From delicate gossamer species to bold and colorful designs, the papillon is one of the most beautiful animals on the planet. These creatures are unique just like you, so why not immortalize them by inking one on your body? There is a plethora of meanings behind this stunning concept and it looks impressive in any art form. You’ve earned these wings – wear them with pride! If you’re planning on your first piece or you’re adding to a collection, these beautiful butterfly tattoo designs will provide some inspiration.
Butterfly Tattoo Meaning
A butterfly is one of the most popular tattoo choices for women. This ink comes in many forms and sizes and holds a lot of meaning for the wearer. Traditionally, these designs connect with femininity and love, but they can also represent endurance, resilience, change, and hope. These are a powerful and stunning option for anyone, and they look incredible at any age.
Butterfly Tattoo Designs
1. Small Butterfly Tattoo
For your first tattoo or addition to a sleeve, a small tattoo is the perfect piece of ink. These delicate choices are subtle and dainty, so that you can place it anywhere. For those who want to put it somewhere that’s easily hidden, opt for your ankle or wrist. This is a perfect option for those who love elegant and petite designs.
2. Tiny Butterfly Tattoo
Teeny tiny tattoos are one of the trendiest designs at the moment. These are cute and subtle, and you can get them done anywhere on your body. From behind your ear to your lower arm, there are so many options to choose from.
3. Simple Butterfly
A simple and clean design can last the test of time, and its meaning resonates with everyone. It represents freedom and beauty, so why not create a style that represents its meaning? Leave the wings empty, and let the black ink do the talking. This can be large or small and dainty – the choice is yours.
4. Monarch Butterfly
The Monarch butterfly is the ultimate symbol of beauty and royalty. This classic design is timeless and sure to get you plenty of compliments. Choose from a traditional style with the gold wings, or add a modern twist by replacing one of the sides with a bouquet. When choosing an artist, ensure they have experience with detailed artwork – every detail matters with this piece.
5. Blue Butterfly
The blue butterfly portrays more than just beauty – it also represents joy and luck. These are stylish and timeless pieces of ink that will last a lifetime. The pigment with this shade typically lasts longer than others, so you can ensure that the stunning hue with be with you for life. Opt for a single insect or multiple- there are so many options to choose from that can resonate with you!
6. Butterfly and Rose Tattoo
The combination of a rose and a butterfly signifies passion, love, and transformation. This is a classic and timeless design that is both feminine and stunning. In Greek, the word for butterfly is psyche, which is also the name of the Goddess of Love, so if you choose this incredible ink, you will carry the meaning of adoration and gentleness with you everywhere.
7. Butterfly Skull Tattoo
A butterfly paired with a skull is the ultimate symbol of mortality and new life – together, they represent the circle of life. With connections to nature, there’s no better reason to have this ink on you forever. Choose placement on your thigh, arm, or even your ribcage – these designs tend to be slightly larger, so it’s best to accommodate the right space for it. Add a few roses into the mix if you like, as they resemble beauty and love. It’s a stunning piece with a story to tell.
8. Semicolon Butterfly Tattoo
The combination of a butterfly and semicolon represents strength and resilience and showcases overcoming hard times and struggles. This ink is a stunning choice for those who want a powerful reminder of their inner strength to meet the challenges in life and ability to re-write their story. Opt for a side shot of the insect and have the punctuation mark act as the body of the butterfly. This looks best on the wrist, as it sits in one of the most sentimental spots on the body.
9. Traditional Butterfly Tattoo
These traditional tattoos go back decades, so why not depict the meaning of a transformative butterfly with this everlasting style? This ink is bold and vibrant, which is a great idea for someone’s first piece – you can even add it to a sleeve for a timeless feel. This design became popular in the ’30s and represented freedom – it’s the ultimate symbol of independence.
10. Watercolor Tattoo
If you’re a fan of beautiful artwork, you can’t go past this watercolor tattoo. This is a delicate and finely detailed concept, so be sure you find a reputable artist who can replicate it entirely. When considering this design, avoid placing it anywhere that will be heavily exposed to sunlight. This style may fade faster than traditional pieces – be sure to take proper care of it so you can see its beauty for years to come!
11. Butterfly Tattoo with a Name
Keep the ones you love with you everywhere you go with a butterfly and name duo. The combined symbolism of this ink represents love, faith, and rebirth – it’s the best option to remember your loved ones or people close to your heart. Feel free to add in roses, as they depict hope, joy and new beginnings. This tattoo will hold extra significance for you every single day.
12. Tribal Butterfly
A tribal tattoo is an enormously significant piece for its wearer, so why not add to the symbolism with a butterfly? The connection between these two designs represents beauty, rebirth, and good luck. This ink looks excellent anywhere on the body, but if you’re searching for maximum impact, opt for your back, shoulder, or ankle.
13. Unique Butterfly Tattoo
You’re one in a million, so why have the same ink as everyone else? The butterfly design means something different to each wearer, so add your symbolism to it by keeping it unique. Make the wings of the insect into eyes, combine it with a bouquet, have several sizes in the one spot, or add multiple colors. Have a chat with your tattoo artist before deciding on anything – they can help come up with the perfect style for you.
14. Realistic Butterfly
Look as if a butterfly has landed on your skin with these realistic tattoos. These delicate designs are tough to imitate, so make sure you find an artist who specializes in realism. Do some research and discover your favorite butterfly. From a Monarch to a Malachite, there is something that will resonate with you and suit your personality. For the perfect effect, place this somewhere such as your shoulder or wrist – it will appear as if the stunning insect has chosen you.
15. Black and White Butterfly Tattoo
Sometimes you don’t need bright colors to make an impactful tattoo. These black and white designs are timeless and look striking. Opt for a realistic style with delicate and intricate wings, or even a Neo-Traditional depiction – there are so many options to choose from. Be sure to take extra care of this ink as the black ink is susceptible to fading without proper maintenance, so make sure you hydrate and moisturize the area.
16. Butterfly Wrist Tattoo
The inner wrist is a unique spot for a tattoo – they’re close to you all day and act as the perfect canvas for your next ink. Choose from a design that’s small enough to hide or opt for something that wraps across your skin. This area is one of the most painful spots for your next piece, as it has plenty of nerves that sit close to the surface and is quite soft. Do some research before committing to this, but it’s unbelievably worth it!
17. Butterfly Back Tattoo
Let this ink follow and protect you – the back design is a popular choice that will look beautiful on anyone. Make it small and delicate at the nape of your neck or halfway down your spine – let the wings of the butterfly help you fly. To complete it, add extra symbols with the tattoo. This can include red roses which represent passion, or a white flower that depicts purity. This spot is one of the leat painful zones of the body so that it could be the perfect option for your first piece.
18. Shoulder Tattoo
Feel as if you’re walking through a sanctuary with these delicate butterflies on your shoulder. There are no rules with this placement, so you can experiment with different styles to find one that suits you. Be sure to find a reputable artist, as this spot on the body can be seen easily. It’s also imperative that you take good care of this ink, as it tends to fade faster when exposed to the sun.
19. Butterfly Tattoo on the Arm
As one of the largest canvas areas of the body, your arm is the perfect spot for your next ink. From a full sleeve to a single piece, there is the ideal design that will suit you. In recent times, the forearm has been a popular spot, and you can work these butterflies down into your wrist and let them wrap across your skin. Let your imagination run wild with this placement or keep it simple with a statement black outline.
20. Ankle Tattoo
This is an excellent spot for a subtle and beautiful butterfly tattoo. Although it’s one of the most painful areas for ink, it’s also one of the most delicate. This zone is quite close to the bone, and the skin is thinner, so it may feel a little sharp at times. The beauty behind this placement is it’s easy to conceal for formal occasions – it’s a tiny secret that holds meaning to the wearer.
21. Neck Butterfly Tattoo
This placement has become increasingly popular with the next generation of tattoo lovers. It represents bravery but it also is an excellent idea for those who love risks and being bold. As this is an area that’s not easy to hide, make sure you think seriously about the location before getting it done. This is also one of the more painful areas of the body, but the overall outcome is simply stunning. Opt for small and delicate insects that flutter on your skin – add soft color or black outline. It’s one of the most stylish choices for those who want to showcase their strength.
22. Thigh Tattoo
The thigh is one of the sexiest and trendiest spots to get a tattoo, so why not make it your next placement? A butterfly design represents movement and transformation, which is something that you do every time you take a step forward. This area is typically larger than other zones, so you have more room for an increasingly detailed or intricate piece. Add some vintage glam to the style by placing sparkling jewels across the wings, or keep it neutral with realistic colors in the wings.
23. Chest Tattoo
This is made for the bold – the chest tattoo is an incredibly popular choice for both men and women. Popularized by Rihanna in the mid-2010s, it has become one of the trendiest options for those who love ink. Butterflies represent rebirth, so what could be a better placement for it than under the heart? As the skin is quite sensitive in this zone of the body, it may hurt more. However, the pay off for something this stunning is worth it – remember, no pain, no gain!
24. Behind the Ear Tattoo
The humble ear tattoo is one of the most delicate and personal placements. This spot is easy to conceal when needed, but looks impressive when you show it off. As the area is quite thin, it may hurt more than other locations – the skin is also less likely to hold the ink for as long as other spots, so be sure you choose a design that isn’t too intricate. A simple butterfly flying away or sitting on the skull is the perfect concept for your first piece.
25. Leg Tattoo
Showcase your killer ink everywhere you go by placing it on your leg. A butterfly tattoo on this part of the body represents changes and evolution. It takes time for this insect to undertake transformation, so the placement of this design can symbolize the same journey you take. Opt for a spot on your calves or thighs, which hurt less than other zones. Alternatively, you can choose your shins or ankles – it’s up to you. Your body is a canvas, why not fill it with awe-inspiring art?
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