Reviewed & updated: December 7, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Does a barbed wire tattoo fascinate you? Here are some of the most spectacular barb wire tattoo designs that you can get inked with!
A barbed-wire tattoo is a symbol of strength, faith, and protection.
Barbed wire is a fencing material used in protecting high-security grounds like an army camp, prison, and bank. Tattoos of barbed wire are quite popular and carry powerful symbolism.
So you must be wondering what does a barb wire tattoo mean? Before getting into that, let’s know about the history of these fencing wires! Barbed wire was initially used to keep cattle away from agricultural fields. Later, it was widely used in prisons and refugee camps, especially during the second world war. Hence, many soldiers and prison guards ink this popular design as a symbol of their bravery and courage. These tattoos are also popular among convicts who have served their time in jail. The number of spikes in the barbed wire tattoo is a count of the years spent in imprisonment. In Christianity, barbed wire tattoos symbolize the crown of thorns worn by Jesus when he was crucified. In the movie ‘Barb Wire’, actress Pamela Anderson had tattooed the barbed wire on herself and popularised the design even more!
The evolution of barbed wire from being a dangerous fencing material to impressive subjects for tattoos is truly fascinating. Here is a number of barbed wire tattoo designs along with their unique symbolism that you will surely love.
Barbed Wire Heart Tattoo With Rose
The barbed wire drawn in the shape of a heart gives an intriguing look to the entire tattoo! The spikes are inked with great detailing throughout the length of the wire. The red roses stand in contrast to the monochromatic background. Combining the barbed wire with a rose tattoo delivers a powerful message as well. Perhaps, it is associated with feeling trapped in an abusive relationship. However, it can also mean that you have the strength to overcome any obstacle in your love life.
A Monochromatic Barb Wire Sleeve Tattoo
The artist has made use of only black ink to draw the entire tattoo. It seems like the wire is wrapped around twice, in the form of an armband, on the bicep. The wire is kept simple with minimal detailing. So you must be thinking what does a tattoo of a chain or barb wire around the upper arm mean? A barb wire tattoo meaning is associated with being resilient in the face of adversities. You can get these designs inked around your wrist as well. You might love the look of this barb wire tattoo sleeve in combination with another dainty symbol like a star or rose.
Barb Wire Cross Tattoo
The sharp edges of the wire are vividly portrayed in this design. The artist has made use of white ink to subtly highlight the wire around the knots. Barbed wires in the shape of a cross symbolize overcoming the challenges in life by having faith in Jesus. This stunning tattoo, symbolizing faith, will look best on your chest or around your arm. You can even turn this into a personalized design by inking the name of a person whom you have lost.
Barbed Wire With An Arrow Tattoo
This is an interesting depiction of the barbed wire wrapped around the length of an arrow. The wire is shaded with red ink around the knots. Hence it appears like the wire is breaking into the skin of the person. The feathers on top of the arrow add a tribal look to the entire design. You can get this tattooed on your arm or back to provide a large space to fill in the details.
An Eye Inside A Barbed Wire Tattoo
This might be your top pick if you’re looking for a creative barbed wire tattoo design with artistic details. The thick wire, in the shape of a heart, surrounds the luminous hazel eye. The eye is undoubtedly the focal point of attention in this design. It is shaded with different colours, while the wire is inked in black. You can get this tattoo anywhere on your body.
Barbed Wire Tattoo With A Dagger
The mighty sword is surrounded by the metallic barbed wire fence. This design is accentuated by the red flames at the bottom. The artist must have spent a lot of time to complete this one! Perhaps, it paints a picture of a war, where the sword had been used to kill the enemy, while the barbed wire was placed on the boundaries of the battleground. It will be amazing if you get this design inked on your legs like the one shown in the picture.
Butterfly On A Barbed Wire Tattoo
This design looks like a still from a movie with its realistic detailing! The butterfly, sitting on top of a barbed-wire fence, carries the message of freedom. Perhaps, it marks the end of years of suffering. The vivid details on the wings of the butterfly are not one to be missed. The wire is drawn with intricate detailing at the bottom. You can place this design on your bicep and flaunt it in style. You can even add colours or incorporate other designs on this tattoo.
Barbed Wire Tattoo With A Flying Bird
It seems like the bird has finally got the freedom to fly away from its cage. The metallic wires, encircling the bird, represent confinement. The wire, shaded in blue, matches the feathers of the bird. The falling leaves, with a golden hue, represent change and transformation. The red backdrop creates a stunning visual and accentuates the entire design. The edges of the feather are beautifully highlighted in white.
Barbed Wire Tattoo With Floral Motifs
If you are in love with floral designs, you should definitely go for this one. The barbed wire is inked in green and shaded around the edges. The flowers are drawn in pink with yellow at the centre. Inking these designs in vibrant colours and adding floral motifs is a way of turning the painful memories of your life into beautiful ones. You can place this barbed wire tattoo design around your wrist or bicep.
Barbed Wire Tattoo With A Skull
If you are looking for a unique tattoo with powerful symbolism, then this is the one for you! Combining the barbed wire behind the skull has not only made the tattoo look mysterious but quite interesting as well. The intricate details of the wire along with its long spikes have accentuated the look of this tattoo. Moreover, the skull tattoo is shaded beautifully and signifies the inevitability of death. It can also signify the crucifixion of Jesus wearing the crown of thorns. The tattoo artist has done a brilliant job in inking this work of art.
Barbed wires typically offer protection against an enemy or intruder, similarly, these tattoos can also indicate that you are trying to protect yourself from the adversities in life. Barbed wire tattoos can be inked in monochrome shades or by using different colours. You can also combine another symbol to add depth to the meaning of your tattoo. Here are some amazing barb wire tattoo ideas that you might want to check out:
- A simple barbed wire tattoo placed behind a symbol of spades.
- Barbwire tattoo on the chest with a flying bird at the centre.
- Barbed wire tattoo with floral motifs on the back of the neck.
- A barbed wire encircling a white rose and heart tattoo.
- Barbed wire tattoos on the ankle with a tiny butterfly on the side.
- A barbed wire wrapped around a cross symbol.
- A small barbed-wire tattoo in red on the side of the face.
Feature Image from Pinterest – Love this design? Try a Temporary Tattoo