Rib tattoos are some of the most painful in the business. Pretty much whenever you hit bone when doing a tattoo, you’re in for a world of hurt. Although rib tattoos do hurt, they also have a unique way of conforming to the body, which looks great if done by the right artist.

If you are interested in finding some great rib tattoo ideas, then you’ve come to the right place! On this page we will take a look at some designs that work especially well as rib tattoo.
Below are some of the most popular rib tattoo ideas and why they might be perfect for you.

The snake

The snake has a lot of great meanings attached to it, so this is a great rib tattoo idea if you happen to love snakes and what they stand for. Snakes symbolize mystery, fertility, magic, renewal, and so many other great things. As a rib tattoo, you can get your snake coiling around your ribs, in a vertical line going up your ribcage, or even moving towards your stomach. If you know that you want a snake rib tattoo, be sure to pick a type of snake that you find attractive and meaningful.

The butterflies

The butterfly is the ultimate symbol of transformation, so if that’s a meaning you were looking to use in a tattoo design, then this might be the perfect rib tattoo idea for you. Most people want their single butterfly tattoos centered somewhere on their bodies, which is why it’s usually better to have two or three butterflies in the rib area. Of course, you could get the butterfly designed at an angle so it works more naturally with the lines of your body.

The birds

Bird tattoos look good pretty much anywhere on the body, but they make for good rib tattoos when people need a larger canvas to work with. You have a lot of design options here, too. You can have a bird flying up towards your head, or you can even have it flying horizontally across your ribs. If you do decide go with this rib tattoo idea, be sure to choose a bird that has a meaning you like as just about every species has two or three good ones.

The pin-up girl

Now this is a classic. Pin-up girl tattoos aren’t quite as popular as they used to be, but there are still plenty of people, both male and female, who want to get one of these beautiful pieces. The rib area works very well because you can have the pin-up girl’s entire body going down your side. This is a great way to how that you have a wild side, and it’s also kind of nice to have a beautiful woman on your skin at all times.

The text

The rib area is one of the best places to put quotes, poems, single words, and every other type of text tattoo. It’s an especially popular area for short quotes since it allows all of the words to be seen as they wrap around the side area. Some people even make shapes out of the words, which works very well if you come up with a shape that also happens to look good on the ribs. If you were thinking about getting any type of text tattoo, especially if you want it to be hidden, this could be one of the best rib tattoo ideas for you.

The hearts

The ultimate sign of love, heart tattoos work great as rib tattoos. Yes, they work pretty well everywhere else, too, but the rib area gives you a few unique design options. Many people decide to stick with simple heart designs so they can have their tats more hidden, but it’s also not uncommon to see very detailed heart rib tattoos. If you want to make your heart design as unique as possible, make the heart out of other symbols to bring more meaning to it and to give it a slick look.

The flower

A single flower can look amazing as a rib tattoo. The pedals can be right under your armpit area, while the stem goes straight down your side. Like with birds, you will want to think about a flower’s meaning before you commit to it for its looks. You will find that every single flower in existence has at least one meaning, and it can be a fun little treasure hunt trying to find the perfect one that defines you. It’s a good idea to get five or six that you really like and then commit to the one that will look the best as a rib tattoo.

The ripped skin

You can get a ripped skin tattoo just about anywhere on your body, but a lot of people seem to like to get them in the rib area. It might be because the ribs have a cool look to them, or it could just be because tattoo designs that work with our natural curves seem to look better than most other designs. When done correctly, the ripped skin tattoo looks amazing when it has some very detailed ribs showing underneath. Oh, and one more added benefit of getting the ripped skin tattoo on your ribs is that you can choose to show it to or hide it from whoever you want to.

The trees

Trees work brilliantly as a wraparound rib tattoo. The tree symbolizes life, regeneration, change, and so many other things, you can be sure that you will have a nice meaning to go along with your tree tattoo. As far as design goes, it might be a good idea to get multiple trees that go along with the lines of your ribs. You can also get just one large tree (especially if you’re getting the tree of life tattoo), but it will need to be pretty large with lots of branches to look great as a rib tattoo.

The train tunnel

This is an outside the box rib tattoo idea, but when done correctly by an experienced tattoo artist, the train tunnel tattoo can be absolutely amazing. It can be a bit expensive, though, since you will need to get a big tunnel and a pretty big train in the image. However, it’s totally worth it if you are an adventurous person. Sure you could go with a more simple train design, but a 3D style train and tunnel will most definitely turn some heads.

Here are some of our favorite rib tattoos from around the web.

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