11 Carnation Tattoo Ideas To Inspire Your Next Floral Body Art

Pretty petals galore.

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11 super cute carnation tattoos to inspire your next ink.
Getty Images/Natalie Kalka / EyeEm

Depending on its color, a carnation can symbolize anything from gratitude (pink) to love and affection (red). It’s no wonder the floral makes for such a popular tattoo design for ink lovers. “Carnation tattoos are usually very sentimental or of great meaning to the client,” says tattoo artist Crys of Fleur Noire Tattoo in Brooklyn, New York. “Because the symbolism of the flower itself can change, it gives clients a lot of options to choose from.”

Or maybe colorful ink isn’t your thing at all. Aesthetic tattoos — or simple linework pieces — are all the rage right now, so you could opt for a carnation that’s more of a subtle outline design. Either way, Crys says this particular flower offers plenty of versatility. “Stylistically, they can be very bold or delicate, so it is befitting to all genders and tastes,” she tells Bustle.

Crys says she typically likes to freehand floral tattoos. “Freehanding allows me a better opportunity to make sure the piece flows exactly the way it should,” she notes. As for where the tattoo should land, Crys says placement is based on your personal preference. “My best advice is to look at whether the design is of a vertical or horizontal angle, and work with the body placements that align [that] best.”

Whether planning your first tattoo or considering a new addition, Crys says to remember that your ink should be a collaboration between you and your artist — ask them for help if you need assistance plotting your carnation tattoo design. Before booking your next appointment, scroll the list below for a bit of ink inspo.



This design makes up in detail what it lacks in color. Go with a black aesthetic carnation accentuated by geometric lines for a bold take on a classic.


Perfect Penmanship

Get two tattoos in one with a delicate and delightful piece like this one, which pairs a cursive word with the carnation flower.


Prim & Proper

This tattoo design has major fairytale vibes with its soft colors and curvy lines.


Two Of A Kind

Pair a carnation with another flower, like a rose, for a little extra something in your body art garden. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to create a cool color story.


Work Of Art

Tattoo or oil painting? The carnations in this ink, some of which are just beginning to bud, flanked by baby’s breath is giving idyllic country home feels.


Dark & Moody

For those who like a mix of hard and soft, this blacked-out carnation is the perfect way to power clash with your ink.


Carnation Bouquet

Don’t limit yourself to one — go with multiple carnations and prominent stems and leaves for your floral piece.


Vibrant Colors

Ruby red isn’t just for roses. These rich scarlet-colored carnation petals are equal parts bold and chic.


Lots Of Layers

These paper-thin layers and pops of orange and yellow add depth to your carnation tat — you can’t help but lean in for a closer look.


Arm’s Length

This is the epitome of a carnation in tattoo form, from the fully blossomed petals to the trailing stem that’s so neat that it almost looks like a print.


A Pop Of Color

Tattoos that are all black could use a bit of color to lure you right in. Your eye may land on the golden butterfly at first, but don’t miss the beautiful details of the floral outline it’s landed on.

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