I'm Obsessed With Small Tattoos—33 Minimalist Designs I've Saved

There is a lot to think about when you're planing on getting a tattoo. Whether it's your first tattoo or another that you're adding to your collection, getting inked is a big (and permanent) decision. You'll no doubt be scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram for tattoo ideas and deciding what sort of design you want, as well as the size and placement. If, like me, you find the idea of a large tattoo daunting, small tattoos are a great place to start. 

Before you make you appointment, there are a few things to think about, says tattoo artist and expert, Sophie Floyd. "The first step is finding the right tattoo artist for what you want. Social media has made this so much easier as you can see an artists full portfolio and make sure their style is right for you," she says. "Your first tattoo is always very daunting and easy to overthink, but most importantly remember it is your body—if you love it, do it!" 


(Image credit: @haileybieber)

Hailey Bieber has some beautiful small tattoos on her hands.

Small in size, tiny tattoos are not only chic but can be discreet and delicate, which makes them ideal for a first tattoo. "Small tattoos are a great introduction to getting tattooed as you can get a feel for the experience start to finish, from being in a studio, the tattoo itself and how you feel afterwards living with your new tattoo," says Floyd. "I often ask my clients what their ‘end goal’ tattoo-wise is. For some people just one small one is enough, for others they want to build up a collection. If you know you’ll likely add more in the future, think about using placement wisely to get the most out of your canvas," she says.

Another thing to consider is placement. "Small tattoos are great as you have endless placement possibilities," says Floyd. "If clients are unsure on placement, I first ask if they want their tattoo to be more on show or easier to hide if necessary. If you want the latter some good placements are ribs, inner arm or ankle as most clothing can hide them easily. If you want to show it off, anywhere outer arm is my go-to, " she says.

As with any tattoo, small tattoos can be meaningful to you, or as a form of self-expression. "I love that small tattoos can either have a lot of meaning, or just be fun! Some of my favourites are shells, letters, cowboy boots, flowers and cherries," says Floyd. Of course, you'll want to make sure you follow up with good tattoo aftercare to ensure your new tattoo heals well and looks its best. 

Ready for some small tattoo ideas? Scroll ahead for the best designs I've found on my feed.

Small Tattoo Ideas


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

I love Amaka's collection of small inks, including the flower tattoo on her wrist.


(Image credit: @sophiefloydtattoo)

How cute are these matching cowboy boot tattoos?


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

These tiny hand tattoos look so pretty together.


(Image credit: @kaiagerber)

Kaia Gerber has some pretty tattoos, including this small angel design.


(Image credit: @sophiefloydtattoo)

So. Fun.


(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight)

A collection of small tattoos look great together.


(Image credit: @sophiefloydtattoo)

I'm in love with this floral oval tattoo.


(Image credit: @haileybieber)

Look closely and you'll spot that Hailey Bieber has a tiny heart on her collarbone.


(Image credit: @sophiefloydtattoo)

For those who like to wear their heart on their sleeve.


(Image credit: GETTY)

I love Laura Harrier's dainty floral design on her wrist.


(Image credit: @kaiagerber)

Kaia Gerber's dainty wine glass tattoo on the inside of her arm is so cute.


(Image credit: @dualipa)

Words make for great small tattoos. Dua Lipa's read 'angel' on her shoulder and 'patience' on the top of her hand.


(Image credit: @estellepigault)

These line-drawing tattoos are dainty and understated.


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

Fingers are a great placement for tiny tattoos like stars and dots.


(Image credit: @mileycyrus)

Miley Cyrus's small neck tattoo is a nod to her birth year.


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

Meaningful numbers or dates make a great small tattoo design that you'll be reminded of every day.


(Image credit: GETTY)

Riri has curated a beautiful collection of tattoos, including cursive text, roman numerals and stars on her neck and shoulders.


(Image credit: @arianagrande)

Just below her left ear, Ariana Grande has a tiny crescent moon tattoo.


(Image credit: @dualipa)

Dua Lipa's palm tree tattoo is so fun.


(Image credit: @kaiagerber)

Kaia Gerber has her middle name tattooed on her inner arm in cursive text.


(Image credit: @sofiarichiegrainge)

We don't see it often, but look closely and you'll spot that Sofia Richie-Grainge has the word 'clarity' tattooed on her neck in uppercase letters.


(Image credit: Launchmetrics Spotlight)

Experiment with the thickness of the tattoo lines for a bolder statement.


(Image credit: @arianagrande)

How pretty are Ariana Grande's floral hand tattoos?



I love the combination of cute heels and a fun ankle tattoo.


(Image credit: @nails_of_la)

I also love this tiny crescent moon tattoo on the index finger.


(Image credit: @ariellanyssa)

The inner arms make a great placement for smaller tattoos if you want them to be more discreet.


(Image credit: @arianagrande)

Tiny heart tattoos look great on fingertips, as Ariana Grande proves.


(Image credit: @selenagomez)

Selena Gomez has 'Rare' tattooed on her neck just below her ear—a nod to her beauty line and her third album.


(Image credit: @gigihadid)

Gigi Hadid has her daughter's name in Arabic inked as a tiny tattoo on the crook of her elbow.


(Image credit: GETTY)

How fun is Dua Lipa's tongue-in-cheek tattoo?


(Image credit: GETTY)

Ariana Grande's neck tattoo reads 'mille tendresse', which means 'thousand tendernesses'—a nod to a line in the Breakfast at Tiffany's film.


(Image credit: @haileybieber)

The side of your hand is a great place to add a small, dainty tattoo design.

This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.

Up Next, This Is It—Your Be-All-and-End-All Guide to Tattoo Aftercare

Eleanor Vousden
Beauty Editor, Who What Wear UK

Eleanor Vousden is the beauty editor for Who What Wear UK. She was previously deputy editor at Hairdressers Journal, health writer at Woman & Home and junior beauty editor at beauty website Powder. She has also contributed to Wallpaper and Elle Collections with written and styling work.Working as a beauty journalist since 2015 after graduating in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, she has been highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards for her work on Powder and also contributed to the title winning Website of the Year at the PPA Awards.Eleanor’s journalistic focus is to provide readers with honest and helpful beauty content. Through words, video and live broadcast, she has interviewed several celebrity makeup artists, hairstylists and top dermatologists throughout her career, as well as celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Scarlett Johansson. She has a particular interest in finding solutions for acne and eczema, which she has experienced firsthand. She has also amassed a large collection of fragrances and can never say no to a new candle.When she’s not writing or testing the latest beauty product or treatments, she’s on the seafront in her hometown of Brighton and Hove, where she lives with her partner and her miniature dachshund.