you opt for small butterflies doesn’t mean you have to forgo color. Use a lighter color to make the insects feel weightless and delicate, rather than weighing them down.

10of 35

Geometric Butterfly Tattoo

Geometric designs work well for butterfly tattoos because of the ornate designs that normally appear on the insect. Sharp, straight lines don’t ruin a butterfly’s image—instead, they add a sense of contrast that feels organic.

11of 35

Natural Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly tattoo with natural details and leaves
@POSITIVELY.ENERGIZED.TATTOOS

Rather than opting for a straight butterfly design, why not combine it with another natural element? Here, the butterfly is combined with florals, giving the tattoo delicately powerful energy.

12of 35

Weightless Butterfly Tattoo

If you want a more realistic tattoo, butterflies are easily made to look as though they’re about to fly off your skin. With details like a large, properly placed shadow and the dynamic shading on the wings, this butterfly is ready to take flight.

13of 35

Thick Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly tattoo with flowers and thick line detailing
@AVENUETATTOORENO/@COOL.HAND.LUKE.69

Butterfly tattoos don’t have to be small and minimal. Adding heavy shading or bright colors can add some bold personality to the popular design choice.

14of 35

Pastel Butterfly Tattoo

Try playing around with different tattoo styles with your butterfly design. This tattoo uses pastel coloring and a technique that looks like the wings themselves are overlapping.

15of 35

Blackwork Butterfly Tattoo

Thanks to the heavy black that naturally occurs on butterflies, blackwork tends to work well on tattoos of the insects. Rather than feeling heavy, the black feels normal, which makes visual room for more details to be added.

16of 35

Chest Butterfly Tattoo

Red butterfly tattoo on chest
@CIRCLES.777

Placing a butterfly in the center of your chest makes a statement. Going for a red color will add to that drama and make it feel as though it’s a part of your skin, rather than inked on.

17of 35

Delicate Butterfly Tattoo

A collection of butterflies along the collarbone feels very chic and delicate because of the curves of the bone and the movement of the design. Because the collarbones add a bit of daintiness, you can also feel free to use a lot of blackwork if you wish.

18of 35

Add-On Butterfly Tattoo

Wrist sleeve tattoo with butterfly near hand
@INK.CAROLW

Thanks to their ability to be any size without losing detail, butterflies are great add-ons to existing tattoos. If you’ve already got ink and are faced with filling an empty space, why not choose a butterfly design?

19of 35

Word Butterfly Tattoo

Placing a word or phrase next to a butterfly tattoo will enhance the tattoo’s symbolism. While butterflies often represent change, endurance, or life itself, adding your own quote will give it a meaning that’s important to you.

20of 35

Simple Butterfly Tattoo

Because butterflies can be easily identified when broken down to their basic shapes, they look really good in a line art style. Making the lines feel more sketched out gives the otherwise simple shapes a sense of personality.

21of 35

Shaded Butterfly Tattoo

If you want to add some intricate detailing without a lot of color or excess lines, opt for light shading to add depth to the wings. Keep any additional details thin and light to keep the design ornate, but not overwhelming.

22of 35

Floral Butterfly Tattoo

Butterflies are a perfect complement to a floral tattoo. Both occur in nature, have beautiful energy, and can represent life. Pairing them bolsters these attributes.

23of 35

Overlapping Butterfly Tattoo

Matching butterfly tattoos on two people's pointer fingers
@ZIIXUU_TATT

Butterfly finger tattoos don’t need to be simplified to keep them from overwhelming the finger. Feel free to add extra loops or overlapping lines to add visual interest while keeping it well-spaced.

24of 35

Series of Butterflies Tattoo

Set of three pink butterfly tattoos on back of shoulder
@DIRTYINKTATTOOSTUDIO

To play up the movement that comes naturally to a butterfly tattoo, go for a design featuring a series of butterflies. Place each butterfly’s wings into a different mid-flight position to make them seem like they’re flying.

25of 35

Butterfly Wing Tattoo

Set of three pink butterfly tattoos on back of shoulder
@PLAINJANETATTOOCO

Because the body of a butterfly is dominated by its beautiful wings, a design without the actual body can still make an obvious impact. In this tattoo, the wings almost feel more weightless without the body, as it conjures up the image of delicate dried wings, rather than live ones.

26of 35

Contrasting Butterfly Tattoo

Rather than focusing on the inner wing of a butterfly design, try pulling attention to the blackwork complexities of the wing. The white details create a striking contrast while managing to feel natural.

27of 35

Aesthetic Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly tattoos don’t have to be super basic or super intricate. Try going for a more playful design that’s more about the overall aesthetic than a specific style.

28of 35

Balanced Butterfly Tattoo

Balanced butterfly tattoo design
@ITS.MEEEEEGAN

Large butterfly tattoos don’t feel any heavier than tiny ones, as butterflies always have a fair amount of negative space in their design. This naturally pushes the thicker lines to the inner and outer parts of the tattoo, balancing it out.

29of 35

Womanhood Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly tattoo on arm with sparkles and moon
@JASETATTOOS

Because butterflies are often associated with women and “femininity,” they pop up in designs featuring other such images, like florals or the crescent moon. Sparkles, dot work, and other delicate details also add to the feeling.

30of 35

Wings Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly wings tattoo on upper arm
@TATTOOSSDESINGMP

As long as you keep the general shape of a butterfly’s wings, you can customize the design in any style you want. Here, the geometric design conjures the image of broken glass, but the obvious overall shape keeps it whimsical.

31of 35

Personal Meaning Butterfly Tattoo

Arm tattoo with butterfly and phrase "Resiliencia"
@LIDITATTOO

Adding a word or a phrase to a butterfly tattoo can underline its meaning, whether personal or symbolic. This design uses the word “resilience” to emphasize the butterfly’s representation of hope and continuation.

32of 35

Realistic Butterfly Tattoo

Realistic blackwork butterfly tattoo on forearm
@JEZHUOT

If you’re going for a more realistic butterfly design, you don’t have to use color. Instead, go for a tattoo that uses varying line thicknesses, smooth and light shading, and small bits of blackwork to give the illusion of depth and light.

33of 35

Calf Butterfly Tattoo

Because the calf is such a resolute, straight part of the body, placing a butterfly tattoo there creates a contrast that makes it pop.

34of 35

Matching Butterfly Tattoo

Butterflies are a great idea for matching tattoos. Because butterflies have such a foundational design, you can be sure they’ll look the same. Plus, they can be customized to any shape, size, and style, so your matching tattoos are unique to the pair of you.

35of 35

Hand Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly designs make for great hand tattoos because of the movement innate to both the insect and the body part. The wing shape of the butterfly also fits well with that of the hand, so the two elements harmonize with one another well.

Related posts

How to Not Raise a Narcissist

admin

This Sticky Bee Byproduct Can Help Reverse Acne Scarring (and It’s Not Honey)

admin

We Just Tried This Skin-Friendly Foundation, and It Suited All of Us

sam

How to Control Your Dreams

admin

Dermatologists Say This Is the Best Way to Tighten and Smooth Your Neck

admin

How to Discipline Yourself: The Best 12 Tips

admin

Leave a Comment