Why Should You Get a Small Tattoo?
Small tattoos are a great tattoo when you get that first tattoo craving. They don’t take up too much valuable skin space, and they can be very meaningful ink, or just for fun. If it’s your first time getting a tattoo, a simple tattoo is a great way to find out what getting a tattoo feels like and how the process works.
What Makes a Good Small Tattoo?
So you want a small tattoo? First you have to narrow down your choices of what to get. Some things are just meant for a small size. Other things cannot be sized down so easily or are too complex detail-wise to make small. Some artists even specialize in small, detailed, fine-line tattoos. Unless your artist-of-choice does, it's best to find an idea you like that can be simplified for a small size. That means choosing something with not too much detail.
What Is a Flash Tattoo?
Most tattoo artists have original flash sheets. This is a sheet or a book of designs they have already made and are ready to tattoo. They can range in size, complexity, and cost, but they usually have a fair amount of small tattoo designs on their flash sheet since flash sheets are generally smaller, quick-to-tattoo designs. If you want a tattoo and you have an artist you like, ask to see their flash to find the right tiny tattoo idea! If there’s a design idea from our list below that you like but you are stuck on how you want it to look, you can search the internet for flash sheets of that design. For example, “small flower tattoo flash” will come up with loads of pictures of all the different ways you could get a small flower tattoo. (We’ll also encourage you try to be as original as possible so you’re not straight copying someone’s work, but Google can give some good inspo. It’s how you found us, right? 😏)
Small Tattoo Ideas
We’ve compiled a list of common small tattoo ideas to give you a little small meaningful tattoo inspiration.
Diamonds, hearts, spades, and clubs can all make for a small simple tattoo that you’ll love. If you are a card player or Vegas fanatic this could be a great first tattoo for you. Separately, the artwork of each suit can represent something different for you.
A tiny skull tattoo is a fun first tattoo. You can keep it simple and small with a skull outline, and you can accessorize the skull to make it more unique to your personality. It’s a cool look but can be a gentle reminder that we’re all the same on the inside (awww).
What’s your favorite drink? A glass of wine? A martini? Whiskey? If you are a connoisseur of alcoholic beverages, a small drinking glass tattoo could be a good start.
A lightning bolt can symbolize brilliance, power, and speed. A lightning bolt tattoo could be a good first if you like storms, the unpredictability of nature, the strike of a brilliant new ideal, or fast cars.
Fruits and Veggies
How about a little fruit tattoo? They always seem to come out cute and can never really weigh too heavily in their meaning. Cherries, avocado, pineapple, strawberry, lime – choose your fruit of choice and the placement for your first tattoo. Maybe you’re a veggie person? Carrot, cucumber, tomato, onion – all can be made into a small tattoo!
You can go realistic or abstract and get a little fish tattoo. Fish symbolize luck, wisdom, and the ability to survive the currents of change. These tiny tattoos are perfect for your wrist or ankles, and can even make a great addition to a full sleeve, eventually. Koi and goldfish are common options, but if there’s another fish out there you just love, go for it.
There are quite a few types of celtic knots and each one has a different meaning. Some of them would be awesome choices as small tattoos, but keep in mind that others might be a bit too complex to size down.
The moon is a symbol of feminine energy. It is also an mystical part of the solar system that shows its beauty every night. The waxing and waning moons give off different energies as well. You can choose one phase of the moon to get tattooed, or if you want something a little more complex but still small, you could get a moon tattoo in a few different phases, like a waxing crescent moon transforming into a first quarter, then a waxing gibbous, then the full moon. A trendy tattoo is getting all phases of the moon, and this can still be small, simple, and statement-making.
The sun gives us light, energy, and happiness. If you like the idea of getting a small sun tattoo you can have a lot of fun making a unique design that is still simple. You can give your sun a face or choose to go abstract with a line drawing. You can also get creative by adding rays to your sun.
What better than a little devil tattoo to remind you to have some fun with life? You can get a little demon or maybe just the tail and horns. It could even be paired with a second small tattoo, which brings us to our next idea.
The opposing side to the devil, the angel. Little renaissance cherubs are becoming a more popular tattoo idea. While a whole ass renaissance version might be too complex for a small size, that shouldn't stop you from getting a more minimal angel. You can also choose to just get some wings and a halo Ω abstract is cool, too.
Daggers are a popular item on tattoo artist’s flash sheets. They are one of the oldest weapons in the world and have been a classic tattoo since tattooing started, especially in the American traditional style. They can be fun little tattoos or can represent something deeper when accompanied by other symbols. Put a dagger through a heart and you’ve got heartbreak. Put it through a panther and you’ve got a metaphor for beating a challenge.
Barbed wire used to be a symbol of the unapproachable bad boy types. Now, it’s a fairly common tattoo (real bad boys and posers alike 😜). Even if it’s more common, that doesn’t change that it looks pretty bad ass. You can get a few links of barbed wire in a cool spot or in a shape, like a heart.
The good luck bug! If you want a small tattoo with a splash of color this is a great one. If it’s done realistically enough it can look like you have a permanent good luck charm hanging out.
Waves symbolize change and can be a reminder to go with nature, not fight it. Maybe you love the metaphor or maybe you just love a good surf session. Getting a small wave can be a great first tattoo and there are a bunch of fun placement opportunities.
Are you a tropical person? Love a fresh coconut? A palm tree with some coconuts could be a fun small tattoo for you. Make the trunk of the tree curved in fun ways or add a little sunset watercoloring behind to make it more complex.
Do the mountains call your name? If you have a picture of a couple of your favorite peaks or a range that means a lot in particular, you can have an artist duplicate it into a more minimalist tattoo. Some people like to add shading, others keep it simple with clean lines.
The hamsa represents the “Hand of God.” It is a protective sign and is thought to bring good fortune and fertility. The symbol is most popularly drawn as a hand with two symmetrical thumbs pointing outward.
If you are religious or just have a personal relationship with the cross symbol then this is a good and easy first tattoo that can be done in an infinite number of styles. You could even intertwine an infinity symbol in with the cross — the possibilities here are endless.
Can your favorite flower be simplified? A little sunflower tattoo, lotus flower, tulip, or dandelion (we know it’s technically a weed but c’mon, she cute) can all make cute choices. Small rose tattoos have become especially popular, but any flower can be a beautiful option if it’s done right.
If you’re open to hand tattoos, you might be interested in getting finger dots. You may have seen this tattoo around and wondered about the meaning. Typically, finger dot tattoos are just a trend for aesthetic purposes. But, if you see that the dots are actually a semicolon, that is a symbol representing that the person has battled depression, and that they could have chosen to end their story (with a period), but they have chosen to continue it, even though there may have been a brief pause). It is a very meaningful and sentimental tattoo, and can be really cathartic if you’ve experienced a rough time in your life where you didn’t think you were going to make it, but here you are! 💚
An inspirational word or a handwritten note from a loved one makes for a meaningful first tattoo. You can choose a font you love if it’s a word or a phrase you want tattooed. Or bring in a handwritten note from a loved one and have your tattoo artist copy the handwriting. Whether your quote reminds you of longevity, prosperity, courage, friendship, or an important bond with a loved one, a script tattoo is always a great choice.
A simple heart line drawing can be an easy, impossible-to-be-controversial fun tattoo. Figure out a cute spot for it and it’s a winner. You could also go the realistic route and get a little heart organ tattoo if you are the more science-y type. Heart tattoos are popular for a reason!
A pair of dice is a super classic tattoo. It can signify the chance of life, risk, and luck. Sometimes certain board or card games come with specialized dice. That could also make for a unique tattoo.
Who doesn’t love pizza? If you are a pizza-lover, you could consider getting a slice tattooed. Make it personal with toppings… but probably the only one that would look good is some slices of pepperoni. We’re not quite sure that a veggie pizza would come out readable small-scale.
You want to keep it really simple and fun? Two dots and a line will give you a smiley face tattoo. You can even get matching faces with your best friends. Is it a little goofy? Yeah. But are you a little goofy? Then it’s perfect.
You can get a star tattoo designed many different ways. Maybe you like the classic cowboy star or you want a few fine-line twinkles. Stars make great small wrist tattoos, and if you do a constellation, you can still keep it nice and simple but add a little extra meaning.
Does Getting a Small Tattoo Still Hurt?
While they will almost definitely be less of a pain than a larger or more complex tattoo – small tattoos can still be painful depending on where you are getting it. We know people covered in tattoos that still cringe at the thought of getting another because the pain is such... a pain. Thankfully, HUSH is here to make it much easier with our line of tattoo numbing products. Check out our famous numbing gel and lidocaine spray, and then take a look at our artists page for even more tattoo inspiration. Sources: Difference Between Custom and Flash Tattoos | Chosen Art What do Dagger Tattoos Symbolize? | Next Luxury What is a hamsa? Is it specifically a Jewish symbol, a Middle Eastern symbol, or something else? | Reform Judaism