Skip to main content

Mermaid Tattoo Design Ideas

Kitty is no expert on tattoos, but she does have a few of her own. She enjoys sharing ideas on tattoos inspired by various topics.

Mermaid Tattoo Ideas

Looking for awesome and unique mermaid tattoo designs? Not satisfied with what you have found so far? Maybe you'll find some inspiration here. I've collected some ideas that are sure to spark your interest and creativity—just hold onto your fins!

Mermaid Mythology

Mermaids have been part of world mythology for centuries, with sailors telling stories of seductive sirens leading ships onto rocks, or fish-women trying to save drowning sailors. Positive and negative legends about mermaids continue to be told to this day. Although most people today concede that mermaids don't exist, many are drawn to the idea of them. Some so much that they decide they would like to have the image of a mermaid tattooed on their bodies. . . maybe as a reminder that fantasy still exists in reality.

In this article, you will find. . .

  • Retro Mermaids. See an array of traditional, vintage, retro, and old-school ideas.
  • Spiritual Mermaids. You'll find several examples of spiritual or goddess-like mermaids.
  • Disney Little Mermaid and Feminine Mermaid Ideas. See ideas for feminine, cartoon-style mermaids.
  • Large-Scale Underwater Scenes. If you prefer an elaborate, detailed scene, you'll find several examples.
  • Pin-Up Mermaids. If you're looking for curvy, sexy mermaids.
  • Other Mermaid Ideas. Check out this list of other ways to make your mermaid tattoo design unique.

Scroll down for ideas and links to excellent examples.

Nostalgic retro mermaid tattoo design

Nostalgic retro mermaid tattoo design

A Mermaid in Old-School or Retro Style

There are many different designs to choose from—some cheesy but some unique and gorgeous. How retro and old-school is this old Sailor Jerry type of mermaid tattoo above? Yet it has the quality and artwork of a modern-day tattoo artist. Maybe this is your style of design because of its nostalgic appearance and throwback qualities; maybe you're a sailor or wannabe-sailor.

More examples of traditional or old-school mermaids:

Yin-yang-infinity mermaid design

Yin-yang-infinity mermaid design

Yin-Yang Mermaids Design

Maybe you're a water sign, or a pagan who connects with the element water. If so, you might want a tattoo design that has spiritual meaning. In the beautiful, magical tattoo above, two mermaids form a circle of life (if you will) with the sign of infinity enveloped in the middle. It is like they are yin and yang, as one mermaid is dark while the other mermaid is in full color.

Be creative and be true to your spirituality when thinking up your own mermaid tattoo ideas. Add your own astrological sign to the design.

More spiritual mermaid ideas:

Feminine mermaid

Feminine mermaid

Feminine Little Mermaid Tattoos

What about simple mermaid designs for extra-feminine women? No problem! Many women were in love with the movie The Little Mermaid when they were young. If being a mermaid has some significance to your childhood, why not get a reminder of your childhood tattooed on your body? A little mermaid design would be just the thing to keep faith with your past. Go to Disney, or better yet, to the Hans Christian Andersen story for ideas.

Disney Little Mermaid tattoo ideas:

Feminine fairy tale mermaid ideas:

Mural mermaid tattoo design

Mural mermaid tattoo design

Underwater Mermaid Scene

If you're willing to do a whole sleeve or back tattoo, think about getting a scene of mermaids. Ideas for a mural tattoo could include a mermaid in an underwater flower garden (as shown above), or a mermaid in an underwater castle scene. What about a mermaid or mermaids sitting on rocks, combing their hair? Think about the image of sirens calling to ships. What image or scene pops into your mind when you think of mermaids? Go with that image as your authentic and majestic mermaid tattoo design...go with your gut.

More large-scale, detailed scene ideas:

Very bright colors in this mermaid tattoo...and pin-up style.

Very bright colors in this mermaid tattoo...and pin-up style.

Pin-Up Mermaid

You can display a hot pink object of desire, if that's what you have in mind.

More pin-up mermaids:

More Design Ideas

If none of these mermaid tattoos float your boat, then find something that is unique to you. You don't have to go with the exact tattoo that someone else is sporting, so find something that is different and yet still attractive.

Here are some more ideas for mermaid designs:

  • A siren from Greek mythology, like this one by
  • A selkie or silkie (a cross between a seal and a beautiful woman in Scottish lore) like this one by @sellwoodtattoo
  • A merrow (Irish version of a mermaid)
  • The Lady of the Lake
  • The Creature (or the Woman) from the Black Lagoon (if you're into old horror films)
  • A merman (hey, everyone gets hot mermaids. . . why not a hot merman like this one by @simonexschmitz?)
  • Mermaids in an underwater world or city, like Atlantis
  • A dolphin that is part human or a reverse-mermaid (fish on top, human below) like @snbtattoo's
  • Mermaid scales—how about a few (or a lot) of scales on your legs a la @jaime6tattoo's
  • Victorian or Edwardian-style mermaids or Art Nouveau style like @betsy.ebsen.tattoos's
Get your mermaid tattoo on your feets! :)

Get your mermaid tattoo on your feets! :)

Design idea for a mermaid inventive and somewhat Victorian style.

Design idea for a mermaid inventive and somewhat Victorian style.


Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on July 23, 2012:

It is a beautiful mermaid tattoo, isn't it? It also just feels so peaceful. Thanks!

Catherine Taylor from Canada on July 23, 2012:

Gorgeous designs. The top one is one of my all time favourite mermaid tattoos. Lovely hub!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 23, 2011:

Awesome! Hopefully she'll gain some inspiration!

felicitylovespari on September 23, 2011:

Those are some fantastic photos. True story. My friend told me today she wants to get a mermaid tat. I am going to show these to her.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 22, 2011:

Lady_E - I agree, love the mermaid tattoos.

TattooKitty - OMG! Why didn't I notice the stinkin' hot dog in her hands? I don't know who would want their mermaid holding a hot dog but I'm going to guess it's a guy. Thanks for stopping by!

TattooKitty from Hawaii on September 21, 2011:

Love the hub! Mermaids symbolize the beauty of mystery and the compilation of designs you offer here are fantastic. I like the Gothic mermaid design...but I'd probably axe the hot dog she's holding- LOL! Voted up!

Elena from London, UK on September 21, 2011:

They are lovely and creative designs.

Thanks :)

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 21, 2011:

beth - Thanks, I thought these mermaid tattoo designs were pretty gorgeous...and magical in some way. Sounds like a good idea for a mermaid tattoo! What's the name of the series?

Beth Perry from Tennesee on September 21, 2011:

kitty, these are so beautiful. I have a friend who has written a mermaid series; I'd love to see one of her book covers as a tattoo! Thanks for posting; very delightful hub!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on September 21, 2011:

delmer - That's awesome. It is definitely a form of self expression and a wonderful one at that. Thanks for reading/commenting!

delmer47 from Nebraska on September 21, 2011:

I love best friend and her daughter have many of them, and I appreciate their beauty and their form of self expression. Thanks for posting!