Knee tattoos are popular today and have been a popular option for really inked-up folks for centuries. The shape of the knee and the (often) tough skin over the kneecap can make these designs a challenge to tattoo, but seasoned tattoo artists can bang them out with ease! Knee tattoos are some of the most unique of thrilling tats today!
We wanted to learn more about knee tattoos, possible designs, and their limitations, so we turned to social media to discover the latest and greatest knee tattoos that people have shared. What we discovered was a variety of designs that range from big and bold to small and cute. There are a couple of knee tattoo trends, but for the most part, this genre of tattoo is all over the map. Check out the coolest designs we spotted!
You Have to See These Amazing Knee Tattoos!
Popular Knee Tattoos
One of the trends we noticed and have seen a lot since it’s warmed up are these animal faces as knee tattoos. Often, these designs will have an animal or other character with a mouth that opens around the kneecap. This one looks fierce!
Other Popular Knee Tattoos
The biggest trend now is the animal faces but another extremely popular option is to slap a giant flower over the knee. Take a look at this pretty pink design that covers the knee in spectacular fashion.
Geometric Knee Tattoos
The third most common type of knee tattoo we encountered were geometric tattoos that cover the knee. How stunning is this black and grey design?
Frame That Kneecap
Finally, the other trend we saw was to frame the knee in an interesting way. It’s done with barbed wire here, but there are plenty of other ways to achieve this look.
Psychedelic Tiger Knee Tattoo
As promised, here is another example of one of these animal face knee tattoos. This one’s an electric tiger. This is so colorful and so full of energy.
Mandala Knee Tattoos
Mandala-inspired tattoos are all the rage today. We find the geometric, flowering design extending from the knees all the way down to almost the ankle. Dramatic, right?
On the Side
A great option for those not wanting their kneecap rattled into oblivion is to have the tattoo hug the area. We find a delicate botanical design here that cups the knee.
Here’s another tiger knee tattoo. This one is chomping on an eye! While we did see a lot of black ink, full-color is in fashion for the knees today.
How cute are these berry knee tattoos? There’s something so sweet and nostalgic about them. If you’re after cute designs, fruit is your friend.
Yes, this is a thing. We found a whole bunch of “bee’s knees” tattoos out there but it seems like that fad has begun to fade today.
While you can get very intricate knee tattoos, you can also keep things fun and simple. Take a look at this electric smiley face. It’s sure to spread some joy.
These very stylized star tattoos are the perfect shape to make the most of a knee. Sometimes simple black ink and an understated design can really do wonders.
This giant medusa tattoo covers the entire knee. If you’re looking for some drama all over your legs, this would be the route for you to take.
Here’s a stylish flower that is somewhat abstract. It was an interesting idea and stands out from some of the other flower knee tattoos on this list.
Here’s a fun one that does not cover the knee, but instead plays with its shape. We find a match being struck on the knee to ignite it.
Here’s another knee-adjacent design that’s rather cute. The knee could be the perfect spot to get your good boy tattooed.
If you’re interested in an investment in time and money, a leg sleeve tattoo might be the perfect option for you. Look at how the antlers accentuate the shape of the knee in this huge tattoo.
Knee Tattoos That Cup the Cap
These cute little below-the-knee bangers are a great option for those who do not want something over their kneecap. You can’t go wrong with florals!
Take a look at these breathtaking floral knee tattoos. Done with delicate, fine lines and just black ink, they prove dramatic and haunting.
Here’s another one of the tiger knee tattoos. This one is done in just black which looks rather tough and bold.
If the idea of matching knee tattoos appeals to you, you should consider a contrasting color scheme here. These are such sweet tattoos.
Around the Cap
Here, we find two animal skulls that open around the kneecap. For a rather morbid tattoo, you could do something similar.
This tattoo takes the Mandala design that’s so popular today and incorporates little cartoon ghosts. It’s one of the most original knee tattoos on this list.
More of the Cup
How smart do these branches look cupping the kneecap? Simplicity really is bliss so feel free to keep things straightforward and you will love the results.
Another Eye in a Mouth
Did you expect to see so many eyes in mouths? Here’s a psychedelic tattoo that is weird in all the right ways.
You will find the fingers crossed motif in almost any tattoo artist’s flash catalogue. It’s a popular symbol of luck and always looks fresh.
Mermaid on the Side
Drama mama! This beautiful mermaid tattoo looks cute brushing up against the kneecap.
Here’s another one of the knee tattoos that frames the kneecap. Instead of barbed wire, this person has chosen roses.
This blue and orange flower design looks unique. The addition of white ink to give highlight was a great choice.
Caught in a Web
For all the spider-lovers out there, you know you’re wrong for it. However, this spiderweb tattoo does look very cool on the knee.
More Bees, More Knees
Here’s a cute “bee’s knees” tattoo that places the bee on the top of the knee cap. It’s a sweet design that we imagine many will be fond of.
Pretty In Pink
Here’s another giant flower tattoo on the knee. The way color has been applied here looks remarkably dynamic.
How precious is this micro tattoo dog face? We’ve seen a bunch of large tattoos on this list, but small knee tattoos are also really fabulous.
This rather butch design takes advantage of the knee’s unique shape. Take a look at how the horns seem to wrap back, around the knee. Fun!
We find another, smaller Mandala-inspired design here that looks sharp. Take a look at all the dots used to shade the tattoo.
It’s a Wrap
This Autumnal botanical design looks so pretty as it wraps around the knee and up onto the thigh.
Even More Mandala
Yes, these are some of the most popular designs as we told you. Here’s another big one that is mirrored below on the shin.
Do you love bat-winged skulls? Perfect! We found the best little knee tattoos for you.
This olive brach tattoo is so sophisticated in both its design and placement. Any botanical that you love will work in a similar fashion.
This absolutely marvelous whale tattoo that wraps around the kneecap features flowers worked into the body of the whale.
Getting weird with things almost always pays off. We find this otherworldly cat character applied to the knee with black and blue ink that seems to glow. Creepy and fun!
We’re not sure how we feel about this one, folks. The shadow of the spider is a cool idea that we had not encountered before. If spiders the size of your hand are appealing, go for it!
Dagger Through It
This old school tattoo design finds a place in an unlikely spot. You often see these dagger tattoos as filler for sleeves, but it looks splendid on a knee as well.
If you’re going to choose a design that’s done often, you can make your own stand out with your choice of ink. These colors are electric and are the best part of this tattoo.
We think this is a snake skull which was an original choice. Any thing with a mouth that will open over your kneecap is game.
While butterflies are extremely popular subject matter for tattoos, we did not see too many on the knees. Thankfully, we found these amazing knee tattoos with beautiful butterflies on them.
Go ahead and get yourself a green gorilla right on the knee. Why not?
Here is a luminous lightning bug looking absolutely charming. We love the way the artist has captured its “glow.”
Here’s a knee tattoo that wants you to fall into the void. Bold, black ink looks ominous as it guides the eye to the center of the kneecap.
Here’s a cool design that we expect more to replicate in the coming years. We find a kneecap busting through a fence or netting. It’s a design full of action and we know plenty of people will love it.
Bat tattoos have been trending since 2020 for obvious reasons. While we have seen a bunch of bat tats, we have not seen too many bat knee tattoos. We think this one is kind of scary but ultimately fun!
Really Frame It
Here’s a big knee tattoo that wraps around the kneecap. With just black ink and minimal shading, this design looks particularly graphic and fabulous.
As we mentioned, flower knee tattoos are extremely popular and we have saved some of our favorites for the end here as we are rounding out this list. This gorgeous burgundy and pink flower is a marvel!
Here’s another flower that features burgundy but is paired with orange. Next to the black ink for the leaves, you get a very dramatic design.
To Mom, with Love
This standard Mandala-style tattoo is improved by the addition of text that reads, “Love you, mom.” The artist who shared the image noted that the text was written in her client’s mother’s handwriting. How sweet!
Here’s the rainbow spider of your nightmares! Going fun, trippy, and fully creative really worked out well. Although it’s not something that will appeal to all, we think the “go big” approach is the right one to take.
One thing you scarcely find among knee tattoos is a landscape. We find one of them here with this glass mountain-looking design complete with little white stars.
The Aztec marigold is a gorgeous flower that holds deep symbolic meaning. You will find these flowers used for various Día de los Muertos celebrations and customs. This stunning tattoo likely holds deep meaning for the person with it.
Red, Red Rose
Going very classic with your designs is also encouraged. Flowers done in this style have been decorating bodies for decades so it’s only fitting to find them also covering a kneecap.
Heart of Fire
We have seen barbed wire, plants, and more surrounding knees. You can also get a ring of fire going as well! We like that this has been done in the shape of a heart which is rather unusual for firy knee tattoos.
Here’s a clever way to frame your knee! After all, wreaths are round and often in a ring-like shape. We love the ancient look to this resembling lithography.
Second Ram of the List
We’ve brought you some animal skulls and a ram design but not a ram skull! We think it looks rather “metal” which should surely appeal to some of you looking for knee tattoo ideas.
Heron & Snake
Here’s an absolutely exquisite tattoo! We find a heron catching his practice and flying off to consume it in safety. There’s so much drama within this design from the deep black used to shade the bird to the white ink used to highlight it. It’s a winner!
We’ve got a fire snail on a knee with this very weird tattoo. Fire snails or Platymma tweediei are real but they do not actually leave a trail of burning slime in their wake. They are only found in Malaysia and in knee tattoos apparently.
A tattoo that looks like shattered glass was… a choice! We do not know what to make of it, but the comments on the image on Instagram were positive. Enjoy!
We find an Asian-inspired Harajuku design in this knee tattoo. The lines are so crisp and sharp here with beautiful color applied in creative and fresh ways.
We at MU love cat tattoos and this sleeping kitty is one of our favorite knee tattoos on this list. Work with a talented artist and you could walk away with a sleeping beauty like this one.
It’s okay to be nostalgic with your knee tattoos. We find a Pokemon, Gyarados as subject matter for this very vibrant design. If you’ve got something in mind from your childhood, go ahead and celebrate it with ink.
Here’s a pretty standard tiger tattoo that’s done in a traditional style. Simple shapes yield bold and timeless results in this design. Roar!
Wow! This diving butterfly completed in black and grey looks stunning. Super fine lines add texture and visual interest, making this tattoo look absolutely divine.
A step away from traditional tattooing but still tied to those roots, we find this cobra tattoo that marries old styles with new forms of expressionism. It’s one of the most haunting knee tattoos on this list.
We love any form of sun tattoo and this one looks like it’s from an ancient manuscript. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to your knee tattoos. Go traditional for an understated and timeless look.
We find three bars piercing this lily tattoo which gives a pretty standard floral tattoo some more interest. Pair hard, straight lines with organic shapes for a beautiful contrast like this.
We’re totally smitten with these orange tattoos that cup the knees. It’s the perfect shape for this area in an ideal placement. If you don’t want a tattoo smack on top of your kneecap, consider going just under it for a charming look.
Eyes are popular among knee tattoos and this one we find blooming from a chrysanthemum. Orange and red inks pop next to the green color of the flesh around the eye itself. It’s rather creepy but overall an impressive tattoo.
Rings of a Tree
For a subtle nod to nature, consider getting the rings of a tree tattooed over your knee. This bright idea works well due to the natural shape of the knee and the roundness of a tree. Brilliant!
We encourage you to get weird with your tattoos because the freshest of the fresh always are the result of thinking outside of the box. This bunny with four extra eyes is something you’d never expect which makes it perfect for tattooing.
Hunting animals like tigers, lions, and more find themselves in many knee tattoos. However, you can get creative, as this person has done, and go skeletal for your design. These shark teeth are thrilling!
May the knee puns never die! We find a chameleon here right on the knee for a funny visual pun.
Roses are popular among knee tattoos today and they have been for decades. You could go with the classic red or think brighter with something like this vibrant aquamarine color.
One of the best emerging tattoo trends today is the use of everyday objects as subject matter. It’s a way to elevate the things we see on a daily basis to art. This clothesline is a very rad example.
Eye of the Storm
We’ve seen some eye knee tattoos on this list but we really liked this one that’s framed by stormy elements. A cloud, a bolt of lighting, and raindrops look electric in this example.
Skip black ink altogether for a design that looks more impressionistic and less defined. This seahorse looks perfect in its coral-inspired colors. What a dream!
We find more skeletal elements in these knee tattoos that imagine hands forming hearts around the knees. Partly sweet and partly creepy, consider something similar for your own design.
This knee comes with instructions! “Take care of yourself,” the tattoo says. We’ll take this wise advice and urge you to do the same.
A Dog Names Cicely
This person got a pet tattoo of her dog, Cecily. The cartoonish design is just so sweet. If you’ve got a fur baby you want to celebrate, a knee tattoo could be the perfect opportunity to do it!
Meme a Knee
Meme tattoos are a thing these days and this person has gotten one of the most popular ones in recent years. If you stumble across a meme that really sticks with you, you know what to do.
The Cute Paws
Another pet tattoo idea that we love is this heart-shaped frame that reveals two pet paws. Paws are about the cutest things on earth for pet lovers and you would be wise to do something similar for your baby.
Apparently, animals with more eyes than they should have is a trend among knee tattoos. In addition to a rabbit, we now find a bat with too many eyes. Keep it strange, folks!
Bold, black ink is all it takes for a truly dramatic tattoo. It’s been applied in thick shapes that appear ominous in the above example. Work with an artist and they can help you realize your own original, ornamental ink.
A Dagger Runs Through It
Have you ever experienced a sharp pain in your knee? You can illustrate it with a similar tattoo. We’re not sure what this dagger is doing through this knee but it looked rather interesting to us.
Take a look at all of those dots used to create the snowflake shape. Dotwork tattoos are so special and offer texture. If you’d like an interesting look, consider letting the image you want be realized in negative.
To Brighter Days
“This too shall pass,” this tattoo of yet another eye states. We love the old-school rose that frames it and adds even more visual interest.
A pink and purple shell contrasts beautifully with the olive green of this slug. If you’re going with colorful ink, make sure to pick colors that will pop next to one another.
Gingko Biloba is the last living species in the order Ginkgoales, which first appeared over 290 million years ago. This tree, which is native to China, has some of the most iconic leaves. They make for very pretty tattoos.
You don’t have to take your knee tattoos or yourself too seriously. Spread joy with something fun like a smiley face. This one’s telling you to “have a good day.” You should do it.
We’ve found just about every kind of beastly creature among these knee tattoos so it should not have surprised us when we encountered this Predator-inspired knee. Live your life, folks!
Burning hearts are popular tattoos at the moment. The simple yet bold shapes look so perfect in tattoo form. Simple designs like this one will always result in a good outcome. If you want heart knee tattoos, you should go for it.
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We leave you with one final Mandala-style tattoo for you to see its interesting shape. The center of the design accentuates the kneecap while the other parts look almost like a shield extending from the upper thigh down to the shin.
There you go! We hope you enjoyed these knee tattoos and have some knee tattoo ideas for your next spot of ink. You can do just about anything on the space so feel free to really let your creativity flow. Tattoo artists are really artists who love to create original and compelling works of art. Work closely with someone you trust and the results will be fantastic!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 You Have to See These Amazing Knee Tattoos!
- 1.1 Popular Knee Tattoos
- 1.2 Other Popular Knee Tattoos
- 1.3 Geometric Knee Tattoos
- 1.4 Frame That Kneecap
- 1.5 Psychedelic Tiger Knee Tattoo
- 1.6 Mandala Knee Tattoos
- 1.7 On the Side
- 1.8 Tiger, Tiger
- 1.9 Berries
- 1.10 Bee’s Knees
- 1.11 Smile
- 1.12 Seeing Stars
- 1.13 Medusa
- 1.14 Blocky Flower
- 1.15 Strike That
- 1.16 Think Small
- 1.17 Leg Sleeve
- 1.18 Knee Tattoos That Cup the Cap
- 1.19 See?
- 1.20 Black Tiger
- 1.21 More Florals
- 1.22 Around the Cap
- 1.23 Ghosties
- 1.24 More of the Cup
- 1.25 Another Eye in a Mouth
- 1.26 Lucknee
- 1.27 Mermaid on the Side
- 1.28 Framed
- 1.29 Flower Power
- 1.30 Caught in a Web
- 1.31 More Bees, More Knees
- 1.32 Pretty In Pink
- 1.33 Oh, Hi!
- 1.34 Ram
- 1.35 More Mandala
- 1.36 It’s a Wrap
- 1.37 Even More Mandala
- 1.38 Skull
- 1.39 Olive Branch
- 1.40 Whale
- 1.41 Alien Cat
- 1.42 Black Widow
- 1.43 Dagger Through It
- 1.44 Neon Flower
- 1.45 More Skull
- 1.46 Butterflies
- 1.47 Monkey Mouth
- 1.48 More Creatures
- 1.49 Abyss
- 1.50 Break Free
- 1.51 Creature Feature
- 1.52 Really Frame It
- 1.53 Chrysanthemum Time
- 1.54 Getting Warm
- 1.55 To Mom, with Love
- 1.56 Bugging
- 1.57 Landscape
- 1.58 Cempasúchil
- 1.59 Red, Red Rose
- 1.60 Heart of Fire
- 1.61 A Wreath!
- 1.62 Second Ram of the List
- 1.63 Heron & Snake
- 1.64 Extraordinary Machine
- 1.65 Shattered
- 1.66 Harajuku
- 1.67 Cute Kitty
- 1.68 Gyarados
- 1.69 Traditional Tiger
- 1.70 Diving Butterfly
- 1.71 Neo-Traditional Cobra
- 1.72 Stay Bright
- 1.73 No Lily
- 1.74 Citrus
- 1.75 Knee-Eye
- 1.76 Rings of a Tree
- 1.77 Mutant Bunny
- 1.78 Shark Attack
- 1.79 Cham-knee-leon
- 1.80 Feeling Blue
- 1.81 Wash
- 1.82 Eye of the Storm
- 1.83 Knee-Horse
- 1.84 Lovely Bones
- 1.85 Take Care
- 1.86 A Dog Names Cicely
- 1.87 Meme a Knee
- 1.88 The Cute Paws
- 1.89 Scary Bat
- 1.90 Or-knee-mental
- 1.91 A Dagger Runs Through It
- 1.92 Snowflake
- 1.93 To Brighter Days
- 1.94 Snail Time
- 1.95 Ginkgo
- 1.96 Smile
- 1.97 Predator Knee
- 1.98 Burning Love
- 1.99 Mighty Mandala
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