If you’ve ever seen a spider web tattoo, and you probably have, chances are you’ve wondered about the meaning behind the interesting design. There are actually many meanings attached to these tattoos, both positive and negative. On this page we will take a look at some of those spider web tattoo meanings as well as some of the different types of designs that people like to get.
Spiders are the image of fear and peril in many cultures around the world, which is why fear is the most common spider tattoo meaning that people like to use. It’s not necessarily an aggressive fear meaning that people are using, but it sometimes is. You can get one of these tats to try to intimidate, or you can even get one to show that you have a fear that you’re trying to get over. Believe it or not, some people will get the spider web tattoo to show that they have a fear of spiders and they get the tat to face that fear head-on.
Spiders’ potential danger to humanity and haunting appearance create a tone of horror when its image is used. This is why spider web tattoos are usually the focal point or secondary images in horror themed tattoos. In these combo tattoos, you will usually use all dark colors, such as black and dark red to make that horror meaning clear. Some folks get these tattoos to scare others, but most people who get them are simply showing that they love the horror genre.
The webs of these arachnids harken to the creatures themselves without having to necessarily reveal the spider. That adds an air of mystery to the tattoos, which is yet another great spider tattoo meaning that you can choose to use. Some people take this meaning a step further by “hiding” a spider or two in the web, making it a bit of a “Where’s Waldo” type of tattoo.
The web serves as a warning, the ability for the spider to appear once its prey has been caught in its trap. Some people have an innocent appearance but can lash out at any time, so this tattoo meaning could be perfect for them. If you do choose to use this meaning, you have quite a few design options to choose from. You can just get the web by itself, or you might choose to have a spider lunging or about to lunge from the web. The meanings you use in these tattoos should dictate how you tweak the design.
Pictured with or without the spider, the spider web has been used as a prison tattoo in several different cultures. It is often an indication of prison time served but has other implications depending on the origins. It’s not good to assume that this is the spider web tattoo meaning being used, but there are still plenty of prisoners who choose to get the spider web over all of the other popular prison tattoo designs.
Placed on the elbow with the web spreading outward from the tip, it portrays a traditional style tattoo, iconic to inmates and convicts. This is important to keep in mind if you do decide to get a spider web tat since people might think that you were in jail even if you simply got your tat on your elbow because you liked the look of it. With that being said, if you like the look of the elbow tattoo and you want to use another spider web tattoo meaning with it, don’t hesitate to get one.
The hand or neck are other areas the web stretches, meaning to indicate criminal behavior. Now with this design you can assume that the wearer has either been to prison or hangs/hung out with others who had been inside. It’s pretty rare that someone who wasn’t associated with crime would opt to get the spider web tattoo on their neck over all of the other areas of their body.
The web serves as a reflection of the passage of time and the patience of the spider awaiting its prey. If you think about it, this is many spider web tattoo meanings all wrapped into a single image. It represents patience, passive aggressiveness, and reflectiveness, among other great meanings.
The spider web design is often used with other images to create an ominous theme for a larger tattoo. This is a great way to either add in additional spider web tattoo meanings or to simply make the design even more personal with completely unrelated images. If you do decide to add in other images, you should make sure that everything blends well and that it doesn’t look like things are just mashed together to try to fit in as much as you can.
Skulls are often accompanied by spider webs, enhancing the element of mortality in the symbol. A lot of people want to use the “mortality” meaning in their designs, and the spider web tattoo is a great way to do just that. And you can do a lot with the skull too, including putting it up against the web or even having the web growing out of the skull.
Flowers and raindrops are also sometimes added to spider web tattoos, implementing a feminine and classic beauty into the image. Often these elements are made dark to blend in with the spider web, but the contrast of colorful flowers against the dark web can look fantastic if created by a good artist.
Jewels, hearts and other pretty designs can be added as well, often in a cartoonish style that recalls the “sailor jerry” or “flash” style. These colorful and traditional tattoos are less ominous and feature a cartoon spider with symmetrical designs, sometimes a skull as well within the body. These images are more appealing and invoke a less menacing tone, creating an ironically cheerful symbol of a feared predator.
To further feminize the spider web design, swooping and swirling lines are often used to add softness to the image. Extra shading can give the spider web the same type of soft effect, which some think make these tattoos that much more attractive on the skin.
The web can be used to fill in another form like a heart, diamond, or other shape, adding further aesthetic appeal. This will come down to the meanings that you want to use with your tattoo and if you are okay with tweaking the look of the spider web. For example, someone who loves spiders might get their spider web tattoo in a heart shape, while someone else might simply get a heart tattoo somewhere else on their body.
The fact is that many people assume that spider web tattoos (and their meanings) are for men only, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. All of the meanings listed on this page can be used by both sexes and often are. However, there are plenty of ways to make your design manlier or more feminine by simply making small changes to the design (we mentioned some above).
Regardless of the design choices and the spider tattoo meaning being used, you should have a good tattoo artist do the work for you. A lot of people are tricked into thinking that spider web tats are easy to make simply because they are made of simple lines and a little bit of shading. Trust us, you need an experienced pro to make that lining and shade work look amazing on your skin.
As you can see, you can use one or more spider tattoo meanings and there are plenty of ways to make these designs unique. If you do like the look of the spider web tat and you have found that one or more of these meanings work great for you, then you’ll want to come up with a design that makes those meanings come to life and have a good artist make it look amazing on your body.