The wrist is a popular location for tattoos—and for good reason. While the wrist is small, it’s an open space with fairly straight lines, making it an easy placement for almost any design. Since it’s a part of the body that is sometimes hidden, wrist tattoos feel slightly more intimate than others, making them a good location for ink that’s personal to you in some way.
Whether you’re looking into getting a small wrist tattoo of an important quote or one that just makes you smile when you see it, here are 26 beautiful, small wrist tattoos to inspire you.
Butterfly Wrist Tattoo
Butterflies make great wrist tattoos, as they can be shrunk to any size. However, if you go for a smaller butterfly on the wrist, it’s a good idea to choose an artist who specializes in thin lines so you can pack a lot of detail into the design.
Sparkles Wrist Tattoo
If you want something a bit more minimal that’ll make a big impact, why not try a few sparkles? The design is only a few lines, but the differing lengths and ascending placement make the tattoo a bit more interesting.
Wings Wrist Tattoo
Tattoo designs that can be boiled down to a few simple elements make great wrist tattoos, as they stand out but stay minimal. This stunning tattoo, by second-year artist Gia of Heritech Social Club in Knoxville, Tennessee, makes the perfect minimalist statement.
Letter Wrist Tattoo
If there’s someone in your life you want to memorialize, or if you have a favorite letter of the alphabet, getting a small initial on your wrist is a simple but impactful design. Keep the font clean and crisp for a minimal look.
Floral Wristband Wrist Tattoo
While armbands seem to be more popular than wristbands, tattoos look great wrapped around the wrist. It’s like a beautiful, permanent bracelet!
Olive Branch Wrist Tattoo
An olive branch on the outside of the wrist creates a beautiful line that mimics that of the area between the wrist and the hand. Placing it here also emphasizes its connection to peace and “extending an olive branch.”
Wrist Tattoo Facing Outward
While many people get words on their inner wrist for a personal reason, placing the text facing outward makes it feel more for others. This message reminds anyone who reads it that they matter, and it’s easily read by other people.
Script Font Wrist Tattoo
Script font makes tattoos feel more delicate, and that feeling combined with the wrist placement makes the tattoo feel dainty—despite how much of the wrist it takes up. Add extra curl details to make it feel not just like words, but an overall design.
Word or Phrase Wrist Tattoo
A small word or phrase on the wrist is a great way to remind yourself of something. Because you’ll see it every day, your wrist tattoo will feel personal and important.
Abstract Wrist Tattoo
Abstract designs look great placed on the wrist, as they tend to contrast with the rigid lines of the arm. Keep the overall design simple, like this one, for a minimal design that makes a major statement. Seattle-based tattoo artist Emma Eli gives each of their clients unique, one-off designs—if you're interested in something similar, working with your artist on a custom abstract piece can be a memorable experience.
Triangle Wrist Tattoo
A triangle design will pop against the wrist, since the straight lines mimic that of the arm. Add some personal touches with negative space and additional lines for some extra visual interest.
Constellation Wrist Tattoo
A small constellation—or perhaps your star sign—on your wrist is a personal touch. Placing it on the outer wrist makes it more visible, and you’ll always be reaching for the stars.
Wristband Wrist Tattoo
While a small heart on the wrist is popular, personalize the design a bit more by making it a wristband. Keep it simple with a singular line “band” to emphasize the heart.
Bouquet Wrist Tattoo
Florals make great large, sweeping tattoos; sometimes, though, a small bouquet makes a bigger impact. These flowers are tiny and minimal, but the clean lines and thin detailing add visual interest.
Rose Wrist Tattoo
Rose tattoos have a very feminine energy, so placing them on the wrist only serves to emphasize that. This means the tattoo feels dainty, even when done in complete blackwork.
Music Notes Wrist Tattoo
If you love a specific song or musician, getting some music notes on your wrist is a great way to pay tribute to it. Plus, you can personalize it to a certain part of the song that means the most to you.
Yin Yang Wrist Tattoo
The yin yang symbol is a popular choice for a wrist tattoo, as it’s a simple design that works in any space. To give it a unique touch, try using the negative space of your wrist as the background of the symbol.
Fantasy Language Wrist Tattoo
For fans of a specific book or movie that has its own script, a great way to pay tribute is to get a letter of that language on your wrist—like this Quenya letter from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Placing it on the wrist means you’ll be showing your passion to everyone who sees it.
Simple Heart Wrist Tattoo
A simple small heart on your inner wrist is a bold tattoo choice, as it will draw attention no matter what. The blackwork on this tattoo contrasts with the skin, making it the center of attention on the arm.
Crescent Moon Wrist Tattoo
A crescent moon tattoo on the inside of the wrist emphasizes the delicacy of the area. Pairing it with florals, like this design, emphasizes the feminine power of the moon as well.
Personalized Wrist Tattoo
Sometimes details of a design are meant to be personal, not just visually appealing. In this tattoo, the outline shape and small heart make the florals feel like more than just plants.
Word Wrist Tattoo
A small word on your wrist is a great place for a reminder or something that means a lot to you. Place it on the bottom of your arm, rather than in the center, for a fun twist on placement.
Lotus Flower Wrist Tattoo
Because a lotus flower can easily be broken down into a few elements, they make for great minimal tattoos.
Go for lines that overlap—as opposed to just touching—for an interesting detail that keeps your tattoo feeling minimal.
Bird Wrist Tattoo
Adding a lot of detail to a small tattoo may sound like it’ll be overwhelming, but when done correctly, it can actually enhance the look of the design. This bird tattoo uses a lot of dotwork and shading. However, because it’s spaced out and done to add dimension to the design, it works with it, not against it.
Simple Flower Wrist Tattoo
A small, simple flower on the side of the wrist makes a big enough impact by itself. Keep the design as basic as possible—within whatever style you’d prefer—to make the focus on the size and placement.
Shine Wrist Tattoo
For a small tattoo that shines, choose a design that uses only a few lines. These sparkles are extremely minimal, but the style suits the design without making it feel too simple.