skull tattoo

35 Killer Skull Tattoo Ideas That Are Equal Parts Creepy & Cool

After floral designs, skull tattoos are some of the most requested designs today. It’s not a new trend. Sailors were getting skull and crossbones en masse at the turn of the last century and we imagine there are plenty of sailors today who have the subject matter inked on their bodies. Of course, sailors aren’t the only ones who have gotten skull tattoos through the years. Now, everyone and their brother seems to have one.

Because these perennial favorites are such a big deal, we wanted to understand what sorts of trends exist within this genre of tattoo. We turned to social media to uncover the latest and greatest skull tattoo ideas so that you can get a feel for what’s hot and what’s not right now. We were pleased to find a ton of variety among these tattoos as people have put their imaginations in overdrive to come up with original designs that really stand out. Take a look at our inspired designs below!

Take a Look at These Skull Tattoos to Get Inspired for Your Very Own.

Rockabilly Skull Tattoo

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Motorcycle meets skull in this very intriguing Rockabilly-inspired skull tattoo. Take a look at how the artist has managed to capture the fire’s glow by showing it warming the color of the skull. What a wild ride!

Photorealistic & Creepy

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This skull tattoo appears so lifelike (deathlike?) that it’s unnerving. The artist clearly has an eye for texture and shading both of which are employed here to great effect.

Like an Etching

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Tattoos that mimic other forms of visual art always appeal to folks as they appear stylish and clever. In this skull tattoo, we find a style that’s similar to etching.

Head of Roses

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If you would like to soften up your skull tattoo, consider adding floral elements. Not only will they look great but they will also act as a juxtaposition between life and death.

Skill

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This is a singular tattoo that is completely original and unlike any of the other skull tattoos on this list. We find a portrait in a portrait that’s actually rather unnerving.

Creepy-Cool

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It’s hard to tell what material this skull is supposed to be made of. Smoke? Molten skin? We’re not certain but we did love the way this one turned out. You basically have two lanes with skull tattoos: creepy or humorous.

Pineapple Skull

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Here’s an ultra-colorful design that imagines a skull and a pineapple that have become one. The paradise imagery really makes this design stand out from the rest on this list.

Slithering

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Skull tattoos with snakes squirming through them are a very popular design in this genre of tattoo. In fact, you will see a couple more on this list before it’s finished.

Softened with Florals

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See how lovely florals look with skulls. Here’s another example of a design that marries life and death.

Owl

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We find an owl with a skull tattooed together in this mildly popular design. People really enjoy the pairing and it’s easy to see why.

 Caveira

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We find a cute little candy skull here with a watercolor effect for added visual interest. If you’d love to celebrate your Mexican heritage, this would be an excellent way to do so!

Traditional Style Skull Tattoos

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In this unique design, we find the skulls tattooed in a traditional fashion. Skulls like these have been part of artists’ flash portfolios for decades.

A Real Cup of Joe

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This is one of the most playful skull tattoos on this list. We find our skull submerged in a coffee pot. Sometimes it does feel like coffee is the only thing keeping you alive so we imagine this design speaks to a lot of people.

Grim

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Fear the Grim Reaper. Notice how the shape of this tattoo accentuates the natural shape of the upper arm and shoulder? Make sure to consider the placement of your tattoo for the best results.

Chrysanthemum

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Here’s a chrysanthemum skull tattoo that shocks in vibrant blue and red. Skulls blooming from flowers are pretty popular among tattoos today. However, you mostly encounter them popping out of a rose.

Dino

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Not in the mood for a human skull? Time to get Jurrasic with some dinosaur skulls. We think this triceratops looks rather handsome.

The Living Dead

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In this zombified tattoo, we find an “undead” skateboarder getting some air. If you are passionate about a sport you play, consider something similar for your skull tattoo.

Coffin Creature

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Coffin tattoos are popular these days and we find a rather demonic skull coming out of this one. This was created with a whole bunch of black ink that looks moody and dramatic.

RELATED: 75 Neck Tattoos That Will Blow Your Mind

Cicada

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Everyone’s least favorite bug, cicadas, can be found in this skull tattoo. We want to die every time we see one too.

Free the Dead

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Here’s a bug we can get behind. We find a skull pattern on the wings of a butterfly here with the word “freedom” underneath. It’s a curious pairing but we think this tattoo turned out beautifully.

What Lies Beneath

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We find matching tattoos here in the form of crosses that reveal skulls inside. It’s pretty darn creepy but we must say it looks great.

Freaky Fun

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Here’s a tattoo coverup that completely masks what was there before. Choosing dark imagery with plenty of heavy ink has really improved on what was there before.

Third Eye

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Here’s a rather strange skull tattoo that finds a third eye gazing from the cranium. Mysterious and slightly witchy-looking we feel this one is a winner.

A Pirate’s Afterlife For Me

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We fine one lone eye staring back at us from this pirate skull tattoo. We expected to see more like this but it was the only example of a pirate we stumbled across.

Poison

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Who is drinking wine with a skull in the glass? We don’t know why but we’re not mad about it. Perhaps this tattoo is supposed to symbolize poison.

Casually Grim

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Here’s a fun one that finds the Grim Reaper enjoying a warm beverage. We guess that even he needs to take a break every so often.

A Deer

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How beautiful is this autumnal European mount deer skull tattoo? We think the warm inks chosen here make it stand out for all the right reasons.

Psychedelic

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Yikes! We believe we’re looking at a woman’s face splitting in two to reveal a skull. You’ve likely never seen anything like it because this is a truly original design. Work with a tattoo artist and you can conceive of designs equally as weird.

The Lovers

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These two “kissing” skull tattoos seem to form a heart shape. It’s as romantic as it is unsettling.

Noir

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This person has chosen to go heavy with the black ink with skin coming through to form the details of the design. It’s a very cool one and unlike all the skull tattoos on this list.

A Scary Beauty

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This skull tattoo with a snake is beautifully done. Even though it is scary, the snake and skull both have delicate details that make them really appealing.

Neon

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Here’s yet another snake and skull tattoo that finds some neon green shining through. It’s proof that the right choice of ink is crucial in how the final product appears.

Anatomical

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Ah! We find an anatomical head with the skin ripped away on half of it and with the muscle gone from the other. Nightmare fuel for certain!

Glitch

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The glitch trend is a big one right now with people getting the effect for all sorts of designs. Isn’t it trippy? We imagine a human skull would look equally as stunning.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 33 Bold Chest Tattoos for Men

A Morbid Masterpiece

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We leave you with a skull tattoo that seems to be all about time. The hourglass paired with the skeletal remains looks foreboding. The artist has done an excellent job applying this tattoo with so much detail and restraint.

We hope you feel inspired by these skull tattoos and will consider something similar for yourself. As you have seen, there is no right or wrong way to go about your tattoo design so work with an artist you trust to come up with the most inspired and original design for your ink. Happy tattooing!

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