160 Cross Tattoo Ideas That Exhibit Spiritual Yet Modern Trends


Ever since 5th century, cross tattoos are used by different religions and tribes to associate themselves with their gods. Cross tattoos are one of the most ancient tattoo styles that have still not lost their importance. With every coming decade, they are gaining more popularity. Cross is a symbol recognized all over the world as it represents a strong sense of devotion to religion and spiritual connection.

Cross tattoos are for people who affirm themselves with their religion and feel God to be really close to themselves. They symbolize the love and passion in the light of God. People with cross tattoos are ready to make any sacrifice for God if demanded to do so. However, the love for cross tattoos is not limited till here. It is for all the people who are seeking help and love of God in this materialistic world. If they feel themselves getting detached from their God, they can get a cross tattoo as a symbol of connection. In 21st century, cross tattoos are usually combined with some other modern elements to enhance the design rather than the same old and simple black cross.


Meanings attached with cross tattoos

When we talk in a deeper context, there are several meanings that are attached with cross tattoos. Following is a list of meanings that cross tattoos represent:

  • Faith
  • Devotion
  • Death
  • Love for God
  • Religious affiliation
  • Sacrifice
  • Courage
  • Bravery
  • Passion
  • Freedom
  • Spirituality

People looking to get a tattoo that stands for faith, love, and devotion greatly look towards cross tattoos. Also, the people who want to remember the death of their loved ones get a cross tattoo carved on their body. In Christianity, cross tattoo is to present and remember the death of Jesus Christ and to follow his path all life long. In ancient times, the Catholics used to wear cross symbols as an expression of devotion to Jesus Christ. Today, people who are firm believers of Catholic faith get cross tattoos. This is because wearing a chain with cross symbol around neck has somewhat gotten old and is limited to members of the church. If you are looking for a tattoo that signifies one of these meanings, get a cross tattoo today!

Historical cross tattoos

When it comes to the categories of cross tattoos, historical cross tattoos are on the top. Historical cross tattoos are mostly simple yet bold and consist of a black cross on any part of the body where is it is visible.

The historical cross tattoos did not have anything else attached or drawn with them. The people who belong from different cultures used to have cross tattoos to express deep symbolism. Some of the most common tribes inclined towards cross tattoos are the Celtic, Greece, and Russian Orthodox. These cultures used cross tattoos to connect with their cultural and traditional norms and values.

These tattoos mostly came with the historical elements to actually reflect what Bible included about crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Acting as great expression of spirituality, these cross symbols and so, cross tattoos are highly respected. Over the years, they have retained their sacredness. People from different cultures had great respect and value for these cross tattoos.


Modern cross tattoos

As we entered 21st century, the cross tattoos remained same. However they included several new elements that represented the modern age. The most common of these are:

Cross tattoos in grey and black

As the world progressed, only black was not enough to mark the boldness of a cross. Tattoo artists came up with the combination of grey and black to add more details in the tattoo and make it bold. Cross tattoos in grey and black are loved a lot by young people.

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Abstract cross tattoo designs

Now, abstract tattoos designs are ruling the tattoo world. Abstract has always been favorite pattern for tattoo lovers. When you cannot choose what to get, an abstract design is the answer. The intricate patterns of lines, shapes, and other geometric designs are combined together to get an abstract deign. This design is added inside the cross to make it look more appealing.

A lot of tribes and cultures use their abstract patterns and add them within the cross to represent tribal, cultural as well as religious ties. Abstract tattoo designs look amazing. The artistry, however, depends on your tattoo artist or what you want to get.


Watercolor cross tattoos

Watercolor cross tattoos are becoming very popular. Either we see the colorful water pattern surrounding the cross or the cross is filled with different water colors to add a modern and colorful touch. For the people who want to make it more artistic and not very bold, waterfall cross tattoos are the perfect idea.

A lot of people are getting inclined towards this design to make their cross tattoo more beautiful and attractive yet deliver its meaning.

Cross tattoos with quotes

Another great cross tattoo idea is getting a quote along with the cross. This quote can be anything you want to represent with your cross. If you want your cross to be a specific symbol of love, get a love quote inked alongside it. If you want to express courage and bravery, find a related quote. In short, you can get any sentence you want and enhance the meaning and symbolism.

Before 21st century, we rarely saw quotes on the cross. If you want to get something new, this is a great idea.

Floral cross tattoos

To make it look more feminine, you can always add flowers. A lot of women love having cross tattoos with the flowers around, within or incorporated in the design somehow. In this way, they become floral cross tattoos.

Depending on what you want, the flowers can be bigger than the cross or smaller than it. They can either be on one side or on all the sides. A very new cross tattoo design is a garland surrounding the cross. This design is mostly get to remember the death of a loved one. Many people like to get a date inked beneath the cross tattoo to remember that day.

Combined with flowers, cross tattoos become very natural and look great.

When it comes to colors, flowers can be black and grey. You can also add different colors such as red or pink to make it look more natural and flowery.

Colorful cross tattoos

Here comes the most loved production of modern era, the colorful cross tattoos. How about combining your favorite color with the love of God? Colorful cross tattoos allow you to make the design very artistic. There are different options you can choose from.

A lot of people like having a red cross and not a black one. Other people love having different colors for each line that makes a cross tattoo. Some people love to have a black outline with some other color filled inside. That specific color is used to signify some other element. For example, red filled in a black cross represents courage and love. White filled inside a black cross represents faith and belief.

Colorful cross tattoos are all about customizing them as per you preference. You can come up with anything you love which can result in a cross tattoo no one has ever gotten. It makes your tattoo unique and attractive.

Small and simple cross tattoos

When you want to keep it simple, keep it small. Small and simple cross tattoos are something that will never get old. And so, they still make into the list of modern cross tattoos. A lot of people especially women like to keep their tattoos simple.

We come across many people who have a small cross inked on their wrist, hand, chest, and behind the ear.

It looks utterly amazing yet simple. So if you do not want to go for something artistic, simplicity is the option. Even in the modern world, there are still a lot of people who crave for simple tattoo designs.

Big and wild cross tattoos

However, if you love big, bold and wide tattoos, there are a lot of cross tattoo designs that have been recently introduced. A big and wild cross tattoo can come with a skull, face of lion, wild flowers, and many different elements.

Also, many different elements can come together in a single cross tattoo to make it big, bold, and wild. A lot of people get big cross tattoos combined with other elements to present a mix of different meanings.

3D cross tattoos

3D cross tattoos are the most advanced and innovative tattoos. These are loved by men, especially. For those who want to make it modern yet realistic, 3D cross tattoos are an amazing idea. If you get a 3D cross tattoo on your forearm or anywhere it is visible, you are going to be appreciated everywhere you go.

Your family, friends, and your entire social circle is going to get inspired from your 3D cross tattoo. As of yet, there are trending and look breathtaking. So if you really want to depart from the traditional and historical cross tattoo designs, 3D cross tattoos are the answer.

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Where to get a cross tattoo?

When it comes to the placement of cross tattoos, you can get them on any part of your body. Depending on what you want to express with your cross tattoo, you can choose the place on your body.

However, people love to have cross tattoos somewhere it is visible. Also, as it is considered a sacred design, people keep it on their upper bodies. Getting a cross tattoo on lower parts of body is considered very disrespectful in some cultures and religions. However, it totally remains on you to get a cross tattoo anywhere you want.

Following are the most popular and recommended body parts to get a cross tattoo:

10. Forearm

Forearm is a great place for a cross tattoo if you want a big one. A cross tattoos that covers whole of your forearm looks very interesting and attractive. A cross tattoo is reflected beautifully on this part of the body. It gives your design a magnificent outlook.

Mostly, men like to get cross tattoo on their forearm. Extending from your elbow up to your wrist, a cross looks extremely impressive. A quote, floral design or anything else can be drawn on the forearm along with the cross. The forearm gives you enough space to add other modern elements and design if you want.

11. Chest

Chest is another perfect place to get a cross tattoo. You can get a small cross on one side of your chest or a big cross design that covers whole of your chest. Either way, it looks pleasing. It is also a great way to keep your cross close to your heart. In fact, many people do get a cross tattoos especially right on their hearts, a little on the left side of the chest from center. This makes them feel close to the God whenever they face a difficult situation or are going through a hard time.

So if you want to get a tattoo on your chest, a cross tattoo can be a considerable option.

12. Wrist

If you love to get small tattoos, wrist is the perfect place. It stays visible and looks simple as well. A cross tattoo on a wrist looks very elegant. A lot of people love to have a bracelet designed on their wrist with a cross.

13. Upper back

Upper back is the place to get a tattoo if you are going for a bigger design. A cross design with other artistic elements can cover your whole upper back.

14. Behind the ear

This is the place both men and women love to get a cross tattoo. A simple and small cross behind the ear is visible as well as it looks very beautiful and decent. This is the most loved place to get a cross tattoo. Even though it is painful to get a tattoo here, a cross tattoo is worth it.

15. Nape

Nape is another body part both men and women like to have tattoos. For the women who want their tattoo to stay covered under their hair get it on nape. However, most of the time women get tattoo on nape to make it more prominent when they tie their hair up. So getting a small cross on nape is an exceptional idea.

16. Side of the neck

If you do not want your cross tattoo to be behind the ear but somewhere on upper body, get it on right or left side of the neck. It can either be on your collarbone or more to the side. Either way, it is a special place to get a cross tattoo.

Is it painful to get a cross tattoo?

Cross tattoo is like any other tattoo. The needle is going to be injected in your body and moved as per the design. The pain depends on the body part as well. If you get a tattoo where there is more flesh and muscle, the needle will cause less pain such as the forearm. But if you get it on the place that has a lot of bones or veins, it is going to hurt a lot.

However, if you are really determined and have taken all the necessary measures, you will feel less pain.

How much does a cross tattoo cost?

The cost for a cross tattoo depends on a number of factors such as:

  • Size
  • Design (simple or complex)
  • Reputation of artist
  • Rate of artist per hour

Considering these, it can cost as low as $50 to get a cross tattoo or as much as several hundred dollars. Make sure you choose the design according to your budget if you cannot afford an expensive one.

What should be kept in mind before getting a cross tattoo?

The most important thing that must be kept in mind before getting a cross tattoo is what the symbol means in your religion. Also, make sure you know what significance it has in your culture. In most of the religions and cultures, it is a very sacred design.

If you want to get a cross tattoo, keep it in your mind that you cannot disrespect it. Value your norms and traditions to not face any moral or ethical confrontations.


Getting a cross tattoo nowadays is equally loved as it was centuries ago. It comes in a lot of historical as well as modern designs. The unique and new modern designs have added more to the beauty and significance of the cross. People love to give a spiritual touch to their bodies in this materialistic world. They believe that this cross delivers the meaning they want to such as faith, belief, freedom, and love etc.

Happy tattooing!


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