Between a large amount of surface area and their ability to be covered up, legs are the perfect place to get inked. No matter what design you’re considering, the leg has an area that can accommodate size and shape of the tattoo. The thigh/upper leg has the most space to offer but is also incredibly secluded, while the knee doesn’t offer much space but does have an interesting shape. Calves do offer a lot of space and with little pain—though it’s rounded and a very visible location. And the shin, while typically extremely painful, puts your design front-and-center.
When considering a leg tattoo, think about how your ink could flow with the natural movement and shape of your leg. Working with the rounded areas or the straight lines along the bone can mean taking a design to the next level, rather than trying to force ink where it doesn’t fit. Wherever you’re thinking of placing your next leg tattoo, check out these amazing designs for some major inspiration.
Floral Bang Leg Tattoo
Florals make great leg tattoos because they feel light against a large body part. Consider wrapping the flower around like a band to play with the shape of your leg.
Moon Phases Leg Tattoo
Use the different bones in your leg as a guide for tattoos with straight lines — either literally or in terms of placement. Here, the delicate shading makes the design feel light.
Line-Art Leg Tattoo
A design on the back of the leg by the ankle means it may be able to be covered, but a bit of it will always stick out. The line art keeps it light, while the thick outline grounds it.
Text Band Leg Tattoo
For word or phrase tattoos, play up the shape of the leg by wrapping the text like a band. Placing it on the upper thigh gives it a more intimate feel, like a garter.
Vivid Floral Leg Tattoo
Since upper thigh tattoos remain hidden most of the time, it’s the perfect location to play around with your design. Go for a more vivid hue or a variety of shapes like in this flora ink.
Laurel Branch Leg Tattoo
A small laurel branch may seem like a minimal design choice for the vast area of a leg, but placing it around the knee makes it pop. Its simplicity keeps it elegant while still making a statement.
Lotus Flower Leg Tattoo
Since lotus flowers require so many lines and details, they fit perfectly in the large area of an upper thigh. Try combining multiple line thicknesses to keep it interesting.
Colored Floral Leg Tattoo
Thanks to the length of leg bones, you can ink a long design—like flowers with elongated stems—elegantly. The color detailing makes them feel painted on.
Blackwork Leg Tattoo
Pieces with heavier blackwork will look great on the upper thigh because they can use a fair amount of negative space to counteract the dark pigment. The shape of the flora mimics the soft shape of the leg as well.