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12 Summery Tattoos on Instagram That'll Inspire Your Next Ink Investment


Summer has become synonymous with sunshine, sand and shandy. Since most of us don’t have to worry about courses (and if you do, you’re still spending less time in your classes than the academic year), there's downtime to enjoy the unbearably arid weather summer leisure time. While you destress post-finals and earn some extra change from your summer job, it's the perfect time invest in a summery tattoo so you can take the summer with you whenever, regardless of what the temperature is outside (or what the date says on your Google calendar).

If you enjoy summer so much that you want to dedicate some ink to your favorite season, we definitely don’t blame you. (And who would?) Crafting the perf summery tattoo design can be difficult, though, so we have some inspo to help you along on your ink itinerary.

1. Make some waves

Sure, people might say the classic wave line tattoo is basic. But is there really anything wrong with being a bit basic? Basic gave us Starbucks and the lob—so let your basic self flourish. After all, how could you resist a simple and small tattoo that pays homage to the sea?

2. Or incorporate some waves into a classic geometric tattoo

Geometric tattoos are an undying trend for your flesh—and we’re glad there isn’t an end in sight for this trend because, well, shapes bring a graphic element to any design. If a basic, singular wave isn’t your style, then try incorporating a wave or beach scene inside (and outside) of your geometric parameters.

3. Combine two of your favorite things

We get it, not everyone likes wine, or the ocean, for that matter. But use this aesthetically pleasing wine glass filled with the ocean to guide your creative journey. Maybe you can combine a seashell with your love of the macabre by asking your tattoo artist to design a skull-shell hybrid. The options are limitless.

4. Ink your favorite beach beast

In our opinion, jellyfish are graceful goddesses, when they aren’t trying to sting us. In their defense, they're just trying to protect themselves, so we can’t blame them.

Aside from the jelly’s grace, they’re powerful creatures. Tattooing a jellyfish on your body could allow you to celebrate the powerful feminist icon, the jellyfish, wherever you go—because sometimes a very real part of feminism is just floating along, trying to survive.

5. And shape it out

If you don’t want to incur the copious questions about what the meaning behind your critter-themed tattoo is, you can always use the silhouette of your favorite seabird or summery animal as a base that encapsulates a floral or summery design within it. Sometimes we just like parrots, so we wanted to get a parrot tattoo—so stop asking us about the meaning of our tats, Karen. Not everything needs to be meaningful.

6. Add a twist to your fave marine critter

Narwhals might be the true unicorns of the sea, but who’s to say the seahorse living on your forearm can’t be a unicorn too?

7. Turn an unconventional sign of summer into a tat

Cicadas, whether they’re the elusive 17-year-cicada or the generic annual cicada, are basically summer’s mating call. We get it: creepy crawlies might not be your thing, but cicadas are crucial to announcing the beginning of the summer every year. We think they should be celebrated for their underappreciated job as summer’s presenter. Plus, they’re kind of cute. (Go ahead and @ us because we’ll gladly have a Twitter fight for the sake of cicadas.)

8. Grace your skin with a simple shell



A post shared by Yarden (@yardenmizrahi) on

Even if you’ve never visited a beach in your life (because traveling is expensive AF), inking a single seashell on your skin can help remind you that you’re a glorious, summery mermaid year-round.

9. Add some creativity to your typical summery flowers

Flowers, especially hibiscus, are basically the florasona of summer and warmer weather in general. You could ask your tattoo artist to craft a standard hyper-realistic floral design on your sleeve, but you might want to consider a stipple tattoo. Flower are implicitly colorful, but donning a dot-induced, black and white rendition of your favorite summer flower could spice up your summery design.

10. Get some ink of your fave summer grub

Food is life, and there are few things in life that we love more than food. So, rep a shameless illustration of a pineapple or a popsicle on your skin. Not every single tattoo needs to be serious, so we get you.

11. Make your summery tats goth


Summer vibes! Lil ice cream skullz on @ichapman92

A post shared by Lily Rafferty (@needle.mistress) on

We support iconic duos, which is why we support making summer gothic. You could go with the aforementioned skull-shell tattoo chimera, but you could also incorporate your inner Wednesday Addams in your foodie tattoo.

12. Transfer your inner painter into your tattoo

Whether you think you're the Bob Ross of watercolor or you just loved experimenting with watercolor paint as a kid, everyone can appreciate a painterly watercolor design. It's easy to see why because watercolor is such a malleable medium (seeing as water is, well, flexible too). You could get a full-blown watercolor design of a beach scene, add a hint of watercolor to your tattoo or even gradually transition the watercolor to simple, solid lines. 

Regardless of which tattoo(s) you're considering this summer, we want to add some summer ink to our skin. After all, this is the closest we'll get to having a year-round summer. 

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