125+ Swallow Tattoos Ideas to Show You More Sensitive Side

Swallow tattoos are some of the oldest tattoo designs that are still popular today. The design dates back all the way to the early 1900s during the early days of Sailor Jerry, which gives it historical meaning other than the usual symbolic and emotional meanings that tattoos often carry.

Their historical significance is not the only reason why swallow tattoos have become so incredibly famous, as they also tend to look simply beautiful. Therefore, if you are looking for a tattoo that not only looks incredibly beautiful but also holds immense historical significance and meanings, then a swallow tattoo just might be what you are looking for.

However, choosing the right tattoo can sometimes more of a pain than the tattoo process, and is why most people will give up on getting a tattoo. Therefore, with that said, here are a few ways swallow tattoo ideas that are sure to make those hours with the tattoo artist worth it.

swallow tattoos

Swallow Tattoo Ideas


Swallows are a unique tattoo to get, mainly because of their very interesting design, their historic value, and the overall message and meaning that they hold. However, when it comes to ideas that you could get inspired from for your tattoo, there are a dizzying amount of tattoo to choose from. Therefore, instead of you spending multiple hours looking for a good swallow tattoo, we have compiled a list of some of the best tattoo ideas for you.

  1. Minimalist Swallow Tattoo

Minimalist tattoos are some of the best tattoos to get for people new to tattoos. Minimalist ink carries all of the symbolic and emotional meaning of a bigger tattoo, but are much smaller. The minimalist swallow tattoo looks nothing short of adorable and its use of thick black ink really puts the tattoo in a league of its own.

Minimalist tattoos are also incredibly diverse when it comes to their placement, as they can essentially go anywhere that you want. They can go on smaller parts of the body like the wrist, hands, behind the ear, and the back of the neck, or they can also sometimes look good on bigger parts like the forearms, calves, and even the chest.

  1. Traditional Swallow Tattoo

Seeing how swallow tattoos were very common among sailors, and Sailor jerry himself was the founding father of the traditional tattoo art style, this swallow tattoo looks perfect. Not only does the style of tattoo go perfectly with the design of the swallow, but this combination also holds great historical value.

The colors of the swallow are very vibrant and beautiful. While the colors are often up to you, some of the best color combinations are of red, yellow, and black.

swallow tattoos

  1. Realistic Swallow Tattoo

Although it goes without saying that the best style for swallows is the traditional art style, a realistic swallow can also look breathtaking, and can make for a very beautiful tattoo. The realistic art style mixed with the attention to detail makes it quite the big tattoo requiring a lot more space than most traditional tattoos.

Therefore, the best place to put this tattoo would definitely be on the forearms, above the shoulder, as well as the thighs and calves. As for colors, you can go for dark and vibrant colors, but the tattoo will look beautiful the traditional grayscale color scheme.

  1. Swallow Flying With A Compass

Tired of seeing generic swallows tattoos of them simply flying? Well then, this compass tattoo might just be a fresh change of pace for you. The tattoo shows a swallow flying while carrying a compass, which really drives home the symbolic meaning of swallows of freedom and adventure supported by the compass.

The choice of colors is completely up to you, and you can choose the style for the tattoo. Whether you want a traditional tattoo, new school one, or you want to try it with a watercolor art style, it is completely your choice.


  1. Flock of Swallows Minimalist Tattoo

Another great minimalist tattoo for you to get, the flock of swallows tattoos shows various birds swallows flying away. This simply made, yet detailed tattoo is an amazing representation of another one of the symbolic meanings of a swallow, which is love and happiness in unity. Its minimalist nature really adds to the beauty, and unlike other minimalist tattoos, this can be slightly bigger due to more swallows. 

Of course, the colors are completely up to you, but an overall black color for the tattoo will look a lot better. You can also make the swallows silhouettes that should make the tattoo a lot more atmospheric.

  1. Origami Swallow tattoo

If you are truly looking for something unique that you can call your own, this origami tattoo just might be the thing for you. Origami is incredibly beautiful in real life but like many things, origami also translates beautifully translates to tattoos. Origami tattoos are incredibly rare, and some good origami ink can really make you the star of the show.

Depending on your interpretation of the tattoo, you can get the tattoo colored in vibrant and bright colors to give it a very lucid look, or you can keep it in monochrome color scheme.

  1. Floral Swallow

What happens when you combine one of the most famous tattoo designs with one of the oldest tattoo birds?  Well you get an absolutely breath taking tattoo with vibrant colors and very unique designs. There are two varied designs that you can make for this tattoo; one is a swallow made completely from flowers and the other is a floral design in the stencil of a swallow.

Both of the designs are incredibly beautiful and they are quite simple. Not to mention, these tattoos are small and diverse in terms of where you can get them.

  1. Swallows With A Lock And Key

Swallow tattoos are a very common choice of tattoos among couples as they represent love among couples. In addition, nothing shows this better than this amazing tattoo of two swallows each holding a lock and key. While the tattoo is surely a one of a kind tattoo, the colors and art style are completely up to you and can really bring this tattoo to life.

The best place for this tattoo is the chest as it shows that you keep this tattoo very close to your heart. You can also get this on your forearm or on your back across the shoulders to make it look cool.


  1. Swallow With A Heart

Show your love for your partner with this amazing tattoo that shows a swallow carrying a heart. This tattoo has a few designs that all represent different things and are all great tattoos in their own right. One such design is of a swallow carrying a heart that has a ribbon across it inscribed with different names. Another design can be of two swallows each holding one side of a broken heart as they fly together.

As for the art style, a traditional style will really bring a bright red color to the hearts and can make the tattoo a lot more vibrant. However, you can also go for a watercolor style that will look unique in its own right.

  1. Galaxy Swallow

Following in the footsteps of the floral designs of the swallow, the galaxy swallow is also vibrant and beautiful galaxy in a stencil of a swallow bird. Other than the interpretation that you would have as a wearer, this tattoo is more style over substance. Moreover, there is nothing wrong with that.

The tattoo shows an intricately made galaxy filled with tiny stars and carrying an overwhelming purple and blue color throughout the bird. The style best for this tattoo would be a mesh of new school and traditional to make the tattoo lifelike.

  1. Swallow And An Anchor

The swallow and an anchor tattoo is an amazing homage to the founding father of the traditional tattoo style, sailor Jerry. The tattoo shows swallows surrounding an anchor that are two tattoo of the most common among sailors in the early days. Mix this tattoo with the traditional tattoo style and you have on your hands a tattoo that sailor jerry himself would have been proud of.

  1. The Swallow And Horseshoe

Horseshoes are talismans of good luck as well as fortune, and one of the symbolic meanings of the swallow tattoo is wealth and a bright future. So it is easy to see why these two tattoos go so well together in the case of this tattoo.

The tattoo features very vibrant colors and since it is a relatively smaller tattoo, it can go anywhere you want. From your shoulders to your forearms and legs, this tattoo is very versatile when it comes to its placement.

Meaning of These Tattoos

Although most tattoos have either a symbolic meaning or an emotional meaning, swallows are unique in that they also have historical weight to them. Swallow tattoos are some of the oldest tattoos that sailors  would get, and these tattoos became a somewhat indication of a sailor. Therefore, by getting this tattoo you automatically, in a way, pay homage to many sailors of their time and sailor jerry himself.

Other than the historical value that these tattoos hold, these tattoos also hold certain symbolic value or can hold emotional value to the wearer. Hence why it is always important to consider what the tattoo means to you, as it makes you tattoo just that much more special.

Placement for Tattoos

Tattoo placement is much more than just choosing where your tattoo looks coolest. While tattoos tell stories about you or what you believe in, the placement of your tattoo can tell a story about the type of person that you are. In other words, sometimes where you get your tattoo can say more about you than the tattoo itself.

A good example of this is the forearms. The forearms show that you are strong person, and depending on your tattoo can show that you are a real softie on the inside. Your back, on the other hand, can tell a completely different story, as it shows that you are someone that likes a more conventional job but does not mind flexing their creative muscles. Therefore, before you go on out and get a new tattoo be sure to consider where you are getting your tattoo, as it can sometimes make all the difference.