50 Fantastic First Tattoo Ideas

50 Fantastic First Tattoo Ideas

hummingbird wrist tattoo
gemstoneblog/Instagram

Getting a first tattoo is a big step that often takes a lot of thought and planning. Pretty much everyone wants a tattoo that won't be regrettable in 10 or 20 years -- and to hire a great artist to do it. We can't stress enough how important it is to go to a talented tattoo artist. Chances are they won't be cheap, but tattooing is a beautiful art form, and someone experienced with a good reputation will create work that will last and will look amazing.

For a first tattoo, find an artist who's inspiring, and consider getting a tattoo that is personal in some way. For some people, it could have sentimentality; for others, it could simply be an image they find beautiful. Meaningful quote tattoos and memorial tattoos are both popular choices.

Many folks also consider their favorite books or movies for first tattoo inspiration -- for example, Harry Potter is a popular one. All that matters is that the people really love their first tattoo (and all of the ones they get after that too, hopefully). It is a really fun experience that takes thought, money, and some pain as well. 

Here are 50 really great first tattoos! Use these an inspiration for that upcoming rite of passage for tattoo lovers. 

Sweet Bouquet First Tattoo
rex_ttt/Instagram

  • Heartbeat First Tattoo

    1

    This heartbeat tattoo is so cute and simple. The wrist placement is also a great choice. 

  • Kitty Cat First Tattoo

    2

    How adorable is this kitten!? Any cat lover would probably love to get something like this for a first tattoo. 

  • Jaws First Tattoo

    3

    This shark tattoo has simple line work, but it looks so cool. A very creative choice for anyone who is a fan of Jaws or Shark Week on Animal Planet. 

  • Paw Print First Tattoo

    4

    This heart and paw print is a really cute way show one's love for a pet. It's small and easy to cover up as well. 

  • Dog Tag First Tattoo

    5

    This memorial tattoo is of her great grandfather's World War II dog tags. Very sentimental and it turned out stunning! 

  • Tree Leaves First Tattoo

    6

    This branch of leaves is a very pretty first tattoo. The arm placement works really well with the design and we love the use of shading in the leaves. 

  • Twinkle First Tattoo

    7

    For any folks who are scared to get something too big for their first tattoo, something really tiny can be just as cool! These little twinkle stars are super cute. 

  • Single Rose First Tattoo

    8

    A single rose always looks so elegant. This arm tattoo is a lovely choice for someone getting a first tattoo! 

  • Purple Flower Tattoo

    9

    This purple lotus flower is gorgeous! It may have taken a little while to do such great colors and details, but it totally looks worth it! 

  • Micro Heart First Tattoo

    10

    For her tattoo, this Instagram user chose a very simple and small heart. It looks so great and was probably done in the blink of an eye! 

  • Lion First Tattoo

    11

    For any people who are super ready for their first tattoo and know exactly what they want, just go for it! This large lion head is incredible! This Instagram user wrote that it's "exactly what I wanted but better." 

  • Sweet Memorial First Tattoo

    12

    A first tattoo is always meaningful when it's in honor of a loved one. This girl got hers for her grandmother. It has a really sweet quote with a pretty sunflower and hummingbird. 

  • Bumblebee First Tattoo

    13

    This cute little bumblebee looks so pretty surrounded by the flowers. The colors look great together. 

  • Sun First Tattoo

    14

    This first tattoo has a very special meaning. Amanda Kadatz wrote: "I got this tattoo because of a long battle with mental illness. I wore the same sun-pendant necklace every day for years, and I would grab hold of it to calm myself down during an attack. Eventually, the sun grew to become more of a symbol to me, and I would tell myself 'the sun will come out tomorrow,' kind of like saying that life goes on, and it will all be okay. Eventually after many broken chains and the pendant starting to tarnish, it was time to get it tattooed, and I couldn't be happier."

  • Anchor First Tattoo

    15

    An anchor is a good option for a first tattoo as well. There are so many different ways to design it. This simple shaded one turned out so well. 

  • Lion King First Tattoo

    16

    This cute lioness and cub drawing is inspired by Disney's The Lion King. It's a really nice tattoo idea for a mama! 

  • Moon First Tattoo

    17

    This moon tattoo looks out of this world (pun intended)! Its precise details are truly incredible. 

  • Single Line Quote First Tattoo

    18

    Single line words or quotes look so delicate and make a really nice first tattoo. This one says "One of a kind" and we absolutely love it. 

  • Turtle First Tattoo

    19

    This beautiful turtle looks stunning, but it takes a brave person to get this for a first tattoo, seeing how it took eight hours to finish! 

  • Hand-Poked First Tattoo

    20

    Hand-poked tattoos are a big trend and they make really awesome first tattoos. This unique design features a moon, stars, and a sword. 

  • Crown First Tattoo

    21

    All queens deserve a crown! This royal symbol is a cute idea for a first tattoo. 

  • Clover First Tattoo

    22

    This four-leaf clover is super small and goes on relatively quickly -- which may be desirable for getting the first tattoo out of the way. Plus, it's a nice way to always carry around a lucky charm. 

  • Fox First Tattoo

    23

    This little colorful fox is so adorable. Its owner loves it and so do we! 

  • Feather First Tattoo

    24

    A lot of people love feather tattoos simply because they look so pretty, and there are a lot of ways to personalize them. This one has the bearer's grandfather's handwriting on it! So sweet. 

  • Diamond First Tattoo

    25

    This watercolor diamond design is really edgy and artistic. We love the different line techniques and the color combination! 

  • Zodiac Sign First Tattoo

    26

    For those who are into astrology, their zodiac symbol is a fun idea for a first tattoo. This Virgo symbol looks really chic adorning a wrist. 

  • Paris Skyline First Tattoo

    27

    This skyline outline of Paris is the perfect travel tattoo for a first timer who's a Francophile! It's simple, adorable, and meaningful for those who love the City of Light.

  • Hummingbird First Tattoo

    28

    This hummingbird tattoo is delicate and pretty -- and got this first-timer thinking about getting her next one! The Instagram user wrote: "Still so in love with my first tattoo, but I’m now getting excited for tattoo number 2 in 3 weeks."

  • Rocket Ship First Tattoo

    29

    This cute little rocket ship made an astronomical first tattoo. We like the placement on her ankle.

  • Harry Potter First Tattoo

    30

    Harry Potter fans are often inspired to show their love of the franchise by inking it on their bodies. This Potterhead got the spell "Expecto Patronum" tattooed on her for her first tattoo. 

  • Sherlock Holmes First Tattoo

    31

    Sherlock Holmes fans will totally appreciate this clever tattoo idea! And the artistic incorporation of the pipe looks so good.

  • Dandelion First Tattoo 

    32

    This tattoo of a dandelion with seeds that turn into birds is really whimsical and pretty. Of its meaning, this Instagram user wrote: "Don't get trapped in the routine of day-to-day life, let go once in a while and just be free." 

  • Constellation First Tattoo

    33

    This zodiac constellation tattoo is a memorial to a loved one and has a powerful meaning. This Instagram user wrote: "Cody, you are always with me, guiding me, having my back and being my right hand man. I love you. This one is for you. I hope you like it big bro!"

  • Butterfly First Tattoo

    34

    A butterfly is often thought of as a common tattoo idea, but these winged creatures come in so many different and pretty designs and colors. This deep purple butterfly has really beautiful shading; it looks like it's about to come to life.

  • Tiny Shell First Tattoo

    35

    Getting a small tattoo is a good way to start, and this sweet and tiny shell can certainly be turned into something bigger someday ... or stand on its own.

  • Sacred Elephant First Tattoo

    36

    When folks get something beautiful tattooed on them by a talented artist, there is little chance for regret. This sacred piece is one that will be loved for life.

  • Sweet Bouquet First Tattoo

    37

    We love the placement of this sweet little bouquet of lavender, rosemary, and thyme. 

  • Mini Book First Tattoo

    38

    When deciding on a tattoo, especially a first tattoo, it's best to get something of value or importance. For the literature lovers, this mini book tattoo couldn't be more perfect.

  • Colorful Bird First Tattoo

    39

    We love this stunning bird tattoo due to those soft colors, and showcasing it within geometry makes it even more beautiful and perfect as a stand-alone.

  • Unalome First Tattoo

    40

    The symbol for enlightenment, the unalome, carries beautiful meaning. And its vertical design allows it to align beautifully on various parts of the body.

  • Lotus First Tattoo

    41

    First tattoos do not have to be small or lacking color -- they should be meaningful and special to the person getting it. This beautiful lotus totem has gorgeous color and yet isn't overpowering.

  • Fruit & Flowers First Tattoo

    42

    We love the homage to a favorite season as seen in this vibrant tattoo.

  • Paper Airplane First Tattoo

    43

    There is something so cute about a paper airplane tattoo. It's like a childhood memory, and it captures the desire to travel and keep in touch with friends all at once.

  • Wave Scene First Tattoo

    44

    A seascape is another great tattoo idea when it comes to the first (or last) one. Doctor Woo is one of the greatest tattoo artists there is, and his wave tattoo is amazing.

  • Bright Arrow First Tattoo

    45

    This beautiful colorful tattoo by Jennifer Trok makes for a perfect first tattoo. It's timeless and gorgeous and can stand alone or be a part of a bigger theme later on.

  • Sailboat First Tattoo

    46

    A great line tattoo is another wonderful first tattoo idea. Tattoo artist Brie Felts created this adorable sailboat.

  • Fine Line Bird First Tattoo

    47

    Cholo Ink created this fine line tattoo based on a client design -- its originality is what makes it so perfect for a first tattoo.

  • Fingers Crossed First Tattoo

    48

    Think outside the box when it comes to tattoos. This fingers crossed tattoo has meaning the bearer can share with others or keep as a perfect secret.

  • Cicada First Tattoo

    49
    Cicada First Tattoo
    Image via Star Vross

    Done by John O'Hara of Black Iris Tattoo, this is a first tattoo for Star, who got matching cicadas with her brother and sister.

  • Geometric Double Arrow First Tattoo

    50

    Simple lines make an exquisite tattoo, as we see in this two-headed arrow with a cool geometric design. 

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