Though tattoos used to be taboo, today, they’re everywhere. Most Australians have at least one tattoo. If you’re already inked, chances are you’re always on the lookout for inspirations and pegs for your next piece.
If you’re not but you’re curious, chances are you’re getting a little overwhelmed with all the choices you have to make.
Design, style, size, placement, colour?
There’s too much to think about! Luckily, there’s a tattoo trend that might ease your mind – small tattoos.
The Tiny Tattoos Trend
The numbers don’t lie – Aussies are inked. The rest of the world seems to be obsessed as well. In the US, nearly half of all Americans have tattoos. And with the tiny tattoos trend on the rise, there are bound to be more.
After all, small designs make great first tattoos – simple tattoos hurt much less than bigger pieces, and they can be used to gauge one’s ability to tolerate pain. They also look great pretty much anywhere, from less conspicuous places like one’s ribs, hips, back, and foot, to more obvious spots like one’s wrist, fingers, shoulder, elbow, and forearm.
Tattoos have been around for millennia. With such a long and rich global history, it’s difficult to trace when and where the small tattoo trend began, but we can say for certain that it’s here to stay. More celebrities, particularly those in the US, are getting them.
Who’s Rocking Small Tattoos?
As mentioned, a lot of celebrities have an affinity for tiny tattoos. Finger and wrist tattoos are super popular among celebs, as well as minimalist tattoos that can easily be hidden, especially for models like Kendall Jenner. Here are a few celebrities who love small and tattoos.
Miley Cyrus has so many tiny tattoos that the exact number isn’t really known. On her hand alone she has a heart, a watermelon slice, a peace sign, a cross, an evil eye, an alien head, and the word “BAD”.
She has an anchor on her wrist, a cute little smiley face on her ankle (her childhood nickname was “Smiley”), a sugar skull on her other ankle, an avocado on her arm, and so many more.
Another celebrity who loves tiny simple tattoos is Kendall Jenner. She has got a full white heart on her right hand, and white broken heart tattoo on her left middle finger. The latter is a matching tattoo with Hailey Baldwin-Bieber.
Kendall also has a simple white dot on her finger – white again so that it isn’t obvious when she’s walking down the runway. Though Kendall loves her tattoos, there is one she regrets – the “meow” tattoo she had done on her lower lip one drunken night.
Travis Scott And Kylie Jenner
Travis Scott has a lot of bigger pieces, but he also rocks a few tiny tattoos of his own, including a precious “Stormi” tattoo in simple lettering in honour of his daughter with Kylie Jenner. He also has a butterfly tattoo on his ankle to match his wife.
As for the other tiny tattoos he’s got, there’s an anchor near his left ear, a cross and a bee on his neck, as well as the initial “L” near his right ear.
Kylie also has a “Stormi” tattoo on the back of her arm, as well as that matching butterfly tattoo we mentioned.
The singer has over 20 tattoos, and though her most iconic ones are the tribal tattoos she has all over her hands, she’s also got a few that are simple and small.
She has a cute skull & crossbones tattoo on her ankle that’s topped with a pink bow, “love” lettering on her finger, and a handgun on her ribs, to name a few. Another common design we’ve seen on other celebs is the cross, which Rihanna rocks on her neck.
Aussie model, actress, and DJ, Ruby Rose has a whopping 50+ tattoos. Her tinier ones include the letters “MTV” on her fingers to symbolise her years spent as a VJ for the channel, four stars behind her right ear and the word “love” behind her left, and a tiny ladybug on her arm – often considered a symbol of good luck.
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea has 16 known tattoos, most of which are tiny ones. The rapper loves to reference her music in her tattoos – she has The New Classic, the title of her first album, on her fingers, as well as the letters “STS” on her knuckles to symbolise the title of her EP 'Survive the Summer'.
Zayn has over 40 tattoos on his arms, chest, and even legs. Some of his smaller ones include symbols on his fingers, geometric shapes on his arm, a tiny sparrow on the back of his hand, and a cheeky glow-in-the-dark lightsaber on his middle finger.
One of the most meaningful tattoos of Zayn is a series of numbers spread across his arm. When rearranged, they become Zayn’s X Factor audition number 1-6-5-6-1-6. A nice tribute to the moment that kick-started his career.
The 5 Best Types Of Small Tattoos You Can Get
As the above celebrities might have shown you, a small tattoo can be almost anything, placed anywhere. So, yes, deciding what and where to get a tiny tattoo is a bit confusing. That’s why we’ve put up a short list of the best small tattoo ideas and places you can put them.
You may notice that we make no distinction between small tattoos for men and small tattoos for women. That’s because these ideas are simple and universal enough to look good on anyone, men, women, or otherwise.
Words, Names, Phrases, Letters, And Dates
A lot of meaningful tattoos are ones that are dedicated to friends and family in the form of names or even powerful quotes written in their handwriting. Words and phrases often look good as wrist tattoos. They also look good on the ribs, the shoulders, and inner and back of arms. Letters look good on fingers and knuckles.
These kinds of designs also work as family tattoos, especially if you’re commemorating a family member that has passed. Family tattoos are a great way to remember a loved soul.
Pros: These tattoos are meaningful and can serve as beautiful reminders.
Cons: They can often be misinterpreted by some people looking for the wrong meaning.
Space-themed illustrations often make cool tattoos. There’s just something magical about having a small sun, moon, stars, and planets on your skin. Some people love the moon, and even get all the faces of the moon. Others love stars and constellations and even get those that represent their zodiac signs. These symbols look great anywhere but are especially cool behind the ear.
Pros: Since space objects are often just round shapes and simple lines, these make great minimalist tattoos.
Cons: These types of tattoos are very common because of how beautiful they are. The downside to that is you might run into someone with the same tattoo.
Much like space-themed imagery, nature illustrations often make pretty and timeless small tattoo ideas. The most common nature-themed tattoos are small flowers like roses, trees, and plants, which look best on arms and ribs, but would look great anywhere anyway. Flowers make great small tattoos for women, but they can look really cool on men too, especially on biceps.
Some people like to get simple line drawings of a small wave, fire, and mountains. Other people get their favourite animals, like a small elephant or a cat. Quirkier nature-themed tiny tattoos are fruits and even vegetables.
Pros: There’s a timelessness to nature designs that makes them less susceptible to future regret.
Cons: Like space-themed tattoos, these designs are very common, so again, don’t expect your tattoo to be the most original.
If you’re looking for something much simpler, geometric shapes are always a good option. A heart in red ink, a shiny diamond, or even a shaded in diamond or square looks cool on almost any part of the body and requires no explanation. You can tie any meaning to the shapes, or none at all.
Though not as small as the ones on this guide, another suggestion is to get a subtle, minimalist tattoo in the form of a single line wrapping around your arm or leg. It’s a simple tattoo that is unique and can still look dainty.
Pros: Geometric shapes are very simple, very clean-looking, and very easy to do, so you can expect a quick session for these ones and still get cool tattoos.
Cons: They’re quite common, so if you want to stand out, you might need to put a spin on it. Maybe change up the colours?
The semicolon tattoo is a very special kind of tattoo as it represents a second life of sorts. In grammar, the semicolon represents a pause in a sentence. Amy Bleuel, the founder of Project Semicolon, says the tattoo represents “a sentence the author could have ended but chose not to”, symbolising mental health struggles and suicidal ideation. It’s meant to honour one’s own struggles or those of one’s loved ones.
Pros: The semicolon tattoo is a nice symbol of solidarity for those suffering from mental illness, as well as a good opportunity to show your pride in dealing with your own personal struggles.
Cons: If you have a hard time talking about heavy topics like mental illness, it may be difficult for you to have to explain this tattoo to strangers.
How Much Do Small Tattoos Cost?
Tattoos are often priced based on size, complexity, placement, and colour. However, the average cost for a small tattoo is $AUD100-150.
They Make A Great First Tattoo!
There are so many different designs and styles to choose from when it comes to small tattoos. On top of that, small tattoos are easy to hide or cover up. This makes small tattoos ideal first tattoos for anyone who’s interested in getting inked.