30 Small Wrist Tattoo Ideas That Are Subtle and Chic

@haileybieber / Instagram

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 30 beautiful, small wrist tattoos to inspire you.

Words and Symbols

Getty Images

Zoe Kravitzs many hand and wrist tattoos offer different interpretations, but we love the combination of a simple cursive word (in this case, "wolf") with a series of small stars in the shape of a cross.

Concentric Triangles

@aztattoozz / Instagram

These bold, black, open triangles fade into an arrow. The simple tattoo can be turned upwards or on to its side depending on what direction you want the lines to face.

Hand-Poked Adornments

@megansancheztattoo / Instagram

These hand-poked tattoos offer something for each wrist—a lourish of simple, elegant, black ink in various shapes, including dots.

Simple Butterfly


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.


@clarktattoos / Instagram

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.

Open Wings


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.

Single Letter


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


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 Tattoo

@hels.tattoo / Instagram

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.”

Words of Encouragement

@hels.tattoos.dreamsstudio1517 / Instagram

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

@its_just_tats / Instagram

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

@antokyo.ink / Instagram

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 Design


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 youre interested in something similar, working with your artist on a custom abstract piece can be a memorable experience.

Minimal Script with Heart

@aztattoozz / Instagram

Add some personal touches with cursive script of a relatives name and a negative space heart for some extra visual interest.



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.


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.



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.

Elegant Rose

@loi_g_ink / Instagram

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

@drea843 / Instagram

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

@porkyinks / Instagram

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


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

@calli_tattoo / Instagram

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

@gigi_tattooer / Instagram

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.


@hels.tattoos.dreamsstudio1517 / Instagram

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.

Powerful Word


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


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 in Flight


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.

Diminutive Flower


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.

Shiny Star


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.

Friendship Hearts

@previewph / Instagram

Thes e best friend style tattoos tell a story. While one friend has an open heart on their wrist, the other has hearts that are filled in. Its a powerful symbol of friendship and love.

Questions About Your First Wrist Tattoo

Share your love