50 Truly Incredible Tattoos to Pay Tribute to Dad

Michele Zipp | May 18, 2018 Beauty & Style

dad tattoo
dmacioce/Instagram

What better way to show love and admiration for the man we call Dad than to get a tattoo in his honor? Thoughtful (and permanent), tattoos are a gesture of true devotion, and lots of people are getting ink that shows their love of their fathers. And for those who've lost their fathers, a dad tattoo can be a touching tribute. Some dads get their own dad tattoos to give credit to their favorite role in life -- as Dad, of course.

That idea is mom-approved! And we'd bet that all these tattoos are dad-approved as well.

This list of beautiful tattoos -- all in honor of Dad -- will make grown-up daughters (and sons) start itching to get inked. Some are bright and bold. Others are simply gorgeous in black and white. So many styles to inspire! There are sentimental scenes and symbols for those who wear their (ink) hearts on their (skin) sleeves. There are funny doodles for fathers who love nothing more than a good "dad" joke. Still more options take something like a handwritten note and turn it into art. There's a tattoo out there to represent every type of dad. (Or even if the perfect one isn't out there yet, there's a tattoo artist capable of creating it.) Take a look at these 50 incredible dad tattoos for father-centric inspiration.

Dad tattoo
dmacioce/Instagram

  • Note From Dad Tattoo

    1

    s.nichole94/Instagram

    Kevin Lee at Body Stain Tattoo in Ohio created this lovely tattoo on Samantha in honor of her dad, by recreating a note he wrote to her. The heart is designed with a fishing hook and antler.

  • Military Dad Tattoo

    2

    art_by_timebomb/Instagram

    Artist Juan Reyes of Spokane, Washington, created this beautiful piece in honor of the bearer's military dad.

  • 'Star Wars' Dad Tattoo

    3

    emilyhazeyblaze/Instagram

    Emily's tattoo is for her dad, who taught her everything about Star Wars. He was a huge collector for years -- she learned he sold his collector's action figures so he could take her to Disneyland when she was 4. Now that's a loving dad! The ribbon reads "RNP2" as an abbreviation of her dad's name. Love!

  • Circular Saw Blade Dad Tattoo

    4

    asphalt_gypsy/Instagram

    A saw blade has never looked so pretty! This perfect tribute to Christina's dad was one she created with tattoo artist Richard Rawlins.

  • Beautiful Black and Gray Mom-and-Dad Tattoo

    5

    akmccarthy/Instagram

    These exquisite tattoos, in honor of both Mom and Dad, have the most special meaning. Sometimes there's no reason to overthink it. Great placement. Great talent. Great art.

  • Beach-Themed Dad Tattoo

    6

    This super cute tattoo of a beach scene is a great way to honor a wave-riding, laid-back dad.

  • Anatomical Heart Dad Tattoo

    7

    kondratine/Instagram

    Tattoo artist Caroline Jonsson of Studio 16 Tattoo created this beautiful anatomical heart in honor of this woman's pappa. Perfect.

  • Darth Vader Dad Tattoo

    8

    gravecin/Instagram

    Artist Drew Beavers created this dad-themed Darth Vader tattoo on Cin, and she reports that her father loves it. It's no doubt a hit with Star Wars fans of all ages.

  • Ohm Dad Tattoo

    9

    We love the ohm symbol with Dad below it. Very special -- great font choice, too.

  • Father and Son Stick Figure Tattoo

    10

    supratc06/Instagram

    The father-son stick figure drawing may be one of the most endearing dad tattoos ever.

  • Sentimental Dad Tattoo

    11

    carlola88/Instagram

    It's true ... our dads are never truly far away -- they are always in our hearts. And these little birds, perched on a seesaw, represent that sweet sentiment.

  • Robin Dad Tattoo

    12

    kerri_muzzerall/Instagram

    This watercolor bird was created by tattoo artist Jay Decay. It beautifully adorns his wife Kerri's arm.

  • Dad's Lighthouse Tattoo

    13

    This lighthouse tattoo by artist Tony Costello is a perfect tribute to a dad who's always guided his family through the storms.

  • Heart Dad Wrist Tattoo

    14

    antonellina_p89/Instagram

    Wrist tattoos are popular, and this sweet and simple one carries a special meaning: love for dad.

  • Pineapple Dad Tattoo

    15

    FamilyTattoo/Instagram

    Tattoo possibilities are endless, as this pineapple tattoo demonstrates. Dad likes pineapples? Why not get a pineapple dad tattoo! This one is created by tattoo artist Christopher Cendejas.

  • Dad Signature Tattoo

    16

    dizzydani18/Instagram

    A simple black line tattoo just for Dad that's hard not to love. It's got his signature of approval!

  • Heart and Flower Dad Tattoo

    17

    Tattoo artist Ryan Mills created this pretty piece with Pops in the banner. We love the heart and the yellow flower.

  • Guiding Light Dad Tattoo

    18

    katokreated/Instagram

    This lighthouse tattoo by Kayden Huber offers a vintage twist on the father tribute.

  • Hobby Dad Tattoo

    19

    fortys4life/Instagram

    Tattoo artist Will Walsh created this piece with a chef knife and paintbrush in honor of a dad with a passion for both cooking and art.

  • Anchor and Heart Dad Tattoo

    20

    samcoletattoo/Instagram

    This tattoo by Sam Riera Cole has great classic tattoo elements -- an anchor, a heart, flowers, and dear ole Dad's name.

  • Incredible Dad Tattoo Design

    21

    dmacioce/Instagram

    Created by tattoo artist Phil DeAngulo, this stunning dad tribute is worthy of a design award. 

  • Father and Daughter Silhouette Tattoo

    22

    This beautiful silhouette of a father and daughter was done by tattoo artist Craig St. Peter. What makes it even more special is that the heart balloon was drawn by the daughter.

  • Mom and Dad Rag Doll Tattoo

    23

    How cute is this tattoo by Marta Proietti? It's Mom and Dad as adorable rag dolls with their favorite things -- check out Dad's lotto ticket and notice he's sitting on a peanut butter cup.

  • Musical Dad Tattoo

    24

    ramblinfever_/Instagram

    The cool black and gray in this excellent tattoo by Meg Felix give the harmonica a realistic silvery look. Dad must be a musician!

  • Dapper Dad Portrait Tattoo

    25

    bellmoreshow/Instagram

    This handsome tattoo was created by artist Gerald Bellmore from Crown of Thorns and is a great example of exactly how a portrait should be rendered on skin -- it's a tricky assignment to get right!

  • Papa Arm Tattoo

    26

    So subtle and delicate, this one-word tattoo speaks volumes of the bearer's love for Dad -- and the placement is perfect.

  • Watercolor Memories Dad Tattoo

    27

    Watercolor tattoos are all the rage for a reason: Just look at those beautiful colors in this twist on the father-child silhouette theme.

  • Surfer Dude Dad Tattoo

    28

    He's not a regular dad, he's a cool dad. Plus, check out that tan! Who wouldn't want to hang (ten) with this guy?

  • Bug Dad Tattoo

    29

    Featuring an array of "roly poly" bugs and other creepy crawlies, this would be the perfect tattoo to honor an entomologist dad or maybe a father with a green thumb.

  • Mom and Dad Heart Tattoo

    30

    Why pay tribute to just one parent? Kill two birds with one tattoo, so to speak, with a design that works Mom (or Mum) and Dad into the design.

  • Nostalgic Photo Dad Tattoo

    31

    Hold on to a special childhood memory forever with a design like this one, which is based on a photo of a sweet remote control car moment with Dad.

  • Dad Daughter Illustration Tattoo

    32

    Another gorgeous watercolor-style tattoo, this whimsical illustration of a bespectacled dad and daughter duo is too cute.

  • Tropical Silhouette Dad Tattoo

    33

    Perhaps a sentimental snapshot from a favorite family trip, this sunset silhouette of Dad and his kids is like a vacation in tattoo form.

  • Golf Club Dad Tattoo

    34

    Anyone who grew up helping their dad carry golf clubs around a course every weekend will find this tattoo design meaningful.

  • Lovely Quote Dad Tattoo

    35

    These Italian words loosely translate to "Dad, our love will continue beyond life." Awww!

  • Flower Power Dad Tattoo

    36

    Because love never stops blooming, and also because this is an appealingly cool and edgy take on the usual flowers-and-hearts thing. Dad will surely dig this tattoo.

  • Motorcycle Dad Tattoo

    37

    Meant to memorialize a woman's motorcycle-racing dad, this tattoo design is beautifully rendered.

  • Hero Dad Tattoo

    38

    "My Dad, My Rock, My Hero." This tattoo is a touching tribute that proves a dad is a dad until the end of time.

  • Pansies Dad Tattoo

    39

    Meaning "to my father" in French, this tattoo concept could be customized with any favorite flower.

  • Nautical Note Dad Tattoo

    40

    One of the most poignant tattoo ideas ever: replicating Dad's signature. This one, with his little trademark doodle, is particularly remarkable.

  • Love You Forever Dad Tattoo

    41

    Another lovely handwritten note replica tattoo, this one echoes the sentiment behind a beloved picture book of the same name (perhaps a regular on the bedtime story rotation). And it was created in tribute of the bearer's father.

  • Angel Wings Dad Tattoo

    42

    Here's a celestial reminder that the person with this tattoo has a very special guardian angel watching over her at all times.

  • Arrow Heartbeat Dad Tattoo

    43

    This eye-catching design blends an arrow with handwriting, a heartbeat, and a heart, making it an unforgettable tattoo.

  • Deer Dad Tattoo

    44

    This stunning stag and rose tattoo design would be an appropriate expression of admiration for a nature-loving dad.

  • Dad and Daughter Drawing Tattoo

    45

    This darling cartoon dad-and-daughter pair is just beyond sweet -- like characters out of a heartwarming children's book.

  • Tractor Dad Tattoo

    46

    This vibrant leg tattoo seems to tell a story about a dad who makes beautiful things grow. The tractor is accented by some really vibrant colors.

  • Precious Gems Dad and Mom Tattoos

    47

    A jewel of an idea: Honor Dad (and Mom) with a tattoo design incorporating their birth years (and what we're assuming are their birthstones, maybe?).

  • Rose Dad Tattoo

    48

    The placement of this dad tattoo is perfect, and the single rose is impressively intricate.

  • Guitar Dad Tattoo

    49

    Carefully planned tattoo details -- including the delicate line drawing of a horse's face on the bottom of the guitar -- paint a vivid picture of this rocking dad.

  • Coffee Cup Dad Tattoo

    50

    Because moms aren't the only ones who rely on coffee to get them through the day, and because this tattoo is a lot more meaningful than just buying an actual mug with "Dad" on it.

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