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 55 small butterfly tattoos that show big imagination in a very modest amount of space.
We are starting this list by showing you these gorgeous micro tattoos. Aren’t these small butterfly tattoos 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!
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.
This one is 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Contrasting wings are a trend within the small 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.
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!
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.
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 small butterfly tattoos.
Unless you are going with just a basic outline, this is probably the smallest you can take a small butterfly tattoo 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.
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 with your small butterfly tattoo to create a meaningful symbol you will treasure.
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!
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.
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.
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).
These abstract small 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 a 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.
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!
One of our favorite small butterfly tattoos 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.
As you’ve seen, pairing florals with small butterfly tattoos is a wise choice. In this instance, we find a gorgeous micro butterfly with wisteria.
Work with a tattoo artist that has a unique point of view and you could walk away with a wholly original small butterfly tattoo. Isn’t this gem gorgeous?
Smaller Than Small
Small butterfly tattoos completed with just a single line are exceedingly popular. This tiny one looks perfectly placed on the shoulder.
If You Build It…
“Just a girl building her empire,” this butterfly tattoo states. Build away, queen!
The person who shared this image explained that these small butterfly tattoos were inspired by shapes found in calligraphy. It’s an interesting idea that looks inspired and unique.
Blinded by Butterfly
Here are some small butterfly tattoos centered around a woman’s face. It’s a most interesting portrait that’s intriguing and mysterious.
Pretty in Purple
Experiment with color for your small butterfly tattoos to find the best option for you. You can easily choose your favorite color or pick one that you’d love to see more of.
A butterfly, infinity symbol, and the word “care,” can all be found in this tattoo. It’s an interesting concept and an upgrade on the standard infinity symbol.
Orange You Glad?
Black and orange look so stunning together in this small butterfly tattoo. The ink has been applied in such a way that the wings look textured.
These vibrant small butterfly tattoos have a slight ombré effect that makes them look magical. Work with an artist you trust to achieve the perfect color scheme for your tattoos.
Here’s a black and white ink butterfly that is composed of some truly fine lines. Explore alternative methods of tattooing like stick and poke for the tiniest and finest designs.
This small butterfly tattoo is rather creepy but we like it because it stands out from all the other designs we encountered. If you want a ghostly butterfly tattoo, it can clearly be done!
Aren’t these small butterfly tattoos charming? These micro designs look so pleasant on the neck.
Fit for a Finger
Who needs a ring when you can have a finger tattoo? You certainly can get one of a butterfly on your digits that will make you the envy of all of your friends.
Also for a Finger
Here’s another finger tattoo example. We find a simple silhouette that’s been doubled to give it a very cool look.
Similar to the small butterfly tattoo that looked like it is on fire, we find a smoke-inspired butterfly tattoo here. The tattoo artist really knocked this one out of the park.
In Your Heart
How sharp does this tattoo look! The lines on it are so so tiny. We would not be surprised to learn that this design was completed without a tattoo gun and instead was applied by hand with a single needle. The method produces the crispest lines.
Line It Up
Here’s a very cool small butterfly tattoo that leans into abstraction. Although this tattoo is immediately recognizable, it is constructed using only fine lines.
Turn to traditional tattooing for inspiration and you will walk away with a timeless and sophisticated design. In addition to this old school design, expect to see one more throwback before this list ends!
Simplicity Is Bliss
Often, the simplest tattoos are the most effective. Thin lines that are applied with care make this one of the most attractive small butterfly tattoos on this list.
This extremely original design is unlike any other on this list. Wavey lines have been composed in a way that makes the butterfly wings look ethereal and dreamy.
We don’t know why, but this turtle has sprouted butterfly wings. It’s one of the weirdest designs we found but it’s also one of the sweetest.
Over the Moon
How fabulous are the colors on this small butterfly tattoo? We love the pastels used for the wings and the contrasting blue and red found on the moon.
We don’t see enough sweetpea tattoos! They produce some of the most captivating blooms. We love seeing it paired with this small butterfly tattoo.
Light as Air
We find a rather impressionistic take with this tattoo. Notice how the blue of the butterfly seems to fade? It’s such a unique look.
We often find spiderwebs used as filler for tattoo sleeves, but in this example, the web is front and center. You too can have a creepy butterfly if your heart desires it.
These fun little butterflies are each tattooed in a different color. Now, we want to see a rainbow made from colorful small butterfly tattoos.
Inspired by Sailor Jerry
As promised, here’s another old-school tattoo. The tattoo artist who completed it shared that it was inspired by a Sailor Jerry design.
Wow! This little butterfly almost looks real. There is so much detail in the wings with so many tiny lines to give the creature texture.
We leave you with an emerging trend that we discovered while researching small butterfly tattoos. Butterflies that are on fire or made from flame elements are a thing now. You could do something similar for your tattoo but know that you’ll be in very good company.
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 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 Starting Small
- 2 Dream a Little Dream
- 3 Black Butterfly
- 4 On the Other Hand
- 5 Outline
- 6 Swoon-Worthy Color
- 7 Dainty Duo
- 8 Touch of Blue
- 9 Contrasting Wings
- 10 Squeaky Clean?
- 11 Size of a Dime
- 12 Make It Glitter
- 13 The Smallest
- 14 Impression
- 15 That’s Not Real?
- 16 Accessorized
- 17 More Moo!
- 18 Case for Red
- 19 Feel It Out
- 20 Third Time’s a Charm
- 21 Fine Lines
- 22 Glorious
- 23 Transparent
- 24 Tiny & Bright
- 25 On Fire
- 26 With Wisteria
- 27 Stylish
- 28 Smaller Than Small
- 29 If You Build It…
- 30 Like Calligraphy
- 31 Blinded by Butterfly
- 32 Pretty in Purple
- 33 Take Care
- 34 Orange You Glad?
- 35 Moody Blues
- 36 Very Fine
- 37 Haunted
- 38 Beguiling
- 39 Fit for a Finger
- 40 Also for a Finger
- 41 Smoke
- 42 In Your Heart
- 43 Line It Up
- 44 Old School
- 45 Simplicity Is Bliss
- 46 Waves
- 47 Turtle-Fly
- 48 Over the Moon
- 49 Sweetpea
- 50 Light as Air
- 51 Webbed Out
- 52 Cuties
- 53 Inspired by Sailor Jerry
- 54 The Detail
- 55 On Fire
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