Inside: 73 Unique Butterfly Skull Tattoo Ideas (+ Deeper Meaning)

We all love a good combo–Sunny and Cher, noodles and cheese, skulls and butterflies. At first glance, you may think skulls and butterflies definitely don’t belong together in one tattoo. But that is where the true beauty lies–two things that shouldn’t go together, but definitely do.

The spookiness of the skull combined with the timeless beauty of the butterfly definitely makes a statement. The two are definitely polar opposites as one represents death and the other life. But then, life and death will always go hand in hand, just as the grotesque and the macabre will always exist alongside the lovely and alluring.

Many people have either a skull or butterfly tattoo. Not many people boast both in the same design. If you’re someone who likes to stand out, combining these two elements into the same tattoo is sure to reflect who you are and what you value in life. When put together, the skull and the butterfly strike the perfect balance between both masculine and feminine energies.


Skull and Butterfly Design Ink

Butterfly Skull Tattoo Meanings

Someone who gets a skull tattoo is usually getting it to represents death or sorrow.

Butterflies are often seen as symbols of hope and beauty, like these ideas:

Together, a skull and a butterfly can symbolize the stalwart hope amidst tragedy and darkness. Suffering is inevitable in this life and can hit at any moment. So can moments of true beauty and peace.

A skull and butterfly tattoo perfectly represents that balance, or imbalance depending on whether you’re a glass half-full, glass half-empty kind of person.

Read on to find some more traditionally styled interpretations of the skull butterfly tattoo.

Remembering a Loved One

Memorial tattoos are always a popular choice. Inking a skull butterfly tattoo is a great way to celebrate the passing of a loved one. This particular combination depicts the understanding and acceptance of death and the hope of life after death, where one’s spirit can rest in peace.

Letting Go of the Past

As butterflies always represent metamorphosis, combining a skull and butterfly can represent one’s acceptance of a new self. We all grow and change–oftentimes who we were doesn’t really have anything to do with who we become. As Taylor Swift famously declared, “The old Taylor can’t come to phone right now. Why? Oh…’cause she’s dead.” We may start out as one thing and through various trials and experiences, we become something else entirely. Death to self-growth as it were. What better way to depict that than a skull and butterfly? Death and life together.

Butterflies are commonly seen as a metaphor for freedom and a lighthearted spirit. Adding a butterfly design to your skull tattoo will tell everyone you value transformation and closure. Just as an ugly, squishy caterpillar becomes the beautiful butterfly, so, too, can someone rise above their circumstances to create a better life.


A butterfly could be considered quite a feminine symbol and as such could represent a romantic interest or even the loss thereof.

On the one hand, it can be seen as the masculine and feminine representation of a relationship, while on the other hand, it can be seen as the ending of a relationship, perhaps a tragic ending where hearts were broken.


All over the world, butterflies are seen as symbols of good fortune. If you’ve had a near-death experience, combining a skull and rose is a good way to remember your triumph over an untimely end. Even if we go through tragedy or experience something truly heartbreaking, we can often turn our lives around for the better. A butterfly and skull tattoo perfectly captures that sentiment.

Half Butterfly Half Skull Tattoos

Throughout our lives, we will undoubtedly struggle between doing what is right and doing what is wrong. A half butterfly, half skull tattoo captures that tug-of-war in a really artistic way.

No matter what meaning at skull and butterfly tattoo holds for you, there’s an entire internet out there with ideas for you to peruse. Take a gander of some these striking and unique designs we’ve compiled to help you narrow your search. Whether you’re looking for a design in black and grey, bright and bold color, more traditional, or neo-realistic, we’ve got some great designs for you.

1. Black and White Skull Butterfly Design

2. Half Butterfly Half Skull Tattoo

3. Butterfly Skull Dotwork Design

4. Blue Butterfly Tattoo with Skull 

5. Skull Shaped into a Butterfly

6. Dark Skull Design

7. Large Butterfly Skull Thigh Tattoo

Butterfly Skull Tattoos

8. Butterfly with Skull in the Middle

9. Cracked Skull Design in Butterfly Wings

10. Butterfly Skull Art Inspiration

11. Large Back Tattoo of Skull Wings

12. Two Skulls on Butterfly Wings Art

13. Detailed Sketched Butterfly Skull Design

14. Butterfly Artwork with Skull Detail

15. Small Black and White Skull Butterfly on Back of Leg

Sugar Skull Butterfly Tattoo Ideas

16. Colorful Sugar Skull Butterfly

17. Red and Black Sugar Skull with Butterfly Wings

18. Sugar Skulls for Wings on Butterfly

19. Colorful Butterfly with Sugar Skull Center

Skull Tattoos + Butterfly Designs

20. Skull Detail on Butterfly Wings

21. Two Butterflies with Skull Wings

22. Butterfly with Skeleton Face on Wings

23. Sketched Half Butterfly and Half Skeleton Design

24. Skeleton Face on Wings Tattoo on Hand

Skull Tattoos

25. Subtle Skeleton Face in Butterfly

26. Knife in Skull with Butterfly Tattoo

27. Butterfly with Skull on Back

28. Two Skulls Making a Butterfly

29. Hidden Skull in Butterfly Wings

30. Hand Tattoo of Butterfly Skull

Skull with Butterfly Tattoo Designs

31. Shaded Skull with Butterfly Sitting on Cheek

32. Skeleton with Rosary and Butterflies

33. Skull with Butterfly and Rose Art Inspiration

34. Skull with Flower Crown and Butterfly

35. Flower Covered Skull with Butterfly Accents

36. Butterflies Covering a Skeleton Tattoo

37. Flying Butterflies with Skull Art

Butterfly Tattoos For Death

38. Old Skull with Butterfly Design

39. Blue Butterfly on Skeleton Head Tattoo

40. Detailed Skull with Flowers and Butterflies

41. Shaded Tattoo Design with Details

42. Pretty Flowers on Skull with Butterflies

43. Large Detailed Tattoo Skull

44. Pink Flowers and Butterflies

45. Unique Sketched Skull Tattoo

Skeleton Butterfly Tattoo

46. Black and White Skeleton Outline Playing with Butterflies

47. Colorful Playful Butterfly Skeleton

48. Skeleton Hand Holding a Butterfly

49. Arm Tattoo of Skeleton Butterfly

50. Skeleton Body Filled with Flowers and Butterflies

51. Dancing Skeleton Tattoo

52. Butterfly Sitting on Skeleton Hand

Skeleton Butterfly Tattoo

53. Skeleton Ribcage with Butterfly Lungs

54. Flower and Butterfly Turned into a Skeleton Outline

55. Skeleton Butterfly Art Inspiration

56. Ribcage Butterfly Tattoo Design

57. Fun Skeleton with Butterfly Wings

58. Butterfly Skeleton Body Parts Tattoo

59. Skeleton Skull with Butterflies

60. Portrait Tattoo of Skeleton Playing with Butterfly

Skull and Butterfly Tattoo Ideas

61. Colorful Butterfly with Skull Motif

62. Large Skeleton Butterfly Chestpiece

63. Skeleton Face with Butterfly Accents

64. Flowers Shaped into a Skull Head

65. Half Skeleton Face with Butterfly Wings

66. Colorful Floral Crown on Skull with Butterflies

Sugar Skull Butterfly Tattoo

67. Butterflies Sitting on Skull Head

68. Simple Butterfly with Skull Faces Outline

69. Blue Butterfly with Skull Hand Tattoo

70. Skull Design on Monarch Butterfly Wings

71. Colorful Skull Butterfly

72. Dotwork Tattoo Design

73. Half Skull Half Butterfly Tattoo

More Tattoo Inspiration You’ll Love

If you like these butterfly skull tattoo ideas, then check out a few more beautiful butterfly tattoo designs that we have. Plus if love more animal or insect design we have the ultimate list of tattoo ideas just for you.

  • Half Butterfly Half Flower Tattoos – Combining a vibrant butterfly with a beautiful flower gives you the ultimate tattoo idea. If you are looking for a tattoo that is both elegant and charismatic, this is exactly what you need! The meaning behind the butterfly and flower tattoo design is love, youth, grace, faith, beauty, innocence, and femininity. Consider a half butterfly and half flower tattoo if you want something feminine and beautiful.
  • Watercolor Butterfly Tattoo Designs – Watercolor tattoo designs are filled with vibrant colors, thick and thin lines, and realistic artwork. Gaining traction over the years, watercolor tattoos are becoming more and more popular. Once you see them, you’ll understand why! These beautiful butterfly watercolor tattoos are stylish, unique, and creative. Many watercolor pieces are larger in size because it takes more space to properly shade and get it to look more realistic. Be sure to check out these lovely designs for your next watercolor butterfly tattoo.
  • Animal Tattoo Ideas – There are many animals that signify love, power, being fierce, physical strength, spirituality, and so much more. Whether you want something sweet, such as a puppy, or an animal that is a leader like a lion, you can tell a story about your personality and life. Place an animal tattoo anywhere on your body, and you’ll surely adore it. Check out these creative animal tattoos to find something that represents you and your life.

Butterfly Skull Tattoo