HomeArtsyWhere to Find Quality Free Tattoo Patterns

Where to Find Quality Free Tattoo Patterns

There are tons of free tattoo patterns on the Internet and lining the walls of tattoo parlors around the country. That doesn’t mean these are the best tattoo designs out there, though.

When you know where to find quality free tattoo patterns, you can get a better selection to choose from and save money in the process.

Online galleries

Sure, if you just do a quick search for “free tattoo patterns,” you’re just going to come up with a bunch of boring, out-dated designs. The real trick to finding the good free tattoo designs online is to go to the sites dedicated to tattoo art. These are often run by tattoo artists or dedicated fans of tattooing who’ve invested a lot of time browsing the web to find the best of the best. They point the way to free tattoo galleries where you can print out as many quality designs as you like at no cost.

Tattoo parlor catalogs

The designs on the walls of tattoo parlors tend to be the most colorful, eye-catching designs that are popular at the moment. The problem is not everybody wants a big gaudy tattoo that will be out of date in three months. Instead of just browsing the walls, ask to see the catalogue of flash. These designs are still not totally unique, but you’ll be able to find a good variety.

Books and magazines

Have you checked if your local library carries books of free tattoo patterns? If they don’t they can order some for you. Consider titles like Great Book of Tattoo Designs by Lora Irish or 500 Tattoo Designs by Henry Ferguson. While you’re there, look in the magazine rack for publications like Tattoo and Skin & Ink. If this is your first tattoo, you also might want to check out an overall guide like Terisa Green’s Ink: The Not-Just-Skin-Deep Guide to Getting a Tattoo. This can help you avoid some typical mistakes people make when choosing patterns.


Just about any kind of visual art can be made into a tattoo pattern by a talented tattoo artist. Pop and abstract art work particularly well. Remember, though, images that best translate into tattoos are bold designs without a lot of detail. Tribal art is also hugely popular for tattoos. While many tribes among the Celts, Maori, and others used tattoos, every nation created art in some form. Why investigate the types of art your own ancestors created and see if you find anything use can use as a tattoo pattern.

Take a little time to look around and you’ll find plenty of sources of quality free tattoo patterns. Start of at the online galleries you can browse without leaving home. If you don’t find anything you like that way, head down to your local tattoo parlor or book store to flip through some printed collections. Remember, too, that if you find a free tattoo that’s close to your ideal, a tattoo artist can usually alter it a little so you get exactly what you want.

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