Tattoos that Represent Love for Family

By Mary Smith. Updated: May 9, 2019
Tattoos that Represent Love for Family

To indelibly mark yourself with ink isn't something which you should take lightly. It's going to be there forever, so giving it a little consideration is wise. While some may want to get a humorous tattoo or one which represents nothing but a beautiful design, others look for meaning in their tattoos. There are few things which mean more to people than family. They shape who we are, provide boundless amounts of comfort when we're with them and such loss when they pass on. This is why many people get tattoos that represent love for family. The ink which forever marks their skin represents the same unending love for their family. Fortunately, there are many inspired and creative ways to display this love in a tattoo.

You may also be interested in: Tattoos That Represent Family With Meanings

1. Family tattoos with groups

There is no such thing as a family of one. Some families are big, others are small, but they are often represented by groups. Some family tattoos are big, others are small reminders of the fundamentals. Thinking of family tattoo ideas means thinking of what your family means.

Elephants are known for their strong family bonds, particularly with matriarchs. An older female elephant will remain mother of a family until it dies or is too weak to continue. They will stay with their family for life. Elephants will even produce more of a stress related hormone when a family member dies, implying their bonds are impressive.

Elephant tattoos are a marking of this type of strong bond. Elephant families stay together when traipsing across the Savannah by holding each other's tail. Elephant tattoo designs representing family often depict a tail holding series of elephants.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - 1. Family tattoos with groups

2. Other group family tattoos

Some of the best family tattoo designs are those represented by groups of things. Russian dolls are dolls which form a set where the smaller dolls fit into the bigger ones. This is a great metaphor for family, so Russian doll tattoos are popular. They show that even though they have separate entities, they all fit in together.

Pretty much any group can represent family in terms of tattoo representation. Stars are a common one and are great as they can be filled in with both color and design. Star tattoos might have a different color representing a different member of the family.

Arrows are also a common family tattoo design. They mean protection and who is supposed to protect you more than family? Each arrow might have a different design or represent something specific about an individual family member.

Below is an interesting family tattoo idea, with a family of skeletons dancing around together. Tree branches emanate from their arms showing the family tree element.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - 2. Other group family tattoos

3. The word family

This might sound like a real simple one, but there are lots of tattoo representations for the word family. Many of them might simply be the English word family. This can be stylized in lots of different ways, especially because the "F" in family is one of the best English letters to design. It one of many family tattoo ideas which can come with all different types of flourishes.

However, whether it is your language or not, you may want to ditch English for something a little more esoteric. Ohana has been a popular one in recent times. It is used in Hawaiian culture for family, but it can mean larger than actual blood relatives. It was likely popularized by the 2002 Disney family movie Lilo & Stitch. One or more members of a family can get an ohana tattoo. It's a family tattoo idea which is very popular, but also quite lovely.

Other symbols and names for family tattoos are common designs. However, many people get a mark from another culture and don't put any thought into its history. Cultural misappropriation is insensitive, another reason it is good to know the meaning and representation behind tattoos. It can also be embarrassing with many people getting tattoos of words or symbols from another culture (Mandarin, Sanskrit, etc.) which are spelled or shaped incorrectly.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - 3. The word family

4. A family tree

Trees are also very common tattoos which represent family. It can be an actual depiction of a tree. This is enough to represent family as a single tree has many branches which makes it up. Just as a family is one family with different members.

Sometimes you can be more specific with names of individual family members written on the branches. A family tree is also the name given to a graph which shows the different branches of family. This has been known to be used as a tattoo, but sometimes in more interesting ways. One has a family tree diagram, but instead of names, they use different shapes and colors of tattoos to represent particular family members. Also, some put a quote which might mean something to your family. Like un unofficial family motto, or even an official one.

Speaking of particular family members, here is where you need to be careful. While families can be close, it is not uncommon to have black sheep in them also. Don't get someone's name on you if you don't like them, but also be aware that this person might notice they are missing if they see your tattoo.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - 4. A family tree

5. Actual names and dates

Some of the best family tattoo ideas don't have to be complex. They aren't always as creative as others. Some people's love for their family means they simply want to get the name or birth date of a family member tattooed on their skin. This doesn't mean it has to be boring. Many people have script tattoos which use beautiful calligraphy to adorn their skin.

It doesn't have to be the name of the person exactly. One of the most common tattoos is probably the classic "mum" tattoo. Everybody gets tattoos these days, but certain styles are seen as being for classic "hard men" types. However, even the most brutish appearing person can be seen with their beloved mother tattooed in some prideful place.

Sister or brother tattoos are common. When people have children, it has become very popular to have their date or dates of birth inscribed somewhere. Often across the heart, representing deep love. This can be in numbers, but many choose Roman numerals as they are often aesthetically very pleasing.

On the other side, when a beloved family member (whether older or younger) passes away, it is common for their date of death to be tattooed. This keeps them permanently in your memory.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - 5. Actual names and dates

6. Sayings or maxims

Sayings and maxims are common tattoo ideas which people get to represent family. We already mentioned family tree tattoos. Sometimes these will be accompanied by an inscription such as this:

  • Like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions, but our roots keep us all together
  • We may not have it all together, but together we have it all
  • Where life begins and love never ends

One very popular script tattoo for family is simply ""Family First". Sometimes Latin inscriptions are also very common.

While some of these tattoo ideas may have sweet sentiments, it should be noted that they are also very common. Some of the "poetry" these use isn't exactly Shakespearean quality either. As all families have their own in jokes and special times, perhaps it's better to get something truly personal and meaningful to you.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - 6. Sayings or maxims

7. Anchor tattoos

Anchor tattoos are not just for salty sailors. They are very common tattoos which can have various different meanings and interpretations. However, if they are used to represent family, they have one specific meaning.

Families are there to help us in tough times. They provide support and keep us grounded when life can get crazy. What better tattoo to represent family then than an anchor. Just as an anchor weighs down a ship in a storm, it can help you through tough times. Also, thinking of a suitable family tattoo idea might help you in the grieving process.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - 7. Anchor tattoos
Image: dubuddha.rorg

8. Birthstone tattoos

Birthstones are colorful stones which have been attributed to each month of the year. If a family member whom you love dearly has a particular birthstone, you may want to get that colored stone tattoo to represent your love for them.

Grouping different birthstones together can also be a great way to show your love for different family members together. These are particularly good for those who don't want a big tattoo. They can be small and discrete.

Be careful as different cultures have different birthstones. Choose a birthstone tattoo to represent family by doing a little research first.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - 8. Birthstone tattoos

9. Kids drawings

This one is a risk, but has been garnering greater popularity recently. Kids love to draw and share their pictures with their family. This is why so many families have their refrigerators littered with pictures from school or art classes.

Many proud parents love to see their children express themselves. As children have limited experience, they often draw pictures of homes or family members which many parents cherish. Recently, many of these parents have been going the extra step and having these pictures traced and then inked on their own skin.

Kids have less experience, but they also have great imaginations. Some weird and wonderful displays can be made into tattoos. Some people also take messages their kids have written to them and have them tattooed on their bodies.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - 9. Kids drawings

10. Baby tattoos

Baby foot prints are a common family tattoo. It reminds parents of a time in their life when their kids were so full of potential and wonder. Hopefully they live up to it, but since baby feet are small, you can always get them tattooed over.

Some are a little more inventive like the one below where the name, date and even name of birth are incorporated into the design.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - 10. Baby tattoos

Risks of family tattoos

There are many websites devoted to bad tattoos. It is unfortunate, but it can be tempting to enjoy a little schadenfreude when looking at a tattoo gone wrong. Unfortunately, people's blind love for their family can lead to poor judgment, especially when it comes to family tattoo ideas.

Kids drawing tattoos are one of them. While you may think you're child is a little Frida Khalo, you don't actually have any objectivity. If love is blind, it can also be blinding and what you think is fine art, everyone else thinks is a house shaped like a butternut squash.

One of the most famous examples involves a notoriously difficult type of tattoo - the photo tattoo. Some tattoo artists are experts at photorealistic portraits. They can be beautiful images, haunting and charming. Unfortunately, the subtle accuracy required is not a skill every tattoo artist has. One picture a man had of his wife become famous as the picture and the tattoo didn't quite match up.

Blood relatives are usually there for life. If you have a falling out with them, it's usual that a tattoo is the least of your worries. With 50% of marriages ending in divorce in the USA, significant others are not always the same. Getting a tattoo of your partner might mean a permanent reminder of failure when the divorce papers come through, so it's wise to be careful.

Tattoos that Represent Love for Family - Risks of family tattoos

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