Butterfly Tattoo Designs and the Meaning Behind Them

by John Griffith

Tattoos are a worldwide phenomenon. Their popularity dates back to the 20th century. In the past they were used as a sign of rebellion. It is no secret that tattoos often had to be covered and were frowned upon in job interviews and high-class establishments. Things, however, have evolved since then. And while there are still people who like to judge others based on their tattoos, they are becoming increasingly normal. Furthermore, they are seen as a form of art. There are so many examples out there of incredibly gorgeous tattoos, which are real art. The only difference is that someone’s body is the canvas. So, today we are going to take some time to look at 40+ gorgeous butterfly tattoo designs. What’s more, we are going to dive deep into the meaning behind them as well as their symbolism.

Tattoos can be seen as pieces of art

black and white butterfly on the side of the arm under the elbow butterfly and flower tattoo black and white photo

What is special about butterflies?

Butterflies are gorgeous and magnificent creatures. But they are so much more than meets the eye. They are creatures which are born as caterpillars and are fully earthbound in the beginning of their lives. By the end of their lives, however, they have turned into gorgeous flying butterflies with beautiful colors and patterns on their wings. Because of that, the butterfly tattoos are preferred by women. Their amazing colors and beautiful shape showcase the femininity and girl power. Especially when paired with flowers, butterflies make for breathtaking body art. But they are not just beautiful, they also have deeper symbolism. So, what are the special meanings behind them? Keep reading to find out.

Butterflies are so much more than meets the eye

black and white butterfly small butterfly tattoo designs forearm tattoo

What does a butterfly tattoo symbolize?

The first and probably most popular meaning behind some gorgeous butterfly tattoo designs is the meaning of growth and change. As we have already said butterflies are just caterpillars when they are born. But they go through a transition and turn into the beautiful flying creatures. That, in turn, is very similar to how a person’s mind evolves. We go through a journey and as we grow older, go through tough times, we grow as individuals. That is why a person can choose a butterfly tattoo. Because they have grown through some kind of turbulent time in their lives, only to come out better than they were. After all, evolving as a person is an important moment in everyone’s lives. That is exactly why it is important to commemorate it with a beautiful tattoo.

One of many gorgeous butterfly tattoo designs

black and white butterfly tattoo on the side of the rib cage simple butterfly tattoo on woman wearing jeans

Butterfly tattoo designs which symbolize freedom

Ask everyone you know which superpower they would want to have and we bet most of them would say: “I wish I could fly”! Being able to fly is definitely something that every person wishes for. Butterflies as we know can fly. That is why they are a symbol of freedom. What’s more, they are small insects, so they can fly anywhere they want. Another thing that butterflies differ in from birds, for example, are their beautiful silk-like wings. Just observing a butterfly fly, give you a sense of beauty and freedom. What’s more, as we have already said, butterflies can fly only after they have gone through their metamorphosis. And, as a metaphor, a person might say that after going through a tough time in their life, a weight is then lifted off their shoulders, hence the freedom that they feel.

Butterflies are often paired with rose tattoos

black and white forearm tattoo traditional butterfly tattoo butterfly with a rose

Butterfly tattoo as a symbol of resurrection

Once again this meaning is tightly connected with the butterfly’s metamorphosis from caterpillar to a butterfly. There is a time in every person’s life where they felt like they have been resurrected. There are times which change us so much we start feeling like a completely different person. One way to commemorate such a time is through a butterfly tattoo. The metaphor here, of course, is that the butterfly becomes a completely different creature, breaking out of its cacoon. What’s more the revelation is breathtaking. So, if that is the way you feel, you should definitely consider some of these butterfly tattoo designs.

Butterflies are a symbol of resurrection

black and white tattoo on the back of the arm above the elbow butterfly tattoo designs

Choose one of our gorgeous tattoo designs

Well, if you still aren’t sold on the idea of having a butterfly tattoo, you must be crazy. These gorgeous designs add to your femininity and beauty. These magnificent creatures can be the perfect body art because of the amazing colors you can find on their wings. The best news, however is, that even if you opt for a black tattoo design, your tattoo can be just as effective. You can also pair it with gorgeous flowers to make it even more eye catching. So, without further ado, we present to you our extensive gallery, filled with amazing butterfly tattoo designs to choose from.

Scroll thorugh our gallery to find what you are looking for

black lace top and jeans worn by woman with rib cage tattoo small butterfly tattoo half butterfly half flowers

It is no wonder that colored butterfly tattoos are absolutely gorgeous

blue and purple watercolor two butterflies on the side of the arm butterfly tattoos on shoulder

And who says you should only stick to one butterfly

butterfly and flower tattoo two butterflies one in blue one in yellow back tattoo

Tattooists often shade under the butterfly so it looks like an actual butterfly has landed on you

butterfly hand tattoo colored butterfly in orange and purple back of shoulder tattoo

When paired with flowers these tattoos are absolutely breathtaking, especially when colored

butterfly tattoo designs colored blue butterflies next to small spring flowers bouquet shoulder tattoo

You can also incorporate different designs inside the butterfly’s wings

butterfly tattoo meaning two colored butterflies with flowers forearm tattoo

Now this is a super interesting butterfly tattoo design

butterfly tattoo on arm orange butterfly with black outline set of eyes forearm tattoo

Butterfly thigh tattoo with lots of colors

butterfly tattoos on shoulder large colored thigh tattoo of butterfly with rose

Small colored butterflies are the best tattoo choice you can make

butterfly tattoo two blue butterflies in flight euphoria written next to them shoulder tattoo colored butterflies in purple and blue stars around them butterfly tattoo on arm three butterflies arm tattoo colored butterfly tattoo inside the arm small butterfly tattoo half purple half flowers in pink and purple female face with large butterfly with three separate sets of eyes butterfly tattoo designs thigh tattoo

With broken wings she flies

forearm tattoo blue butterfly with purple flower butterfly hand tattoo with broken wings she flies half butterfly half flowers black and white forearm tattoo butterfly and flower tattoo hand tattoo butterfly tattoo meaning black and white butterfly on man wearing jeans large back tattoo butterfly and flower tattoo black and white butterfly with skull like eyes

Butterfly, roses and angel wings – perfection

large back tattoo of butterfly with roses traditional butterfly tattoo angel wings on the arm leg tattoo of colored abstract butterfly butterfly tattoo on arm white background

Matching butterfly tattoos

matching butterfly tattoos butterfly tattoos on shoulder half butterfly half flowers black and white orange yellow and black butterfly traditional butterfly tattoo forearm tattoo purple butterfly back of leg tattoo simple butterfly tattoo half butterfly half flowers purple butterfly watercolor tattoo butterfly hand tattoo thigh tattoo two purple flowers on the side red and black butterflies flying butterfly tattoo designs forearm tattoo

Look at this simple, but elegant design

shoulder tattoo on the back of the arm simple butterfly tattoo half purple half blue butterfly side by side photos butterfly tattoo shoulder tattoo of lots of butterflies one butterfly wrist tattoo side of the ankle tattoo butterfly hand tattoo black and white butterfly on woman wearing black sneakers

Breathtaking watercolor tattoo

simple butterfly tattoo two butterflies in purple and orange forearm tattoo small black and white butterfly with flowers around it butterfly tattoo on arm inside the arm tattoo small blue butterfly on the side of the arm butterfly tattoos on shoulder on woman wearing gray sweater small blue butterfly under the collarbone butterfly tattoo woman wearing white blouse small butterfly tattoo on the back of the arm above the elbow in black and white small tattoo of butterfly in black and white small butterfly tattoo inside the arm tattoo

Thigh tattoos are very feminine

thigh tattoo on woman wearing jean shorts butterfly and flower tattoo black and white monarch butterfly

back of shoulder tattoo on woman wearing black swimsuit butterfly tattoo meaning black butterfly traditional butterfly tattoo black and white butterfly tattoo on the side of the rib cage white background butterfly tattoo small black and white forearm tattoo white background simple butterfly tattoo black and white butterfly with flowers around it

Interesting take on a butterfly tattoo

white background two butterflies skull and regular butterfly tattoos on shoulder scientific tattoo white top black hoodie small butterfly tattoo colored butterflies with a rose collarbone tattoo woman wearing black jeans and t shirt butterfly tattoo meaning back of arm blue butterfly tattoo wrist tattoo butterfly tattoo on arm two small purple butterflies purple crescent moon stars

John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.