You may be wondering about the best shoulder tattoo ideas and designs. If that is the case, then you’ve come to the right place. We have done extensive research in order to provide you with a complete list of the best shoulder tattoo ideas, everything from elegant floral designs to intricate geometric creations. Whichever design you land on, you are sure to have a new conversation piece and a shoulder tattoo that you love.
The Best Shoulder Tattoo Ideas and Designs That Just Work
If you are considering getting a shoulder tattoo, you will be pleased to know that the area is a common choice for tattoo placement. However, when it comes to where exactly to place your tattoo on the shoulder, there are many different options. For instance, you can place your tattoo on the back area and have the tattoo wrap around your shoulder. Or, you could even have the tattoo start at the top of your shoulder and drape down your arm. Shoulder tattoos are versatile, which makes them a great choice for someone who has not yet gotten a tattoo before. We have provided this list of unique tattoo design ideas so you can have many different options to choose from. One of the listed designs below is sure to pique your interest and can be a great inspiration for your next tattoo.
1. Black and White Warrior Woman Goddess Tattoo
This tattoo features a beautifully shaded woman posing with her hand resting on her mask. Her mask covers the top part of her head and has winglike shapes intricately designed on the sides, giving her a goddess appearance. This is a great tattoo for both men and women alike who want to show how powerful a woman is.
2. Brightly Colored Geometric Scene Tattoo
Abstract art can make a gorgeous, as well as interesting, tattoo idea. This abstract shoulder tattoo idea has shapes carefully planned out to form a beautiful water scene that is eye-catching. It appears as if a painting was taken from a museum and placed on the skin.
3. Secretive Half Robotic Woman Tattoo
If you are a fan of steampunk and want to incorporate that into a tattoo, but subtly, then this tattoo idea might be right up your alley. The tattoo of this half robotic woman shows that she has some secrets up her sleeve. The interesting tattoo is completed with perfect shading and the woman holding her hand up to her face to form a hush signal.
4. Woman Galaxy Planetary Conjurer Tattoo
Are you into astronomy? If you catch yourself looking up at the night sky and wondering what else could be out there, this shoulder tattoo might be just the perfect choice for you. The tattoo is complete with a delicate outline of a woman, holding her hands up and outright. The planets and the solar system are between her hands in bright colors.
5. Screaming Bald Eagle Deeply Colored Tattoo
Bald eagles are more than just symbols of patriotism, they can also symbolize many other things as well, such as honesty. Eagles are beautiful tattoos to have on the shoulder, as their head shape fits perfectly onto a person’s shoulder area. This particular tattoo is deeply colored to help show the depth of the feathers.
6. Night Wolf Moon Scene Tattoo
Bring out your inner rough and tough side with this fierce wolf tattoo that sits perfectly onto the shoulder. The scene features dark shading with the only pop of color being the wolf’s piercing blue eyes. Whether you are a fan of wolves or dark scenes, this tattoo is sure to start a conversation.
7. Soaring Eagle on The Attack Tattoo
This bald eagle is in a pretty unique formation that many other eagle tattoos you may have seen. The eagle appears to be landing in for a kill, making this action shot the perfect addition to a person’s shoulder who wants to add an intriguing tattoo.
8. Spooky Dark Clock Hourglass Tattoo
Time is running out, so it’s time to make the best of it by getting a new shoulder tattoo. This metaphorical tattoo is darkly shaded but holds a deeper meaning than most tattoos that can be easily conveyed. The hourglass shape allows this tattoo to fit well onto the shoulder area, as well.
9. Howling Wolf Girl Hybrid Tattoo
Spark your inner wolf with this daunting tattoo. This tattoo features a woman’s side profile looking casually downward. However, up above the woman the scene changes drastically. The top of the scene fades into a howling wolf, showing that looks can often be deceiving.
10. Bright Geometric Watercolor Ocean Tattoo
Watercolor tattoos offer a softer side than what dark shading can offer to a shoulder tattoo. Although, this tattoo still contains black and white elements, which makes the watercolor geometric patterns pop even more. The scene created by the shapes is reminiscent of the ocean.
11. Black and White Geometric Honeycomb Pattern Tattoo
This beautiful tattoo wraps on top of the shoulder, creating an interesting 3-D effect as it contains primarily cube shapes. While there are multiple interesting elements that make up this tattoo, the overall design is similar to that of a honeycomb. The different lines and shapes help to illuminate the depth within this piece.
12. Watercolor Sailboat Scene Ocean Tattoo
This tattoo is perfect for someone who loves sailing or the sea, as it features an intricately designed sailboat on the water. Although the sailboat has light shading, bright watercolors surround the boat and add depth to the scene.
13. Black and White Roman Girl Warrior Tattoo
This shoulder tattoo may be black and white, but the scene itself can speak volumes. This warrior woman is a symbol of strength and perseverance, making it the perfect tattoo for both men and women alike. The delicate shading becomes more pronounced as it reaches the woman’s headpiece.
14. Aztec Inspired Winding Serpent Tattoo
If you want a shoulder tattoo that more so wraps around your shoulder and chest area, then this tattoo might be just what you are looking for. The lines of this tattoo connect to create a serpent, which symbolizes strength. This serpent features bold lines and a standout presentation, meaning that it is sure to draw in the eye.
15. Watercolor Headdress Wearing Skull Tattoo
This headdress watercolor tattoo features a beautiful array of drawn feathers, as well as beading, completing the spiritual aspect of this unique shoulder tattoo. Although the features reach up towards the collarbone, the skull sits perfectly on the shoulder. The skull adds a certain haunting aspect to this tattoo.
More shoulder tattoos for men on the next page…
16. Roped Star Western Design Tattoo
This western style shoulder tattoo features a shaded star design in the center. Surrounding the star are different layers of rope. Although the tattoo contains color, the tattoo is quite versatile and still would look visually appealing as just a strictly black and white tattoo. If you are looking for a tattoo with many different elements that draw the eye, then this tattoo might be just what you are looking for.
17. Aztec Inspired Wrapped Line Tattoo
Bold lines going in different directions primarily make up this shoulder tattoo, coupled with Aztec inspired elements that gracefully wrap around the shoulder. Linework for this tattoo consists of smaller shapes inside the lines, thick lines, and black filled in elements to complete the overall look.
18. Woman Warrior Blended Lion Tattoo
A lion signifies power and honesty. This tattoo features a lion roaring, but blended into the lion is a woman. The woman has war paint on her face, proving that she is a powerful warrior. The delicate shading makes this tattoo subtly beautiful.
19. Winged World Map Explorer Tattoo
If you are after adventure in your daily life, you may want to decide on this tattoo for your shoulder tattoo. It features the world map with a compass directly in the center. On each side of the map is an outstretched wing, showing that you are a free spirit.
20. Robed Greek Inspired Woman Tattoo
This beautiful side profile of a woman makes a perfect shoulder tattoo. The woman has a stern expression on her face and is coupled with a unique headpiece. The overall style of the tattoo is reminiscent of Greek influence.
21. Casual Palm Tree Beach Scene Tattoo
The beach reminds us of a more peaceful and serene place. So, why not put this scene on your shoulder? This tattoo features two palm trees sitting on a sandy beach. The fringe on this tattoo would cover your shoulder and draw the eye downward. Making it the perfect tattoo to start a sleeve.
22. Pop Art Style Woman Face Tattoo
If you enjoy pop art, then you will appreciate the visual elements in this tattoo. A beautiful woman’s face is the focal point. However, dots in a specific funnel pattern help to draw your eye downward and into the woman’s voice. This creates a very unique element in this tattoo.
23. Colorful Majestic Koi Swimming Tattoo
Ditch the black and white tattoos and instead go for something that will stand out. This colorful koi design features a beautiful brightly colored orange koi swimming through the water. Bright flowers are also part of the scene. Of course, you could add more or fewer flowers to your liking.
24. Spooky Smoky Raven Landing Tattoo
If you want a darker inspired tattoo, this raven has many different elements that make it a little spooky. Smoke is rising from the raven’s eyes, as it appears to be landing on your shoulders. The bony talons sticking out in front add to the scene, as leaves from a branch it is landing on fall away. The perfect action scene.
25. Warrior Goddess Unique Headpiece Tattoo
The typical warrior woman tattoos can sometimes all start to look the same. You may feel like it is hard to find something that is unique when it comes to headpieces that will stand out. Look no further, as the unique geometric lines and shading of this headpiece will have you turning heads.
26. Crouching Growling Bengal Tiger Tattoo
The bright colors of this Bengal tiger tattoo make it a standout piece. If you want to show off your inner strength, this tiger will prove that you still have the fight in you. The tiger wraps around the top of your shoulder, creating the illusion that the tiger is jumping off of your skin.
27. Simple Aztec Line Design Tattoo
Aztec tattoo styles can sometimes be over the top and that style might not be more for everyone. Thankfully, there are much simpler options that you can put on your shoulder that is still Aztec inspired. These thick lines and simple shading provide you with a simple, yet stunning tattoo.
28. Cloudy Inspiring Heavenly Religious Tattoo
If you are strong in your faith, you may be considering getting a religion-inspired tattoo. This tattoo features a beautiful dove, signifying peace. Jesus is also on the side of this tattoo, along with a cloud scene, making this a very peaceful shoulder tattoo.
29. Faux Wing Delicate Feather Tattoo
Of course, we are not born with real wings. However, that does mean that we cannot get a tattoo of them. This unique tattoo covers the entire upper back section, as it is intended to appear as if the person has a set of wings coming from their back. This means that the delicately shaded feathers of the wings run down the shoulder.
30. Thick Serpent Mayan Inspired Tattoo
If you want a standout piece with Mayan inspiration, then look no further. This uniquely shaped serpent fits perfectly on the shoulder and the boldness of the lines make this a unique tattoo. While this tattoo can be interpreted as a serpent, the unique shapes and lines can make this stunning tattoo seemingly shapeshift into your interpretation.
More shoulder tattoos for women on the next page…
31. Watercolor Hummingbird Feeding Flower Tattoo
This delicate watercolor tattoo is the perfect bright addition to your shoulder, featuring a stunningly realistic hummingbird. Flowers that dot this tattoo are also brightly colored. The scene is completed with the hummingbird feeding from one of the flowers.
32. Butterfly On a Red Rose Tattoo
The unique line work with this tattoo leads to the background of this tattoo appearing to be lace material laid against the skin. On top of that are a few bright red roses. Perched on the rose petals are two butterflies.
33. Delicate Peonies Black and White Tattoo
Floral tattoos allow the shoulder to look more delicate and this tattoo adds a beautiful simplicity. One of the peonies is blossoming, which could signal new growth for the person who decides on this tattoo to add to their shoulder.
34. Crescent Moon Floral Dripping Tattoo
For those that are inspired by the moon or just love the shape of a crescent moon, this may be the perfect tattoo for you. There are many elements that make up this tattoo, including lots of dots and line work. However, the floral aspects that are incorporated help to soften the look.
35. Starry Sparrows in Flight Tattoo
Two little sparrows make up this cute tattoo. Their wings are spread and they are in mid-flight. However, this is not a typical bird tattoo, as these tiny sparrows actually have stars designed in their wings. This adds an additional element and an aspect of depth to the tattoo.
36. Large Mandala Floral Patterned Tattoo
This large shoulder tattoo covers a large portion of the skin, featuring an elegant mandala pattern with two larger tattoo pieces that connect. The linework gives this tattoo an almost geometric element. The leaves of the floral pieces spread further and further out to complete the look.
37. Delicate Floral Vine Wreath Tattoo
This wreath shaped tattoo is perfectly placed on the top of the shoulder. The stems of the flowers wrap around with delicate red flowers placed on top. If you are interested in getting a floral tattoo, but you do not want something too bold then this might be just the choice for you.
38. Soft Floral Berry Stem Tattoo
This tattoo has the primary element of soft colors that gently encapsulate the shoulder, creating a beautiful effect. Although there are many floral tattoos that a person can choose from, this one is particularly unique as it also includes tiny little berries on each side of the tattoo.
39. Peonies and Ferns Mixture Tattoo
This lightly lined tattoo gracefully wraps around the shoulder and is a great starter for a floral sleeve tattoo. The coupling of two larger flowers gives way to much smaller flowers, as well as clumps of berries. The scene is completed with different ferns set in the background to complete this graceful tattoo.
40. Dripping Starry Bold Lined Tattoo
The unique shading of this tattoo helps to draw the eye towards the outward portion of the shoulder and wraps around the top. Underneath the swirls, diamond stars drip down in a straight line. This gives the tattoo a unique dimension.
41. Neon Colored Flower Variety Tattoo
If you want a pop of color on your shoulder, you should consider this eye-catching neon-colored tattoo. This tattoo features a beautiful array of different kinds of flowers, as well as an effect that looks like flower petals, are flying away.
42. Hummingbird in Flight Feeding Tattoo
Although in black and white, this stunning tattoo has many characters. Romantic flowers encapsulate the top of the shoulder, while a small hummingbird feeds from one of the flowers. To capture how fast his wings are moving, the design fades away at the top of his wings. A perfect tattoo for a hummingbird lover.
43. Lacey Red Accented Phoenix Tattoo
A phoenix is a bird that is a symbol of power and beauty. Although phoenix tattoos can sometimes be very bold and harsh, this tattoo is different as it has softer accents. The inside of the phoenix is lined to appear to be lacey, while the highlights are a bright fiery red.
44. Black Bold Fern Outlined Tattoo
Multiple dark black teardrop shapes make up the primary element in this tattoo. The bottoms of the ferns wrap around the side of the shoulder. If you are a plant lover and want a minimalistic styled tattoo, then this could be the option for you.
45. Minimalist Light Lined Rose Tattoo
This minimalist rose tattoo is perfect for someone who wants a floral tattoo but does not want something too bold. The roses here are bunched together and the leaves branch out from the sides. The light lines make this tattoo look cute and dainty.
More shoulder tattoos for girls on the next page…
46. Small Dandelion with Birds Tattoo
If you want a dainty tattoo, you might want to consider this shoulder tattoo that features a flock of birds blended into a dandelion. Two dandelions will be perched on your shoulder and the way the birds are drawn allows them to look like they are blowing in the wind.
47. Pink Watercolor Peony Flower Tattoo
A simple floral shoulder tattoo is sometimes all that is needed to make a statement. This brightly pink colored peony flower is the perfect addition to your shoulder to add a pop of color. Although delicate, the bold colors will be sure to draw in the eye.
48. Soft Watercolor Bushel of Flowers Tattoo
If you want to make a statement with a floral shoulder tattoo, then this tattoo might be more up your alley. If you are a fan of flowers and plants, then you might also like this tattoo as it features a variety of different flowers.
49. Black and White Hiding Tiger Tattoo
Tigers are a symbol of strength. While tigers are typically drawn more masculine, this tiger is drawn to be more feminine and shows feminine strength. The tiger is shaded beautifully and is hiding between a few different white flowers.
50. Lacey Butterfly Layered Floral Tattoo
This beautifully layered tattoo features black and white elements. The dark shading in certain areas helps to add depth and allows the eye to perceive an almost lacey fabric to the skin. There are also additional floral elements that help to complement the look, as well as a butterfly adorned at the top.
51. Floral Flying Beautiful Phoenix Tattoo
This tattoo features a beautiful phoenix front-facing flying up onto the back, while a floral arrangement blends into the scene and travels down the shoulder. This tattoo symbolizes beauty and strength by representing both a powerful statement and lovely flowers.
52. Mandala Inspired Bold Small Tattoo
This mandala-inspired tattoo features light floral work, created by geometric patterns and a combination of bold and thin lines. This combination allows the tattoo to have a unique element of depth. It fits perfectly on top of the shoulder.
53. Lightly Shaded Berries and Flowers Tattoo
This floral tattoo features light shading that helps to illuminate the delicacy of this piece. Two little sparrows are flying above the scene, as well as berries underneath the flowers. This is perfect for a person who wants to show off how much they love nature.
54. Tiny Bird Script with Flying Birds Tattoo
Three birds that are delicately drawn and very tiny are flying away and one is holding the tail end of a beautiful script. The script says, “little bird”, which could be interpreted however a person wanted to interpret it. The script is written in just one line, giving it an elegant look.
55. Floral Mandala Designed Bold Tattoo
If you want a standout shoulder tattoo that is both elegant, yet a statement piece, then look no further. This piece is a combination of excellent line work, bold shading, and delicate smaller pieces combined to create a truly one of a kind piece, along with floral accents.
56. Dark Shaded Floral Arrangement Tattoo
This clump of flowers is unlike all the others. This delicate, yet dark shading, proves that this floral shoulder arrangement is quite romantic. Although the shading is in black and white, adding subtle colors to this arrangement would truly make it pop.
57. Butterfly Perched on Flowers Tattoo
Although this tattoo includes softly lined flowers on top of the shoulder, there is actually a unique element that makes this tattoo stand out. The only color in this tattoo is that of the butterfly, which is perched up on top of one of the flowers.
58. Earth Toned Large Floral Tattoo
Earth tones as part of tattoos are actually not commonly done, but when they are done well like in this tattoo they end up being a show stopper. This large flower takes up a large portion of the upper back and the shoulder area.
59. Floral Bold Lined Geometric Tattoo
This beautiful tattoo features a combination of both thick and skinny lines, which only adds to the dimension of the piece. The entire piece wraps around the shoulder and travels down the arm. It is a beautiful choice for someone who wants a fuller shoulder piece.
60. Geometric Black and White Creative Tattoo
The spirals of this tattoo had to the unique shape and depth of the piece. You will find yourself entranced by the various shapes and lines that make up this shoulder tattoo. The beautiful lines gracefully wrap around the shoulder to complete the design.
The Best Tattoo Design Ideas for Your Shoulder
Shoulder tattoos can be great conversation pieces and since they stick with you for life, you will want to make sure that you choose one that you are going to love for a long time. Even more so than that, you will want to make sure that the placement of your tattoo compliments the style of your shoulder tattoo. Utilizing this list, you can decide on not only a design for your new shoulder tattoo but also the placement of the tattoo. Regardless of what design you choose to place on your shoulder, we are confident that you will choose the best match for you.