Wrist Tattoos - 100+ Ideas and Designs

Written by: Pete

Wrist tattoos are very popular and often full of meaning for their owners. People often get tattoo roses, flowers, bracelets, animals in the wrist area. Many people who are not ready for large images on their body, like to get small, simple, and cute tattoos on their wrists. Others choose something larger and more visible.

We’ve put together a gallery of unique pictures and ideas, from inspiring quotes to entire works of art. And yes, a tattoo on the wrist suits not only women but men as well. Just take a look at our photos.

Wrist Tattoo Trend

As with most other tattoo trends, these were too first adorned by seafarers and sailors. They inked themselves on the wrist as a symbol of good fortune and protection during their voyage on the sea. The most popular tattoo of them being the Nautical Star. Also during the mid-50s and the 60s, wrist tattoos were associated mostly with the LGBT community. But the trend of wearing such a tattoo has changed over time, and it is no longer associated with a person’s sexual orientation.

Youngsters and elders alike get themselves a tattoo on their wrist, something which is seen by the millennial as cool and hip. You could also see patients suffering from life threating diseases such as Cancer or ALS inking a tattoo on their wrists as a symbol of their perseverance and strong grit.

Wrist Tattoo Design

Wrist tattoos are hugely customizable, and there are no hard and fast rules as to what the primary design element should be. You could easily find these tattoos worn by first time users, so they would mostly go with something that is simple and less painful to ink on. Most favorite designs of such tattoos include the compass tattoo, cross tattoo, other elements such as birds, or the names or initials of their loved ones, either in their mother tongue or some other foreign language. Couples would too get matching tattoos on their wrists such as the scarlet heart symbol, initials of their spouses, etc. as a symbol of their love.

Meaning and Significance of Wrist Tattoos

These tattoos are mostly inked on the inner side of the wrist and mean different things to different people depending on the placement. Most people get such tattoos as a source of their inspiration. They either ink some particular quote or another symbol that they would glance now and then during the day and that would keep them focused. Every time they feel low and depressed, the tattoo would act as a reminder that they have bigger goals to achieve and would lift up their spirits.

Not just for themselves, people get these tattoos for the sake of their loved ones. Showing such symbols to their loved ones shows the other person how much they mean to them, and that they would always have a special place in their heart.

Wrist Tattoo Types & Styles

The design of most of the wrist tattoos has one thing in common – small size and finely detailed. If you are confused as to what tattoo you should get, here are the major types you can choose from:

Compass and Cross Design

The compass and cross tattoo designs are considered classics when it comes to such tattoos. They are simple and look elegant and goes well with both men and women, of all age groups.

Zodiac Symbols

Zodiac signs are the most preferred types of wrist tattoos. People getting such tattoos want to portray their sun signs and a subtle means of expressing their personality. There are a total of 12 sun-signs, and each of them is associated with one planet or constellation. You can choose a tattoo depending on your zodiac sign and customize it as you want.

Foreign words or symbols

A lot of people decide to get some inspirational quote or saying in a foreign language. People often prefer Latin or Greek symbols. However, the Sanskrit and the Devnagri script are becoming hugely popular as well. Many famous stars proudly flaunt Sanskrit tattoos like Angelina Jolie, David Beckham, Katy Perry and Adam Levine.

Musical Symbols

Musical notes are also a popular choice for people getting a tattoo on their wrists. Even in musical notes, you will several types of them – the whole note, the half note, quarter note, etc. You could also opt to get a mixture of these signs if you deem so.

Inspirational Quotes

Sometimes people also get trendy and inspirational quote inked on their wrists. These necessarily need not be verbose, but something simpler such as “Keep Calm,” “Persevere,” “Dream,” etc. Sometimes such one-word quotes work much better than full one-liners.


Flowers have traditionally been the choice of wrist tattoos mainly by women. The most famous of them being the elegant rose, white lily, tulips, etc. Flowers stand as a symbol of their femininity and innocence.

Matching Pair Tattoos

These tattoos are most popular among lovers or best friends. Here, one part of the tattoo is inked on one of them, and the other part inked on their better halves. The most popular among such symbols are the “I Love You.” Other popular ones are “The Lock and the Key,” “Hearts” or some matching design that together complete the tattoo.

These tattoos are excellent for couples as a symbol of their undying eternal love. Celebs like Jay Z and Beyoncé, Katy Perry and Brand Russell have matching tattoos. Not only this, One Direction have got matching tattoos. So sweet, right?

So, if you too are looking for something sweet and aren’t committed to getting a full large scale body tattoo, a wrist tattoo is the perfect match for you.

Wrist Tattoo Pain Level

The pain of getting a wrist tattoo is often severe and deep. Due to the fact that the skin in this place is particularly delicate, the pain may be stronger than in other areas. Fortunately, this pain is very short-term since this part of the body is very small. All you need is a little patience.

Wrist Tattoos Ideas

Wrist Tattoos For Women

Matching Wrist Tattoos

Wrist Band Tattoos

Wrist Tattoos For Men

Love and Heart Wrist Tattoos

Geometric Wrist Tattoos

Flower Wrist Tattoos  

Animal and Insect Wrist Tattoos

Wrist Tattoos For Travelers

Wrist/Forearm Tattoos


Do wrist tattoos fade quickly?

Before you get a tattoo on your wrist, you need to know how it fades and how to care for it. Tattoos on the wrists tend to quickly lose their brightness and clarity because this part of the body is difficult to hide from sunlight and various bath products. Additionally, with frequent rubbing against sleeves, the tattoo is less likely to hold as well.

Do wrist tattoos make your veins hurt?

Right after you get a tattoo, your wrist can hurt to a certain extent for another week. But more often – the pain goes away within a couple of days. After the tattoo heals, the veins and wrist will no longer hurt. And you can enjoy the beautiful image on your hand!

Do wrist tattoos bleed more?

Wrist tattoos do not bleed harder than others. When you get it, the tattoo needle penetrates shallow, respectively, does not reach the veins.

Are wrist tattoos for girls?

No, wrist tattoos are popular among men as well. For example, men often tattoo bracelets in the style of geometry or wood.

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