Beautiful Butterfly Tattoo Designs and Ideas

Butterflies are delicate flying insects with colorful wings. The insect undergoes a process called metamorphosis, in which the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. This process of change has popularized the butterfly as a symbol in art, signifying transformation, rebirth and a lifting of the heart.

The Meaning of Butterfly Tattoos

Butterflies are often used as a visual symbol to mark a major change in a person's life. Because of the metamorphosis process, butterflies symbolize the struggle of change and transformation, and the beauty that results from such a struggle. In every way, the simple existence of a butterfly is a sign of success - the creature has had to survive a number of ordeals to remain alive.
In ancient cultures, butterfly designs were used to embody the soul or the mind as a symbol of spiritual enlightenment. A butterfly emerging from its cocoon symbolizes a shedding of physical burdens while discovering a person's own personal freedom. A flying butterfly symbolizes lightness of heart, freedom of spirit and a gentle beauty.
Butterflies are associated with femininity and are used in tattoo designs as a symbol of elegance, beauty and allure. Women are very aesthetic creatures, which means that they appreciate the beauty that they find in life. The decorative nature of butterfly wings is considered beautiful by many women, who choose butterfly tattoo designs not only for their symbolism, but for the simple beauty of these winged creatures.

This incredible tattoo design uses a number of design tricks to create a stunning tattoo. First, the tattoo artist has used contrast between black areas and light and bright colors. The dark outlines make the colors on the wings stand out. Secondly, the shading on the wings is natural and appealing, giving the finished tattoo design a professional quality.

Thirdly, the tattoo artist has used a simple but effective trick to make the tattoo seem to stand out against the skin, as though it is a real, living, 3-dimensional butterfly sitting on the girl's shoulder; he's added a shadow. The shadow give the design depth, tricking the eye into believing that there is a small amount of distance between the edge of the butterfly wing and the surface of the woman's skin. [source]

This full back tattoo uses a tribal design style for a clear, simple effect. the butterfly wing design is built using only the black shapes that outline empty areas of skin. The result is an elegant tattoo design that has a darker, heavier feeling than a delicately colored tattoo would. In a way, this is the gothic cousin of the fairy-styled butterfly wings tattoo. [source]

The tattoo artist has given this dragon butterfly wings to create a fantasy creature that is colorful and unusual. The blue of the body stands in contrast to the reds and greens on the butterfly wings. [source]

This butterfly tattoo design uses fantasy patterns as decorations on the wings. The finished result is a colorful, interesting tattoo design that is fun to look at. As a symbol this butterfly tattoo represents the fun-loving nature of the girl who owns the tattoo, symbolizing her love of art, color and spirituality. [source]

The artist has included tiny details in this butterfly tattoo design, even paying attention to the natural shape of the body of the insect. The contrasting colors of blue and yellow add visual interest to the butterfly tattoo. In Japan, if a butterfly flies into your bedroom, it's a sign that someone you love will visit you soon. [source]

This skull butterfly tattoo is a hybrid of symbols. While butterflies can symbolize the spirit and new beginnings, skulls are a symbol of death and endings. In a way, the symbolism works, because in order for something to be "reborn", it must first die. Personal transformation is a process of one state of being ending so that a new state can emerge, similar to the caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly. [source]

This cute butterfly tattoo is based on a hippy doodle and includes a wealth of symbolism in the form of eyes, hearts, ladybugs, a yin yang symbol,  a peace sign and a sun and moon. [source]

This butterfly tattoo design has a devilish feeling about it. The tattoo artist has added horns to the butterfly's wings and used fiery colored inks. In mythology and fairy tales, winged creatures such as fairies were often beautiful but a little dangerous too. This butterfly tattoo perfectly captures the essence of these devilish fairy tale creatures. [source]

Beautiful Butterfly Tattoos
Butterflies are a very versatile subject for tattoo designs. Their shape is easily recognizable in silhouette, which means that butterfly designs can be stylized and transformed while still retaining the beauty of their natural form. Butterfly tattoos can be inked into the skin anywhere on the body, though the most popular places for butterfly tattoos are the shoulders, lower back, neck and chest.
Butterfly tattoo designs are very popular, which means that there are a lot of people out there with tattoos of butterflies. If you're considering getting a butterfly tattoo, try to personalize the design in some way. Perhaps include the initials of people you love in the design of the wings, or combine the design elements of the butterfly with those of another creature, symbol or element. For example, if you consider yourself a fiery person, perhaps design the butterfly wings so that they appear to be made of flames. Or if you enjoy reading and writing, make the butterfly wings appear to be pages out of a book. Because butterfly tattoos are so popular, it's fairly easy to end up with a design that is similar to someone else's. This is why it is important to create a butterfly tattoo design that is customized to your own needs.

This full back tattoo of butterfly wings uses natural shapes, patterns and colors to create an organic looking design. This reveals that the wearer of the tattoo has a love of nature while still enjoying flights of fantasy; she's given herself fairy wings. [source]

This stylized tattoo design uses elegant lines to create a delicate, feminine butterfly tattoo. Even though the artist has added swirls to extend the design outwards, the silhouette of the butterfly is still easy to recognize. The butterfly, along with the swirls, creates a feeling of lightness. This adds to the sensation of freedom that is associated with butterfly tattoos. [source]

Tiger tattoos represent strength and masculinity, whereas butterfly tattoos represent spirituality and femininity. When combined, butterflies and tigers create an interesting balance between the male and female elements of the human soul. Psychologist Sigmund Freud believed in the Animus and Anima, the male and female halves of the psyche. Such an image balances the essences of Animus and Anima. [source]

This clever tattoo design is based on a Photoshop animal hybrid art work. An elephant's ears have a similar shape to butterfly wings, making this animal combination an attractive success. The resulting symbolism is interesting. Elephants generally symbolize remembrance and steadfastness; meaning that stand in stark contrast to the flightiness and fragility of butterflies. [source]

Butterflies can make a fun tattoo design for a woman, symbolizing joy and lightheartedness. The above butterfly tattoos use the natural patterns and colors found on butterfly wings, though this design would also have worked with fantasy patterns and colors. [source]