Butterfly Tattoos

The butterfly tattoo is among the most popular tattoo designs. Butterfly tattoos are easy to outline and fill in with a variety of colors or monochromatic shades if preferred. 3D butterfly tattoo artists can also make the winged creature look true to life. The vivid colors and sharp symmetry also make the butterfly tattoo design well-loved.

Butterfly tattoos look good on any skin tone as well as personalities. Both outgoing and introverted personalities favor this tattoo.

There are diverse types of butterflies in the ecosystem making the tattoo design ideas almost limitless. The butterfly tattoo can be drawn in different ways too — with closed or outstretched wings, in its coming out stage, or in-flight.

The butterfly tattoo design can also be accompanied by other patterns and styles, including tribal motifs, graphic patterns, or a play of colors mixing the flamboyant colors of the butterfly with monochromatic tones in the background.

Significance of Butterfly Tattoo

The butterfly tattoo meaning is as varied as the designs that can be created with it. Butterflies carry positive significance, mostly from the fact that it has the ability to reinvent itself and emerge as a new creation.


The metamorphosis process that butterflies go through from its understated caterpillar stage to its beautiful winged state is what attracts tattoo lovers to it. Butterflies accept, rather than fight the change.The transformation is symbolic to the person who wants to get this tattoo. If a person wants to go through change after heartbreak, loss, or feel the need to move on, grow and evolve, this is the tattoo for them.


The butterfly tattoo design appeals to women because it is symbolic of its grace, beauty, and other feminine attributes like fragility. As the butterfly has thin wings, it appears to be frail which is akin to the fragility the person feels.


Humans have long desired to be able to fly and have attached the symbol of wings to this desire. Butterflies have become popular for this reason as the butterfly is free and unconstrained, flying from one flower to another.

Happiness and Eternal Love

Butterflies are symbolic of a long-lasting relationship and happy life. Such is the symbolism applied to this insect in some Asian countries.

Philosophical meaning

The deeper meaning of butterfly tattoos is that everything in the universe is ever-changing and nothing is permanent. As butterflies have a short life after emerging from their cocoon, so is life on Earth short and so is a reminder to live every moment well and seize the day.

Spiritual meaning

In Tibet, they regard butterflies as symbolic of being in a higher state of being, more specifically in the spiritual aspect of humans. For Native American tribes and Aztecs, it is believed that butterflies are symbolic of the souls of their departed loved ones. The loss of a loved one may lead to wanting to have a butterfly tattoo.”

Butterfly Tattoo Placement Ideas

The butterfly tattoo can be drawn in varying sizes. Small butterfly tattoos are appealing to many as they can be cute and worn discreetly. They can also be tattooed in clusters or groups.

Butterfly tattoos are favored mostly by women because of its feministic characteristics and attractive cultures. The butterfly tattoo may be drawn on the wrist, foot, ankle, or lower back if it is small or in clusters. Butterfly tattoo on the shoulder is also a more common placement for this tattoo design.

If you are looking for a tattoo that does not take up a lot of space, the butterfly tattoo is definitely one to get. Unconventional placement of butterfly tattoos include on the bosoms, upper thighs, lower chest, or stomach. Such placement ideas are favored by those who want to keep their tattoo more for their private enjoyment only.

For more exposure, the butterfly tattoo placement can be on the upper arms, legs, neck, or shoulders. Placing a big butterfly tattoo or large group of butterflies on your back can create an effect that is very carefree. Where you choose to make a home for your butterfly tattoo on your skin is entirely up to you. Be it privately-kept or well-exposed, it is a tattoo design that is surely loved.

Butterfly Tattoo History

The association humankind has with butterflies has been around for centuries, perhaps the key reason why butterfly tattoos have gained long-lasting popularity among the masses.

Butterflies are linked to the cultures of many societies and imbedded in various mythologies. It is widely accepted that butterflies become body icons as it carries spiritual and cultural significance.

For instance, earlier Europeans believed that the human spirit took on the shape of a butterfly after passing away. It is believed as a good omen linked to the departed spirits. The same is believed in ancient Greece, that the human spirit comes forth out of its cocoon from death emerging as a butterfly.

In Ireland, it is believed that butterflies are the spirits in purgatory. In Aztec culture, if the departed loved ones are pleased with their family, they will visit the household in the form of a butterfly.

In Native Indian belief of the Nagas linked with Assam, the dead go through a series of changes in the underworld and are finally reborn as butterflies. After the butterfly dies, that is the final end of the human spirit.

Butterflies have also been linked to the Holocaust. Children in focus camps would make a wish on a butterfly thinking that even as they won’t endure with their health, their spirits might live on as butterflies.

Asian culture has a more positive association with butterflies. The historic significance of butterfly tattoos in Asia is associated with joy, pleasure, fertility, regeneration, and revival.

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