If you want to get a tattoo but want something fashionable and understated, small tattoos can be pretty, unique, and meaningful. Because dainty little tattoos look feminine and cool, small designs tend to be popular and look much more trendy. Furthermore, tiny pieces can fit anywhere, are easily covered up when necessary, and make for great first tattoos. With so many amazing small tattoo ideas, the challenge is ultimately deciding on your favorite design. Keep in mind that small body art can’t accommodate detail as well as a sleeve or thigh, so you’ll want to stick with simple tattoos to ensure quality work. To help you explore all the most creative and artistic ways to get ink, we’ve compiled the best small tattoos for women. Read on to discover which design ideas are right for you.
Cute Small Tattoo
One of the perks of getting a small tattoo is that so many of the designs are cute. As they say, small things come in cute packages; you can pick a tattoo that is youthful, playful, nostalgic, and fun. Animals are a popular option, especially with aww-worthy cuties like puppies, baby elephants, frogs, or pandas. Or you can go with more specific characters, from childhood movies, franchises, or cartoons. Shapes, like hearts, are also adorable.
Small Meaningful Tattoo
Sometimes a small tattoo can be incredibly meaningful. Meaning is subjective, and the tattoo is meant to reflect anything from life philosophies to names to inspirational quotes. Whether you want to get your children’s birth dates inked or artwork paying tribute to family, a small meaningful tattoo is often tasteful, special, and sweet.
Small Simple Tattoo
Small simple tattoos can be the most meaningful and cute if you can come up with a creative artistic design that’s special to you. Black ink works best for these tiny creations, especially in areas that will be exposed to more rubbing, like hands and feet. Other perks to small and simple tattoo ideas include shorter, one-time sessions with your artist, which are less painful and cheaper. Best of all, little simple designs can fit nearly anywhere on your body, so placement is never a concern.
The minimalist tattoo has become trendy and modern. Small minimalist tattoo designs can be black and grey or colorful with creative lines, dots, or angles that come together to represent something meaningful and artistic. Because of their straightforward simplicity, simple ideas work best in small tattoos that women can place anywhere on their body-turned-canvas.
Small Tattoo Ideas
If you are into symbols and representation of transformation, freedom, and beauty, you might be a perfect fit for a butterfly tattoo. These metaphoric creatures are both cute and feminine, and can even be trendy if designed with minimalistic or geometric elements. Butterfly tattoos are versatile, with either color or black ink, and they fit neatly on nearly any body part.
Like their real counterparts, sunflower tattoos are a source of joy and vibrancy. Whether the tattoo is tiny or just relatively small, the flower stands out both in color and symbolism. Sunflowers are known to represent good vibes, including faith, love, hope, happiness, and longevity.
Small Cross Tattoo
Faith-based tattoos are a meaningful way to honor a higher power; in Christianity, a cross is an ideal symbol for a tattoo – its sacred meaning and storied history are great reasons to choose this tattoo design. In addition to a powerful ideology, a small cross tattoo also gives you a lot to work with design-wise. It can be subtle or bold, minimalistic or colorful, and can fit nicely anywhere.
A heart tattoo is another great small design. Cute and full of love, small heart tattoos can be simple, feminine, and perfect for someone who wants to share their affection or emotions. While it can stand for a specific person or moment in life, a heart tattoo can also represent a general attitude or philosophy toward life, such as living each moment with love and passion or a reminder that all you need is love.
Even an animal as magnificent and gigantic as an elephant can look amazing when transposed into a small tattoo. Elephants are well-known to represent happiness, good fortune, and prosperity. Women especially tend to resonate with the long-tusked creatures, because their herds are based on a matriarch dynamic and their intuitive respect for their mothers is palpable.
Angel Wings Tattoo
One of the most popular tattoos for women is angel wings. There are two common angel wing tattoo designs to consider: ones that span the back and shoulders, and those that are small, simple and can fit nearly anywhere on the body. Whether you want to showcase your faith, honor a beloved guardian, or highlight your angelic sweet personality, angel wings are excellent ideas.
Women who are looking for a small piece of body art that brings some significance should look no further than an anchor tattoo. In addition to a neat and tidy aesthetic, anchors are also an excellent reminder to stay grounded, according to their sailing roots to keep ships safely at bay. They can be simple and cute, and small enough for ankles, feet, wrists, or fingers.
Lions and women have many similar defining traits – fierceness, courage, and strength to lead are just a few; women who are either proud of having these characteristics or want to find them can benefit from a lion tattoo. Also, like a lion, the ink doesn’t have to be large to make an impact – a small tattoo is just as ferocious.
Lotus Flower Tattoo
Spiritual gurus often flock to the lotus flower tattoo as a source of divine peace and purity. This beautiful flower can be personalized to be small and dainty, modern and feminine, with a vine or just the petals.
Cat tattoos are perfect for anyone wanting to tap into their feline energy. Symbolizing resilience, beauty, grace, and ferocity, a small kitty cat is a combination of cute and striking, both in real life and on the skin. Style-wise, cat tattoo designs can look a variety of ways. Artwork can be cartoonish, realistic, based on a former pet, a caricature, or symbolic.
Women with mountain tattoos often live by the words, “the mountains are calling, and I must go.” Though mountains in nature are massive and towering, they can be transformed into a small piece of art that reflects the magnitude with beautiful linework and inner meaning.
If you are attached to a word, phrase, or lyric, a small quote tattoo is an amazing way to experience it forever. Whether the quote is from a song, book, poem, or a phrase, the words make for an aesthetically pleasing tattoo. Popular placements include the wrist, inner forearm, or ribcage, with endless font options.
Sun and Moon Tattoo
Popular among couples or best friends, the sun and moon tattoo is a sweet gesture of love, representing the harmony between the two opposite forces. Individually, this ink can also be a symbol of complex identity within one’s self.
Nature or minimalism lovers can bond over a small tree tattoo, which is trendy and artistic. There’s meaning in the movement and roots of trees, as well as wisdom and knowledge. These are typically placed on the arm, back, and shoulder.
Men and women alike flock to the compass tattoo, which comes with several meanings. Some enjoy the traveling connotations, while others think of it as a guide for staying true to who you are, and your path in life. It can be as simple or intricate as you’d like, which also makes for an ideal small-sized tattoo.
The dragonfly, both in person and in tattoo form, is a mystic and positive sign. There are a lot of cultural connotations for the insect, from rebirth to transformation; they are often regarded as a free spirit for not conforming to a straight flight path. Even as a small tattoo, the dragonfly is stunning and spiritual.
Small Skull Tattoo
The classic skull and crossbones sigma is no longer a sign of big and burly bikers; it’s been reclaimed by women who want a bit of rebellion in a small skull tattoo. Skulls offer a lot to work with – in addition to representing death and rebirth, they can be purely aesthetic, whether it’s minimal and clean or filled with color and floral touches.
Inspired by some Native American cultures, dreamcatchers are known for their protective properties against evil spirits, nightmares, and bad vibes when hung above beds at night. This origin story is perfect for women who have a small dedication to their Native American heritage, or some of its elements can be woven into the design of another tattoo.
Snake tattoos are a very trendy option right now, as women reclaim the power and complexity that these reptiles symbolize. Depending on the artist, you can personalize your snake to represent one of many different values: fertility, flexibility, sexuality, or even just an admiration of the animal. Thanks to the serpent’s shape, your tattoo can also fit and twist into unique spaces; a small snake can easily be placed anywhere on the chest, arm, back, and beyond.
When it comes to the night sky, there are endless sources for inspiration; for those who can’t help but gaze upward, a star tattoo is a perfect option. Whether it’s a classic star shape or a string of smaller ones that combine to create a constellation, this kind of tattoo is ideal for a small and dainty design. You’ll be left star-struck.
Small Tribal Tattoo
One way to honor a tribal heritage without fully committing to an entire arm piece is with a small tribal tattoo. There are a lot of nature-inspired aspects to incorporate or draw inspiration from, such as the sun, plants, and animals, as well as color-block shading, symbols, and shapes. This smaller piece looks great on the back, shoulders, arms, ankles, or wrists.
With a feminine rose tattoo, you’ll be singing “La Vie En Rose” with every glance at your fresh ink. The daintiness of a small rose tattoo lends itself to a minimalist aesthetic, which is both romantic and artistic and speaks to the beautiful and gentle properties of roses found in nature. When mapping out the design, consider the power of linework and details, which can show off your tattoo artist’s talent.
The imagery behind wolves is as powerful as the animals themselves, which is why they make such a popular tattoo design. As pack-oriented creatures, wolves are known for their fierce loyalty and prowess. These characteristics make wolf tattoos a favorite for couples, especially husbands and wives who want to express their love and dedication through ink. Big or small, these tattoos carry a powerful message.
Wisdom, knowledge, and spirituality are three of the key traits associated with owls, which make them the perfect inspiration for a simple and small, yet impactful, tattoo. Who wouldn’t want a cool, intelligent, and nocturnal animal inked on their body? One way to pack a punch with your design is to concentrate on the wings and fill that area of the bird with personalized details or color.
From ashes, the phoenix has the power to be reborn again; this is the powerful meaning behind phoenix tattoos – a visual representation of this legendary and mystic bird. In addition to transformation and rebirth, the phoenix is also known for its fiery imagery. Women interested in this tattoo can play with shading or watercolor elements for feminine touches or have the bird drawn flying to help the design fit in small areas.
For a beautiful and out-of-the-box piece of body art, consider a geometric tattoo. This style of tattoo is extremely versatile, as designs can be as abstract, simple, or complex as possible. For example, a geometric tattoo can be as straightforward as different overlapping shapes. Or, it can be the same idea, but play with dotted lines. Or, it can be that same basic foundation, but with colorful flowers sprouting from the shapes. Geometric tattoos can be both feminine and strong, math-oriented and artsy.