Moon tattoos that are so cool, they’re out of this world! If you love Earth’s pet, the moon, you’ll love these tattoos. Guaranteed.
The moon has guided humanity for, well, always. Early astronomers (think around 2500 years ago) charted our moon’s phases and it’s progress across the sky. It ties in to mythology, folklore, fantasy and science. The moon is a pretty large part of human existence. It’s understandable then, that so many people have moon tattoos. The moon represents exploration, dreams, the infinite space. A powerful symbol indeed. Let’s take a look at some of the ways people have paid tribute to our lunar satellite by getting moon tattoos.
A simple crescent moon. If the points face right, it’s a waning moon (getting smaller), and if the points face right, it’s waxing (getting bigger). My astronomy professor in college gave us a really great way to remember the difference between waxing and waning: think about earwax building up in your ear, getting bigger and bigger. Kind of like the waxing moon. A gross analogy, but I still remember it all these years later!
91 Moon Tattoos:
1. Back of the neck
Love the back of the neck placement of this crescent moon. For such a simple tattoo, it really makes a big statement here. Easy to hide with your hair if you need to, and totally sexy when it peeks out of your shirt. Very nice.
Very nice couple’s tattoos! I’m always leery about matching tattoos (my former BFF and I designed our own special tattoo that had all kinds of secret meanings and inside jokes. We got them inked on our hips, and within a few years, well, we weren’t friends anymore. Now mine looks like s**t and I can’t even remember what it was supposed to mean), but when it’s something less specific like these adorable little moons, I can get behind the idea a little more. I like that they’re both on the hand, yet in different positions. Let’s hope these two crazy kids can make it work.
The tiny ankle tattoo! Always a classic (I’ve got one!). It’s cute, it’s discreet, it’s a winner!
I like the placement of this dainty moon tattoo. A little different than the ankle placement above, this ink is almost like a secret.
I’m so curious about the choice of placement for this itty bitty crescent. It’s interesting to put such a small tattoo on a large expanse of skin – how do you decide? I like it, though. But I bet she couldn’t wear a bra while it was healing.
6. Inner Wrist
The inner wrist tattoo strikes again! It’s not a highly original placement, but it’s still cute.
The Man in the Moon
If you believe any of the folklore, be it early Christian, German or Roman, the man in the moon was probably sentenced there for being a thief. Or for working on the Sabbath (God forbid! Ha!). Nowadays, everyone knows there is no actual man in the moon, because, of course, the moon is made of cheese.
7. Start with a crescent, and add a face
Love this sleepy little guy on the back of her shoulder.
8. On the ankle
This one looks more like a lady moon. Traditionally the moon is feminine, so that makes sense. I like that she’s got eyelashes.
Give it a little more detail
These folks took the idea of an anthropomorphic crescent moon tattoo and decided to take it up a notch with additional details.
9. Large Thigh Piece
This beautiful thigh tattoo has a smiling face and craters. Lends a more realistic touch and adds dimension. I love the placement.
10. La Luna
The face on this lunar lady is much more detailed. Check out those full lips and sultry eyes! I wonder what the “23” means? I like that this is an inner wrist piece that isn’t just a tiny tat. This one is meant to be seen!
11. Upper arm/shoulder
I’m going to admit that this one kind of gives me the willies. Don’t get me wrong, I like the placement, and the dotted textural work, but something about that head popping out just doesn’t seem right.
12. Smoking Moon
I love this. If what I’m seeing is, in fact, what was intended, that’s so clever. The moon is smoking out stars! Smoking is still bad, boys and girls, but if you’re the moon, you can do what you want. I adore the thick lines of this moon tattoo, and the detailing is great. But why does he look so angry?
13. Don’t Cry
Oh moon, why you cry? How great is the shading on this piece? I love the addition of stars and a cloud, but I am dying to know why he’s so sad. This is some excellent ink. Super sharp and interesting placement.
Add some color
So far we’ve seen all black ink moon tattoos. But, oh! The things you can do with color!
14. Simple shoulder
The shoulder seems to be a pretty popular place to ink a moon, and for good reason; the shape really lends itself to the area. This moon tattoo is pretty simple, with a sleeping face and shading. It’s those three yellow stars that give it something extra. Night, night!
15. Why So Sad?
Another sad moon! This one is very similar to the one earlier, but with some color in the stars and a rope wrapping around him. Is someone trying to wrangle him, and he doesn’t want to go?
16. Sleepy Moon Tattoos
This little lady is so cute! Again with the eyelashes!! I love the yellow and the swirly clouds, too.
Love the colors of this moon tattoo. We’ve got a blue moon wearing purple eyeshadow, what’s not to like?? And those cheekbones! I adore all the teensy little stars, too – so cute!
18. Wise Moon
This guy is a bit serious, and a lot awesome. Love the use of blue shading here! I love how his hair and beard are used to form the actual moon shape. Very nice, very swirly.
Or make it creepy
I don’t personally get this. Is this some kind of pop culture reference that I don’t understand?
19. Dead Moon
This is another moon tattoo where the “face” is actually coming out of it rather than being a part of it. You may or may not know how I feel about skulls, but let’s just say, I’m not a fan. This one is pretty cool, though, with it’s gaping maw and black background.
20. Crater Face
Ok. This guy is just evil. And is it just me, or does his “skin” look like cheese pizza? Oh man, I’m never going to be able to enjoy cheese pizza again! Moon tattoos are totally supposed to be peaceful and serene! This one is just a nightmare waiting to happen. Of course, it is some really nice work; great shading and use of color.
21. Belly Button
I find this strangely cute. I don’t know if it’s the negative-space stars, or the fact that it circles her belly button, but I think it totally works. I don’t know why the moon is a creepy red skull, and I don’t really care. I like it.
The feminine touch
22. I’m So Fancy
I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! It’s filled with roaring twenties, baroque, bejeweled beauty! I love the subtle red accents and addition of white in the shading. Lashes for days, much? This moon tattoo is absolutely beautiful, and the work is spectacular.
23. It’s Classic
This classic style tat is so incredible. The curls, the eyes, the fact that they look like they just might kiss. Fantastic work! I especially love the rosy cheek! So pretty and fem!
Or turn it into a scene
24. Line Art
I can’t even begin to explain to you how much I love this. I love the lined texture, I love the little human contemplating the moon. I love just every little thing about this moon tattoo. I want to go there and stand next to that guy and look up at the heavens.
Giving your moon tattoo a little flair
These moon tattoos are filled with intricate and ornate designs that take them beyond basic.
This tat and the one below are fairly similar in size, location and design. They are both ornate patterns with a mix of lines, swirls and dots. Love! It’s amazing to me how we have here two seemingly identical ideas, yet in each execution you come out with something different and unique. It’s all in the details, right?
26. Compare and Contrast, Part I
27. Part II
I can’t believe how thin the line work is on this pretty and delicate moon tattoo! It brings to mind lace or even intricate iron work. It’s lovely, and in a perfect spot.
28. Crescent Details
I think this moon tattoo is on a ribcage, but I’m not 100%. Regardless of location, I love the art deco detailing. I also like that this is a larger crescent, with plenty of room for intricate designs.
This one is really more tribal, I think, but those little flowers and swirls make it more feminine. Mid-thigh placement makes this a stand out piece.
30. Large and Colorful
This great, big, colorful crescent is lovely. Totally different than anything we’ve seen here. Love the use of color and the floral design.
31. Blue Moon
I think this is my favorite of this group. I love that it’s done in blue instead of black. Gives it that little something different.
32. Too Hip
So intricate! I really like the placement of this moon tattoo, as well as the mix of thick and thin lines. Great tiny details!
33. Moon and Star
This upper arm piece has some pretty floral details, and I love the addition of the star.
Or a tribal twist
For more tribal tats, check out Best Tribal Tattoo Designs
34. On an Ankle
I love the ombre colors in this tribal crescent. Very hip.
35. On a Shoulder
This one is really more Celtic than tribal, but I love it. I especially like that the star isn’t dead center between the points of the moon, but rather almost resting on one.
36. Adding Stars
There is a lot going on with this moon tattoo. It’s tribal and musical and heavily shaded.
37. Tribal Tale
Moon tattoos definitely work well with a tribal theme, as both tend to conjure images of ancient civilizations and folklore. I really like this one because it’s asymmetrical and seems to be telling a story.
38. Front Shoulder
LOVE the placement of this tat! It makes this work unique, along with the thickly-inked pattern. I really like how the negative space here is so thin – gives the whole tattoo impact.
“The cat went here and there and the moon spun round like a top, and the nearest kin of the moon, the creeping cat, looked up.” Yeats wrote The Cat and the Moon in 1919, and apparently this resonated with a lot of people. What’s that? You’ve never heard of this poem? Yeah, I hadn’t either, but I was trying to find a reason why so many people want to put a cat on the moon.
39. Black Cat
A little black cat in a little blue moon, wishing on a star. This is adorable, and I love the swirly texture of the moon.
These two appear to be conspiring. I feel like I should be concerned, since everyone knows that cats are jerks. I really like the expression on the moon’s face, though.
41. Lounge Cat
Amazing color on this moon tattoo! I love that the cat’s eyes match the moon. Am I crazy, or does this particular feline look like it has very womanly body? I like it. The clouds are a nice touch, and I like the placement between the shoulder blades.
42. Celtic Kitty
There are so many great elements to this cat and moon tattoo! I love the Celtic knots, the flowers, the fact that the cat is just a silhouette. It all works together to make a very striking design.
43. Floral Feline
Beautiful. Just beautiful! I adore the style of this tat. The flowers are almost Asian, like Japanese cherry blossoms, maybe. And how cute are those little cat whiskers? An overall lovely piece.
44. Watercolor Cat
Ooooh! Aaahh! Watercolor! This is amazing. This takes moon tattoos to a whole other level. The moon here is created with negative space, and that watercolor sky is just to die for. To. Die. I like how this particular design has the cat not sitting on the moon, but rather in a tree looking at the moon. A different spin on the cat and the moon idea. Just beautiful.
45. Cat Couple Moon Tattoos
Oh well, that’s just too cute. Two little cat buddies staring up at the sky. Adorable! I love the shade of blue used for the sky, and how there’s sort of an aura around the moon, making it appear to glow. Nice placement, too. Thigh tattoos are always cool.
46. Sketched Scene
*Squee!!* This is my absolute favorite of the bunch. The sketch-like quality of this design, mixed with the itty bitty kitty – I just can’t even. In searching for tattoos for this article, I came across the actual sketch for this work. I loved it immediately, but was sad because it was just a drawing on paper. Imagine my excitement when I came across the finished product! Elation! Joy! I love this tattoo. I love it so much. And I don’t even like cats.
Get a little more galactic by adding some stars
Create something out of this world by adding a starry sky.
47. Inner Wrist Moon
The use of negative space in this moon tattoo is really nice. It gives the moon dimension, especially with the shading around the clouds. A very cute little wrist piece.
48. Falling to Pieces
So this is really clever. I LOVE the fact that the stars are pieces of the moon, and that they’re just sort of falling away like autumn leaves. Very creative and unique.
49. Sweet Shoulder
This shoulder work is so pretty! The stars seem to shimmer as they float around the moon.
50. Swirly Moon Tattoos
A different take on moon and stars here, with the added swirls. You heard I love swirls, right? I love how they wrap around the moon. So cute!
51. Trail of Stars
Great placement of this moon tattoo! From the crescent just below her ear, to the stars trailing down her neck to her shoulder, this is an all around adorable piece. I like that it’s not too heavy on the detail; just a simple band of stardust trailing off the moon.
How cute is it that the moon and star fit together? It’s like they’re BFFs. This is sweet and girly.
53. Polka Dot Stars
Love the choice to use red and pink in the stars here! It’s totally different than what you expect to see. I kind of want to try and connect all the dots to see if I can create constellations. This moon tattoo is totally stellar.
54. Colorful Stars
The colors! This tat is beautiful! I love the sparkly little stars, and the vaguely tribal design of the moon. But seriously, those colors! I love that one lime green star. So cute!
55. Big Back Piece Moon Tattoos
I feel a little bit like this moon tattoo is shouting at me. But I like it. Those stars are vying for my attention, and I can’t figure out if that purple background is supposed to be outer space, the sky or a thundercloud. I don’t really care either way. It’s totally unique, it’s got awesome, bold lines, and it’s fun. A winner.
Howl at the moon
So, according to science, there is no actual correlation between the cycles of the moon and wolves howling at it. That is a bummer, but it’s still an iconic image.
Love the simplicity of this one. Just a single line creates the crescent moon and the silhouette of the wolf. No color, no frills, just getting the point across. Nice.
57. Starry Night
Another relatively simple wolf and moon tattoo design, but this one is filled in with a swirling galaxy! So pretty! So celestial! So nocturnal!
I’m pretty sure that there is a standard drawing of a howling wolf out there that all the tattoo artists are using. Above we have a design that incorporates color in the night sky, and below we have black and white. Both fine examples of a classic image in classic, upper arm placement.
59. Black and White
60. Watercolor Wolf
More watercolor! I am over the moon about this moon tattoo! (See what I did there?) I love that the wolf has just a few splashes of color, while the moon is bathed in a rainbow of paint. Beautifully done.
SO. FREAKING. COOL. I love the abstract style of this tattoo!! It’s so different from everything else out there, and it’s watercolor! This is insanely gorgeous.
62. Creepy Cool moon tattoos
Then we have this amazing all black sleeve piece that is just breathtaking. It all works so nicely together, with the moon in the background, and the tree and wolf silhouetted against the night sky. Very bold and striking work.
It’s just a phase
As we all know, the Moon changes shape every day due to it’s position relative to the Earth and the Sun. The phases of our moon are new, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, third quarter, waning crescent and back to new. But did you know that it was believed that the full moon caused people to act a little crazy? Thus the word “lunatic.” So maybe these people have chosen to get the moon phases as a tattoo because they tend to vacillate from sane to crazy, and back again? Whatever the reason, they look super cool.
63. Mini Moons
This tiny chart is an adorable little ode to the moon.
64. A Lunar Line-up
Another simple symbolization of the moon’s phases, but in a much more bold design. I love how it begins with the new moon at the top and works it’s way down her spine. It’s all about the journey, Am I right?
65. Across the Chest Moon Tattoos
This one is very cool. Eight round moon tattoos surrounded by clouds and stars. It’s a nice spacey scene across his chest.
This moon tattoo is very cool. It reminds me of an old map. This one is different since it doesn’t showcase all of the phases, but it totally works, with the crescents bookending the full moon in the center. A very nice forearm piece. I love that line connecting all of the orbs – it just ties everything together so well!
67. Around the World
Mandala-esque moon phase chart? Sure! There are quite a few more phases represented here than the standard, and I like that it’s circular – as if it’s orbiting around the center of the tattoo! It’s a nice, large forearm piece, with awesome shading and detail.
68. Decorative Drama
Where do I begin talking about this lovely? The mandala style, the amazing dotted shading of the moon phases, or the adorable dangling accents? It’s all great! A totally unique design, and a beautiful tattoo!
Now we’re starting to get a little scientific here! A compass solar system surrounded by the phases of the moon. I love it! I can almost imagine all those little orbs swinging on their orbits! I like the placement here, on the side of the thigh.
70. Star Chart
Behold: my absolute favorite. Probably of all the moon tattoos on this page. This one’s got it all! If I’m interpreting it correctly, I believe it is the positions of everything when she (or someone she really likes) was born, hence the astrological signs. I love this. I just love it. I want to make a 3-D model of it and hang it in my living room. It’s amazing.
To the moon
Long before we landed a man on the moon, humanity has been dreaming of traveling through the heavens. So here are a few imaginary characters who actually got to do it.
71. Little Lady
It’s possible that this is a character from something and I’m just not familiar with it. But she’s a cute little elf who looks like she’s about to swat that spider hanging off the moon. Adorable. Just wish I knew what body part this was!
72. Blue Fairy
What’s the deal with fairies and the moon? I don’t know but this is so pretty! I love that her outfit matches the sky, and that her hair is all shades of fire. Let’s you know that even though she looks all sweet here, she’s also probably pretty sassy.
73. Solo on the Moon
The hands and feet of this guy creep me out infinitely. I also don’t know if this is supposed to be a famous musician, or maybe just someone this person really admires? Anyway, I feel like there should be a little pond right below for him to dip his feet in. I like the use of white for highlights, too.
74. Moon Palace
This is amazing. Of all the moon tattoos, I think this one is the most unique I’ve seen. It’s like Agrabah on the moon. I’m just waiting for Aladdin and Jasmine to come swooping out of the town on a magic carpet. Amazing tattoo. I’m sure there must be a cool story behind this.
I’ve established that I love watercolor tattoos, and we’ve already seen a few examples, but these are some serious stand-outs.
75. Sternum Crescent
Very pretty watercolor sternum moon!
76. Mixed Magic
I love the combination of the ornate crescent with the watercolor pattern in the background. It’s like order and chaos in one tattoo!
77. Moon and Sun
This is the only moon & sun tattoo on this list. I figure there’s so many out there, they really need their own category. But I just had to include this one! I love the dripping effect and the little spatters! A very classic illustration of the moon is updated with the watercolor style. Love!
78. Sail Away
Wow. Just wow. This is incredible! I am always amazed how tattoo artists can make their painstaking needlework look like it was splattered on with a brush. It’s just so realistic! I love the water below the sailboat, too. This whole tattoo is just absolutely amazing.
79. Little Mermaid
Wait a minute. O.M.G. This. THIS! Is the moon in this tattoo actually lit up? This is incredible work, just amazing. The colors are absolutely sublime, and the use of white just makes the whole thing come to life! The moon, the sky, the mermaid – they’re all beautifully done! She needs to wear tube tops all the time so that everyone can see this masterpiece!
I started out with simple little crescents, and now here we are at full moons. I was going to close with a large tattoo of a butt, but I decided to go ahead and keep it classy. So here are some of my favorite full moon tattoos.
Technically, this isn’t a full moon, because half of it is black, but I’m counting it because it’s the entire circle, and that’s the only element. The details in the craters are really cool.
81. La Luna 2.0
I feel like this tattoo probably hurt, on that sensitive upper inner arm flesh. But it was totally worth it (I assume). A very nicely detailed full moon.
82. Between the Blades
Similar to the previous tattoo, but this one takes center stage between her shoulder blades. Nicely executed detail work.
83. Space Dust
This moon tattoo seems to be floating in space dust, and I like how the lines in the craters make it appear to be spinning on its axis.
This is probably the most realistic moon tattoo I’ve seen. That giant orb floating amidst a starry sky is just gorgeous. I’m extremely impressed with the impact crater details here, it’s really quite like the real thing.
This tattoo has taken some artistic liberties with a classic image (from the French film A Trip to the Moon); instead of the man in the moon getting hit by a space ship, this poor guy just got a bullet to the eye. He doesn’t seem very happy about it, either, and I don’t blame him.
86. Dream a Little Dream
The moon rises over you in the night, and the dream catcher keeps your sleep peaceful. I think some white ink could have been added here to give it more pop, but otherwise this is a unique and well-done tat. See more dream catcher tattoos here.
87. Full Moon Rises
Beautiful scenery beneath a full moon. I love this. I wonder if this is his home? Maybe a cabin somewhere? It’s very detailed, and I love the thin black branches against the sky. An amazing work of art!
Owls are SO in right now. This large side piece is really cool. I love how the edges of the sky fade and that owl is super intense.
I feel like there should be a haunted house in this scene. I don’t know if it’s the scraggly tree branches or the birds, but this scene says “spooky” to me. Not sure if that was the intent, but it’s an amazing moon tattoo nonetheless.
This full moon tattoo is straight outta mythology, yo! Check out the muscles on that centaur, rearing majestically in the moonlight! This back piece is definitely epic!
Now this is how you display a full moon! I love everything about this, and I think it is the perfect ending to a list of amazing moon tattoos!
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