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122 Best Small Tattoos in 2021 – Small Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women

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Small tattoo designs are a simple and elegant way to express deep thoughts and emotions but can also explore more humorous and light hearted pieces.

Smaller ideas for tattoos are often more sophisticated than their larger, more convoluted counterparts, and are a must-have for collectors who want body art with more symbolism.

Don’t let the simplicity of these small tattoo designs fool you, they are visually alluring and as complex as larger works without the time consuming hassle and bank-breaking price tag.

Small tattoo designs are often a preference for those on a budget or those who want to get body art that they can conceal more easily.

Read on for our carefully curated collection of tattoos. We hope you’re able to find some inspiration for when you hit the tattoo shop and get your next awesome body art design.

See more about The Top 50 Best Ultimate Tattoo Ideas

1. Small Tattoos for Men

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Small tattoos are trending because they not only possess the incredible ability to convey unbelievable symbolic meanings, but are also simple and clean designs.

The bold but precise lines perfectly compliment a man’s confidence and style for anything from a lotus flower or cross tattoo to a gaming piece or cartoon character. 

See more about The Top 47 Badass Small Tattoos for Men

2. Small Tattoos for Women

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Small tattoo designs are becoming an increasingly utilized form of body art for women, who often get restrained size pieces in favor of crisp and precise detail.

The explosion in small tattoos for women over the past two decades has thankfully broadened previous stereotypical views of design styles and placement, which are now some of the tattoo world’s most innovative.

Heart tattoo or flowers will always remain popular, but women are now just as likely to rock a badass dragon or a killer skull design and do it with enjoyable small design style.

See more about The Top 85 Best Small Tattoos for Women

3. Small Rose Tattoos

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Small rose tattoos offer great versatility in style and placement and they prove the classics can be done with skill in small ink.

Traditional spaces like the inner forearm, lower legs, chest and side remain popular, however as visible tattoos keep growing as an option, areas such behind the ear, on the fingers and hands, or the neck are being applied more than ever, and they work for all kinds of flower tattoo.

See more about The Top 71 Best Small Rose Tattoo Ideas

4. Cute Small Tattoos

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The idea for tattoo with cute levels set to overload have been an integral part of the tattoo popularity explosion.

Cute, humorous, and whimsical small tattoos are now becoming the norm for men – who traditionally took their body art too seriously.

Couples, siblings, and groups of friends also share tattoo, chronicling adventures, memories, or memberships in cute but brief packaging.

See more about The Top 71 Cute Small Tattoo Ideas

5. Small Flower Tattoos

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Where work of the past featured roses, sunflowers or the occasional lotus flower, modern body art displays all the variations of flower tattoo in stunning styles, colors, shapes and symbolism.

Thankfully, gender stereotyping in the world of ink is being obliterated daily – we don’t care if you’re a man or woman if you want cool tattoos – and flower art is awesome tattoo art.

See more about The Top 79 Best Small Flower Tattoo Ideas

6. Small Wrist Tattoos

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With versatility and visibility important characteristics in contemporary body art the wrist is a key area when designing a small piece.

More widespread acceptance means that you can often get away with picking more obvious areas for unique wrist concepts, but also incorporate a camouflage element for different settings should you wish.

See more about Top 79 Small Wrist Tattoo Ideas

7. Small Heart Tattoos

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The heart tattoo works in countless variations and is an enduring tattoo for small designs.

These days, the heart has expanded beyond expressions of love to incorporate loyalty, friendship, and courage, while a black heart is tied to grief, mourning, and loss.

See more about The Top 71 Best Small Heart Tattoos

8. Small Cross Tattoos

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A cross tattoo is instantly recognizable, simple and effective. Along with the Holy Bible the cross is the most visible symbol of Christianity and a meaningful symbolic tattoo choice. 

Now that tattoos are such a significant part of personal adornment and an embodiment of free will, those of a religious mindset have taken to cross body art to demonstrate their faith. 

See more about Top 69 Best Small Cross Tattoos

9. Small Dragon Tattoos

While many choose to have a massive dragon looming over their shoulder or emblazoned on their back, more diminutive dragons better serve as markings that don’t bring too much attention but still hold symbolic flair.

In European lore, dragons are depicted as giant evil serpents that must be slain by brave and noble knights, while in Asia the meaning of a dragon is varied depending on the elements worked into its design.

Whichever dragon style tatt you like, don’t discount a smaller piece of art that you can work epic meaning into bringing to life.

See more about 50 Small Dragon Tattoo Ideas

10. Small Simple Tattoos

The truth is, smaller sized tattoos executed with simplicity can look just as good as any other.

There are limitless design ideas to go with – it comes down to what interests you and how you want it to flow on your skin.

See more about The Top 63 Small Simple Tattoos for Men

11. Small Meaningful Tattoos

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For some collectors the meaning behind the body art is the most important element in its creation. 

Small tattoos are often laden with meaning and symbolism that may not be readily apparent on first look. When paired with individual tastes in placement, color, style, and application these complex, meaningful tattoos result in sensational body art.  

See more about The Top 67 Small Meaningful Tattoo Ideas

12. Small Sunflower Tattoos

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Sunflowers symbolize strength, joy, and positive energy; tall, hardy, and bright, they loom above the rest of the plants as they stretch towards the sun.

A traditional yet small sunflower tattoo is timelessly lovely and unlikely to lose its appeal as trends change. It is equally effectively in black and gray or various color representations that can be hidden or shown off with ease.

See more about The Top 57 Best Small Sunflower Tattoo Ideas

13. Small Anchor Tattoos

Anchors are not just for the nautically inclined anymore, though many still honor their second home at sea through canny use of the symbol in personal art.

Whether your love of the water or position as an anchor to your loved ones compels you, the small anchor tattoo is perfect for the man of few words but infinite depth.

See more about 40 Small Anchor Tattoos for Men

14. Small Hand Tattoos

Making the leap into highly visible tattoos doesn’t mean you have to get huge pictures drawn on your backs like a painting, or designs covering a leg.

You might opt instead for a small tattoo to accent the features of your hands, using the design to highlight strong fingers, elegant flow, or dominant characteristics.

See more about Top 63 Little Hand Tattoos for Men

15. Small Wolf Tattoos

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A small wolf tattoo is a great way to display strength, familial loyalty and devotion. 

The wolf is a pack animal. For every lone wolf on the prowl, there are ten more who work within their family unit, and this concept makes for compelling body art. 

See more about Top 49 Best Small Wolf Tattoos Ideas

16. Small Bird Tattoos

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Small bird tattoos are emblematic of both old and new school approaches to body art. For the old school, birds are often symbolic designs etched with great care and hidden away from a casual glance.  

For new tattoo lovers their bird tattoo can be bold, bright, and realistically depicted practically anywhere on the body to emphasize beauty and movement. 

See more about Top 61 Best Small Bird Tattoo Ideas

17. Small Butterfly Tattoos

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Small butterfly tattoos are timeless forms of body art. Every artist’s portfolio contains at least a few exciting butterfly designs. 

The butterfly is a tremendously versatile subject, often able to be etched in stunning detail or quiet simplicity to represent beauty, freedom and transformation. 

See more about Top 65 Best Small Butterfly Tattoos

18. Small Elephant Tattoos

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Considering the mammoth proportion of the elephant, there is some surprise in the fact it makes for a popular small tattoo design choice.

Elephants are often used to represent wisdom. Their vaunted memory and long lifespan feed into this ideal and allow for many different interpretations of the mighty creature when the scale gets smaller.

See more about The Top 61 Best Small Elephant Tattoo Ideas

19. Small Minimalist Tattoos

Often, the value and appeal of small tattoos is their simplicity.

One of the best types of small tattoos to get is one of simple black ink. Despite their minute size, small black ink tattoos come in an extremely wide variety of shapes, meanings and details.

Small black ink tattoos are simple ways of making any sized statement one desires or making no statement at all. The possibilities for small black ink tattoos go on and on.

See more about Top 40 Small Minimalist Tattoos

20. Small Geometric Tattoos

Small geometric tattoos are unique. They bring a different artistic technique to an already awesome type of tattoo.

The best dotwork tattoo ideas are a spectacular and creative way of composing a tattoo by means of using numerous tiny dots in the place of standard tattoo shading techniques.

Small geometric tattoos are also very impressive by virtue of the technique required to compose them as well as the incredible tattoo designs they make up, whether incorporating shapes, lines, or shadows in illustration.

See more about Top 51 Best Small Geometric Tattoos

21. Small 3D Tattoos

3D and abstract tattoos come in so many different designs, styles, and artistic flavors.

Being abstract, the best tattoo ideas for this style are often made up of incongruent elements or of a new and creative take on something that already exists.

Small abstract tattoo ideas often provoke thought or utilize mind-bending technical application with the ways in which they represent certain ideas or concepts.

See more about 50 Small Creative Tattoo Ideas

22. Small American Traditional Tattoos

The classic images of the American traditional style often make for some of the best tattoos. American traditional designs are small tattoo ideas for those who like bold lines and limited color palettes.

Nevertheless, they still pack a punch with their signature, vintage look. Like many other styles, American traditional designs are awesome when they’re small.

See more about Top 43 Coolest Small Tattoos

23. Small Animal Tattoos

The best small animal tattoos fit quite nicely at the smaller scale. They can represent one’s pet, favorite animal or something entirely different like conquering fear or representing an inside joke.

Many small animal tattoos are composed with a great deal of detail that becomes especially evident upon looking closely at the design.

See more about 50 Small Manly Tattoo Ideas

24. Small Nature Tattoos

There are a few different reasons nature-related tattoos that look just as good, if not better, in their downsized form.

Of course, having a great artist to do your tattoo is always pivotal to creating the best in small tattoo ideas.

The reasons for why some nature tattoos translate well to smaller versions of themselves does not only apply to nature pieces, it can be true of many other types of tattoos.

See more about The Top 43 Small Nature Tattoos

25. Small Chest Tattoos

Small chest tattoos are growing among the younger group of tattoo seekers.Varying in size, these tattoos range from symbols of life events to characters emulating comic relief.

See more about Top 43 Small Chest Tattoos

26. Small Unique Tattoos

Often heavily symbolic and generally quite awesome, small unique tattoos take a great deal of novelty and meaning and bring them down to smaller, more compact sizes.

Neo traditional tattoos are always interesting in their own individual expression of classical body art themes.

See more about 50 Small Unique Tattoos

27. Small Detailed Tattoos

Small black and gray tattoos are classically eternal pieces of body art. Whether depicted in the form of portraits, emblems or figures, small black and gray tattoos rarely disappoint.

It’s really hard to go wrong with black and gray imager, especially in a smaller, more easily fitting piece. 

See more about 40 Small Detailed Tattoos

28. Small Compass Tattoos

A smaller compass tattoo is the perfect way to remind yourself of the strength and clarity with which your own navigational needle operates.

It may not always make its presence clear, and others may overlook it altogether, but you will always know it’s there.

Often inked in a discreet place–a wrist, ankle, or inner arm–the small compass tattoo is, in many ways, for your eyes only.

See more about 50 Small Compass Tattoos

29. Small  Christian Tattoos

The most common and most subtle of religious tattoos are the simplest. Using plain religious symbols without a lot of flourish makes a statement while still being reverent.

A cross on the upper arm can be hidden when need be, but it still acts as a reminder when you are mindful of its presence.

A crown of thorns around the upper forearm will be more visible for you to use it as a reminder of your beliefs and values.

See more about 40 Small Religious Tattoos

30. Small Neck Tattoos

Small neck tattoos are growing in popularity. This kind of tattoo can really show off  bravery and individuality.

It’s something that could be hidden under a collar to be revealed as an intrigue at just the right time, or something that is always visible and gives a clue to what a collector’s passions and interests might be.

See more about Top 37 Small Neck Tattoos

31. Small Skull Tattoos

The small skull tattoo is one of the most classic, quintessential tattoo designs in modern tattoo history.

Symbolizing mortality, immortality and the dramatic interplay between life and death, skull tattoos truly embody the shadow side supremely beloved by tattoo enthusiasts worldwide.

See more about Top 43 Small Skull Tattoos

32. Small Tree Tattoos

Trees are known throughout the history of the world as the ultimate symbol for majestic beauty and enduring strength over time.

Small tree tattoos celebrate the dignified and monumental tree for these superb qualities, along with its sublime gifts of nourishment and natural wisdom

See more about Top 60 Small Tree Tattoos

33. Small Colorful Tattoos

If you’re looking to capture a colorful piece of the world and commit it to your flesh, look no further than the array of small but gorgeously hued tattoos available today.

A splash of ocean or sunrise, tribal image, or reference to one’s favorite film or graphic novel all make for superb small tattoo inspiration.

Some even choose their nation’s flag or the flag of their ancestors to wear in a proud but understated way, in a small but poetic tribute.

See more about 40 Small Colorful Tattoo Ideas

34. Small Owl Tattoos

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Many believe owls are symbols of both wisdom and truth, which makes owl tattoos a popular small tattoo design choice. Others consider the owl design to be related to change, such as when the owl makes his hoot heard to announce his presence.  

See more about Top 51 Best Small Owl Tattoo Ideas

35. Small Turtle Tattoos

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A turtle tattoo is naturally appealing for many collectors.

In small tattoo design, the turtle can be a focal point of many different styles and application, whether in color or black and gray.

The turtle often symbolizes patience and tenacity and is a sacred motif in Polynesian and Eastern Asian cultures.

See more about Top 81 Small Turtle Tattoo Ideas

36. Small Finger Tattoos

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The fingers provide nice opportunities for a range of small tattoo style and design choices, with simple yet creative concepts often deployed for new school collectors.

While still considered job stoppers by many, the increase in visible art means a small finger tattoo is a choice that will remain popular as the tattoo industry continues to evolve.

See more about Top 77 Best Small Finger Tattoos

37. Small Ocean Tattoos

The power and inspiration of the ocean is the perfect thing to immortalize in tattoo form. Although there are beautiful, large tattoos out there with wonderful detail and artwork, small ocean tattoos can have the same impact.

Some are as simple as a single wave or two but they could also be a symbol famous for representing the sea such as anchors or a small nautilus.

See more about 50 Small Ocean Tattoo Ideas

38. Small Disney Tattoos

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The explosion in tattoo popularity has resulted in a tremendous array of interesting small tattoo styles and artistic applications.
I’d almost wager that every major Disney character created now has at least one person out there sporting a piece of body art with their face, however the most iconic characters are the most popular.

See more about Top 71 Small Disney Tattoo Ideas

39. Small Lion Tattoos

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Lions tattoos are a great animal symbol linked with nobility, strength, and honor, and these characteristics can be adeptly defined in small body art.

With many styles suitable for a small lion tattoo, the choice is yours whether to go for something realistic, geometric, or even a Lion King classic design.

See more about The Top 51 Small Lion Tattoo Ideas

40. Small Phoenix Tattoos

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The phoenix, a bird of flame and spirit, is most often linked to regeneration and rebirth after rising from the ashes of a difficult circumstance or situation.

While popular in tattoos designs with epic scope and grandeur, small phoenix tattoos offer versatility in placement and style that can’t be matched by much larger counterparts.

See more about The Top 51 Best Small Phoenix Tattoo Ideas

41. Small Tribal Tattoos

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When most people think of tribal tattoos they think of the large scale, intricate Polynesian pieces or fearsome face tattoos of the NZ Maori.

Some of the most symbolic, interesting tribal designs are etched very small but pack in the same arresting qualities of their larger counterparts.

As with tribal designs from many tattoo cultures, small pieces are etched with precise linework, and almost uniformly in black ink to create symbols of animal motifs and totems, family stories, or designs of personal protection guidance, protection and strength.

See more about Top 69 Best Small Tribal Tattoo Ideas

Small Tattoo FAQs

How much does a small tattoo cost?

For the very quick, very small simple tattoos shops institute a shop minimum.

More complex work can cost around $200 for an hour from a well established, skilled professional for a small tattoo.

In demand artists and single needle specialists can charge up to $500 per hour.

See more about How much do tattoos cost in 2020?

Are small tattoos for men or women? 

One glance at tattoo collectors these days show that times keep changing. Gone are the days where your birth gender determined where and what type of tattoo you got from the tattoo artist. 

Both men and women enjoy small tattoo designs, in custom or flash tattoo. 

What is the cost of small single needle tattoos?

The most expensive small tattoo prices you’ll get are for detailed single needle tattoo designs. 

Single needle tattoos are characterized by the high levels of detail that can be achieved in comparatively small concepts. 

They can take anywhere from 3 -6 hours more than a simpler tattoo of the same size.

See more about The Top 63 Single Needle Tattoo Designs

How long does a small tattoo take?

You need to think about time when factoring the cost of your small tattoo, as it has the biggest impact on pricing.

The major factors which determine the length of time it takes to get a small tattoo are:

  1. Time
  2. Size
  3. Color
  4. Level of detail
  5. Pain threshhold
  6. Custom design
  7. Artist’s schedule
  8. Your schedule

These smaller sizes are perfect for common symbols, These smaller sizes are perfect for common symbols, These smaller sizes are perfect for common symbols.

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What’s considered a small tattoo?

As far as sizes go, a small tattoo is usually one that is 4 inches or smaller from point to point. If you’re looking to go smaller than that, a tiny tattoo is 2 inches or less.

Where can I get a small tattoo?

If you have a small amount of skin available to tattoo then a small body art design can be executed.

Small tattoos are a staple part of tattooing in 2020 because they allow full visibility – think hands, fingers, neck, and wrist ink – or can be simply hidden away out of sight.

What style small tattoo should I get?

Most styles work for smaller tattoos, although the maxim bold will hold rings true for little designs.

Everything from heavy black ink stamp-like tattoos, through to realistic depictions or fun color and geometric ideas can be incorporated into beautiful body art. 

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