Are you thinking of getting a butterfly tattoo? If yes, then we have some great ideas and backups on history and meanings for you. In such a huge choice of tattoos nowadays sometimes it may become a challenge to find the one that will suit you and your character but we are ready to inspire you. Find the one that will show your specialties, your story, and you will never regret getting it inked into your skin. Creative and beautiful, colorful and tender that`s how we can describe all of them. However, which one would you prefer? Let`s find out together.


*We may earn money from affiliate links on this page. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details.
Посмотреть эту публикацию в Instagram

Публикация от Ariana Grande (@arianagrande)

Butterfly tattoos, adorning celebrities like Ariana Grande, Elle King, and Vanessa Hudgens, flutter with personal expression and have become a popular symbol of growth and transformation in the spotlight.


Meaning Of Butterfly Tattoos

Black Butterfly Tattoo with Flowers Inside
by @minitattoo_studio

Butterflies symbolize freedom, love, and transformation. In tattoo culture, they represent femininity and the metamorphosis of personality. Across different cultures, butterflies hold various meanings, such as freedom in Japanese culture and love in Chinese culture. Their simplicity and symbolism make butterfly tattoos a popular choice worldwide.

What is your favorite butterfly tattoo?

Anonymous quiz

  • Black and white
  • Bright and colorful
  • Butterflies with moon
  • Butterflies with flowers
  • Tiny butterflies

Vote to see results

What is your favorite butterfly tattoo?

Black and white
Bright and colorful
Butterflies with moon
Butterflies with flowers
Tiny butterflies
Voted : 458


Placement Guide

When choosing a butterfly tattoo, considering the placement is crucial for its visual impact. Smaller designs are often placed on visible areas like wrists, neck, shoulders, fingers, and ankles. Larger tattoos are typically favored for thighs, back, legs, and chest. Regardless of size, butterfly tattoos are inherently eye-catching and versatile. Explore different designs and consider combining them for a unique and stunning tattoo placement.


Colorful Butterfly Tattoo Designs For Your Next Ink Session


Lunar Flutter: The Monochrome Butterfly Tattoo

Side Leg Black and White Butterfly Tattoo
by @xavtattoo

This elegant monochrome butterfly tattoo, with its intricate linework and dots, captures the sophistication of simplicity. The crescent moon alongside it adds a celestial touch, suggesting a kinship between the delicate creature and the mysteries of the night. It's a design beloved for its understated beauty and symbolic representation of growth and change.

Editor's Tip: Personalize the space around the moon by adding stars that represent significant people in your life, turning the tattoo into a subtle tribute.

Watercolor Drip Butterfly

Watercolor Butterfly Arm Tattoo Design #watercolortattoo
by @tattooist_banul

The graceful butterfly in this tattoo merges with the spontaneity of watercolor drips, creating an illusion of movement and change. The delicate blend of colors within the wings, contrasted by the bold pink drips, reflects the wearer's bold spirit and life's ever-shifting journey. This design was created by talented tattooist Banul from Korea popular by her amazing watercolor tattoos.

Editor's Tip: Enhance the fluidity of the design by extending the drip effect, with each drop representing an important life event or personal milestone.


The Laurel-Wreathed Butterfly

Meaning and Symbolism of Butterfly Tattoo
by @naleak_tattoo

The simplicity of the butterfly's form, combined with the decorative laurel, creates a tattoo that is both classic and symbolic. The red leaves can signify one's passion and courage, embracing the butterfly — a creature of transformation and grace. This design is a beautiful metaphor for being surrounded by love and support through life's changes.

Shadow Dance

Side Body Butterfly Tattoo

The artistry of this tattoo lies in its simplicity and the masterful use of negative space, creating a mirrored effect that is both striking and serene. The translucent appearance of the wings suggests vulnerability and openness, appealing to those who value introspection and self-expression. It's created by amazing Anastasiia Venher, Ukrainian tattoo artist who is based in Sweden.

Editor's Tip: You could choose to subtly infuse a hint of color into the wings, perhaps a shade that resonates with you, to make the design stand out against the skin even more.

Black And White Butterfly Tattoos


Despite the ethereal beauty of colors that you can see on the wings of butterflies, you can tattoo butterfly in black and white and still have a chic design. The truth is that the color palette you can experiment with has no limits, but black and white patterns are what help us focus on the inner meaning instead of the visual part. By getting a black butterfly tattoo, you can emphasize its significance with bold lines and delicate dots in the middle, for example. On top of that, such ideas will nicely fit the image and style of those who prefer to keep everything in their lives simple.


Half Floral Butterfly Tattoo Designs

One wing is a collection of flowers growing and blossoming from the body of a beautiful butterfly. Isn’t it a wonderful metaphor? Butterflies spend most of their lives helping flowers grow and flourish, so they’re literally a part of their lives as well. This message is simple to comprehend, and that’s what makes it so beautiful. It seems like as long as we have such unique butterflies tattoos at hand, we will never have a lack of inspiration in our lives.

Minimalistic Multiple Butterflies

Big Sternum Tattoo Designs


The Saturation of Your New Tattoo and What Affects It

Irene Bogachuk is a tattoo expert, who has a big experience in tattooing, shares her expert opinion on how to keep your tattoo bright and colorful for years:

Of course, photos of a fresh tattoo taken immediately after the session always look vibrant, saturated and high contrast. However, during the skin's regeneration process after the session, the tattoo may change its tone slightly. That is why I always recommend checking healed tattoos in your tattoo artist's portfolio.

There are several factors that directly affect the final result: proper skin preparation before the session, natural processes of skin regeneration, the aftercare quality, the professionalism of the artist and the tattooing technique. All these factors are connected with each other. I would even say they are almost equally important.

Let me explain in more detail:

Well hydrated and soft skin is crucial for a good, saturated healing of a tattoo. Therefore, when preparing for a session, make sure to moisturize your skin beforehand. You can use a gentle scrub on the area a few days before the procedure (just not the night before). If the area is usually dry or flaky, take care to moisturize it daily for at least 5-7 days prior to the session. Your water intake also contributes greatly to maintaining proper hydration of the skin. When caring for your fresh tattoo, even if it is healed, moisturize it regularly so that it remains vibrant and bright.

The immune and lymphatic systems also affect your new tattoo during the healing process. The better they function, the more pigment your body will push out, leaving less pigment in the skin. You can fix this when you visit your tattoo artist for touch ups after complete healing. Keep in mind that during the session, the needle basically punctures the skin, so you see a concentrated black pigment on the surface. During the healing process, this punctured area gets covered by a new layer of skin. The pigment gets hidden under this regenerated skin, which has a certain shade, affecting how you perceive the color of your tattoo.

Thin tattoo lines, which are all the rage now, also have certain technical nuances. I do not want to delve into it too much, but in short, they tend to heal lighter compared to thick, bold lines. This is due to the depth at which the pigment is deposited. So, if you want a thin tattoo, remember that it is absolutely normal for it to get lighter after healing.

Watercolor Pink Butterfly

Watercolor Pink Butterfly Design for Arm Tattoo
by @amanda.mypreciousink

This delicate watercolor butterfly tattoo seems to have just alighted on the skin, its wings a blur of soft pink hues that suggest a gentle motion. The subtle gradation of colors, blending seamlessly into the skin, gives it an ethereal quality, as if it might flutter away at any moment. This design created by popular watercolor specialist Amanda Remmington.

Editor's Tip: To make this design even more personal, consider adding a hint of another color that holds significance for you, subtly blended into the wings.

Soft Pastel Colors

Butterfly Tattoo Meaning
by @eunyutattoo

Evoking the gentle grace of a butterfly in flight, this tattoo blends vibrant pastels with a translucent effect, as if the wings are made of delicate glass. The precise detail in the veining of the wings contrasts beautifully with the soft colors, creating a look that's both striking and understated. Perfect for the forearm, this design offers a sweet spot of minimal discomfort and maximum impact.

Editor's Tip: you can add a personal dimension by embedding a significant date or word in the wing's pattern, using the same subtle color palette for a secret message that's yours alone.


Watercolor Pink Butterfly

Small Black and White Butterflies with Stars
by @tattooist_uzi

Captured in timeless black and grey, these butterflies offer a classic take on the iconic symbol of transformation. The detailed shading gives each wing a lifelike depth, suggesting the delicate texture of real butterfly wings. Accompanied by celestial stars, this design speaks of guidance and navigation through life's journey, beautifully suited for a location with low pain levels like the outer arm.

Red Monarch Butterfly

Red Butterfly Tattoo Design
by @offtattooer

A vision in red, this tattoo's lace-like wings exude elegance and a touch of mystery. The deep red shade is traditionally associated with love and vitality, making this butterfly more than just a piece of art—it's a statement of the wearer's zest for life.

Editor's Tip: Adding a subtle gradient from deep red to a softer pink towards the edges of the wings can symbolize the evolution of love or passion over time.

Butterfly Tattoos In Dotwork Technique

If you are interested in getting a tattoo or already rock a couple of tats on your body, you’re no stranger to the dotwork technique. What is more, you know how sophisticated sketches look when they’re tattoed through the shadows and lights of lots of tiny little dots. As you can see from this pic, butterfly tattoos for women are no exception.



Small Butterfly Tattoos On Shoulder

Shoulders, clavicles, and wrists are the most feminine spots to place tiny butterflies tattoos. If you go too big, it will look drastic against your overall look, whereas going too small will make your tattoo too unnoticeable. This tattoo size is just perfect for girls who want to add a visible touch of pure femininity to their daily looks without going too much.

Is a butterfly tattoo basic?

What does a butterfly tattoo on the neck mean?

How much money does a small butterfly tattoo cost?

Watercolor Bloom

Blue Butterfly with a Branch Tattoo
by @amanda.mypreciousink

This tattoo portrays a butterfly with wings that bloom like a flower, touched by the softest whispers of blue and framed by pink petal-like blurs. The watercolor effect brings a dreamy quality, as if the butterfly has emerged from a misty, enchanted garden.

The Dandelion Drift Butterfly Tattoo

Floral Butterfly Tattoo on a Breast
by @mini_tattooer

Here we see nature's artistry at play, where a blue butterfly poised for flight is joined by a trail of whimsical dandelion seeds. This design, created by popular Hong Kong tattooist Mini Lau, is a celebration of life's transient moments, perfect for placement on a less sensitive area, offering both beauty and a comfortable experience.

Editor's Tip: Embedding a small, meaningful word or date in the path of the seeds can add a layer of depth to this breezy design, making it a marker of personal history.


A Galaxy of Butterflies Tattoo

Thigh Tattoo with Galaxy Butterflies
by @tattooist_sigak

Evocative of a midnight sky, this cluster of butterflies takes flight across the skin, with hues of deep blue and hints of teal that mirror the vastness of the universe. This tattoo design is increasingly sought after for its enchanting portrayal of nature meets the cosmos, appealing to dreamers and stargazers alike. This masterpiece is made by tattooist Sigak, who is popular for creating amazing galaxy tattoos.

Editor's Tip: You can enhance the magical feel by requesting glow-in-the-dark ink for select elements, mimicking the twinkling stars.

The Watercolor Whisper Butterfly

Minimalist Shoulder Butterfly Tattoo
by @sp_polish

This minimalist butterfly tattoo, with its soft watercolor washes of pink and purple, embodies the gentle whisper of change. Its subtle gradient suggests a quiet transformation, perfect for someone seeking a tattoo that speaks to delicate shifts in life. Its placement on the shoulder makes it an intimate yet noticeable choice, ideal for those who prefer a touch of discreet beauty.

The Celestial Story

Galaxy Colored Butterfly
by @tattooist_namoo

Embracing the beauty of the universe, this butterfly tattoo is a true work of art with its interstellar patterns and cosmic hues. The careful shading creates an illusion of depth, giving the impression that the wings are fluttering through space.

Editor's Tip: To add even more personal significance, consider incorporating stars that map out a constellation that is meaningful to you, making it your personal guide in the universe.


Geometric Butterfly Ankle Tattoos

Butterflies in Japanese Style Tattoo
by @offtattooer

This tattoo, featuring a trio of butterflies, captures the essence of movement and transformation, with each butterfly's wings adorned with intricate details. This design balances between the boldness of the red and the delicate lines of the butterflies, making it both an artistic and personal statement

Editor's Tip: To make this sequence of butterflies even more symbolic, consider representing significant others or family members with each butterfly, using varying patterns or sizes to reflect their personalities.

Geometric Butterfly Ankle Tattoos

Geometric Butterfly Leg Tattoos #geometrictattoo
by @koray_karagozler

Here, the butterfly is enjoying the blossom of a flower surrounded by a conceptual geometric figure. This is the idea of Koray Koragozler, an abstract Berlin tattooer. With the help of various color schemes, colorful tattoo ideas help to create a special mood. What we see in this idea is that the butterfly has stuck in a beautiful moment of contemplation.

Blue Butterfly Tattoo On Arm

A wrist is the most delicate place to get a tattoo, whether it’s a quote that means the world to you or a meaningful tiny tattoo. Since they usually come pretty small, they will nicely fit there. At the same time, they will stand out and reflect a sense of significance, especially if you go for colorful butterfly tattoo designs. When considering the colors, think of how it will suit your skin tone.


Watercolor Galaxy Colored Butterfly Tattoo

Watercolor Butterfly Tattoo #watercolortattoo #galaxytattoo
by @koray_karagozler

The importance of finding a suitable tattoo design and technique lies not in a beautiful outcome but in harmony. Besides looking wonderful, tattoos should be a part of you or an extension of you that makes you feel harmonic. In this pic, you can see a thoroughly customized idea of butterflies tattoo. All those colors, shapes, and galaxy-inspired accents represent individuality that you can notice even with a naked eye. The best thing is, a butterfly is such a flexible symbol that you can mix it with any color, style, and pattern.

The Vibrant Spectrum Butterfly

Colorful Butterfly Tattoo
by @zalvetattoo

The tattoo here is a vibrant celebration of life, with a butterfly painted in a kaleidoscope of colors that suggest joy and creativity. Each wing appears as a delicate stained glass window, a patchwork of light and color that symbolizes the multifaceted journey of life.

Bloom and Flutter

Floral Art
by @daldam__

Here, a butterfly and blooms unite in a dance of color and life. The bold hues of the sunflower and the delicate pink of the cherry blossoms create a stunning contrast, symbolizing the wearer's love for both the brightness of day and the gentleness of spring.


Watercolor Galaxy Colored Butterfly Tattoo

Neck Butterfly Tattoo Design
by @daldam__

The butterfly here is not just a symbol of transformation but also a canvas for artistic expression, with its wings adorned with a sketch-like floral pattern. The use of bright, lively colors gives the tattoo a sense of energy and playfulness, making it a popular pick for those who see life through a vibrant lens.

Azure Embrace

Blue Butterfly Tattoo on a Shoulder
by @myungdo___

This tattoo of a butterfly with wings outstretched in splendid shades of azure and indigo evokes a sense of calm and serenity. The lifelike detail in each wing, with subtle hints of iridescence, creates a realistic portrayal that's almost tangible. It's a piece that symbolizes peace and the boundless sky, appealing to those who find solace in the expanse above.

Colorful Back Butterfly Design with Sunflower

Colorful Butterfly Tattoos On Back #flowertattoo #colorfultattoo
by @debrartist

Speaking of quote tattoos finished with creative designs, we just can’t pass by this delicate flower tattoo. In this delicate flower tattoo, the quote is a stem of the flower which literally takes those simple yet significant words to the next level. Never give up, and you will find your place under the sun. This meaning brought to us Glaminati expert Debora Genchi.


3d Butterfly Tattoo Design

3d Butterfly Tattoo Design
by @firstjing

Now, let’s talk about the colors. The advances in tattooing techniques have reached the point when they can literally make butterflies tattoos take flight. With the help of proper shadowing, detailing, and smudging the colors, your master can give you a totally realistic butterfly tattoo. As a matter of fact, there’s nothing like a colorful tattoo that looks so real as if it’s really a part of your body. Or, maybe it’s your bright soul is trying to show up? Anyway, such tattoos are like a permanent anti-stress button that can cheer you up once you have a look at it.

Lower Back Butterfly Tattoo

Lower Back Butterfly Tattoo #lowerbacktattoo
Credit photo: instagram/aknowi

How about you to crash stereotypes about lower back tattoos? You probably remember those times in the ’00s when girls would cover their lower backs with flame-like horizontal designs. At some point, it was really sexy. But soon, it became outdated and even considered as a wild idea for a tattoo. We can’t even imagine how those ladies felt afterward.

Anyway, it doesn’t mean that such tattoos can’t look good! Moreover, there are lots of unique butterflies tattoos that look fabulous on lower backs. Add more colors and details, and you will simply give a new take or even make the old trend come back.

Butterfly Tattoo With Geometric Element


You can ask your tattoo master to draw a butterfly in a geometric tattoos style when discussing the sketch. And you will totally like it! The smooth and balanced lines of a butterfly’s silhouette can nicely fit any style, be it a conceptual minimalist or detailed geometric design. Moreover, you can create a nice fusion of styles by mixing a realistic piece with any other element you prefer.

In this idea, the choice of color is simply ingenious. The black and white palette allows both elements to create an organic ensemble while complementing one another. Some of the elements are transparent, and others are bold, which gives a dimensional finish to this butterfly tattoo.


Small Hidden Butterfly Tattoos

Small Butterfly Tattoos #smalltattoo #tinytattoo
Credit photo: instagram/

It’s no secret that tattoos don’t have to be big to represent a deep meaning and bring a great visual impact to the beholder. In fact, even a small yet graceful detail on some hidden or uncommon part of your body is enough to showcase your different character. While you may come across tons of different and creative butterfly designs, you can always come up with your own idea.

Think of the meaning you want to put into your tattoo. Those little cuties have brought a sense of love, hope, and changes on their wings that people can capture with their small butterfly tattoos. How do you like this idea? Here, a butterfly looks like a talisman that always reminds the wearer of something important.

Tiny Butterfly Tattoos For Leg

Small Ankle Butterfly Tattoos
by @tattooist_sigak

When you want to have your tattoo small, the number of places has no limits. Most people don’t like it to be too apparent, so they ask for a neck, nape or ankle designs. In this way, you can go for a change that will mean a lot to you while not looking too drastic. What we love about this small butterfly is its ravishing and even mysterious simplicity. Anything from a perfect shape to smooth curvy lines attracts our attention. Also, at first sight, it may look like a regular little butterfly. But if you let your imagination fly with this little creature, you may notice a small symbol of change that we all go through in our lives.

Double Butterfly Tattoo Idea For Shoulder


Traditional butterfly designs appear elegant if placed on the right body part. The idea of tattooing a medium-sized butterfly on the shoulder seems straightforward and sophisticated at the same time. It is necessary to learn that getting a tattoo on the right place is essential to make the most of it. A top-notch tattoo idea on the wrong body part will not only ruin its beauty but your money and time as well.

All beautiful things come in pair, remember? So why not get butterfly tattoos on shoulder featuring two little cuties flying together? By letting two butterflies into your life, you can enrich the basic meaning of this tattoo with a romantic vibe. All in all, love is meant for two, right?

By the way, each object in your tiny butterfly tattoo may have its own meaning. One is for hope, and the other is for love, for example. Love and hope going hand in hand, who could ask for more?

As you have already understood, choosing a butterfly tattoo is a responsible task that you have to consider. Think of details, the way you would like it to be done and the message you would like to transmit to people who are going to see it. Find the one that will represent you.