Rose tattoos have a long history dating back to the 1930s. Back then, sailors used to ink them to symbolize their girlfriend, wife, or mother. Because of their association with women, roses began to symbolize love and femininity, quickly becoming a classic ink design choice. Today—whether you get a minimalist design hidden behind your ear or a string of blood red roses on your shoulder—roses make a gorgeous (and timeless) tattoo design. Here, 30 gorgeous rose tattoos to inspire your next ink.
Dot-Shaded Bloom Tattoo
The dot shading on this large singular rose bloom gives it a whimsical effect, while the dark outlines and block shadows make it feel realistic.
Hands & Roses Tattoo
Hand tattoos are very on-trend right now, and the thin outline in this design adds to the delicate and feminine feel of the rose.
Behind The Ear Rose Tattoo
Want a smaller, more minimalist rose tattoo? This one is placed behind the ear to keep it hidden and is a simple black wisp of ink.
Never-Ending Rose Tattoo
This large single rose bloom features endless layers of intricate petals for a near-three-dimensinoal look.
Glass-Encased Rose Tattoo
Make your tattoo an ode to your one true love (and a specific Disney movie) by getting a glass case tattooed around the rose.
Super Delicate Rose Tattoo
By using extremely thin lines and small, intricate detailing, a rose tattoo gains an extremely delicate feel. The shading on the leaves also gives it a realistic look that stands in contrast to the crisp line of the stem.
Inner Arm Rose Tattoo
Placing a rose tattoo on your inner-upper arm gives it a “peekaboo” effect, with people catching a quick flash as you move yourm (rather than full visibility at all times).
Traditional Style Rose Tattoo
Rose tattoos are original to the person who gets them, but a lot of them look similar because they’re modeled off of real roses. Personalize your tattoo a bit by modeling it off of the American traditional tattoo style, which tends to break designs down to absolute basics and relies on heavy usage of black ink. This one in particular reminds us of a stained glass window.
Red Rose Tattoo
Jazz up a simple tattoo by changing the color! This red rose tattoo makes an otherwise basic outline-only tattoo more interesting and original. It also gives a nod to the classic rose coloring.
Outer Wrist Rose Tattoo
Placing a small rose tattoo on the outer wrist gives the rose a more delicate feeling. It plays up the romance associated with roses, as it’s a tattoo that would most likely be seen in flashes rather than always being visible due to its placement.
One-Line Rose Tattoo
This rose tattoo utilizes the fully connected one-line design, but the curvy composition plays up the femininity of the rose. It’s somehow both dainty and tough, and it gives off French aesthetic vibes.
Almost Perfect Rose Tattoo
Using an extremely thin line allows tattoos to take on an almost perfect appearance like this tattoo has here. If you’re interested in a very minimal but crisp-lined rose tattoo, make sure to use very thin and simple lines.
Heart-Framed Rose Tattoo
Adding additional design elements to a rose tattoo makes it more customized to you. Here, a large heart incorporates the flower by appearing to use the stem as part of the shape’s outline. The medium outlines and heavy use of black contrasts with the negative space of the rose petals and the heart to really call attention to the design.
Realistic Thigh Rose Tattoo
By placing a rose tattoo on the upper thigh, the rose’s romantic affiliations are played up, making it a sexier placement idea. The heavy shading on this tattoo is meant to give it a more realistic look, and the contrast between the thin lines and the shading makes the ink pop.