Butterfly tattoos can mean a lot of things. Some are tattooed on the skin to represent hope, the afterlife, a floating spirit or as remembrance. With its fluttering wings and vibrant colours, butterflies draw a unique charm from the moment you see them. It’s no surprise countless people choose to give these stunning winged creatures a permanent place on their skin.
While it’s true, butterfly tattoos are sometimes identified as “feminine tattoos,” they are by no means exclusively for the ladies. In fact, a lot men get butterflies tattooed on their skin as well because they signify transformation, which sometimes coincides with a personal meaning in their lives.
If you’ve been looking to get a cute butterfly tattoo or a more personal tattooed butterfly piece, here are 121 tattooed butterfly designs you can use for inspiration.
1. Classic Black & White?
You can go bold or go simple. For tattoo neophytes, understated yet classic is often the path to take. Nothing wrong with this. After a simple and elegant piece like this is still a beauty.
2. The Regal Monarch
One of the most popularly-known butterflies out there (also the most heavily tattooed) the Monarch butterfly’s brilliant orange and black combination lends itself well to ink.
3. Monochrome Floral
Coloured or in monochrome, a butterfly will still stand out from your skin. Pairing it with florals gives it a fun yet girly feel.
4. Skull Monarchs
Be as creative as you want when it comes to butterfly tattoos. This cool gal transformed her butterflies into skull monarchs and they’re as badass as they sound. Keeping it in greyscale also helped add to the eerie rockstar vibe.
5. Colourful & Artsy
Not everybody loves black and white. Small colourful butterflies bring impact and pops from your skin.
6. Wispy Butterfly Tattoo
Sometimes the placement of your tattoo adds meaning to the piece. Tucked behind the ear and running up the neck, it can be easily covered with hair for more formal occasions. But with the hair up, it can be showcased in all its glory.
7. ‘Ol Blue
Keeping it simple and sweet. A blue and black colour combination makes this butterfly extra cute.
8. Thorny Butterfly
Who says you can’t add thorns in your butterfly? Because you definitely can! Thorns add a touch of edge to an otherwise delicate subject.
9. Playful Purple?
As if lifted from an adorable children’s book, butterflies can be totally cute! This bug-eyed cutie makes for a discreet tattoo on the ankle, neck or even the body.
10. Blue Bandit
Placement can be everything! This person chose their butterfly tattoo to highlight a particular beauty mark on their body.
11. Breaking Free
An artsy touch to the typical butterfly design, this one can be taken to symbolise freedom, breaking free or transformation.
12. Musical Butterfly
A bit faded, you can tell this butterfly tattoo is well loved and sported for a long time. Still an adorable little piece to have.
13. Americana Mask
Love Americana tattoos? You can add a twist of the butterfly design by meshing it with a classic Americana style. This tattoo is a wonderful example of this.
14. Simple Black and White?
No need to complicate things at all! Keeping it clean and simple makes for a charming design, just like this fluttering beauty.
15. Forearm Butterfly
Another example of a black and grey piece, this butterfly is more realistic in style. Wearing a tatt on the forearm lets it easily be spotted and of course, admired.
16. Purple Lover
Large and vibrant, this purplish blue butterfly is displayed for everyone to drool over! Hey, when you have a tattoo as gorgeous as this, we would show it off too!
17. Grey Butterfly with White Highlights
Don’t discount tiny tattoos. They can be charming and cute on their own like this grey piece with white highlights.
18.? Tiny Ankle Piece
This tiny monarch is charming as it is. Placed on the ankle or a discreet part of the body, this cute tattoo can become a focal point.
19. Butterfly Sleeve Colony
Sometimes, one butterfly isn’t enough but an entire arm sleeve is the only thing that makes sense. Indeed, this is a stunner!
20. Clean Lines & Unique Style
One of the cleanest ankle tattoos we’ve seen, this not only stands out for the neatness but check out that design! It’s quite a beauty!
21. Filigree Butterfly Florals
Want something feminine? This trio of butterflies connected by spirals and blossom florals can be sported on the upper chest like this lady has done. It would also look great on the arm, side rib or even the leg.
22. Animal Menagerie
Combining two or more animals, in this case butterflies and a tiger, can make for a spellbinding piece!
23. Butterfly in Lines
The best example of how less can be more! Go with clean lines and pair your butterfly beauties with large florals and swirl filigree.
24. 3D Butterfly?
As if the butterfly landed on the shoulder, this cute tattoo is typically found on women. It’s no surprise though. It’s adorably cute and absolutely charming.
25. Insect Ensemble
Incredibly meaningful, these two butterflies flanking a single dragonfly adds a trinity-esque design to this little ensemble.
26. Clean Lines?
Clean lines can make or break a tattoo. In this case, it made it work. The black butterfly and floral design is detailed with white highlights at all the right places.
27. In Black And Grey We Trust
Colour is beautiful, but tattoos can stand out best with just black and grey. It especially looks nice against fair skin.
28. No Line Butterfly
Tattoos can be just as amazing without line work. A great example of this is the purple butterfly below. It gives the tattoo a realistic and painterly feel to it.
29. Detailed Butterfly?
This black and white piece stands out against lighter skin. The simple, detailed design and the tiny butterflies surrounding the big one are a stunner.
30. Skull Butterflies
Ditch the cute butterfly design and go for an edgy look like this skull-infused design. The all-grey look along with the stippling adds to the drama of this stunning tatt!
31. Floral Ensemble
Standalone or with flowers, a butterfly piece creates impact wherever you decide to place it on your body.
32. Chic Detailed Beauty
Black and grey pieces can be detailed too! This tattoo is a great example of that.
33. Vintage Butterfly Tattoo
Your tattoo is going to be as good as the artist you get. So if you want a stunner, make sure to get a great artist.
34. Bold Black Alien Butterfly
Have fun with your piece! Personalise it and add elements that are quirky, or show off your interests.
35. Realistic Flutter
Gorgeously done, these butterflies are fluttering away on the skin. Capture them on your skin and show them off!
36. Brilliant Blues
Add twinkle with cute butterfly tattoos like this. Great for the ankle or even as a cute tattoo on the wrist.
37. Fiery Backside Butterfly
While tramp stamps are out of trend, hey, who are we to tell you they won’t work for you? This fiery butterfly might be the one for you.
38. Shoulder Blade 3D Butterfly Tattoo
A 3D butterfly like this is both feminine yet so striking. Adding a shadow makes this design pop!
39. Glitter Tatt?
If you’re not ready for needles piercing your skin, why not try a cut sticker butterfly tattoo instead. It’s great if you want to see if the tattoo works for you or not.
40. Cute Belly Butterfly Tattoo
Only needing a tiny piece of skin real estate, this is great for females who want something discreet yet still a standout. Show it off when you need to or hide it when you need to. It’s a beauty.
41. Florals + Butterfly?
Foot tattoos are notorious for being painful. But if they look this fantastic then why not?
42. Fly, Fly Little Butterfly
Scripts are a great way to add to your tattoo. Use your favourite quote or a life motto that you want to wear forever.
43. Custom Butterfly?
Customise your tattoo the way you want. Add your baby’s name or even their footprint and shape them like a butterfly!
44. Black Butterfly Tattoos
Butterflies can be masculine too. This black piece works great for a centre back tattoo. Keeping it in black ink also adds to the masculinity.
45. Hand Moths
Hand tattoos are bold. You can’t hide them at all but if you’ve got stunning hand tatts like this, what’s there to hide?
46. Shoulder Butterfly Tattoos
There are countless variations of this style. Go simple or go for a realistic look, the choice is yours.
47. Clean Pastel Butterfly?
One of the cleanest tattoos we’ve seen, this large thigh butterfly is truly inspiring.
48. Nape Neck Butterfly?
With the right amount of subtle colour, this fluttering piece has a lovely 3D look to it. The white outline allows the piece to pop out.
49. Tribute Tatt
Butterflies are harbingers of memory and transcendence. They’re great as a tribute tattoo for mum and dad or anybody special.
50. Zentangle Butterfly Tattoo
Cute and whimsical, this piece looks like it’s been plucked from a colouring book!
51. Bold and Soft Butterfly Tattoos
Tribal tattoos were once a thing but they were bold and often in-your-face. If you want to soften it a tad, a butterfly addition would work great.
52. Stencil Cut Butterfly?
Unexpected when it comes to the style but a stencil cut design adds a girly yet unique touch.
53. Itty Bitty Tattoo
Made for girls who want something cute and unobtrusive. Show it off ONLY when you want to and hide it when needed.
54. Semi-Colon Butterfly
For the writers out there who love butterflies, this could be the piece for you!
55. Belly Butterfly Tattoo
A cute version of the ever popular butterfly belly tattoos. This one is pink with a twinkle here and there.
56. Tiny Flutter Bug
A menagerie of colours, you’ll love sporting this menagerie. The forearm is a great place for this design. It also works on a side rib if you don’t mind bearing the pain.
57. Heart Flourish
Totally cute! That little heart shaped pedestal adds to this lovely composition.
58. A Splash of Colour
Love colour? We’ve found a piece you can love! It’s vibrant and absolutely striking.
59. Twinkle, Twinkle Butterfly Tattoo
One of the most feminine pieces on this list, the slim line work adds to the gentleness of the design (and the creature). Oh and that extra twinkle makes for a great add-on!
60. Wrist Flutterer
We’re oohing and aahhing over this beauty. This wrist piece is extra special because the lines are so delicate making the butterfly seem as if it’s fluttering.
61. Foot Embellishments
Tiny tattoos are not just cute, they’re charming too! We love this floral vine design with tiny butterflies. They’re feminine but still packs plenty of drama.
62. Breast Cancer Butterfly Tattoo
Tattoos are powerful ways to capture meaning. This unique custom tattoo includes butterfly wings but the insect itself is patterned after the pink ribbon that signifies the fight against breast cancer.
63. Tiger Eye Butterfly
Combining two elements can make for an interesting look. Check out this tiger face mashed together with a lovely butterfly shape.
64. Tiny Wrist Flutterers
For an absolutely discreet look, this tiny butterfly is all you need. At first glance, you won’t even notice they’re there!
65. Foot Fetish Butterfly Tattoo
Okay, so maybe this isn’t exactly a foot fetish, but hey, this is a beauty right here. It’s worth ogling at least.
66. Colourful Blossoms?
Keeping colours simple in your tattoo is a plus. It keeps things coherent. This one has three dominant shades – blue, green and pinkish reds.
67. The Climb
If one isn’t enough, why not have a cluster instead? The placement is fantastic for ladies who want something cute yet also badass.
68. Ankle Decor
One of the most favourite places for women to tattoo small dainty insects like this is the ankle. It still shows them off but in an adorable, discreet way.
69. Abstract Lines
Why flesh out every single dot on a butterfly when you can do it this way! It’s cool and simple. Great for a minimalist look.
This could also be a bestfriend tattoo or lover’s tattoo. Great for sharing with a friend, lover or family member.
70. Bright Pink Flutter
Love pink? We do too! Grab one of these and permanently secure them to your skin!
71. Foot Geometry
Here’s another foot piece you can use for yourself. The design is simple and instead of an overly detailed wing designed, this one is kept simple and geometric.
72. Dots and Flutters
Let them fly away in a stunning display. Your skin is the canvas, the artwork ready to be shown off.
73. Two Halves?
Butterfly wings don’t have to match. This design comes with two distinct wings – the floral and the more traditional.
74. Distinct Chest Piece
Getting a great artist to do your work is important. If you find the right one, you can expect this level of skill. Clean yet delicate, the fine lines embodies creativity and chic design.
75. Ribbon Butterfly Tattoo
A unique yet familiar design. You get that breast cancer ribbon design with the delicate wings of a butterfly.
76. Upside Down?
A unique tattoo. This middle cage tattoo has unique placement. Not many people might see it, but it’s one of the coolest places to sport a badass butterfly tattoo.
78. Flamed Lightbulb
Get quirky with your design and combine different elements you love. This one shows off? a candle, lightbulb and butterfly right above the flames.
79. Realist Blue Shadows
Go big and cover your foot with a stunning blue piece like this. It’s an eye catcher! Expect everyone to look down on your feet on admire it.
80. Double Arm Parade
Go big or go home! Don’t settle for just one butterfly, have an array of them all at once!
81. Peek-a-Boo Beauty?
A peek is all that’s needed. No need to show off everything. This huge butterfly makes for a charming touch on anyone’s back.
82. The Specimens
Run a whole crew of flying insects from small to large along the spine. This design is more masculine and it’s accentuated by the black and grey colour choice.
83: Going For the Dream
A tiny encouragement goes a long way…especially when you see it permanently sported on your foot.
84. Nape Neck Tribal Butterfly Tattoo
This tribal butterfly can be hidden when you wear your hair down or shown off, when you wear it up.
85. Hidden Ankle Flourish
Super cute and hidden, this back ankle butterfly disappears every time you put on a shoe or sock. But walk barefoot and you can showcase it in all its glory.
86. The Green Duo
Colour brings two themes into one. Pick your favourite shade and show them off.
87. Stick and Safe
Not ready to get the real deal? Don’t be afraid to sport a sticker tattoo instead. This one has a realistic look to it.
88. Open Palms
Palm tattoos are a rarity. Not everyone likes to get them because they can fade fast since you do a lot things with your hands. However, this one looks fresh and amazing!
89. Detailed Monarch
You know you’ve got a precious tattoo when you can get this close and simply fall in love with it!
90. Taking Flight
Sport this if you’re free-spirited and love a good section of butterflies on your back. It’s a charming piece for sure.
91. Fineline Upper Back Butterfly Tattoo
Clean, delicate lines are a beauty. Just take a look at this unique design.
92. Wrist Decor
For the ladies, a wrist tattoo is the cutest and most understated thing you can get.
93. Floral Shoulder Pads
While we love the butterfly, the real stunner here is that lush white floral tattoo. You can feel it swaying in the wind, can’t you?
94. Pink and Blue Hue
You would think this is a real butterfly that landed on someone’s arm at first glance. The bold black, pink and blue hue is just crazy.
95. Little Toe Abstract
All black and cute, this one makes for a charmer for sure.
96. Find the Butterfly
Those orange toes might look amazing but look to the right and you’ll find that lone, cute butterfly just chilling there.
97. Realist Chest Piece
The devil is in the details. This chest piece is the perfect example of that!
98. Half and Half
Who says you can’t get the same tattoo on both hands? You totally can. Take this beauty as your sample.
99. Shoulder Watcher
Done with a hint of blue, it’s a unique piece unlike other similar butterfly tattoos.
100. The Foot Realist
That delicate shadow takes this from flat to standout! The blue and yellows makes this even better too.
101. Doodle Butterfly Tattoo
Cutie little butterfly. Don’t let her fly away!
102. Faded Yellow
This tattoo might be slightly faded but it hasn’t lost its charm. Still bright and lovely, it makes for a wonderful lower back piece, right?
No need to look far for inspiration. Just raise your wrist and there it is!
104. Delicate Curves
Graceful curves are? the best when accentuating the shape of the foot.
105. Go Big Or Go Home!
While this isn’t technically a butterfly (it’s a moth) it’s still pretty cool, right? It takes full commitment to sport a chest piece this big.
106. The Lady with the Tatt
Sure, it may seem like a typical design. But hey, we won’t judge. It still looks so sexy and darling.
This butterfly design offers a unique, colouring book design. It’s whimsical and charming to say the least.
108. Fairy Dust
Sprinkle some fairy dust and maybe a touch of twinkle on your toes like this gorgeous lady has.
109. Vibrant Blue
On occasion it’s the line work that stands out, on others, it’s the colour. This one definitely has the vibrant shades working for it.
110. Mum Remembrance
Tattoos are made to create memories. They’re the perfect way to remember someone special in your life like your mum.
111. Neon Butterfly Tattoo
Got a love for neon? Show your love with a tattoo like this one!
112. Abstract Flower
Is it a flower? Is it a butterfly? You decide. One thing’s for sure, it’s a lovely piece to have on your body.
113. Twinkle Twinkle?
Stars, florals and butterflies. Cute, lovely and quite a charming collection all in one place.
114. The Belly Trio
Cluster your tattoos this way if you want to add something different. It’s like a mother butterfly with her young.
115. Wrist in Grey
Traditional black and grey work always catches the eye. Sporting it on your wrist only makes it stand out more.
116. A Splash of Colour
Blend your love for colour in this unexpected design. Bold black with pinks and blues, perfect combination!
117. Daisy Yellows
Bring yellow sunshine to your skin work with this floral and butterfly combination.
118. All Loved Blue
Tattoos are all the more special when they’re well worn, a little faded, yet still precious.
119. Keep It Classy
Some like their arm work classy. You can wear your tattoos in black and white keeping your skin work all in one theme.
120. Outer Arm Decor
The great thing with arm tattoos is that you can show them off anytime you want. They’re tough to hide but great if you want to display great work all the time.
Why settle for one butterfly when you can have two?