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15 tattoo ideas perfect for the summer months


Warmer weather means fewer layers and more skin on show, so why not take advantage of the summer months and get yourself a stunning new tattoo? Whether you’re looking for something small or large, subtle or bold—the design options are endless.

Get inspired this season and check out some of these amazing summer tattoo ideas, along with tips on how to keep them safe all season long. Ideal for a variety of placements, explore these creative designs and get beautiful body art that will make your skin shine while reflecting your style and personality this summer!


Sunset beach tattoo on arm


Popular Placements for a Summer Tattoo

Summer is the perfect time to show off your ink and tattoos on the arms are great for the summer months. Wearing shorter sleeves or tank tops are great ways to display your body art. Plus, they can be easily covered up with a longer sleeve to avoid excess sun exposure. If you're planning on getting a tattoo in summer, take a look at Dermalize Pro Total Black Sun Block, which helps your tattoos heal and provides UV protection.

The same can be said for tattoos on the legs. Shorts, skirts, and dresses all make great options to show off your tattoos in the warmer months. Plus, if you plan to wear sandals or open-toe shoes a lot of the time, then the ankle or foot can be a good placement option.

For those who want a more subtle look, tattoos on the back are also ideal for summertime displays. Off-the-shoulder tops or strappy sundresses are a perfect way for others to glimpse your ink while keeping it out of direct sunlight.


Woman relaxing in the sea


Summer Tattoo Inspiration

From tropical fruits to ocean waves and everything in between, here are some of our favourite summer tattoo ideas to inspire you:

Beach Scenes

Beaches provide a great source of inspiration for summer tattoos. A beach scene can be fun, nostalgic, or even romantic and evoke the feeling of freedom that comes with the summer months.

There are many popular motifs that could feature in a beach-theme tattoo. Wave tattoos are a brilliant way to capture the feeling of a salty ocean breeze. Whether it’s a realistic illustration of crashing waves, a minimalist wave outline, or an abstract design made up of shades of blue, this timeless symbol is bound to instantly fill your heart with summer vibes.

Beach balls are not only a classic symbol of summer fun, but they also make for an adorable tattoo design! From minimalist beach balls to brightly coloured beach scenes, there are so many ways to express your love of the summer with this cheerful and playful emblem.

If you’re looking for a unique and creative summer tattoo idea, why not consider a sandcastle design? Not only do they represent magical childhood memories at the beach, but also embody the beauty of nature.

A simple seashell can also add an extra touch of beauty and symbolism to your beach tattoo design. They are a reminder of the oceans, beaches, and shorelines that make up some of our most treasured summer memories.

 Sea theme tattoo on arm 

Sea Creatures & Animals

Turtles, dolphins, starfish and other sea creatures look great as summer tattoos. These designs can be colourful and realistic or abstract and simplistic to match your unique style.

For wildlife lovers, there's no shortage of animal tattoo designs to choose from. Summertime brings out some beautiful animals: from vibrant butterflies and dragonflies to majestic birds. Any of these creatures can bring your summer tattoo to life in a really eye-catching way.

For a more subtle tattoo design, you could opt for a cutesy summer critter, such as a ladybug or a bee. Not only are they perfect for the season, but these tiny creatures add a delicate touch to your body art.

Flowers & Nature Scenes

Flower tattoos make a beautiful choice for summer. Floral tattoos come in all shapes and sizes and a whole host of vibrant colours, which can add a real summery vibe to your look.

If you want to create a more intricate tattoo design, why not combine different flowers and plants with some of the other elements above such as insects or animals? This will make for an eye-catching nature scene that’s perfect for the summer months.


Floral tattoo design for summer


Food & Drink Designs

With the summer months come warmer temperatures, and nothing is more refreshing than sipping on an ice-cold drink or indulging in a cone of your favourite ice cream. Whether you’re enjoying a frozen margarita or a coconut water while soaking up the sun, these moments can easily be captured in the form of a summer tattoo.

Tropical fruits such as watermelons or pineapples often evoke feelings of summertime and also make a great tattoo choice. This subject matter works particularly well in a more classic cartoon-style where the bold colours of the fruits are allowed to really shine through.

Summer Fashion Accessories

There are several classic summer accessories that we bring out of our wardrobe year after year, which can also serve as the basis for great tattoo ideas. For example, flip-flops are a timeless summer symbol, and they're not just limited to the beach.

Sunglasses and caps are other classic summer fashion accessories that can be used for tattoo inspiration. Whether you’re going for a more realistic look that includes all the details or an abstract design, these timeless symbols can help to capture a hint of summertime.

The iconic bucket hat is becoming more and more popular as a summer fashion accessory. It can often be seen all over social media, especially on sunny days when people are out and about enjoying the nice weather. The bucket hat is so versatile that it can be styled with anything from casual streetwear to beachwear. Similarly, a tattooed bucket hat also makes for a versatile design choice that complements a variety of styles while still remaining just as iconic and recognisable.


Floral summer tattoo design


Getting Body Art for the Summer

Summertime is the perfect season to express yourself with a unique and creative tattoo. Whether you opt for something simple, colourful, or abstract that matches your personal style, these ideas will help capture the essence of summer in an eye-catching way.

Remember to also think carefully about tattoo placement so that you can show off your artwork to its best advantage. Plus, be sure that you're protecting your tattoo adequately from the sun and its harmful UV rays. As always, the usual aftercare advice still applies, no matter the time of year!

Other helpful articles:

Getting tattooed on holiday: things you should know

Tattoos and sun exposure: the basics of protecting your ink

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  • Sarah Crookes