The shoulder is one of the sexiest and most feminine parts of a woman’s body. It lets you show off a little skin without too much, making it a great placement for tattoos. This area’s beauty is versatility; you can show off your ink and make a bold statement or cover it up if needed. It also lends itself well to various designs, both big and small. If you want a detailed flower tattoo that comes across your shoulder and down your arm, that’s great, but a tiny angel on your shoulder blade is just as appealing. The shoulder is associated with strength, so celebrate your female power with a piece inked here! Keep reading to learn more and be inspired for your next shoulder tattoo!
1. Flower Shoulder Tattoo
Flower tattoos are one of the most popular choices when it comes to shoulder designs, and that is because of their beauty and versatility. There are so many different flowers to choose from, each with its unique meaning. That said, floral ink generally represents beauty, love, and life. Your chosen bloom can alter the symbolism slightly; for example, the gladiolus flower is associated with family, while the peony is connected to good fortune and honor. Deciding to get a flower piece is also an incredibly feminine option and looks great with big and small tats and black or colored ink.
2. Dragon Shoulder Tattoo
If you want to draw attention to your shoulder, a dragon tattoo is one way to do it. The mythical creature is rich in symbolism and is often connected with strength, wisdom, and good luck. There is also something magical about it. Many techniques and designs can be chosen, but the shape of a moving dragon looks great when tattooed on the shoulder and down the arm. If you want fierce inking, this is the choice for you!
3. Tiger Tattoo
If you want a piece that makes a statement but is also rich in symbolism, then a tiger tattoo is a great choice. The powerful predator represents strength and knowledge. It is also connected to freedom and independence because, in its natural habitat, it is at the top of the food chain. This big cat is an excellent option for those considering inking their shoulder because it is a placement option that is large enough for something detailed. Your tiger can be tattooed on its own or combined with other elements to enhance the meaning of the design.
4. Lion Shoulder Tattoo
The lion is the jungle king, a beautiful but fearsome beast, and a fantastic choice for those who want a tattoo representing courage and bravery. The animal is also linked with power and royalty. Many meanings are associated with this big cat, so you can choose the lion tattoo design that means the most to you. Although small lion-inspired designs look great, if you choose to ink your shoulder, you would benefit from a larger, more intricate piece.
5. Skull Sholder Tattoo
The skull is a universally recognized symbol associated with life and death. For some, the inking can have a darker meaning, while others focus on a more positive interpretation, viewing it as a symbol of power and a sign of overcoming hardship in your life. Regardless of what the skull represents to you, it makes for an interesting and eye-catching shoulder tattoo. You can add other elements to your design, such as flowers or a butterfly, or create a bold statement without additional images. The choice is yours!
6. Clock Shoulder Tattoo
Clock tattoos are popular because they are so symbolic, and the design can be interpreted in many ways. The timepiece represents life and death, and it is a fantastic choice for someone who often thinks about these two aspects. Including flowers in your body art shifts the focus to live, while a skull may be connected to death. It is also a wonderful reminder of how fleeting our existence is and to live life to its fullest. Some women also use a clock to honor a loved one who has passed or to note a significant time in their life. The clock’s hands and where they stop add to the overall meaning.
7. Compass Shoulder Tattoo
The circular compass shape makes it perfect for shoulder placement, and the location is also big enough to allow for intricate details, which this navigational tool often requires. The compass tattoo symbolizes direction and purpose. You can ink it as a reminder to stay true to yourself and your beliefs or to focus on the importance of following the right path. You can include a meaningful quote, name, time, or date to make your body art even more personal.
8. Cross Shoulder Tattoo
Individuals who value their faith will be drawn to the idea of a cross tattoo. In Christianity, it is often linked to Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for humanity’s good. The deep symbolism associated with the cross makes it a popular and beautiful choice. The shape is simple, allowing it to be tattooed in various ways, and it looks good in both big and small designs. You can add your favorite psalm or verse or choose to include multiple other images, such as a dove or prayer beads.
9. Dream Catcher Shoulder Tattoo
A dream catcher tattoo will look incredible when inked across your shoulder. It is a design that works particularly well with other images, so you can make an extensive and detailed tattoo if you wish. The beauty of the dreamcatcher is not just the intricacy of the object but also its symbolism. The talisman has roots in Native American culture and is a sign of protection, used to prevent bad dreams and keep away negative thoughts.
10. Eagle Shoulder Tattoo
An eagle tattoo can be large and fearsome, with the wings spanning your chest and arm, or abstract or small. The beauty of this bird is that it means different things to each person. Plus, various ways to interpret it and techniques can be used. Women who want a symbol of courage, resilience, and freedom are drawn to this design, and it can be a positive reminder to live life to your full potential and appreciate it daily. The majestic bird can also have a spiritual meaning associated with it; its keen eyesight is sometimes linked with the all-seeing eye.
11. Butterfly Shoulder Tattoo
The butterfly is a beautiful insect and one that is often linked with transformation and change. They can be inked to represent a period of growth or as a way to symbolize focusing on the new and letting go of the past. It is also a creature that is associated with freedom and beauty. Butterflies come in various species and colors and make an eye-catching statement in both black and colored ink. They also lend themselves well to multiple placement options, including the shoulder, and can be combined with other images, such as a skull or flowers, to further add to their meaning.
12. Angel Shoulder Tattoo
An angel tattoo can be seen as a messenger from God, the balance between heaven and earth, and a way to express your spirituality. It can also represent love or loss and can be linked to honoring someone who has passed away or celebrating a romantic relationship. Regardless of the symbolism you associate with the angelic being, it makes for a cute tattoo, and the shoulder is a fantastic placement for it.
13. Tribal Shoulder Tattoo
Tribal tattoos are inspired by various cultures but have become more of a technique now. They are often defined by thick, black lines which seem to move on your body. The meaning behind tribal designs depends on the culture, but if you opt for something more stylized, it is often associated with protection and strength.
14. Celtic Shoulder Tattoo
If you have Celtic heritage, you may want to honor it with a tattoo. There are many symbols and creatures that were of great importance to the celts, including trees and specific animals. One of the most popular body art options is a knotted design, which celebrates the bond between humanity and nature. It could also represent family, eternal life, and everlasting love depending on your chosen ink.
15. Maori Shoulder Tattoo
Tribal designs can be a way to honor a particular culture, and your heritage and Maori tattoos express an individual’s identity. Each design has special significance, and the placement is of the utmost importance, with the head being the most sacred spot. It is worth noting that some designs should not be replicated because of their spiritual and cultural significance. Still, others have been mass-produced and can be a way to celebrate the culture without being offensive. To ensure that what you are getting ink is appropriate, always do your research beforehand.
16. Polynesian Shoulder Tattoo
Polynesian tattoos are culturally significant, and each design can tell a story. When deciding on body art, this can be a great way to honor your heritage or show admiration for the culture. Still, without proper research beforehand, it can also be seen as disrespectful or cultural misappropriation. The ink can be used to express your personality or the things that have importance to you.
17. Colourful Shoulder Tattoo
Black ink is often the more common choice for tattoos, but bright, bold, colorful pieces have their appeal. In general, colored designs cost more and take longer to complete, but it is a beautiful way to make your chosen ink come to life and pop against your skin tone. It can also add more meaning to your chosen piece; for example, a yellow rose represents friendship and joy, while a pink one is about gratitude and affection. A red bloom indicates passion and love.
18. Geometric Shoulder Tattoo
Geometric tattoos are defined by the shapes and lines used to create them. The approach to body art has become increasingly popular in recent years and is a wonderful technique for big and small designs. They can either be simple and minimalistic or have intricate detailing and a futuristic appearance. They also often evoke feelings of calmness and balance. Depending on your chosen design, it can have great symbolism associated with it, or it can just be a piece that is attractive to look at.
19. Star Shoulder Tattoo
The simplicity of the star’s shape makes it one of the most popular tattoo options. It is excellent for your first ink because it can be small and simple, or you can decide to get a larger, more intricate design; your body art definitely doesn’t have to be boring, and there are a wide variety of techniques to choose from. A star often represents protection and guidance. Many women also choose to add an image of the moon, representing femininity and beauty.
20. Abstract Shoulder Tattoo
If you want a conversation starter tattoo, consider getting something abstract. These designs’ beauty is that they are not obvious, and a lot of thought and creativity has often gone into creating them. There is also a uniqueness about abstract ink, and rather than representing a specific thing, they are often more about the emotion you feel when looking at them. This can also be a great way to express your feelings.
21. Small Shoulder Tattoo
Women love shoulder tattoos because they are so versatile. You can show them off whenever you want or cover them up when needed, for example, at work or in a corporate setting. They also lend themselves well to various designs, both big and small. When deciding on your body art, you don’t need something large to have meaning; even the tiniest and most simple tattoo designs are rich in symbolism. Tiny tattoos are also feminine, delicate, and a great choice if it’s your first piece.
22. Religious Shoulder Tattoo
Tattoos are an excellent way to remind yourself of what is important in your life. For religious individuals, body art can be a way to celebrate their faith or encourage them to live according to a particular ethos. There are many options for choosing the images you want to get inked; this includes a cross, rosary beads, and praying hands. The shoulder is an excellent placement for your ink because it is big enough to allow for detailing, really letting your body art come to life. Although detailed religious tattoos are great in this spot, you can also opt for something small and simple.
23. Sexy Shoulder Tattoo
The shoulder is one of the most feminine parts of a woman’s body. It allows you to show off a little skin, but not too much, and often draws attention to the collarbone. This makes it a sexy spot for any tattoo, and your design can enhance this. Flowers are a pretty choice, but there are plenty of other options. Wear your ink with pride and confidence, and it’s bound to attract attention.
24. Shoulder and Chest Tattoo
If you want a large, detailed design, tattooing it on your shoulder across your chest is a beautiful option. The placement is large enough to allow you to choose from multiple designs. Floral-inspired pieces are among the most popular for women because they are pretty, feminine, and often rich in symbolism. When deciding on your body art, the area you choose to ink is just as important as the design because different places have varying pain levels. A chest tattoo will cause some discomfort because there is typically thin skin and proximity to bone. That said, the pain you endure is temporary for something beautiful and will make a statement for years to come.
25. Shoulder and Arm Tattoo
If you have a large design in mind or want a tattoo that you can show off, then a piece covering the shoulder and arm is a wonderful option. You can opt for delicate and feminine designs like flowers and vines or choose something more abstract. The outer shoulder and upper arm are also considered relatively low on the tattoo pain chart scale for body art, which is excellent if you want a detailed arm tattoo that requires more time to complete.
26. Shoulder Blade Tattoo
The shoulder blade is one of the most discreet places for a tattoo. It is a wonderful spot for someone who wants ink that they can cover up whenever they wish. Although it is one of the most painful placements because of the proximity to bone, you can opt for a small design, thus limiting your tattoo session and reducing the length of discomfort. That said, larger, more detailed pieces also look good in this spot. It is a versatile area, so the choice is yours whether you want a small flower or a large butterfly inking!
27. Back Shoulder Tattoo
There is something feminine about a back shoulder tattoo. It is a place on a woman’s body that is incredibly flattering and looks stunning when covered in ink. This spot’s appeal is that you can cover it up or show it off, making it a versatile choice. That said, it is also one of the more painful tattoo locations because the shoulder blade tends to be very bony. The shoulder’s outer part will cause less discomfort as it has thicker skin and few nerve endings.
28. Shoulder and Half Sleeve Tattoo
Floral and geometric tattoos are popular choices to cover the shoulder and a half sleeve, but they are not your only option. You could also pick a serpent or a dragon, having it wrap around the arm and feature on the shoulder. Regarding this placement, your creativity is your limit because the area is large enough to allow for a lot of detail, therefore not restricting you too much in your body art choices. That said, long, narrow designs or ones that can wrap around the arm will look especially beautiful in this spot.
Shoulder Tattoos FAQs
Do tattoos on the shoulder hurt?
Tattoos on the shoulder vary in pain, depending on where they are inked. On the outer shoulder, you should not experience much discomfort because of the thick skin, whereas on the shoulder blades, it will be more painful because of the proximity to bone.
What shoulder do you get a tattoo on?
When it comes to getting a tattoo on your shoulder, there is no right or wrong choice. You decide what design appeals to you, which shoulder you want it inked on, and the placement; for example, on the front or the back. You do want to make sure that you take care when it is healing so that the tattoo does not rub too much against clothing and cause you unnecessary pain. If you have a favorite side to sleep on, it may be smart to pick the opposite shoulder for your piece.
What does a shoulder tattoo mean?
Shoulder tattoos are a fantastic placement option, often associated with strength and power. That said, the symbolism behind your ink will vary, depending on your chosen design. A lion may represent courage and bravery, while a butterfly is connected with beauty and transformation.
What is the best tattoo for a girl?
There are many fantastic tattoo options for women, depending on what symbolism you want. Some of the most popular choices include butterfly, dragon, snake, and floral designs. When deciding on what piece is best for you, try to pick something that has meaning specific to you; this way, you won't regret your decision in the years to come. There are also several placement options to consider, with women favoring the wrist, arm, foot, and hand.
How much is a shoulder tattoo?
Your tattoo price will depend on the detail of your chosen design, the size, the studio and artist you intend to use, and whether or not you will get inked in black or color. Shoulder tattoos are usually a decent size, as people tend to want to make the most of the space. You can expect to pay around $120 to $200 per hour.
Cailyn Cox holds a degree in journalism and has been working with The Trend Spotter as a writer for over ten years. She has worked with some of the most prestigious women’s and men's lifestyle publications. For her, writing is not just a job; it’s a passion, which is why each article she writes is approached with such enthusiasm and dedication. She has extensive knowledge of hairstyles, tattoos, and beauty and has made a career out of creating informative articles that appeal to women and men of all ages.
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