Finding stick and poke tattoo ideas is easy, after all, people have been doing them since the 16th century BCE! Yes, mummies have been found with tattoos that were stylish in Ancient Egypt. Fast forward to over 1,000 years later and folks are still obsessed with stick and poke tattoos. What are they? Stick and pokes are simply tattoos that are applied without the use of a tattoo gun and instead are created using a needle and ink. These are also known as hand-poked tattoos because of the unique nature in which they are applied.
Today, these tattoos are trendy once more which is why people often look for stick and poke tattoo ideas to help them find the best sorts of designs for their bodies. Just like with normal tattoos, S&P’s require a great deal of patience as they are equally as uncomfortable to have applied. However, you are spared the unnerving buzzing of a tattoo gun! We wanted to find the latest stick and poke tattoo ideas so we took to social media to discover what the kids are doing these days. Check them out!
Get Inspired by These Stick and Poke Tattoo Ideas!
One of the most attractive features of this style of tattoo is that lines can be applied much finer than you could get with a gun. For your stick and poke tattoo ideas, make sure you keep this in mind as you can get yourself a super fine line tattoo.
Yet another thing to keep in mind when you are brainstorming stick and poke tattoo ideas is permanence. Hand-poked tattoos don’t hold up as well as machine-applied designs. This just means that they fade over time to a much greater degree than ordinary tattoos. That might be attractive to you! The lighter the lines to begin with the sooner they will fade. This hawkmoth is already light and in a few years, you’ll barely be able to see it!
Micro tattoos are a super hot tattoo trend right now. Many of them are done using the stick and poke method. As you can see with this heart and dots tattoos, they make for really cute little accessory tattoos!
Snakes always look good in tattoo form. Unless you want a big bold one, consider cuter designs for your stick and poke tattoo ideas. This reptile cradling the sun looks stunning.
You can absolutely go abstract or minimalist with your stick and poke tattoo ideas as they often translate well in this format. Thin, clean lines like these will always attract the right kind of attention.
Do the Dots
Artists have been using dots to shade artwork for centuries and this butterfly is comprised entirely of little dots. Where the dots are arranged most tightly, the overall design looks darker. The more spread out, the lighter the image will appear. These dots look rather dynamic, right?
Tattoos inspired by line drawings are a huge hit right now. You will find human forms and faces composed of just a single line on a lot of bodies today. We love stick and poke tattoo ideas that encourage an emotive response which is what we find with this handsome design that incorporates a floral flourish.
Here for the Drama
Here, we find a gorgeous portrait that has been expertly shaded with those stippled dots we told you about. This mysterious and romantic design is the perfect example of how you can really bring a design to life with classic techniques.
What’s Your Sign?
Get the symbol for your sign tattooed using the stick and poke method for a straightforward and personal tattoo. Small tattoos like this one on the wrist are very popular choices today. We’re here for the Pisces love!
When trying to land on the best stick and poke tattoo ideas for you, make sure you keep things simple. If you’ve ever needed proof that simplicity is bliss, just take a look at these primitive forms. Gorgeous!
Stick and poke tattoo ideas should always include some words that resonate with you. Just a single word like this one that reads “accept” makes a true impact.
A short string of words also looks nice as you can see with this example. We find the title of one of the Cure’s most popular tunes. If a song really speaks to you, consider it as one of your stick and poke tattoo ideas. It’ll look great!
RELATED: 33 Behind the Ear Tattoos
Fun for Your Fingers
An emerging tattoo trend today is these little ornamental dots and shapes on the tops of the fingers. Chrissy Teigen even has some dots on her hands now! These look incredible but a word of caution: hand tattoos fade faster than most others. Couple that with the fading nature of stick and poke tatts and you should expect this tattoo to fade very quickly. That might be what you like about them! But, if you don’t, expect to need a touch-up in a year or two.
How attractive is the placement of this lotus tattoo? We think it looks absolutely mesmerizing. Tattoos down the sternum are very popular among women and we think it’s easy to see why they attract so many folks.
How adorable is this fawn tattoo? For stick and poke tattoo ideas, consider animals, plants, and more from nature to help inform your decision. Take a look at how the artist has made the stippling mimic fur. How cute!
Lean Into Whimsy
For the most original stick and poke tattoo ideas lean into whimsical imagery for truly evocative ink. These twins are delightfully weird and cute. More of the same, folks!
Again, for the best stick and poke tattoo ideas, consider things that can be done with very thin lines. This botanical tattoo looks so sharp. Tattoo artists who only use a machine can’t often achieve this.
Keep It Fresh
We are big fans of food and fruit tattoos. This orange done in black ink reminds us of the illustrations of Shel Silverstein. Feel free to get fruity with your stick and poke tattoo ideas. They always look fresh!
Make a Statement
We have shown you a bunch of fine-line tattoos but you can get a lot of coverage with this method as well. We find a black power symbol here that looks very bold. Make a statement with your tattoo!
For stick and poke tattoo ideas, consider decorative designs that value form. These interlocking shapes look perfectly put in place on the back of the arm. Try to think of other places that can benefit from some visual interest and have your artist go to town.
These little shapes look sharp, don’t they? There’s not much rhyme or reason here, but who could be mad at these tiny tattoos?
Here’s another example of a stick and poke tattoo that’s been thoroughly filled in. The willow tree looks so haunting in this design with its bold, black ink.
One million little dots later and you too can have a tattoo that looks as interesting as this one. Notice how there are more dots at the edges of the letters? This looks like an absolute blast!
Nothing Could Be Finer
These botanicals composed of super-fine lines are really breathtaking as they look impossibly delicate. For your stick and poke tattoo ideas, talk to an artist you trust about what other things could be done in this fashion for a handsome tattoo just like this one.
Love the Landscapes
Turning to nature is always smart for stick and poke tattoo ideas. We find a slice of the mountains looking stunning on this person’s arm. If you love the mountains or even the beach, let your passion for nature inspire your designs.
Eye tattoos are always so fun and we encourage you to think of some interesting ones for your stick and poke tattoo ideas. This is a very clean example done with just black ink.
Winning Red Ink
If you’d like something different, keep red in mind when brainstorming stick and poke tattoo ideas. Red ink instantly looks more visually interesting than black ink. So, if you were considering black but think another color might be fun, that other color could very well be red.
Spread Your Wings
Another way artists describe S&P tattoos is “freehand.” Look how great this butterfly tattoo turned out! The shading is so delicate and dreamy.
Using dots and dashes, you can create shapes in a unique way similar to this design. For stick and poke tattoo ideas, you might know you want a sun but think of how to maximize the coolness of this technique for a more creative design.
The placement of your tattoo is so important. Take a look at these two branches and how they curve to accentuate the natural shape of the hand. Always look at the area you want to be tattooed and let its shape inform your tattoo’s shape.
We told you that we’re huge fans of food tattoos! Think of your favorite things to eat and then, get them tattooed in miniature for a unique and very cute design. Don’t you want a bite of this croissant?
For your stick and poke tattoo ideas, you can stay true to form. Stick figures and other primitive, unfussy designs translate very well. How cool is this one?
Make It Charming
We find some more red ink because, why not? For stick and poke tattoo ideas, consider mimicking jewelry. This tattoo looks like a dainty anklet. The little bird “charm” makes the overall design simply perfect.
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Get the Colors
Certain artists work in the stick and poke technique exclusively and know how to expertly apply color. Look at all the tiny dots of colors that have been used here to give the image depth and realism. What a dream! Don’t shy from color if you’re not a black ink purist!
There you go! We hope these stick and poke tattoo ideas inspired you to consider your very own design. The sky is the limit with stick and poke designs but you should take advantage of what makes the technique so unique. Go for designs with thin lines or a multitude of tiny little dots for added drama and visual interest!
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 1 Get Inspired by These Stick and Poke Tattoo Ideas!
- 1.1 Fine Flowers
- 1.2 Death’s-Head Hawkmoth
- 1.3 Go Micro
- 1.4 A Snake
- 1.5 Clean Lines
- 1.6 Do the Dots
- 1.7 Express Yourself
- 1.8 Here for the Drama
- 1.9 What’s Your Sign?
- 1.10 Basic Forms
- 1.11 A Word
- 1.12 Lyrics
- 1.13 Fun for Your Fingers
- 1.14 Lovely Lotus
- 1.15 Wildlife
- 1.16 Lean Into Whimsy
- 1.17 Razor-Thin
- 1.18 Keep It Fresh
- 1.19 Make a Statement
- 1.20 Decorative Elements
- 1.21 Seeing Stars
- 1.22 Go Dark
- 1.23 Cool Gradient
- 1.24 Nothing Could Be Finer
- 1.25 Love the Landscapes
- 1.26 Eye Spy
- 1.27 Winning Red Ink
- 1.28 Spread Your Wings
- 1.29 Sunshine
- 1.30 Accentuate Shape
- 1.31 Tiny Foods
- 1.32 Stick Figures
- 1.33 Make It Charming
- 1.34 Get the Colors
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