When you’re looking for the best elbow tattoos, it may not be easy to find ideas. The elbow is a bit hard to tattoo and sensitive, so not many opt for this area. However, it is still a place you can locate a very cool tattoo so long as you are creative. If you love the idea of an elbow tattoo, don’t be afraid to get one. Make sure you check this list for inspiration and talk to your artist to help create the best tattoo for you. Your artist is the expert and should know how to handle this tricky area.
60 Stunning Elbow Tattoo Designs You Don’t Want to Miss
The biggest issue with elbow tattoos is the pain. On the outside of the elbow, there isn’t much padding. Any tattoo on an area with the bone close to the skin can be much more painful. On the inside of the elbow, you have two nerves running close to the surface that can increase the pain. While the pain can be more severe, this depends on the person and their own pain tolerance. An experienced tattoo artist will reduce the pain you feel, and you can ask about applying numbing cream before your appointment to help. No matter what you choose, if you really want an elbow tattoo, don’t let the pain put you off, just make sure it isn’t your first tattoo.
1. Intricate Black and White Patterns
This bold tattoo uses even fields of black to create a striking tattoo. A circular design around the point of the elbow ensures you don’t need to deal with a needle close to the bone. Feel free to use whatever patterns you like to create a similar tattoo.
2. Hand Out of Cloud Holding Ouroboros
This cool tattoo recalls old medieval artwork with a hand coming out of a cloud to hold a snake eating its own tail. This cool design melds well around the outside of the elbow. Don’t be afraid to look at old art for an idea of what you can use. Old bibles are filled with cool illustrations to inspire you.
3. Compass Over a Blooming Rose
This interesting tattoo is perfect for anyone who loves to travel or explore the outdoors. A compass is over a blooming rose. You can use whatever flower you like, or choose something else that matters to you. Creating a tattoo for your hobbies is a great idea for a meaningful tattoo.
4. Dragonfruit Split in Half with Pixelated Insides
This cool tattoo places each half of a cut dragonfruit on each side of the elbow. The innards of the fruit are in pixelated style. This is a cool effect that you could use with any fruit you like. It is easier to achieve than full realism for some artists. Be sure to ask your artist if they can create the style you are looking for and look at past examples of their work.
5. Shatter Pattern and Letters Over Elbow
This tattoo design has a unique look you won’t see in many places. A shattered effect focuses on the end of the elbow. This makes the tattoo look cool no matter the position your arm is in when the tattoo is viewed. It almost makes your skin look like glass that was shattered.
6. Detailed Spider Over a Web
This tattoo is definitely not for arachnophobes! A detailed spider is over a web that centers on the elbow. This is a cool addition to a web tattoo, just make sure you’re happy with a spider on you for life. If you want a realistic spider tattoo, make sure your artist is not only comfortable with spiders but capable of creating a realistic spider.
7. Web with Colored Center Disk
This unique tattoo consists of a central disk filled with red surrounded by a net or spider web. It is a unique look sure to appeal to anyone who loves patterns. You could change up the colors or outer flourishes to customize the idea.
8. Cobra Biting a Pool Ball
This is a cool, traditional-style tattoo. A cobra with a flared hood is biting onto a black pool ball with an 88 on it. This could be a cool way to show off a birth year or other important year.
9. Chain Link Fence Section Over Elbow
This is another cool way to put a pattern on your skin. A section of chain link fence is placed over the elbow with a blank space so you don’t need to tattoo the most sensitive area. If you are worried that tattooing the tip of your elbow will make you tap out, just ask your artist to design the tattoo with this blank space.
10. Traditional Style Red Rose Tattoo
This cool tattoo is in the traditional style. A traditional tattoo like this has bold solid colors and lines. These tattoos tend to hold up over time as you age. If you’re looking for a classic tattoo, this is a great option. Just remember to ask if your artist is good at this style. While it seems simple, it is much more tricky to create than you would think.
11. Abstract Sun Surrounding Elbow Tip
Avoiding the bony tip of your elbow is a great way to reduce pain during your tattoo. This cool design is a sun with rays made up of two nested triangles. A bold tattoo like this is sure to draw attention. If you like bold styles, a pattern like this is a great option.
12. Eye with Unique Pupil and Rays
This is a unique tattoo of an eye. The iris has a unique pattern to it with the pupils being made up of triangles. This is a cool way to make an eye look less human. The rays around it help anchor the tattoo. Don’t be afraid to go in a less realistic style if you like the effect.
13. Sun with Curving Rays Around Elbow Tip
This is another cool way to do a sun tattoo on your elbow. The deep black and varying lengths of the rays give it a nice tough effect. A simple design like the sun can be changed up to make a more unique tattoo easily.
14. Center of Aztec Calendar Tattoo
This amazing tattoo is based on a real artifact displayed in Mexico City. The Aztec calendar consists of two rings based on the agricultural calendar and the ritual calendar. Using a cool artifact can make for a very interesting tattoo. Look around museum collections for plenty of ideas.
15. Cat Head Inside Spider Web
This is a traditional tattoo that combines a cat head with a spider web. You can combine two traditional designs to create your own unique tattoo. Don’t be afraid to experiment with even a classical tattoo design. You can make something unique to you by combining the typical subjects.
More elbow tattoo ideas for men on the next page…
16. Celestial Dust Cloud and Planet
This cool tattoo shows a swirl of dust that forms a star surrounded by rocks and a planet. If you love astronomy, this is a great tattoo idea for you. The birth of a star is a stunning event that makes for a cool tattoo. You can look through a gallery of space images for inspiration for a similar tattoo.
17. Snake Eating Its Own Tail Around Elbow
The ouroboros is an old symbol consisting of a snake consuming its own tail. It symbolizes wholeness or infinity. A circular design like this is perfect for an elbow tattoo since it frames the area.
18. Shattered Glass Centered on Elbow Tip
This wonderful tattoo has the effect of broken glass around the point of the elbow. Using broken glass like this makes for a cool tattoo. You could make this tattoo in multiple sizes without losing the cool effect.
19. Looped Snake About to Bite Its Tail
This cool tattoo shows the loops of a snake’s body around the elbow. The snake’s mouth is open and about to bite its own tail. This is a cool take on an ouroboros tattoo if you want something a bit different.
20. All-Seeing Eye on Elbow
This is a take on the all-seeing eye symbol that many are familiar with. While the triangle is upside down compared to most depictions, it is still clear what is intended. Going with old symbols is a great idea for a meaningful tattoo.
21. Intricate Patterned Rose with Name
This tattoo shows a red rose covered in patterns. It is above a name. Red roses tend to symbolize romance, so this could be a tattoo meant to reference a partner. By using a pattern on the flower petals, it gives it more visual interest than a plain flower.
22. Spider Web Melds with Rose
This cool tattoo features a spider web in the background. A line goes down from the web and connects with the leaf of the rose. This is a cool effect to blend the two images into one coherent piece.
23. Negative Space Snowflake on Elbow Tip
This unique snowflake design was created by leaving parts of the skin untouched. The black of the tattoo is made softer by having it be made up of dots rather than a solid field. This gives it a nice effect that you wouldn’t get with a solid black. It also helps it blend into the skin better.
24. Birds Flying Over Ocean Sunset
This lovely tattoo gives the feel of watching the sunset over the ocean. Birds fly over the rays of the sun. While it is black and white, it still has a wonderful tropical feel. You don’t need to use color if you don’t want to. Some people do prefer black and white over color.
25. Spider Web with Blank Space Over Elbow Tip
This is another cool spider web design. It is shaded to give it some depth and longevity as you age. The space over the sensitive bone at the tip of the elbow is left blank to help reduce pain.
26. Spider Web with Touches of Red
This is another interesting take on a spider web tattoo. It is looser than many others on the list. It also has touches of red to give it a pop of color and help it stand out. The symmetry makes it feel less like a real web but gives it a pleasing composition.
27. Decorated Canine Skull with Chain of Human Skulls
This unique tattoo brings to mind fantasy creatures. A canine skull is set on a string of human skulls. The whole tattoo has a dark, edgy feel that many will love. Fantasy designs like this certainly have their fans. If you are one, feel free to use this as the inspiration for your tattoo.
28. Orange Sun with Text Above and Below
This cool tattoo has a warm orange on the sun. This gives it a different feeling than a plain black sun. Don’t be afraid to use color to make your tattoo unique to you. Adding meaningful text or a quote is also a good way to expand your tattoo.
29. Delicate Spider Web Around Elbow
This is a more delicate take on a spider web design. The light lines help give it a more realistic look to many real spider webs. Feel free to change up a basic design to make it more unique and fit in with any other tattoos you have.
30. Dramatic Black Ouroboros in Unique Style
This ouroboros tattoo has a fantasy feel. The snake isn’t realistic, so it feels more like a creature from a story. Don’t be afraid to go for a more unique design like this. Ask your artist what they can design for you.
More elbow tattoos for girls on the next page…
31. Yellow Rose with Green Leaves
This lovely rose has a cheery yellow with dark green leaves. Yellow roses symbolize friendship, as well as the famous reference to Texas. Look up meanings when you pick a color for a flower tattoo, since each color may change the meaning.
32. Blooming Roses and Other Flowers
This cool tattoo uses light shading to create beautiful images of roses and other flowers. You could do a similar tattoo with any flowers you like. Look up flower meanings, or use the flowers from your favorite bouquet.
33. Tall Stack of Hardcover Books
This is the perfect tattoo for any bookworm out there. Everyone who loves reading has a stack of books to be read somewhere in their home. This tattoo commemorates your favorite hobby in a simple manner.
34. Stylized Orange Flower with Leaves
This is a cool tattoo that looks like some traditional art. The color doesn’t extend through the whole flower, which gives it a nice effect. If you see a flower you like in art, feel free to use it as the basis for your tattoo.
35. Broken Heart on a Spider Web
This tattoo depicts a heart sitting in the center of a spider web. The heart has a crack running down it, implying a broken heart. This is a nice symbolic tattoo or just a cool design.
36. Intricate Colorful Pattern Tattoo on Elbow
This intricate tattoo is filled with color. It starts on the point of the elbow, making it a bit more painful to get than other ideas on this list. You could use whatever colors you like to fill in a tattoo like this.
37. Multiple Small Flowers and Leaves
This is an assortment of flowers with leaves arching away from it. The graceful shape gives it a nice composition. You could use any flowers you like. One idea is to use flowers from your wedding.
38. Spider Web and Flying Birds
This cool tattoo is a great complement to the other tattoos this person has. Sticking with a theme like all black and white or gothic tattoos can help make your whole arm feel cohesive even if you get the tattoos at different times.
39. Intricate Flower and Pattern Design
This tattoo has many layers of patterns inside of a flower, that has more patterns around it. This is a cool way to do this style of tattoo. Flowers like sunflowers with lots of petals in a single layer are a great choice.
40. Grayscale Flower Pattern and Leaves
This is an interesting take on a floral tattoo. You can go for a more stylized take like this example to create a more unique tattoo. The varying shades of gray with few lines give it a soft feeling.
41. Flower Petals and Leaves Around Elbow
This design has both leaves and flower petals around the point of the elbow. The soft shading helps blend this into the other tattoos this person has. Don’t be afraid to create a similar design and get creative.
42. Red Rose and Floral Patterns
This cool tattoo has a red rose framed by floral patterns in black and white. You could use this contrast to draw more attention to the focal point of your tattoo. You don’t need to have a full-color tattoo if you don’t want to.
43. Rose with Leaves and Branches
This lovely tattoo features a rose and branches curving around the outside of the elbow. It is a cool way to fit a tattoo into the shape of the body. Placing the tattoo in a more fleshy part of the arm helps make it less painful.
44. Intricate Floral Pattern Filled with Color
This cool tattoo is filled with color to help highlight the many layers of the pattern. It matches the tattoo shown on the other arm as well. If you love a tattoo in a certain style, don’t be afraid to repeat it. It makes your art look more coherent.
45. Floral Pattern Surrounded by Leaves
This cool floral tattoo has little branches with leaves surrounding it. It almost makes it feel like a snowflake. Don’t be afraid to go more abstract for your tattoo. The symmetry is the most important factor in getting a similar look.
More elbow tattoos for women on the next page…
46. Colorful Flower Pattern Around Elbow
This is another example of a floral tattoo that avoids the sensitive point of the elbow. The colors help highlight the layer of the pattern. You can use any color palette you like for a similar tattoo.
47. Line of Roses Along Elbow
This cool tattoo features a line of roses that get smaller as they rise along the arm. It is a nice way to help make the tattoo more visually interesting. You could use any flower you like in different stages of blooming for a similar effect.
48. Yellow Flower Pattern Surrounded by More Flowers
This cool tattoo features a central yellow flower. It is surrounded by similar flowers, helping to extend the pattern. This helps give it a better composition. Using the same colors and general style keeps this visually consistent.
49. Mountain Scene with Moon Above Quote
This is a cool tattoo featuring a mountain scene with a moon hanging in the sky. The quote beneath is the state motto of West Virginia and means “mountaineers are always free”. A motto you like is a great idea for a tattoo.
50. Roses and Branches Around Elbow
This lovely tattoo features roses and branches curving around the elbow. This is a great way to avoid the sensitive point of the elbow without using a full circle. Don’t be afraid to get creative if you want a tattoo that covers the whole area.
51. Circle Made of Stylized Waves
This cool tattoo uses stylized waves to create a circle around the tip of the elbow. This is a great idea to create a unique tattoo. Don’t be afraid to use any pattern you like for a similar design.
52. Black Spider Web Over Elbow
This bold tattoo is a simple take on a spider web tattoo. It features many extra lines, much like a real spider web. Even a simple take like this can make a great tattoo. You don’t need to make something super complicated if you don’t want to.
53. Lotus Pattern Coming Off of Elbow
This is a cool take on a traditional lotus pattern. The center of the pattern features a different flower that gives some additional detail. The placement of the tattoo proves you don’t need to have a tattoo that covers both sides of the elbow to create a cool design.
54. Ouroboros Surrounding a Pit of Black
This tattoo features a snake eating its tail around a circle of deep black. This is a cool way to fill the center of an ouroboros tattoo. You could put anything you like, or use color instead of full black.
55. Crescent of Flowers and Leaves
This lovely tattoo features flowers and leaves curling around the tip of the elbow in a crescent shape. This is a great idea if you don’t want a full circle around your elbow. You could use any flowers you like for this.
56. Princess Mononoke Mask on Elbow
This is a great way to show a love for a favorite film. In this case, this is the mask worn by the character San in the Studio Ghibli film. The mask is surrounded by two circles. Using something distinctive from a piece of media you love is a great basis for a tattoo. Talk to your artist about your options.
57. Pill Bottle and Pills with Text
This is a unique tattoo featuring a number of pills coming out of a prescription bottle. It also includes the word ‘karma’. This is a cool tattoo if you have medical issues alleviated with medication. It could also be good for anyone who has overcome addiction.
58. Flower Pattern with Accents of Color
This is a cool tattoo that uses touches of color to help highlight the intricate pattern. If you don’t like the look of just black and white but don’t want full color, this is a great compromise. Feel free to use whatever color palette you like for your tattoo.
59. Pattern Made of Layers of Flowers
This is a neat take on a floral pattern tattoo. It uses layers of flowers that decrease in size as they reach the center. It also features touches of colors to help visually separate the layers. You could use any type of flower you like for this.
60. Rose with Leaves and Rosebud
This is a delicate take on a floral tattoo. It uses light lines and minimal dark shading to help achieve a soft feel to the overall piece. Adding leaves and a rose that is just beginning to bloom helps fill the space and fit the arm better.
60 Amazing Elbow Tattoos to Inspire You
As you can see, you have plenty of options for an elbow tattoo. You can use a pattern, or go for a more typical tattoo subject. Just remember that the tip of the elbow is very sensitive, so you may want to avoid tattooing that portion of your skin. Talk with your artist about placement and pain and ask what can be done to give you the best tattoo possible. An experienced artist will be able to answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. Remember that your tattoo is something that you will have on you for the rest of your life, so be sure to carefully consider what you want before you commit.