Looking for a tattoo idea that says you’re graceful yet strong? The butterfly tattoo says all that and more. Often in small, icon-like sizes, the butterfly tattoo is among the least expensive to get. Added to the fact that butterfly patterns are plentiful, any good tattoo artist will enjoy making yours as unique as your personality.

The butterfly tattoo is a timeless concept that will always stand out regardless of the era. When colored to your matching character and style, a butterfly tattoo can become a fashion accessory.

Queen Latifah, a celebrity that radiates strong-will and yet is gentle, has several butterfly tattoos. Younger icons like Noah Cyrus have butterfly tattoos. Hers are on the left forearm. There’s no way you’re missing those when you’re in her presence.
Noah Cyrus have butterfly tattoo

The butterfly design is good for a first tattoo too. You can have it inked anywhere on your body. It works wonders when you want to make a statement. Standing out with bright colors.

It’s also great as that tattoo that only a few close to you will ever get to see. The small of your back, on your tummy, even the inside of your biceps are all perfect spots where you can get a butterfly tattoo. Butterfly tattoos are as popular with boys as they are with girls.
Butterfly tattoos on boy

Shawn Mendes, for example, flaunts his unique butterfly tattoo on his left bicep. On and off stage. His butterfly tattoo with one wing made of flowers speaks a lot of his unique talent and personality. It is focused and beautiful, and with these fifty great tattoo ideas, you can too.

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1) Black and White Monarchs on Back of Shoulder Blade

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One of the most common places you’ll find a butterfly tattoo. This black and white monarch pair of butterflies will go with any skin tone and is easy enough to be done in one sitting. The color choice is simple and pure.

Symbolically, it could represent the good relationship you have with someone special in your life. This tattoo can also go on other parts of the body that allow you to proudly show your bond. It’s perfect as a friendship or love partner tattoo.

2) Wide Black and White Butterfly on Forearm

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A skin color contrast tattoo design which is bold and clear to see on the forearm. This butterfly tattoo says a lot about the individual strength of the person wearing it. The forearm is a tattoo site that proves confidence when it is allowed to be inked.

One can easily mistake this tattoo for a moth due to the rather strong abdomen section of the butterfly. Yet the beautiful pattern on the wide-spread wings attests to how a butterfly can be both strong and beautiful at the same time.

3) Pair of Butterflies Behind the Ear

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A pair of butterflies tattoos behind the ear is hard to miss. It says you’re not shy to be beautiful and free to go with the wind like the butterfly itself.

With no color inside the wings but that of the ink around the butterfly tattoos, this is an easy and affordable tattoo to get. It wouldn’t take much of your time either.

The small size makes it perfect for an ongoing tattoo job. It leaves a lot of space to which you can add more butterflies in the future.

4) Colorful Butterfly With Glass Pair of Wings

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Strong, colorful, yet fragile. Exactly like a butterfly in real life. It has a full spread wingspan across the back. The butterfly has broken glass for wings.

It still flies, symbolizing the strength that comes with experience.

This tattoo blends realism with abstract design ideas. This makes it perfect for a creative personality. A designer, writer, or creator in general will get a lot of pleasure from this tattoo.

5) Black and White Kaleidoscope

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A group of butterflies on the forearm. A beautiful unisex concept that works in either black, white or the entire spectrum of colors. Each butterfly can have its own pattern and color to make things more interesting.

A great tattoo idea to show that you belong with other strong and beautiful people. It’s an awesome family (or crew) tattoo. You can make each butterfly resemble a member of your pride.

6) Butterfly Skeleton Frame

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If a butterfly had a bone structure under all that plush form, this is how it would look. This edgy tattoo has a unique style.

The amount of attention to detail and the time required to get this butterfly skeleton tattoo is proof that you are patient. This tattoo can still be done in one sitting. Still, make sure to show your studio artists a day or more in advance for the best results, and book a lengthy session.

7) Butterfly Finger Ring Tattoo

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Small tattoos don’t necessarily say you’re scared of pain, they instead attest to a minimalist style. This is the vibe with this small butterfly tattoo fit for a ring finger badge. It would fit on any of your fingers or toes. For a small tattoo, it still oozes that big dose of grace synonymous with the butterfly.

With no colors or intricate patterns inside the tattoo, this butterfly design is both affordable and quick to get. You don’t have to worry about the artist’s expertise either. Regardless of these factors, it stands out whenever you reach to shake a hand or just touch someone.

8) Ribcage Shaded Black & White Butterfly Tattoo

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Hidden until you purposefully reveal it, this butterfly tattoo is proof that you are gentle. The black and white color palette says you are simple. However, the wing pattern suggests that there is more to you than just appearances.

The rib cage skin can be rather sensitive. If not ticklish. Expect a mix and pain and pleasure getting this butterfly tattoo done. Depending on the size and any modifications you add, this can easily be a single session tattoo.

9) 3-D Realistic Colorful Butterfly Ink

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3-D, realistic tattoos are certainly trending right now. As such this butterfly tattoo that looks as though it could fly off you is a heck of a fashion statement. You can play around with the color to fit your personality.

Unlike other simplistic designs, this one is not symmetrical. A sense of depth is always invoked each time someone looks at it. The perfect design for a spot that’s always in clear view. The shoulder, forearm, calves, or even shin make for good locations for it.

10) Rock Star Butterfly Tramp Stamp

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Who said butterflies can’t be rock stars? Certainly not going to matter even if someone says it. This rock star butterfly design says you don’t try to fit in. You’re proud of the way you are, and you’re not afraid to be and show that you’re different.

Tramp stamps are often some of the first tattoos some people get. This design maintains that delicate vibe inherent with butterflies. Couple that with the fire, sparkle, and a jagged pattern that befits the rock star theme. This butterfly becomes one that is not afraid of a little danger.

11) Symmetrical & Colorful Butterfly Shin Tattoo

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This purple scented butterfly design speaks affluence, influence, and balance. The symmetry also suggests a persistent state of equilibrium in all areas of life. The kind of butterfly that changes life events by a flap of the wing.

Not an easy design, owing to the patterns. Then there is the task of matching on the other wing. Might take some time, but it is certainly attainable in a single day. The shin skin is less susceptible to pain than other parts of you. You could also get this on another part of your body.

12) Butterfly With Olive Branches

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This dark shade butterfly tattoo design exudes both confidence and the desire to find peace in every situation. The olive branch is a universal symbol of peace. This soft, gentle tattoo is for those seeking serenity in themselves and others.

When placed on the thigh, where there is a lot of canvas space, it’s good for someone that likes wearing shorts regularly. The dark shade gives it some character. However, you could accent it with any color you wish to give the tattoo your own personal touch.

13) Long-Tailed Skipper Butterfly Tattoo

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This butterfly tattoo is rare. It looks like a butterfly wearing a long-tailed tux. When you speak about having grace in flight, beauty from rarity – then you have the character of the person with such a tattoo.

Perfect for both sexes, you can play around with the colors to match your style. It still stands out even when left plain inside. The dark shades around the borders of this particular design make it hard to miss. As is the case with anything beautiful, this is something you don’t want to conceal. Perfect for the forearms, calves, and even the back of the ear if done in a smaller size.

14) Butterfly Cuffs

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If you want a tattoo that’s going to stand out, this trio of butterflies will do just that. They’re all of the same kind but positioned such that one is in mid-flight. This is a playful butterfly tattoo. If you have cool siblings, this would be a beautiful family bond tattoo for all of you to get.

All three are small yet detailed. Depending on your pain threshold, you could get these in one sitting, or opt to do it over three days – one butterfly for each day. Of course, you can always go further and add a few more butterflies to the picture.

15) Face Hidden in Butterfly Wings Tattoo Design

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The eyes tucked into the wings of this butterfly tattoo are the first thing most people will notice. Take a gander from a step back and an entire face emerges. You get the feeling of someone watching you even when their eyes are fixated on other things.

To get the effect of constant alertness, this butterfly tattoo will have to be displayed somewhere that everyone can see. However, it would also be perfect on the back of your neck. You know, like an extra set of eyes at the back of your head.

16) Fairy With Butterfly Wings

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Magical tales of fairies come alive with this tattoo design. This one has one-half of its wings like a butterfly’s, with the other half is a bunch of flowers. Abstract, yet warm enough that you can come to terms with the idea.

Getting this tattoo should be a relatively short process. Of course, this depends on how big you decide to go. The larger the fairy, the more time and skin real estate you have to allocate. All in all, you will grab the attention whenever someone takes their time to think of what is going on with the design itself.

17) Watercolor Big Winged 2-D Butterfly Tattoo

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This is an interesting design that comes in a 2-dimensional form factor, but colorful enough to make it look somewhat alive. The watercolor theme allows you to play around with as many variations as you like, making it playful and creative.

Look closely and you’ll notice how the head and abdomen of the butterfly are actually a semicolon. This suggests caution and watchfulness, even when having fun. The definition of grace and making deliberate moves in all aspects of life. Works for all ages but requires a large surface as the canvas.

18) Butterfly On Heart

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Heart-shaped tattoos are quite common, not this one though. With a butterfly perched on one half, the aim to stand apart from the norm is not subtle. You may think the butterfly design is simplistic until you look closely and see that each layer from the tip has a different shade.

This is neither expensive nor will take much of your time in the studio. What impresses beyond the short procedure is the lasting impression it has. Come to think of it, most butterflies are peaceful creatures, this one comes on half a heart. Almost as though it is waiting for another to perch on the other half.

19) Cosmic Butterflies

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If butterflies ever went into space, this is how it’d look. Side by side with the stars. High-achieving butterflies. These are perfect for a power couples’ matching tattoos. The realism is astounding though. Some stars do appear as dots, and not the pentagram we’re used to seeing in cartoons.

These butterflies symbolize a celebration of attaining the strength that comes after fighting gravity (challenges) before finally reaching the stars (goals). If you don’t have a partner to pair with, this tattoo makes a lot of sense with one butterfly as well.

20) Butterfly Face Mask Tattoo

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When considered as a full ensemble this is a complex tattoo. However, when you break it down you see how everything radiates from the centerpiece, the butterfly. Even the face is not as important as the butterfly effect overlaying it.

In translation, grace and beauty is a pair that simplifies even the most complicated situations in life. You can personalize this design with a face that holds meaning in your life. The peripherals of the design can work alongside your makeup as long as it’s concentric to the butterfly tattoo in the middle.

21) The Black Butterfly

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When too many colors complicate things, it is safe to stick with black and the color of your skin. This butterfly tattoo idea does just that to perfection. The ‘black sheep’ of the family should wear this badge with honor. Still beautiful and majestic, the design demands undeniable recognition.

You’ll have to sit through and bear the process of multiple dotted inks to achieve this look. The spray paint finish, as you move from towards the body of the butterfly, gives the design some depth otherwise reserved by the heavy edges.

22) Just The Outline

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Unlike the previous design, this one is bankrupt of any inside shading. The result is a skeletal frame of the butterfly tattoo concept. A conscious wearer of such a tattoo is one that has a side that is best kept from everyone else.

It’s very easy to ink in for an experienced tattoo artist, so this one won’t take long to get done. The edges don’t all have to be one color. You can play around with your favorite colors for each layer as you near the actual body of the butterfly.

23) Butterfly on Face

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A beautiful face pegged with an equally pretty butterfly. This design idea works wonders when you have someone special enough to immortalize with a tattoo. Notice how the lips of the said figure are the only brightly colored ink, making it stand out.

This tattoo is more about the person than the butterfly. If you look more on the insect, you will notice how it has an elongated tail, which is another rare butterfly breed. That such beauty can only be matched by a creature so graceful and eternally beautiful.

24) Butterfly With Human Face

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When a face is implanted onto a butterfly, the character of that person mimics that of the butterfly. Most likely how freely a butterfly drifts in the wind, catching heads wherever they turn.

You’ll need a picture of the face you want to put on the butterfly’s body at hand when getting this tattoo. That and the desired pattern for the wings. The positioning is also a hint for how much space you’d need to get a similar one done. If this goes too small, you sacrifice detail and it looks worse.

25) Scary Butterfly Tattoo Extra-Large

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If a butterfly could get dragon wings, this is how it would look. Fierce and indestructible. The sheer size of this butterfly tattoo alone will make a statement to whoever is looking at it.

This one will take more time than the small-to-average butterfly tattoos we’ve suggested so far. It would be most suitable on the back. Its eyes add to the fear factor because no matter where you’re looking at it from, they will be fixated on you. An arresting, gorgeous tattoo for those looking for something dramatic.

26) Detached Wings Butterfly

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Life breaks you into pieces sometimes, and this disfigured butterfly tattoo says it loud and clear. If you’ve lost someone so close that you felt as though parts of you had been pulled off, this tattoo will explain how that feels.

In black and white, small, and perfectly positioned such that each wing falls with the contour of the arm, this tattoo speaks volumes. Best placed on the arm or shin for the wing drop effect, you could get this done in one visit to the tattoo studio.

27) Mutant Butterfly

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This neo-traditional butterfly tattoo design discards everything we know about the insect. For one, the wings are not a mirror image of each other, giving it a mutant aesthetic. One wing is recognizable as a possible butterfly pattern. The other is art.

You can get this look by having your design on one of the butterfly tattoo wings. In this case, the sun rises on a field of roses. The dark background makes for contrasting meaning – a sunrise in pitch darkness.

28) Skull-Butterfly Art

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A Gothic design piece. A clean skull with a butterfly across the eye holes. It’s mostly symmetrical, save for the crack across the cranium. This is a design with a lot of empty spaces, which shouldn’t hurt as much as it would if it had shade inside the skull.

Typically big, with many well-defined skull tattoos. A lot of attention to detail will have to be invested in the butterfly design. Black ink would be a safe bet for a powerful look. However, the range of colors that would make this tattoo pop is entirely at your discretion.

29) Skull+Knife Butterfly

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While we’re still in the Gothic vibe, this detailed skull and knife tattoo, which forms a butterfly on closer inspection, has a lot of charm. The knife makes for the body of the butterfly, with the cheekbones making wings on either side of the blade.

You’ll need a creative artist to accomplish this design. To stay safe with the design, a minimal color palette will do. Adding color to the eyes alone would make this tattoo stand out. Not that it needs any help at all.

30) Butterfly on Fire Tattoo

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A butterfly tattoo perfect for motorcycle riders. One with fire spreading from its wings mid-flight. The design focuses more on the wings and flames than the body of the butterfly, which has its scales depicted by arcs.

Adding a few more color options to the fire would get you that attention-grabbing effect such a tattoo deserves. The small size makes it perfect for more places than just the back of the arm.

31) Butterflies and Flowers, Shiny Black & White Tattoo

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It’s hard not to think about flowers when considering a tattoo. This tattoo has both black and empty spaces in its design. A little shade here and there can give the flowers some texture, but the focus is really on the pair of butterflies resting on the petals.

That shine effect on the wings of the butterflies can be achieved using a glow in the dark ink that is safe for you. Be sure to ask your tattoo artist to use a non-phosphorus ink to give the butterflies a glow in the dark effect.

32) Freed Butterfly With Flaring Dye

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Flying away from a palm that is opened as if to free them, these butterflies have some of their essence radiating off but can still fly. The freedom theme and flying into open space is key to the meaning of such a tattoo.

If you’ve been through a rough patch in life. Or a situation you never thought you’d escape from. This butterfly tattoo will help you remember to fly freely into the world.

33) Butterfly Compass and Flowers

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When you know you’re going places in life, a compass on your arm will come in handy. Such a tattoo, although with a clear sense of direction, doesn’t mind discovering new places when blown in new directions by the wind.

Look closely at the flowers and you will notice a red accent as you near the pistil. This tone can be adjusted to your liking. The same goes for the butterfly wing color as well.

34) Butterfly Wings on Dolphin

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Butterfly wings look good on any animal we’ve seen them transposed on so far. This dolphin with butterfly wings makes you think the mammal can fly. This tattoo becomes a butterfly with a dolphin body when you look at it long enough.

You can get this tattoo with your favorite animal if you don’t like dolphins so much. Having it done on your thigh gives ample space to experiment with larger animals that could work for you before you finally get it inked.

35) Identical Butterfly Twin Tattoos

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Some say the best things in life occur in pairs. Having a twin sibling is something worth celebrating with matching tattoos. This twin set of butterfly tattoos does just that. When side to side It’s almost as though a mirror was placed somewhere at the center of the image.

Get these matching tattoos on mirroring locations for the best effect. These elbow butterfly tattoos are a perfect example of good positioning.

36) National Flag Inside Butterfly

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A butterfly tattoo with a national flag spread across the wings is a patriotic statement that’s hard to miss. These butterflies inked on each calf with the English and Scottish flags tell a lot about where the person belongs.

Symmetry can be hard to achieve when it comes to printing a flag across the wings of a butterfly tattoo, unless the flag itself is symmetrical along the vertical half. Imagine your country’s flag across a butterfly when you consider getting this design.

37) Fly Like a Butterfly, Stab Like a Dagger

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There is a chilling effect invoked by a butterfly resting peacefully on the blade of a dagger. The juxtaposition alone is enough to get one thinking. The softness of the feeling when you run a finger on the edges of a butterfly’s wings compared to the sharpness of the dagger.

Matching hues on the butterfly and the dagger blur the difference between what can hurt you and what is fragile. This is an arresting design that provokes thought.

38) Ripped Butterfly / Blood Shadow Butterfly

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At first sight, this butterfly has taken flight leaving a bloody scar where it lay. Looking closer and you see a shadow of blood where it hovers.

This butterfly tattoo is perfect for a character with layers so deep that people will never suspect what they are thinking. If blood is too much for you, any color you would never suspect to show up in a shadow gives a similar effect.

39) Butterfly Ribbon

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A modern take on the butterfly tattoo. This ribbon, contorted to form the wings and body of a butterfly, is as subtle as the butterfly’s character itself. You can have to make out the thickly inked wing edges and the antennas before it dawns on you that this is a butterfly tattoo.

This tattoo is unisex and looks as impressive (if not better) when you switch up the ink color to match your style.

40) Tummy Flutter With Crying Human Eyes

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Crying eyes embedded in the wings of a butterfly tattoo is a clear hint of the pain that even the most beautiful creatures go through. Couple that with the chain binding the wings of the butterfly around the navel and you have a grounded butterfly that speaks volumes about inner traumas.

The tummy is a big enough canvas to depict these themes with the butterfly tattoo. Variants to this design come with more color inside the wings.

41) Skull-Wing Design Butterfly Ink

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This wide-winged butterfly tattoo design tops the elephant ear-shaped design with a pair of ultra-realistic skulls. One inked into each wing with eye sockets emerging from the charcoal black body of the butterfly.

Getting this tattoo requires thinking about your skin tone in relation to the color of the skulls. This is not a tattoo you peek at and absorb all the detail at once. It rewards constant examination.

42) Ultra-Realistic Monarchs on Roses Tattoo

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A picture-perfect illustration of butterflies playing on roses. The colors and quality of ink in this tattoo make it strikingly realistic. The roses are a little blurred out to emphasize the design of the butterflies.

You can get this tattoo in a single long session. However, you’re better off getting the outlines done first, then returning for a finish on a different day.

43) Butterfly Escaping Fence Tattoo

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With wings so sharp they sparkle, this butterfly could not be kept in a cage made of steel wires. Symbolically, this butterfly tattoo shows unprecedented strength in times of hardship.

Perfect for both sexes, such a tattoo can be inked in a single sit. The wire background requires you to give the tattoo enough space to get the message across clearly.

44) Blurry Butterfly Wire Frame Tattoo

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You can look as long and hard as you like, but the blur doesn’t vanish from this intentionally vexing butterfly tattoo. It’s even hard to make out the pattern of the butterfly’s wings.

Achieving this design requires that a wire frame of the butterfly be set out first. That’s before shadows intertwining with the frame are imposed and underlined in. A lot of people will rub their eyes in wonder as they examine the trickery and artistry of this tattoo.

45) Butterfly Wings in Message Font

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If there was a font called butterfly, this is how it would most likely look.

You can get such a tattoo and achieve the same font by treating all curls as though they were butterfly antennae. The color of the butterfly’s wings is a variable you can play with to make it suit your fashioned sense.

46) Butterfly Planet Tattoo

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Butterflies are so gentle they should have their private planet. At least the ones in this butterfly tattoo seem to have one of their own. The half crescent planet outline in the backdrop of the design suggests a colorful place from which butterflies could originate.

The thigh is a perfect canvas for this colorful tattoo. Littered with butterflies of all sizes, you could play around with their patterns and colors for a more inclusive and unique finish.

47) Flower Petal Winged Butterfly

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This butterfly drops petals off its wings when it flies. From this, we get a fragrant theme that suggests beauty from the flowers.

This particular butterfly tattoo lacks depth in color. However, you can place it where everyone is sure to take notice. The shoulder (or behind the ear) is one such place perfect for it.

48) Realistic Skull Butterfly Neck Tattoo

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This butterfly tattoo with a skull across the wings is a statement maker. Loud and scary, you cannot miss it. The neck is a great spot for it, as lifting your chin would expose it at full height.

You probably need a high pain tolerance for all that detail to go into such a tattoo, especially considering the sensitivity of the neck skin. Getting it on a different patch, say the arm, would also evoke the same effect.

49) Sparkling Butterfly

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This butterfly tattoo is a celebration of color. The personality of the person wearing such a tattoo would have to be at least a match or better in vibrancy. It glows so much you can hardly notice the pattern over the display of colors in the wings.

You don’t have to worry about hiding such a tattoo if you just like the story it tells. It would be suitable for many parts of the skin.

50) Scissors-Winged Butterfly Tattoo Design

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When you think about it, a butterfly’s form shares a few similarities with a pair of scissors. This tattoo depicts this fact quite clearly. The melding of the two striking shapes create this eye-catching tattoo.

People whisper that the flap of a butterfly’s wing can change life events halfway across the world. In the same way, the snip of a scissors’ blades changes whatever was in between them.

Butterfly Tattoo Ideas That Deserve a Second Glance

Wearing a butterfly tattoo suggests similarities in its nature to your own. Coming up with the perfect design shouldn’t take you ages. These 50 butterfly tattoo ideas will cut that time short significantly, or inspire you go your own way.

When you do decide on a particular design, knowing the kinds of inks used and how long it takes will help you get the best tattoo experience. Making sure that your tattoo studio uses safe inks without phosphorus when getting glow in the dark tattoos, as they are safer and last longer over time.

Also of importance is knowing the best surface to place your butterfly tattoo. Factors that come into play here include how big the tattoo is. The bigger the tattoo, the more space you should reserve for it. The tummy, thigh, and back of the shoulder are great canvases for such body art.

Having considered every aspect of getting your butterfly tattoo, the next step is scheduling an appointment with a reputable artist and getting it done. A quick search on Instagram should help you glance into their work before you contact them with inquiries to see if you like their style.

The butterfly tattoo is a beautiful yet bold one. This list has shown you a wealth of creative ideas that have sprung for that original majestic form. We hope it’s inspired you to get a butterfly tattoo that expressed you and your message.