40 Beautiful Butterfly Tattoo Ideas for Women in 2023
Is there an animal more beautiful than the butterfly? Beautiful to both the eyes and the mind, the butterfly that was once a humble caterpillar represents self-evolution and re-birth. We adorn these winged creatures on our skin to show our own beauty as well as our journey through this crazy thing we call life.
But before you go and get your own butterfly tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below we’ll show you the cutest, most attractive, and most gorgeous butterfly tattoo ideas of 2023. You’ll surely be inspired with the perfect idea of which tattoo style to get, as well as where to get tattooed on your body.
With that said, let’s begin.
We Hope You Enjoy These Butterfly Tattoos! First Off: A Mandala Moth Back Tattoo
This mandala tattoo looks absolutely stunning! And while it may show moths, the idea would look equally as great with their butterfly cousins. One thing to keep in mind when designing your own variation of this tattoo is to keep things simple. The open space here is just as important to the overall look as the four lovely insects are.
Hypnotic Butterfly Pattern Inner Bicep Tattoo
Artistic beauty is sometimes so simplistic. This tattoo is unique and unlike any other butterfly tattoo I’ve ever seen. Yet all it’s simply a yellow butterfly with a cool-looking pattern of smoke waves or curls of water laid over it. Something so simple, but something that will make your tattoo stand out from the rest.
Also of note, the inner bicep is a really nice place for butterfly tattoos.
Two Happy Little Butterflies Tattooed on a Woman's Arm
These butterflies are quite minimal. They are made up of lines and some solid black. Take note that there is no shading here, which gives the butterflies a much lighter feeling.
Top of Forearm Twin Butterflies Tattoo
The positioning of these two butterflies works really well – a bigger butterfly lower on the arm and a bit more inside the forearm, and a smaller butterfly closer to the elbow. Regardless of style, that positioning would work really well with any pair of butterflies, as you’ll notice butterfly tattoos are regularly inked on the forearms.
Two Floral Butterfly Tattoos
The look of these two butterfly tattoos is so unique – they look like a paper lantern with a floral pattern printed on them. It’s almost like the focus of these tattoos should be on the leaves and flowers, with the butterflies simply acting as canvases for the art.
Trio of Pretty Blackwork Butterflies on Woman’s Thigh
Seems like Three’s A Charm with these pretty butterflies. Each of the three is different but all have beautiful black lines and black shading. The negative or un-inked space in each allows “light” to shine through. With varying orientations on the thigh, this trio makes for a beautiful and interesting group, as well as one gorgeous black butterfly tattoo.
Check out our butterfly thigh tattoos for more inspiration.
Two Galactic Purple Butterfly Tattoos on the Ankle
Credit to the artist on this one! Being able to represent the moon, space and stars in such a small space is really hard to do. So if you want to borrow from this idea, you better make sure your artist is skilled enough.
Two Black and White Butterflies on a Flower Bud - A Realistic Acrylic Style Tattoo
The artist did a wonderful job using white ink in this piece. The white adds a layer of depth and realism that wouldn’t exist if only black and shades of gray were used. Not every artist is skilled with white ink, so before selecting an artist to do a similar piece check out their portfolio to see previous examples of their work.
A Small, Simple and Cute Butterfly Tattoo on the Wrist
This is just a really cute place to put your butterfly tattoo. It’s dainty, delicate and oh so cute. Take note that the butterfly’s head is facing the hand, which works well because the tips of the wing fit symmetrically between the wrist.
Linework Butterfly Sternum Tattoo
What a beautiful statement piece this one is! If you really want to show off your butterfly tattoo and make it the focal point of your body, then place it on your sternum like this person did.
A Single Line Butterfly Tattoo
Single-line pieces of art are a style all of their own. I find that most artists aren’t very good at creating such pieces, but this particular artist certainly is good. The upper and lower portions of the line really accentuate the look and make the tattoo flow well with the arm. The artist also did a really nice job adding the dot-work shaded butterflies as background elements for contrast.
Butterfly Triceps Tattoo
Here’s an interesting shading technique. You can see that the butterfly’s shading isn’t true-to-life at all. Instead you get this unique take where the shading comes out like a shotgun blast, being concentrated in the center and then fading out from there.
The linework detail of the actual butterfly is really simple and clean too.
Minimal Outline Butterfly Tattoo With Fire
I wonder what the fire symbolizes to the person who got this tattoo.
While that remains a mystery, the artist did a great job incorporating the flames, matching the symmetry of the wings and making sure the overall piece looks cohesive.
One of the Best Butterfly Tattoos for Women: A Woman With a Butterfly Head Tattoo
Here’s a delicate, fine-line tattoo that is a self-representation of the person being tattooed. The symbolism is rather nice, as it’s a portrait of the woman’s body, but with the butterfly head with flowers shows her inner beauty. Also, check out our flower tattoo ideas page for similar inspiration.
Geometric Butterfly Triceps Tattoo
This tattoo was done by Diana Gray, who tattoos out of Russia and Cyprus. It’s a simple geometric fractalization of a line-work butterfly – nothing that unique, but well-executed. Plus in terms of positioning, you can’t really go wrong with a butterfly tattoo on the tricep.
Simple Outline Butterfly Forearm Tattoo
This tattoo by Brazilian artist Bruno Matos is just so clean. The fine, fine lines with zero shading gives a beautiful, feminine feel. The details in the butterfly’s wings are intriguing, while still providing tons of white space. And the positioning at the top of the forearm is my favorite spot for a forearm butterfly tattoo.
Butterfly With Nature Scene Forearm Tattoo
Spain has some amazing tattoo artists and Xav did an excellent job representing with this tattoo. While I’m not a huge fan of the type of butterfly selected for this piece, the execution was very well done. Sometimes these half-and-half tattoos don’t mesh well together, but the mountain scene on the right side goes perfectly well with the butterfly as a whole.
Also, make sure to check out Xav’s Instagram, as he’s got a really cool style.
Linework Butterfly Tattoo on Man’s Neck
Centered right at the center of the neck over the jugular notch, this butterfly becomes a focal point. Its clean black lines, in contrast to the subtle shading of the leaves, draw you in and command attention. This Is One Mighty Little Butterfly.
If you like this tattoo, check out our butterfly neck tattoo designs for more inspiration.
Simple Butterfly Tattoo with Unalome and Wild Flowers on Woman's Back
The design on the lower portion of this tattoo is called a unalome, which is a Thai-Buddhist ornament. The artist who made this tattoo, Özge Canoğlu, is from Turkey so I assume his customer requested the Thai touch. Either way, from the wild flowers at the top to religious ornament at the bottom, the design flows really well along her spine.
Women's Black-Shaded Butterfly Side-Hip Tattoo
Sometimes you want to show your tattoos off to the world. Other times you want them somewhere a bit more private. Here’s a nice idea for such a location.
A Nicely-Placed Butterfly (Moth) Bicep Tattoo
When getting a butterfly tattoo on your bicep, you’re going to want to place it on an angle just like the moth tattoo in the photo above.
If you want a similar-looking tattoo, make sure your artist’s portfolio shows they are capable of doing such good color work like Ceren Karakuş Dündar did with this tattoo.
Keep reading for more butterfly tattoo ideas!
Ideas for Simple Butterfly Tattoos: A Simple Butterfly Outline Forearm Tattoo with Floral Interior
Can’t decide between a butterfly or some flowers for your new minimal tattoo? Why not get both?! Such as in this tattoo where the butterfly wings are outlined and filled with beautiful floral touches.
And speaking of minimal tattoos, check out the IG for the artist who did this tattoo – his minimal work is awesome!
Traditional Butterfly Tattoos: An Old-School Butterfly Tattoo
This tattoo style is known as old-school or American traditional. You’ll typically see people get married to this style, meaning that every tattoo on their body shares the same style – no mixing. Doing that creates an awesome aesthetic.
Behind the Ear Monarch Butterfly Tattoo
When it comes to behind the ear tattoos I’d recommend going simple, as too much detail in this location might not age well. But luckily for all of us I’m not the style police. And luckily for the customer, artist Tori Li did a fantastic job with this monarch butterfly tattoo. And if you like the location of this tattoo, check out our butterfly tattoo behind ear and neck tattoo ideas for more inspiration.
Butterfly Hand Tattoo
Blackwork Butterfly Tattoos With Flames
This artist went for a more stylized, cartoonish butterfly instead of a realistic approach. But the long, sharp edges of the butterfly wings work really well with the fire flames that are coming off of it. The stars act as some nice filler to bring the piece together.
Small, Delicate Black and Gray Butterfly Tattoo
Lena, the artist who performed this tattoo, has a portfolio full of beautiful, feminine tattoo ideas. She’s into fine lines, light shading and no color – one of the hottest trends of the last few years.
Butterfly Thigh Tattoo Ideas: A Realistic Butterfly Tattoo
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better realistic monarch butterfly tattoo than this. England’s own Keira Rose knocked it out of the park with this one. The accuracy of the details, the steady lines, smooth shading and vibrant colors were all wonderfully done. And if you like the location, check out our other thigh tattoo ideas.
Watercolor Butterfly Tattoos: Two Beautiful Watercolor Butterfly Tattoos on a Woman's Triceps
You have to be careful with watercolor tattoos, because some artists make them an absolute mess of incoherence.
That’s surely not the case in this instance, though. Marta Peri, out of Brescia, Italy, is a watercolor pro. She keeps her work clean, yet eye-catching.
Purple Butterfly Rose Tattoo
The positioning of this tattoo on the front of the shoulder is very pretty. And it goes along well with the collarbone text tattoo.
This style of watercolor, where the colors are light and dabbed on instead of brushed is quite popular. This is an awesome rendition of a rose tattoo mixed with a butterfly.
A Black Butterfly Tattoo on a Woman's Wrist
The style and positioning of this blackwork butterfly would be perfect for ending a full-sleeve tattoo.
In this case I would definitely recommend building upon the butterfly and working up the arm, as the butterfly alone is quite bold.
Blackwork Moth Wrist Tattoo
Fans of blackwork tattoos regularly place them on their body in a sticker-like fashion. With this piece, the customer placed the moth tattoo in an untraditional way along their forearm, but even then it looks nice.
Butterfly Dagger Tattoo
Butterflies and daggers are both popular icons in the world of tattoos. And while you’d rarely ever associate them with each other, there’s nothing stopping you from mixing them together like this person did.
Black Watercolor Ink Butterfly Forearm Tattoo
More often than not, watercolor tattoos are done in color. In fact, it’s very rare to see this style done in all black – it kind of looks like a tribal butterfly design actually. The Korean artist did a very good job creating the watercolor effect while making sure the design didn’t become messy.
Ideas for Small Butterfly Tattoos: A Small Orange Butterfly Tattoo on Woman's Shoulder
Soft, delicate, feminine, cute and beautiful. This is the kind of tattoo someone without a lot of tattoos gets. Meaning what makes this tattoo special is all the empty skin around it. All of that empty space makes this pretty little insect pop out and make a statement.
Custom Pink Butterfly Tattoo With Pink Roses and Ornaments
Los Angeles-based artist Antonina Rostra has a very unique color style that is on full display in this tattoo. You can see her work is realistic, but with most details smoothed out. Here we see the common theme of a half-butterfly made full with two pink roses.
Butterfly Tattoo with Dotwork Background
When comparing this tattoo to the ones surrounding it, you can see the importance of the frame in this design. By adding the circular background, the butterfly is elevated and made to look special. It’s a subtle touch, but a critical one. That is where a talented artist separates themselves from the pack.
Custom Butterfly Tattoo on Back of Woman's Arm
Tattoos are like pieces of art, whereas the location you put them on your body acts as a frame. The art and the frame must go together.
Here the tall design fits perfectly on the long area on the back of the arm. And if you like the Asian look to this design, you might also like our cherry blossom tattoos page.
Black Butterfly Tattoo with Red Flowers Going Down Girl's Back
This tattoo is coming out of Korea, which is home to so many talented and creative artists coming out of that country. In this design you see the style of mixing blackwork with bright pops of color.
3D Blue Butterfly Tattoo on a Woman's Shoulder
When getting an ultra-realistic color tattoo, there is an important decision that needs to be made:
- Have no background and have the tattoo look like a sticker
- Add a background
- Or add a shadow and make it look like the tattoo is an actual 3D object sitting atop your body
You can see that this customer chose the shadow and wow, does this blue butterfly tattoo look realistic or what?!
We hope you enjoyed and found inspiration from these butterfly tattoos.