butterfly tattoo designs

60 Best Butterfly Tattoos that are Full of Style and Charm – Meanings, Ideas and Designs

Butterfly tattoos are one of the favorite motifs for women alongside star tattoos. Poets and writers have always been inspired by the butterfly’s beauty and strong symbolism. And for all the good reasons, the butterfly symbol is one of the most requested designs of all time.

Butterfly tattoo ideas

Best spots on the body

Just like cloud tattoos, butterfly tattoos do not need a lot of space. They are ideal for the foot, ankles, bosoms, shoulders, neck or the bottom of the back. There are, of course, no definitive rule for it. You can place this motif anywhere you like and it will still make its home.

Why are they so popular?

Aside from angel tattoos, no other tattoo design is as popular as the butterfly. The butterfly is easy to draw and it adapts well to many colors, including monochromatic shades like black and white. It can be represented by different styles on the skin, from a simplistic 2D to a complex 3D. The butterfly also hosts one of the most diverse species in the ecosystem, offering a nearly limitless choice of tattoo designs. Furthermore, its sharp symmetry and vivid colors make it a design well sought after.

This flexible tattoo can be portrayed in various ways, and made to have a distinct coup d’oeil viewed from different angles or stages – in flight, from above, below or coming out of its chrysalis. There is also the choice between outstretched or closed wings. Additionally, it can be mixed with tribal tattoo motifs or abstract patterns based on personal preference. However, the most common design remains that of hyper-realism – in either flamboyant colors or a light gray tone.

The only caveat is that the design is so popular that it is hard to find one from a catalog that is unique and original. At the discretion of the tattoo artist, and upon request, the patterns on the wings and colors can be artfully varied, rendering it subtly unique.

Despite a few minor setbacks, its beauty, gracefulness and symbolism still make it a very popular choice among women.

The significance of butterfly tattoos

The butterfly has a lot of positive symbolism attached to it. This is one insect that can reinvent itself and become something totally different. Butterflies can also work as lovely friendship tattoos.

Metamorphosis

One of the main symbolism of the butterfly is that of metamorphosis.

The chrysalis corresponds to a transformative experience. It can mean a need to change when it is in the form of a chrysalis, or an actual change when represented in its true form. For example, people who suffered from heartbreaks are known to use the butterfly to show a transformative state, where they simply moved on.

Beauty and Grace

The butterfly motif is also associated with a symbolism of beauty and grace, very representative of the female gender.

Happiness and Eternal Love

In Asia, the butterfly is the symbol of happiness and eternal love, making it a great love tattoo option.

Spiritual Elevation

For the Tibetans, the butterfly symbolizes a higher state of being.

Freedom

Like the butterfly that moves from flower to flower, unconstrained, it also represents a sense of freedom.

Fragility

The fragility of the butterfly, with its thin wings and frail looks, also symbolizes the fragility of humans in general. Just like the butterfly is at the mercy of nature, so are humans.

Transience

In a deeper, wider and more philosophical sense, the butterfly can denote that nothing is permanent and everything changes in the Universe. That life is short and must be lived in the moment while it lasts – carpe diem!

1. Attractive Butterfly Adorns Man’s Hand Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

A huge butterfly covers the entire back of the hand with its admirable form. The intricate details in this tattoo is defined by the antenna, insect’s body from the thorax to abdomen, to the fore and hind wings that display exquisite beauty.

2. Moth Tattoo Sprawled on Guy’s Chest Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

This moth tattoo rules this guy’s chest with its widespread wings imbued with remarkable allure. Artistic skills of the tattoo artist are prominent from the tiniest details of the veins, outline and complex patterns, to the right hues and tones of its grey and black colors.

3. Giant Butterfly Stomach Tattoo Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

Another tattoo addition Harry Styles has shown the world is this elegant butterfly clinging onto his torso. The wings are gracefully curved around the borders, filled with lines and shades to elicit texture, then decorated with big and small dots throughout the pattern.

4. Brown-Black Butterfly Side-Hand Tattoo Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

One of the fanciest butterfly tattoo ideas that illustrates the insect’s half features laden on each side of the hand, drawn in impressive symmetry then splashed in brown and red tones. The butterflies are destined to be brought together when the hands clasp, to ultimately become one as they perfectly match.

5. A Dazzling Work of Art on Man’s Chest Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

Danny Fox flaunts what could be the most artistic and creative butterfly tattoo ideas with a huge form of the creature profoundly resting on his broad chest. It appears utterly beautiful with simplistic forewings and patterned hindwings complementing each side, and lined with dotted wings along the brim.

6. Black Monarch Butterfly on Forearm Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

The arm looks so sexy with a majestic element of nature touching and adorning the skin. The monarch butterfly appears sleek and finished with cool gray/black color effects. It’s so life-like that it might just come to life and flap its wings up to an astounding 120x per minute!

7. Upper Arm Realistic Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

This image portrays just how drastic the transformation is from a caterpillar to butterfly. It’s evident that the sensory hair-lined antenna has extended long from its head, and the wings have grown with exquisite, vibrant patterns from its body with such awe-inspiring grace.

8. Elephant Breath Three Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

Among the greatest butterfly tattoos idea is this colorful picture of the cutely drawn insects breathed fresh right from an elephant’s trunk. Three butterflies flying about exhibit various patterns and shades ranging from orange, green, yellow, and black blended into perfection.

9. Hollow Skull-Winged Butterflies Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

Butterflies are thought to signify life and death, which is eminent in this back tattoo that lingers at the top right shoulder. Their wings are infused with hollow skull patterns, the bigger creature with widespread wings while the smaller flies amidst strings of butterfly shadows.

10. Sexiest Upper Back 3D Lace Tattoo Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

A 3D inked form that may be the most gorgeous of all butterfly tattoos! The uniquely outlined antenna rests atop a body surrounded by tremendous wings. Glamorous wings bestowed with webbed or lace embellishments, soft, flowy curves, and ridges that anyone will long to touch.

11. Huge Life-Death Butterfly Hovers Over Chest Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

The massive wings of this butterfly skull tattoo are brimming with life and beauty, clinging on to chest hair that fascinatingly forms the insect’s body. On the other hand, inevitable death is shown by the hollow skull with gritted teeth. The cycle endlessly goes on, but this ink is bound to last forever.

12. Woman-Butterfly Artistic Tattoo Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

A breathtaking butterfly tattoo idea that almost resembles a painting. A woman’s face is at the center rather than the butterfly’s body, embellished by flowers around her hair that extend to finely detailed wings with naked woman displaying lovely art.

13. Skull Butterfly Back-Hand Tattoo Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

This tattoo design rightfully represents how things constantly evolve and changes, with a death skull’s head printed across a butterfly’s buoyant outline filled with life. Hollow eyes and nose, and gritted teeth are carried by its wings that stretch across the back of the hand.

14. Best Friend Tattoos Idea: Butterfly Tattoo with Vibrant Colors Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

One of the coolest tattoos ideas one can think of that features a butterfly of vibrant colors resting on the forearm. Black dots, thin and bold lines, stripes and curves, dark and light shades, and bright red accents distinguish the beauteous insect from the rest.

15. Butterfly Skull Forearm Tattoo Butterfly Tattoo

Butterfly Tattoo

Skulls may be thought of as morbid for signifying death, but not in any way when it is carved within a butterfly’s wondrous and lively form. It’s a matter of achieving the right balance of dark and light, white and black, life and death, as seen in this butterfly tattoo that looks perfect on the forearm.

16. Two Colorful Attractive Butterflies

Butterfly Tattoo

The leg part of the body holds two eye-catchy 3D and realistic butterfly drawings that pop up from the dark shadows in the backdrop. The richness of the realistic butterfly’s color, the combinations of lines, curves, shapes, dots and varied patterns make them quite noticeable and very pleasing to look at.

17. Beautiful Butterfly 3D Tattoo Realistic Butterfly Tattoo

Realistic Butterfly Tattoo

This 3D butterfly tattoo design with a life-like form and glowing colors make it an absolute must-have! It is one of the meaningful butterfly tattoos and it gives the impression that the amazing insect has just landed from its flight or maybe getting ready to flutter about while it gracefully rests on the left forearm, waiting for the right moment in time.

18. Cool Butterfly Hand-Palm Tattoo

butterfly tattoo ideas

A minimalistic design that is simple yet captivating, and belongs to the few truly unique butterfly tattoos idea. Only the borders, inner linear patterns and curvatures are inked, giving off a transparent image of perplexing beauty like no other. Each half is placed on each hand to completely connect as one when set face-palm.

19. Butterfly Heart Tattoo

butterfly tattoo ideas

A highly elaborate form of butterfly tattoos featuring a heart detailed enough to show the ventricles and arteries, but manages to keep the form of the insect intact. You can see the antenna dangling on top, while the wings are fully spread on either side with tons of veins, fine lines, and tiny dots.

20. Cool butterfly tattoo on a girl’s back

butterfly tattoo ideas

This butterfly tattoo depicts a realistic butterfly that appears to have just perched on something, in this case, the girl’s back, just below her shoulder. The butterfly has bright red wings with a black margin running all around the wing’s edges. The tattoo of the realistic butterfly has the 3D effect implemented by the use of shadows which appear to be below the realistic butterfly.

21. Sexy 3D butterfly wrist tattoo

tiny butterfly tattoos

This image depicts a 3D butterfly tattoo on a girl’s wrist with amazing detail. The multi colored butterfly appears to be just about to fly away and has the 3D effect of a realistic butterfly employed by the use of shadows just below the butterfly.

22. Beautiful 3D tattoo on a girl’s back

butterfly tattoo ideas

This is one of the perfect butterfly tattoo ideas for anyone who wants something sexy on their shoulder. The tattoo of a realistic butterfly depicts a multi colored butterfly seem to be perching on the girl’s shoulder. The butterfly’s wings has different shades of red and yellow with a black margin running all around the wing’s edges.

23. Cool butterfly tattoo on a girl’s chest

butterfly tattoo ideas

This is the perfect butterfly tattoo design for anyone who wants something sexy on their chests. The tattoo is of a grey butterfly with intricate details showing different flower tattoo patterns on its wings. The butterfly has different shades of grey and black to show the different patterns on its wings.

24. Small tattoos idea: butterfly tattoo on a girl’s side

tiny butterfly tattoo

This is one of the perfect butterfly tattoo ideas for anyone who wants something small yet elegant on their body. The tiny butterfly tattoo is of a small multi colored butterfly drawn on a girl’s side, just above the waist. The butterfly has different shades of black and red to give it a beautiful look. Designs like these can also make for cool face tattoos.

25. Awesome Butterfly tattoo on a girl’s back

butterfly tattoo ideas

This butterfly tattoo design is not only very detailed but also shows a lot of imaginative work that went into developing the tattoo. The tattoo shows a person on the lower side of the back, holding a gun on one side of their temple, while black and white butterflies tiny tattoos seem to be flying out of the other side of the temple and flying all the way up to the top of the girl’s back.

26. Cool butterfly tattoos on a girl’s feet and legs

butterfly tattoo ideas

This is one of those cool butterfly tattoos which have several images running from one leg with the image continuing on the other leg. The tattoo has been drawn in such a way that it would seem that a tiny tattoos of butterflies were flying from one end of the foot onto the other end and then flying all the way up the leg.

27. Pretty tattoo of a butterfly on a girl’s foot

butterfly tattoo ideas

If one was to select from a list of butterfly tattoos that were to be possibly drawn on one of their feet, this would be the best one to suit the job. The tattoo is simple and elegant, showing a black and white butterfly with a slight hint of blue on its wings. The butterfly appear to be over some tendrils.

28. Elegant butterfly tattoo on a girls back

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This is the best butterfly tattoos idea for anyone who wants something exquisite on their backs. The tattoo depicts a butterfly that appears to be flying in such a way that only its wings sides are shown. The butterfly only has two colors, which are dark blue and white.

29. Cool butterfly tattoo on a guy’s foot

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The foot tattoo has been drawn in such a way that viewing the butterfly from the top shows a human skull appear to be smiling. The tattoo has some heavy detailing on its wings.

30. Cute little butterfly tattoos on a girls arm

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This is a cool tattoo that shows three butterflies that have been drawn in such a way that they seem to be flying towards each other. The three black and white butterflies appear to be flying from the upper arm and towards the palm.

31. Awesome black and white tattoo on a girl’s back

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This is a cool butterfly tattoo, of a black and white butterfly with awesome flower prints on its wings. The butterfly appears to have perched just below the girl’s neck, right between her shoulders.

32. Beautiful multi-colored butterfly tattoo on girl’s back

floral butterfly tattoos

This rather very colorful tattoo shows three butterflies, each with its own unique color, appear to be flying among flowers. The tattoo has taken up most of the back’s space to utilize its full use of color.

33. Simple outline of a butterfly on a girl’s shoulder

tribal butterfly tattoo

This is one of those tattoos ideas that are simple and only have the butterfly’s outline shown without any major detail or coloring put into the butterfly’s body.

34. Sexy butterfly tattoos on a girls back monarch butterfly tattoo

monarch butterfly tattoo

This tattoo for girls shows two butterflies drawn on a girl’s back, just below her right shoulder. The tattoo has been drawn in such a way that the butterflies appear to be flying towards each other.

35. Dark tattoo of a butterfly on a girl’s thigh

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This is a simple tattoo that shows a completely black butterfly on a girl’s thigh. The butterfly is completely black with every part of its body being completely black.

36. Sexy Multi-colored tattoo on a girls foot

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This tattoo shows a multi-colored butterfly appear to have perched on a girls foot. The tattoo has been drawn in such a way that it has the complete 3D effect with a slight shadow appearing just below its wing. The butterfly’s wing interior is blue in color while the outermost parts have a maroon color with yellow spots on them.

37. Sexy 3D tattoo on girl’s shoulder monarch butterfly tattoo

monarch butterfly tattoo

This is a very clever tattoo that has fully utilized 3D effects to show a multi-colored butterfly appear to be perching on the girl’s shoulder. The words “love me for who I am” have been written just below the butterfly.

38. Cool multicolored butterfly tattoo on a girl’s shoulder

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This tattoo of a multi colored butterfly has employed just the right amount of shadowing effect to give it the 3D look and make the butterfly appear to be perching on the shoulder. The Butterfly wings has a mixture of colorful red and blue patterns.

39. Epic butterfly tattoo on a girl’s back blue butterfly tattoo

blue butterfly tattoo

This tattoo shows a butterfly with blue wings appear to have perched on the area of the back that is just below the neck and between the shoulders. Although the butterfly’s wings are blue, its edges appear to be black with white freckles.

40. Colored butterfly tattoo

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The butterfly tattoo is nicely imprinted on the shoulder with the wings looking up. The butterfly appears as if it is landing on the shoulder. The wings have been creatively imprinted to appear as if they are raised. It is a great choice appearing beautifully on the shoulder.

41. Beautiful butterfly tattoos on a lady’s neck

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This is another beautiful butterfly tattoo on the neck of a lady with beautiful colors. The neck tattoo has dotted lines all-round the wings of the butterfly. It is perfectly located on the neck and can be seen from a distance if no clothes are worn around the neck.

42. A leg butterfly tattoo

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If you love a butterfly tattoo on the leg, then this is a great choice for ladies. The tattoo is nicely printed in the upper feet of the leg with wings appearing to fly. This is a good option for those who love wearing open shoes or shoes that do not cover the whole feet.

43. A large dark butterfly tattoos on the arm

unique butterfly tattoo

Well, this is a large dark butterfly tattoo on the arm. The unique butterfly tattoo has been added some decorations all round and covers the entire region around the ankle. It is conspicuous, but one can choose different colors on the hand. It is a great ankle tattoo idea for those who want to show off the beauty of butterflies.

44. A beautifully decorated butterfly tattoo on the back

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This tattoo is a great design for ladies who want to look beautiful. It is a large butterfly tattoo with decorations all around that makes the back appear beautiful. The tattoo is an ideal choice for ladies who love wearing tops that do not cover the back and will be a great way to show beauty to the world.

45. A bluish butterfly tattoo on the arm

butterfly tattoo designs

This is another beautiful butterfly tattoo on the arm with nice color all around its wings. Butterflies are well known for their colors, and this is a good example of butterfly tattoo designs on the arm. It is an ideal arm tattoo choice both for ladies and men.

46. A cool orange tattoo on the back

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If your favorite color is orange, then this tattoo will be a good fit on the back. It is not so conspicuous and a great design for those who do not want to attract too much attention. Its wings also appear looking upwards as if the butterfly is resting on the back. The butterfly tattoo symbolize love.

47. A bluish butterfly tattoo on the chest

blue butterfly

This is a great chest tattoo design of a blue butterfly, especially for ladies. The tattoo has been perfectly drawn at the chest to symbolize love and beauty. It makes one look stunning and a great pick for young ladies who want to show off their chest. This will obviously attract a lot of attention from men.

48. Dark butterfly tattoo on the wrist

blue butterfly

The dark tattoo of a blue butterfly on the wrist is another great tattoo idea and looks great on the wrist. It is not one of those butterfly tattoos that you will see from a distance but cool enough a good impression on the wrist.

49. Dark blue butterfly tattoo on a guy’s wrist

blue butterfly

The tattoo is a great idea for those who love too much color and a blue butterfly. The tattoo has been greatly painted on the wrist with too much ink being used to bring out the dark blue colors of the blue butterfly. It looks great from far and one to attract a lot of attention.

50. Dark butterfly tattoos with flowers around it

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The tattoo brings in the idea of a butterfly on a flower. A flower has been imprinted on the lower side of the arm to go well with the butterfly. We all know butterflies love flowers, and this is a good match.

51. A young butterfly tattoo on the leg

meaningful butterfly tattoos

The tattoo is beautifully colored and one that will attract a lot of attention. It has what appear to flowers stemming from it and a great way to show the beauty nature has to offer. It is nicely printed with colored dots all around it.

52. A triplet butterfly tattoo on the leg

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The tattoo fills most of the leg a great way to show your designs. The three butterflies have been joined all the way up appearing as if to rest on the leg.

53. A large colorful butterfly tattoo

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The tattoo is a great design for tattoo fanatic as it will leave your body looking beautiful. It is a great choice for ladies covering much of their back with huge butterfly drawing stemming all the way down from the shoulder region. The wings of the butterfly seem to cover much of the body.

54. Several nicely painted butterfly tattoos on the back

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The tattoo takes one beautiful butterfly that is drawn several times at the back. The butterfly tattoo is pure beauty and a great choice on the back of ladies who want to show their beautiful bodies.

55. Several flying butterfly tattoo

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The tattoos have been uniquely designed to appear as if the butterflies are flying towards the flowers. The tattoo idea is a great one on the back of ladies where the hair hangs down to match well with the design of the tattoo.

56. A hugely painted butterfly tattoo on the back of a lady

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This is one of the largest butterfly tattoos you can find with the wings covering the whole back and stemming all the way to the front. The tattoo is a great idea if looking for something to cover your back without having other drawings.

57. Beautifully colored tattoos on the leg

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This is one of the most beautiful butterfly tattoos where several colors have been used. The tattoo has flowers around it making the foot appear as a natural habitat for the butterflies.

58. Headshot Butterfly Tattoo

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This butterfly tattoo design for men makes a striking impression with such a wicked cool appeal. The person is seen pointing a gun right on his head, only to explode into vividly glowing red butterflies that flutter skywards across the back.

59. Dark and pink butterfly tattoo on the back

traditional butterfly tattoos

This is a very simple butterfly tattoo with two butterfly tattoos painted on the back with black and orange colors. The tattoo is a great pick for those who want to keep it hidden away from the public eye.

60. A large dark blue butterfly tattoo on the back

blue butterfly

The tattoo is a great design where a large blue butterfly has been painted with blue and dark black colors. The dark tattoo is a great choice for ladies and will appear nicely when a blue top has been worn.

About the Author
Pacho

Based in Miami, FL and I’m a tattoo artist. I work hard and learn new techniques every day to improve my tattooing skills.On my website, you will find an amazing tattoo collection which I use myself too for inspiration and help my clients to find the perfect piece of masterwork.