Name tattoos are almost as old as the art form itself. However, coming up with a unique way to display your loved one’s name on your body may be more difficult than you would think.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Memorial Tattoos With a Parent’s Name
- Small Tattoos With a Parent’s Name
- Large Tattoos With a Parent’s Name
Let us attempt to describe unique name tattoo ideas, perhaps displaying the names of one (or both) of your parents. We will describe memorial tattoos that feature names and specify ones that work best on a smaller or larger scale.
Memorial Tattoos With a Parent’s Name
The loss of a loved one can be traumatic. That’s why many people try to find creative ways to honor a loved one after they die. If you feel drawn to getting a memorial tattoo following the loss of your parent, here are some design ideas to consider.
1. “Mom” or “Dad” within a ribbon over a heart
Some retro tattoo designs are becoming popular again. For example, consider getting a tattoo of a heart with a ribbon over the top that displays your loved one’s name. This design looks great in color or with black ink.
2. Awareness ribbon tattoo
Speaking of ribbons, you might also consider having your loved one’s name tattooed over an awareness ribbon. Each awareness ribbon color symbolizes a particular cause. Raise awareness of your loved one’s cause of death while celebrating the life of the one you loved.
3. Birth month flower
Did you know that each birth month is assigned a flower? Using the flower as the basic design, ask the tattoo artist to incorporate your loved one’s name along the stem. This design is the perfect way to say “in loving memory” to someone without getting an obvious memorial tattoo.
Did your parents have a favorite original saying? Consider tattooing the phrase on your body and attributing the quote to your parent. This type of tattoo may work best if the words can’t be attributed to another source.
5. Family tree
Celebrate the life of all who came before you by having a family tree tattooed on your body. Of course, the tree can be a relatively simple design and only list your parents and grandparents.
6. Portrait with name
Find a tattoo artist with a lot of portrait experience to commemorate your loved one’s life. Add your parent’s name to the portrait, as well as their birth and death years.
7. Cross with name
Were your parents Christians? Celebrate the faith of your family members by getting a cross tattooed on your body with your parent’s names artfully displayed.
8. Blackout tattoo
One distinct way to showcase a person’s name is to create a black band with the letters of the name coming through in the negative space. Make sure your tattoo artist has experience with this form before hiring them for the job.
Small Tattoos With a Parent’s Name
Whether you are new to tattoos and prefer to start small or have an abundance of tattoos and not much space left for a memorial tattoo, here are some small tattoo ideas.
If you are looking for a small tattoo, consider narrowing your search to designs often found on a person’s wrist.
Do you have a note from your parent that includes their signature? That handwritten “Mom” or “Dad” can be turned into a small tattoo to commemorate their lives. Of course, you could also look for an example of their signature that includes their full name if that is your preference.
10. Feather with name
The image of a feather is often used in memorial tattoos. Include your mom or dad’s name near the feather so others understand who you are honoring.
Why not use your loved one’s initials instead of their full name? Add a heart, feather, or bird to show the purpose of the tattoo to others.
Search online for a wing design that appeals to you. For example, many people put wings around the names of their parents as memorial tattoo designs.
Butterflies have grown to be symbols of everlasting love, which is why they make perfect memorial tattoos. Add your mom’s or dad’s name or initials to the design.
14. Praying hands
Were your parents prayer warriors? Or do you spend a lot of time in prayer? Celebrate this aspect of your faith by getting a tattoo of praying hands. Add your parents’ names or initials to the design.
Celebrate your parent’s marriage by tattooing an infinity symbol entwined with your parents’ names.
16. Your handwriting
While some people use their parent’s handwriting in tattoo designs, you might also consider using your own handwriting. For example, sketch out a message to your loved one, such as “I love you, Mom!” or “Dad, you’ll always be forever in my heart.”
Birds, especially doves and cardinals, are often associated with the death of a loved one. You might also consider having the outline of a bird flying away as the main image of your memorial tattoo.
Don’t overlook the simple beauty of a heart tattoo. Heart tattoos are easily recognizable even when small, and they can be easily personalized with your loved one’s name and important dates.
19. Inspirational sayings
Do you have a verse or saying that gives you comfort? Incorporate the name of your loved one within this design. There are plenty of memorial tattoo quotes from which to choose.
20. Celebrate your loved one’s work or hobby
Did your mom enjoy painting? Underline her name tattoo with the design of a paintbrush. Was your dad a huge football fan? Incorporate the symbol of his favorite NFL team with his name.
Did your parent have a vibrant personality full of sunshine? Incorporate their name in a sunshine tattoo.
You might consider using a simple halo over the words “Mom” or “Dad” as your tattoo design.
Large Tattoos With a Parent’s Name
If your tattoo philosophy is to “go big or go home,” here are some large tattoo ideas to consider.
23. Cameo portrait
If you wish to tattoo a portrait of both your mom and dad, consider cameo portraits. These classic designs often include the name of the featured person.
Are you looking for a large tattoo idea to help you say goodbye to your mom or dad? Consider commissioning a sunset tattoo that features your parents’ names.
25. Military tattoo
Were your parents part of the armed forces? You’ll find many military tattoo ideas online or at your local tattoo parlor. The traditional military tattoo that honors fallen soldiers is called a Battlefield Cross. Ask your artist to include your loved one’s name on the dog tags.
26. Patriotic tattoo
Perhaps your loved one wasn’t in the military, but they were highly patriotic. Use several classic American symbols to celebrate the life of your loved one.
27. Cremation tattoo
Cremation tattoos refer to the practice of placing a tiny portion of your loved one’s remains in the tattoo ink. This can be done for large or small tattoos. Ask your artist if they have experience working with cremation ashes before agreeing to a design.
A dragonfly tattoo can be large or small. Outline the shape of the dragonfly with your loved one’s name.
29. A combination of many images
If you have an empty “canvas,” consider using a combination of these images for your memorial tattoo. There are many designs online that incorporate a cross, flowers, and wings (along with your loved one’s name).
Don’t overlook the classic RIP tattoo. “Rest In Peace” is a common expression in memorial tattoos, and your loved one’s name can easily be incorporated into the design.
Whether you believe that your loved one is now your “guardian angel” or you are thinking about the images your loved one is enjoying while in Heaven, you might consider an angel design for your memorial tattoo.
32. Gates of Heaven
If you are looking for a large tattoo design that celebrates your loved one’s entrance into heaven, consider looking for heaven’s gate designs. Many of these include clouds and rays of light. Your parent’s name can easily be incorporated into the design.
We love the tattoo design that features the silhouette of an adult holding hands with a child. This design could be used to celebrate the parent/child relationship (or that of a grandparent and child).
“Sleep On It” Before Choosing a Design
The moments following the death of a loved one are traumatic. Therefore, most would advise you not to make any major life decisions at the time of such an event.
Consider thinking about the design for your loved one’s tattoo for an extended period instead of getting a tattoo at the height of your grief. Pause to consider how you may incorporate the name of your other parent once they pass.
You might also wish to interview several artists before choosing someone to complete the work. Ask friends who they would recommend and look carefully at their portfolio.
Tattoos can be great ways to celebrate the lives of loved ones, but you want to make sure you will be happy with design before making it a permanent part of your life.