Looking for spinal tattoo ideas for your next ink? We’ve rounded up 21 elegant tattoo design ideas to inspire you. No matter what you’re into – flowers, the moon, mandalas and everything in between – you’re sure to find a design you love on this list.
21 Elegant Spinal Tattoo Ideas for Your Next Ink
1. Flowers and an Inspirational Quote
We love this tattoo because the quote is written to look like a flower stem. The flower at the top of the stem has falling petals, which can symbolize how life’s struggles can take away some pieces of our souls.
The quote “life is tough, my darling, but so are you,” is a fitting saying for this kind of tattoo and a beautiful reminder to stay strong no matter what.
2. Beads and Diamonds
Here’s an elegant spinal tattoo that looks a little like the spine. The beads and diamond shapes are beautifully designed and look almost like the vertebrae in the spine.
The simplicity of this tattoo is what makes it so special. You can choose any symbols you want for your tattoo design. If there’s something that has meaning to you, adding to the design will give your new ink a story.
3. It’s All Part of the Adventure
Looking for inspiring spinal tattoo ideas? If you love to travel, this design is perfect for you. The compass and arrows weave into the quote, “it’s all part of the adventure.”
This simple black-line tattoo is gorgeous on its own, but you could turn it into a watercolor design if you like.
4. Butterflies and Flowers
Butterflies and flowers symbolize beauty and freedom. This spinal tattoo features interweaving stems and tulips, along with pretty butterflies.
You can add color to this tattoo idea if you want, but it looks very elegant as a simple black and white tattoo.
5. Celestial Design
The sun, moon and stars rule our lives. This elegant spinal tattoo features crescent moons, the sun and stars in between. All of these symbols align along the spine to create a pretty design.
We love that this tat doesn’t cover the entire spine – just a small portion near the shoulders. But you could extend it if you wanted a bigger tattoo.
6. Single Flower Stem
If you want a simple tattoo, this single flower stem is a beautiful idea. In this design, the buds are just starting to bloom, symbolizing that you’ve only started to realize your potential.
We’re all in bloom and constantly growing. This floral design is a great reminder of that and the fragility of life.
7. Half Mandala
Spinal tattoo ideas like this one are intricate and full of details, which is what makes them so special. With this design, you can include leaves and other little shapes or designs to make this tattoo as big or small as you want.
You can even add color if you want.
8. Butterfly and the Moon
Here’s a spinal tattoo that’s highly detailed and exceptionally beautiful. This mandala-inspired design features a butterfly at the center and crescent moons at each end.
The tattoo gets thinner at each end and wider in the middle, following the length of the spine.
9. Watercolor Lion
Lions are the symbol of strength, courage and pride. In this spinal tattoo design, the lion sits at the shoulders and an inspiring quote trails under his mane.
The lion’s wispy, watercolor style looks elegant and beautiful. You can add whatever quote you want to the lion. Adding some color to the mane would really make this tattoo pop.
If you’ve overcome trauma or other difficulties in life, then a tattoo like this will be perfect for your next ink.
10. Thorny Flowers
With this tattoo, thorny flowers run down the length of the spine, with buds and leaves growing along the sides.
A tattoo design like this can symbolize strength and growth in an otherwise “thorny” world. You can choose whatever flowers you want for this design. The zig-zag trail of the stem really makes this tattoo special and memorable.
11. Blooming Flowers
Flowers are a popular choice for spinal tattoos, and each one is unique in its own way. With this design, the flowers are just starting to bloom or open up. If you’re just starting a new chapter in your life, this tattoo idea is perfect.
The style of this floral tattoo makes it look more like a spine, with each bloom and branch representing vertebrae on the spine. You can choose any flower you want for your tattoo design.
12. Moon and Flowers
Here’s another celestial-inspired tattoo that features the moon, flowers, stars and other intricate designs. The entire tattoo runs from the back of the neck to the bottom of the spine.
Diamonds, beads and mandala-inspired designs make this tattoo memorable and special. You can add color to this tattoo if you want. Watercolor splatters will make this design really stand out without losing its elegance.
13. Growing Butterflies
Butterflies are one of the tattoos that people often get when they reach 18. Why? A butterfly is free and shows that the person has undergone a sort of transformation that sets them into adulthood.
If you’re looking for spinal tattoo ideas that show you’ve grown, this one is perfect.
At the top of the neck, you’ll find a tiny butterfly that seemingly grows as it trickles down the person’s back. The final butterfly is at the bottom of the back, on the tailbone and is a large butterfly that is fully grown.
14. Flower Cascade
A cascade of flowers is exactly what this tattoo shows. You’ll find some of the flowers closed and some yet to bud, while others are in full bloom and stunning. The beauty of this tattoo is that it’s a demonstration of life.
You’ll witness the growth of yourself in these flowers and the shading makes the tattoo “pop” with realism.
15. Squiggly Lines and Circle
Some tattoos are enchanting, and this is one of them. The tattoo starts with a squiggly line that quickly turns into a circle before it makes its chaotic way down the remainder of the person’s back.
Beautiful and simple at the same time, this tattoo’s meaning remains a true mystery, but to me, it reminds me of the chaos of life. You go through moments of simplicity, shown through straight lines, before going into a circular storm and breaking free before finding yourself.
16. Shooting Stars
A stunning, elegant tattoo that resembles a “shooting” star that goes from the top of the neck down. This tattoo has a very defined central area where the designs are larger and small “streaks” running down the sides, making it look like the stars are trickling down the person’s back.
If you’re a risk-taker or someone who is always “dreaming of the stars,” this is a tattoo that you’re going to love.
17. Flowers and Vines
If you have a scar on your spine, this flower and vine tattoo is a great way to cover it up. The tattoo has long vines that go to the right and left with a flower that hasn’t bloomed on each side.
You can even add pops of color to the design if you want it to stand out more than the one in our example.
18. Womanly Faces
One of the most intricate spinal tattoo ideas on this list is the womanly faces. At first, the tattoo looks like an array of decorative lines, but in seconds, you’ll realize that there is a woman’s face looking left and one looking right.
The nose and lips are clearly defined and there’s a heart on the lower portion of the tattoo.
19. Moon Phases
Look up at the night sky and you’ll be entranced by the phases of the moon. This spinal tattoo idea features all of the phases of the moon, showing the full moon in the middle of the back. In symbolism, the moon also means:
- Mystery due to the changing phases
- Change and transformation
- Creativity and inspiration
- Intuition and a connection to inner wisdom
20. Diamonds and Spirals
A diamond and spinal tattoo is a little larger than others on our list. The spine has an array of diamond shapes with intricate designs that go from the top of the neck down. On the left side, we have spirals that just fall short of touching the spine, creating a masterpiece.
21. Good Luck Elephant
Elephants are a symbol of good luck and fortune. Throughout the centuries, people have been mystified by these intelligent creatures who live in packs and even attend “funerals.” This spinal tattoo connects an elephant in the middle of the back to the top of the neck and tailbone.
This beautiful animal is also a symbol of:
Beautiful and majestic, the good luck elephant is a beautiful choice for a tattoo.