Are you thinking about getting a tattoo? If you can’t wait to get some more ink this summer, we encourage you to try a small butterfly tattoo. These dainty designs feature everyone’s favorite insect, the butterfly. The wings of a butterfly in the natural world are like little works of art. Due to their endless beauty and complexity, they have become a favorite subject matter for people. Unoffensive, gorgeous, and petite, butterfly tattoos are a hot ticket today.
Due to the popularity of these designs, we wanted to discover the possibilities of the small butterfly tattoo genre. We looked at hundreds of recent examples shared on social media to get a better understanding of the limits of these tiny tattoos and how wild you can get in a tight amount of real estate. We found some good ones for you! Check out these 25 small butterfly tattoos that show big imagination in a very modest amount of space.
25. Starting Small
We are starting this list by showing you these gorgeous micro tattoos. Aren’t these marvelous? You could do as this person has done, or instead, request just one and not a series of them. Look at the hint of purple inside the wings!
24. Dream a Little Dream
Approximately the size of a half-dollar, this watercolor tattoo employs sumptuous pastels and very fine lines did live a whisper of an imprint. We love the ethereal look to this and you could work with a local tattoo artist to create something original, but similar in style.
23. Black Butterfly
This one’s for all my goth boys and girls out there! What do you think of this simple black butterfly tattoo? It should come as no surprise that black ink is the most requested and people love all-black tattoos on their bodies. We can see why! If you want to go black with it, something similar or the negative of it would be great!
22. On the Other Hand
Okay, color tattoos are also really really good. Check out this creative design that imagines one of the butterfly’s wings exploding into flowers. Cool color schemes like this one look great if you have fair skin.
This small butterfly tattoo bridges the gap between minimalism and expressiveness. Another all-black option, this little beauty is barely the size of a quarter. We like the placement on the arm, but it would look good anywhere.
20. Swoon-Worthy Color
Okay, we admit this is not the smallest butterfly tattoo out there, but you could always get similar but scaled down. The moody purple, blue, and peach inks are blended to perfection. They stand out even more thanks to the very, very thin golden outline of the creature’s wings.
19. Dainty Duo
What do you think of these two small butterfly tattoos? Pretty nice, right? Each one appears to be barely the size of a nickel. Artists can go this small but you have to sacrifice detail in most cases. However, nothing feels lost in this design.
18. Touch of Blue
Measuring in at 3cm, this small, yet detailed and delicate butterfly design looks great thanks to a splash of indigo-looking ink. Tattoos with lines this fine are typically done by hand not by using a tattoo gun. The method is called stick and poke or hand poke. These tattoos take sill but all you need in hand is a needle and some ink.
17. Contrasting Wings
Contrasting wings are a trend within the butterfly tattoo genre. Sometimes there are facial features or little floral designs like this that take the place of one of the wings. We love the flatness of this charming design.
16. Squeaky Clean?
We do not know why these butterflies are swimming with sudsy bubbles, but we are not mad about it. Check out the way the colors in the small butterfly tattoos match the color reflected by glassy bubbles. A win!
15. Size of a Dime
These micro butterfly tattoos are a miracle. We have no idea how a tattoo artist managed to pull this off. If you just want a very tiny butterfly, about the size of a dime, you can always request that.
14. Make It Glitter
What do you think about this glitter tattoo effect? At first we were not sold, but the more we looked at it the more we found it cute. Imagine something similar, that looked even more like the night sky inside the outlines of these butterflies.
13. The Smallest
Unless you are going with just a basic outline, this is probably the smallest you can take a butterfly tattoos with detail. These look excellent, a touch modest, and still very cool.
This small butterfly tattoo at the waist is merely a suggestion, a hint of a butterfly. However, the smart design lets the viewer know what they are seeing right away.
11. That’s Not Real?
Micro photorealism tattoos make a huge impression. This expertly tattooed monarch butterfly looks almost real thanks to the sharp lines and smartly shaded “shadow” that appears to fall beneath the bug. This is awesome!
What do you think of this cute black and white ink tattoo? It’s a standard that’s made even more special with the addition of a tiny crown. You could do something similar to creative a meaningful symbol you will treasure.
9. More Moo!
The purple glitter tattoo we shared with you a few photos back was sort of hinting at a design like this one. While this is only one example, a fun one at that, you can get a butterfly outline and fill it with whatever you want. We find cow here, but the world’s your oyster!
8. Case for Red
Red ink is such an evocative color. It immediately lights up different parts of our brains. For instance a similar image done in black ink would not have nearly as much of an impact. If you are on the fence about it, go with red. You will not regret it.
7. Feel It Out
The inside of this small butterfly tattoo looks like those topographical maps that use lines to show the heights of certain natural structures. We really think it works well, whether intended or not.
6. Third Time’s a Charm
The tattoo artist who managed to replicate this butterfly tattoo not once, but twice deserves some credit for their skills. These little tattoos look exceptional and would be an excellent thing to share with a close friend or family member (or a stranger, really).
5. Fine Lines
These abstract butterfly tattoos we found are so charming. This is yet another example of how you can choose style over all else. Sometimes simple lines like these look more true to a butterfly than realist takes on them.
It appears that stained glass and butterfly wings have collided in these handsome tattoos. We love the colors chosen here and the way no outline in dark ink was used. It keeps the designs looking as light as if they could fly off the skin.
How moving are these two magical butterfly tattoos? The effect on the wings is truly breathtaking. If you want something a little lighter and less heavy, something like this would probably be perfect for you.
2. Tiny & Bright
A little, uncomplicated, brightly colored tattoo will never serve you wrong. An orange butterfly (or any color) hidden on the inside of an arm would be a very cool sort of peekaboo tattoo. How fun!
1. On Fire
Our favorite butterfly tattoo we saw was this beauty which looks as if the butterfly is a burning piece of ash or ember. As you can see, parts of the wings have started to break away. The burning brightness of the orange and gold inks next to the moody black and grey really give this a stunning look.
There you go! What did you think of these small butterfly tattoos? Are you ready to take leap and get one yourself? We sure hope you feel inspired and will take one or some of these concepts to a tattoo artist you trust to hear their opinions and strategies for achieving your desired look. Flutter right along now and get that that butterfly ink!
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 25. Starting Small
- 2 24. Dream a Little Dream
- 3 23. Black Butterfly
- 4 22. On the Other Hand
- 5 21. Outline
- 6 20. Swoon-Worthy Color
- 7 19. Dainty Duo
- 8 18. Touch of Blue
- 9 17. Contrasting Wings
- 10 16. Squeaky Clean?
- 11 15. Size of a Dime
- 12 14. Make It Glitter
- 13 13. The Smallest
- 14 12. Impression
- 15 11. That’s Not Real?
- 16 10. Accessorized
- 17 9. More Moo!
- 18 8. Case for Red
- 19 7. Feel It Out
- 20 6. Third Time’s a Charm
- 21 5. Fine Lines
- 22 4. Glorious
- 23 3. Transparent
- 24 2. Tiny & Bright
- 25 1. On Fire
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