White tattoos are one of the hottest trends in body inking. These are our favorite white ink tattoos.
One of the coolest new(ish) trends in body ink is white tattoos. White ink can make even the simplest tat look amazing and unique. If you’re considering one, definitely do your homework and find a really talented tattoo artist who has lots of experience with white tattoos. Allegedly, they work better on pale skin, which seems counter-intuitive, but yay for me, because I have pale skin and want one of these really badly.
33 White Tattoos For White Ink Lovers:
I love the subtle nod to this tattoo owner’s faith. So many times you see really giant, elaborate cross tats, but this small white tattoo on the inner wrist seems much more pious. Though, there is probably something in the Bible somewhere that warns “thou shalt not ink,” but she doesn’t seem too worried.
2. Little Bit of Love
I know, I know, another small inner wrist tattoo, what kind of boring list is this? But I had to include this one because I adore it completely. My very first tattoo when I was 19 was a simple heart on my ankle. Beautiful white tattoos! I had to hide it from my parents for two years by covering it with one of those little round band-aids. No idea why they never thought it was weird that I kept cutting myself shaving in the exact same spot. This white version would definitely have been easier to hide from my disapproving parents.
3. Bad Wolf
How could I write about white tattoos without including this simple “Doctor Who” beauty? If you’re a Whovian obsessed with Rose Tyler, you know how badass this tat would be. But if you are, in fact, the Bad Wolf, and are filled with the entire time vortex, do you really want to hide your awesome ink under your boob? Not a huge fan of this placement, but I love the typewriter font.
4. The Creeper
I am absolutely terrified by this. The talented artist behind this white tattoo did an amazing job making this actually look like an evil little alien/demon/ghost is trying to push its way out of this guys chest (maybe he’s trying to get away from that nipple ring?). Regardless of how creepy I find it, I have to admit it’s great work, and a super cool idea.
5. Sternum Lace
Now this is what white tattoos were invented for! So beautiful! There is so much detail in this piece, and it is just gorgeous. You can almost imagine this as a doily on your grandma’s side table. Again, I’m not a huge fan of the whole under-boob thing (you can only see the whole thing when you’re laying on your back? Oh. Wait. Maybe that’s the point?), but I love that it isn’t the typical shoulder piece. Here are more white tattoos.
This piece really stood out for me. I love the minimalism, how the style is almost a cross between tribal and modern. Not your typical angel tattoo. The wings are my fave – they’re almost skeletal, aren’t they? Very unique, very elegant. A+.
Super clever use of dermal piercings to enhance this beautiful white tattoo! It’s an interesting way to make what would be a pretty subtle tattoo stand out. I’m not sure if this is an inner arm or a leg – it would be crazy cool on a leg, wouldn’t it? – but I love this mixed-media work.
8. Minimal Mandala
You won’t hear me complain about cultural appropriation here. I love this tat! This design is very reminiscent of Zentangle (of which I am a huge fan), and I can’t get enough of all the swirls and curls. Mandalas are supposed to represent the universe, so does that mean she’s carrying the whole world on her shoulder? That was a terrible, terrible joke. I apologize. Anyway, I like it.
9. Crazy Alien Writing?
I’m going to assume that the weird writing that comprises this white tattoo means something to someone somewhere. I feel like it might have something to do with Hobbits. But how freaking cool is it?? Even without knowing what it means, or if it even means anything, it looks awesome. It’s like she’s got some kind of ultra-secret code on the back of her neck. Maybe whatever language that is translates to “like a boss?”
10. Song Lyrics
Are Jason Mraz lyrics poignant enough for immortalization? Ah, who cares! I looks awesome! Love, love, love! I’m a little confused by that first “i” because it kind of looks more like an “e” with a dot over it, but otherwise, its a cool font. Very hand-written looking. This tat is nice because the white hasn’t faded, so you can still clearly read what it says, which I would say is pretty important with a word tattoo. Also, I’m biased toward song lyric tattoos because I’ve got a Pearl Jam song tattooed on my right calf. 10 points if you can guess which song.
11. Body of Work
This work is so detailed, I can’t even imagine how long she had to sit still for it. What a beautiful piece! It seems like a mix of floral and possibly feathers – I’m seeing the bottom as two peacock feathers, anyone else? I love the way it flows with the curves of her body. It’s super feminine without being all roses and bows.
12. Quill and Ink
There are so many white feather tattoos out there, that this one really jumped out at me. It’s a little morbid, what with the “ink” being red (I assume it’s supposed to be blood), but I love the placement and the execution. Another personal bias, as I’ve got a quill and inkwell on my ankle, but you really can’t deny this is a cool tat. Hopefully this person is left-handed.
13. Beautiful Relief
This tattoo is so beautiful, I want to slice it off this arm and hang it on my wall. OK, not really. That’d be gross. But this is totally a beautiful work of art! The shading gives this piece a great 3-D effect, and I kind of want to reach out and touch it. Such realistic depth here! Now that I’m really scrutinizing it carefully, I can’t tell if it even uses any white ink, or if it’s just extremely well-done shadow. Regardless, it’s a striking piece that I would definitely always go sleeveless for.
14. Floral with Script
We’ve got a bleeder! Anyway, I can’t read this tattoo, but I feel like it probably has some cultural or spiritual significance for the owner. It’s symmetrical, yet each piece of the flower has a different symbol. Tough to tell the placement of this tat, but it seems like it’s a large shoulder blade piece. I think this white tattoo would also look amazing on the back of a calf, or even sternum. It’s simple, it’s delicate, and it’s most-likely sentimental – a great candidate for white ink.
Limited Time Offer (click photo)
15. Infinity Snake
My first thought when I saw this was “Slytherin!” But then I realized that not everyone is obsessed with Harry Potter (except the people in #28). Turns out, this is much more likely to be a depiction of Ouroboros, which has something to do with ancient Greece, and symbolizes continual change or re-birth (kind of like a phoenix. Wait. Maybe this is Harry Potter-related?). This tattoo appears to be on an inner forearm, and I just love that choice. It’s a subtle tattoo in a subtle location, and since I imagine it carries a lot of meaning, it’s still something you’d be able to look at all the time.
16. Minimalist Floral
A seriously simple floral design that is totally enhanced by it’s lack of color. If this tattoo was in black, it just would not be as striking – it would look way too tribal and not special at all. But in white, it delicately graces this upper arm and brings to mind so many images. I see a flower, a woman, a kind of angry owl, and a model of an atom. All of which I am totally confident they were going for. Especially the angry owl.
17. Face Ink
Well, if you’re going to ink your face, what better way than white? This tat looks pretty fresh, so once it heals, it will probably be much less apparent. If I was going to tattoo my face (if forced at gunpoint, really), I would definitely go with white ink. I love all those tiny little dots in the pattern – it makes something that could be a jarring sight into something soft and sweet. It definitely plays well against the ear stretchy thingy (LOL. I have no idea what those are called).
18. Do You Believe?
Whenever I come across the word “Believe” used in any kind of decorative way – like white tattoos or wooden placards hanging in someone’s living room – I go immediately to Santa Claus. Am I alone in this? It’s one of my favorite words specifically for that reason. The word fills me with images of the North Pole and hardworking elves, Rudolph, hot cocoa, villages full of tiny little elf houses. I love Christmas, I really do. Not in a Jesus-y way, just in a spending time with loved ones/giving gifts/general merriment kind of way. So this beautiful script tattoo speaks to me on a whole other level (it’s white like snow! The font is so festive!), but aesthetically, from a non-lunatic point of view, this white tattoo is really well done. The lettering is absolutely flawless. As someone with several inked words on her body, I can say, it’s tough to get really tight lettering. The swirly flourishes below don’t take distract from the script, and the placement is just lovely. All around amazing tattoo.
19. Shaded Love
Oh this one is so great!! I totally wrote that exactly the same way on my notebook in high school. But seriously, I love the way the black ink is used to give the white ink depth. Once this ink starts to fade, the black will really help it pop. Super cute.
20. Hakuna Matata?
I don’t know if that’s supposed to be Simba or not, but this lion kind of looks like he’s busting out of her skin and wants to eat me. But like, in a good, nicely done tattoo kind of way. This is a pretty large piece that would be really conspicuous if it was in color, but in white, it’s almost like “this lion is my spirit animal who watches over me.” I like the placement – this absolutely needs to be a back piece – but I think it would also look amazing if it was directly in the center of her back.
21. Sense of Direction
Are you feeling lost? Well, this white compass tattoo probably won’t help, but it will certainly look amazing. I do love a nice inner forearm tattoo, and this one is something you don’t see a lot of. I’m so curious about why they (I’d say he because of the hairy arm, but that’s pretty much what my arm looks like, so I’m not going to judge) chose this – did they finally find direction in their life? were they a sailor who’d been lost at sea? So many possible reasons.
22. Forearm Floral
This is so pretty! I love absolutely everything about this white tattoo – the flowers, the swirls (I’m really big on swirls), the dotted edging along the vines.
23. Back to the Grind
I seriously just noticed that the inside of those gears are puzzle pieces. That’s brilliant! It makes it less steampunk than I originally felt, and that makes me like it more. Anyone else sick of steampunk? Just me? Anyway. These gears are super cute, and I really do like the way artists are enhancing white tattoos with black shading. It just turns it into a completely different style. If this tat was only white, I don’t think it would have near as much impact as it does. This is totally another tattoo I want to reach out and touch. In a completely platonic way.
24. My Little Unicorn
This is so cute. So stinkin’ cute. First off, who doesn’t love a unicorn? They’re magical. Secondly, who wouldn’t want a tattoo that looks like it could be a Lisa Frank sticker? Um, no one. Everyone wants a permanent Lisa Frank sticker. I love this tattoo to pieces. Look at the unicorn’s windblown mane! Isn’t it majestic? Don’t you want to climb on it’s back and ride it over a rainbow to a magical fairy land filled with glitter and Hershey’s kisses? This tattoo in white ink makes it seem like it’s a secret symbol that gains the bearer entrance into Oz, or Wonderland, or Neverland, or wherever My Little Ponies are from. I declare this tattoo the winner of everything.
25. Floral Footsie
Ouch. I’ve heard that foot tattoos hurt a lot. Like, A LOT. And shading white ink with red makes me squirm the teensiest bit, because it looks like it has been carved out of her skin. OK, now I can’t stop seeing it that way. Well, before I grossed myself out, I decided that this was a beautiful tattoo, and a nice change from the typical flower-on-foot tattoo. The artist is crazy talented, though, and those petals actually look soft and flowy.
26. Dramatic Impact
There are not a lot of examples out there of white tattoos on dark skin, and I find that absolutely ridiculous. How beautiful is this? The design itself, as well as the placement wrapping around the shoulder, is awesome, but the contrast between her skin and the ink looks incredible! Since it’s something you don’t see very often, it just makes this piece even more distinct and eye-catching.
27. Dia de los Dainty
I’ve never really been a fan of sugar skulls, mostly because I’m a huge wuss, and skulls really freak me out. It’s those giant empty eye sockets…I don’t know…I feel like all of a sudden they’re going to blink at me or something. And I will admit that even though this is just a teeny tattoo on someone’s ankle, I really can’t look at it too long. That doesn’t stop me from appreciating the fact that it’s a nice, little, subtle tattoo that would be great for anyone who isn’t me. I do like the heart-shaped eye sockets, though. But only because they aren’t filled with an all-consuming blackness. If you liked the skull, these Day of the Dead Tattoos are for you.
So it turns out, there are quite a few Harry Potter nerds out there who want to immortalize their love for “the boy who lived” by stabbing their flesh repeatedly with a tiny needle. I did not feature a Deathly Hallows tattoo here, because, frankly, I’m sick of seeing them.
I’m not sure why you’d want to tattoo yourself with a punishment meted out by one Dolores Umbridge, but man, that looks cool! Umbridge is definitely the most hated villain in the Potterverse – Voldemort couldn’t hold a candle to her sadism. That memorable scene (in which she forces Harry to use a magical pen that painfully carves the words he writes with it into the back of his hand) is brilliantly commemorated here in white ink. White tattoos often end up having a scar-like appearance, so white was by far the best choice of ink color for this tat.
“Lumos” is the spell to bring light, so it’s fitting that this magical tat will appear to illuminate under a black light.
This protection spell tattoo appears to be one that has healed, and you can see how it has a scar-like appearance. But again with the inner wrist – it’s been done to death, people!
Hmm. I can’t decide if I like this one or not. I mean, it looks great, and it definitely makes sense to use white ink for this tattoo. But in the wizarding world, mudblood is a derogatory word. Maybe he’s just decided to own it? Like, “half-blood and proud,” or something. Regardless, it looks pretty cool, almost like it was written in disappearing ink in the white tattoos.
Ah, the lightning bolt scar. I can completely understand the reluctance to place this where it’s supposed to go. Behind the ear seems like a good alternative. Harry’s scar is usually mostly hidden by his hair, so she’s keeping the spirit while keeping her face tat-free. Another cute example of taking advantage of white ink’s scar quality.
29. Birds of a Feather
I’ve been wanting to get a bird tattoo for quite some time now, so whenever I see one, I file it away for future reference. These three white tattoos are amazing examples of what I’ve been looking for, and they each have their own unique look.
This one is kind of that classic sparrow tattoo with a twist. Inking this in white makes it so much more unique.
For some reason, this tat reminds me of a Christmas ornament. Can’t you see it as like, white felt with red stitching? I like that it’s not the typical design, and I love the pattern on the belly.
By now you know how I feel about white tattoos that have been shaded with black. And this one is no exception – it’s amaze. I adore the little face on this guy, and the depth of the feathers in the wings. The shading on this really is fantastic. I don’t generally believe in getting inked with something exactly identical to someone else’s, but I so want this, like, right now. Ready for more white tattoos?
30. Pretty Paisley
Paisley is amazing. Adding flowers and tattooing it in white ink? Even better. I absolutely love the style of this tat, and the subtlety of white ink works so well with the design. It almost seems like a really cool doodle, or something out of those grown-up coloring books that are all the rage right now. But I’m really having trouble deciding if this is an arm or a leg. It’s either just above a heel, or just above an elbow – what do you think? Oooh – I hope it’s above an elbow. That would be sweet placement.
31. Mother Nature Board White Tattoos
Geek chic is hot. This circuit-tree (circuitry? get it?) is hardcore nerdcore. I bet this guy has a scientific calculator and a soldering iron. And possibly a giant white board with calculations written on it. I love this tat. It’s extremely clever, and the use of white ink makes it almost seem like it’s part of his skin – which I bet he would be stoked about.
33. Amazing Abstract
I think it’s fitting to end my list of white tattoos with one that combines so many of the things I love about them. This design is incredible. I love that it’s lacy, geometric, and almost seashell-like. The larger shapes near the top could even be giraffe spots. How cool is the placement? On the hand end, it appears to be like a lace glove, or a long, lacy sleeve, but as you move past the wrist it takes on an animal-like appearance, as if this human arm is slowly morphing into a cheetah. Then there’s the shading, of course. You know I love the shading! This skin appears so textured, I have to keep looking at it, and reminding myself it’s just ink. I want to touch this one, too.
Limited Time Offer (click photo)