Reviewed & updated: December 23, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
For those who have been on the lookout for ideas on key tattoos, the search ends here! We have compiled an amazing collection of key tattoos for you.
If you love mysteries, key tattoos are the tattoo designs to go for!
Key tattoos are the most popular and meaningful tattoo ideas that tattoo buffs get engraved on their bodies nowadays. Key tattoo designs often express an implied meaning of mystery because it is not always known what secret does the key unlock.
Keys have always had a great deal of ancient symbolism associated with them and this is one of the primary reasons why most people love getting inked with key tattoos. The meaning behind the key symbol is a cliche but it can hold various meanings to different people.
Skeleton Key Tattoo Design
Although skeleton key tattoos look extremely cool on their bearer, they can represent different meanings based on the tattoo design. Religiously, a skeleton key tattoo may symbolize ‘holding the key to heaven. The skull is an obvious element of this tattoo art, and it represents the fascination most people have with the darker side of life or the afterlife in general.
With a red skull and a golden body, this key tattoo idea is contained in a disc designed with golden flowers and black leaves. It is also one of the badass designs of skeleton key tattoos that could be a symbol of one’s discovery of his dark side, also representing the freedom of the person in an intuitive sense.
Button And Needle Key Tattoo Idea
This mystic button and needle key tattoo is a small and bold tattoo etched on the inner side of the upper arm in beautiful black and white ink. This is a unique tattoo idea with a button as the key head and the thread of a needle running through one of the button-holes. The thread is half blue and half violet in colour. The linework and shading in this key tattoo are simply amazing. This combination of sewing materials and key design in one design is a fascinating idea, rendered beautifully in traditional style with dark-lined details.
Floral Antique Key Of Life Tattoo Artwork
This minimalistic floral key tattoo on the forearm is beautifully designed and one of the most intricate art design ideas for key tattoos. Adorned with little purple coloured pansy flowers, this golden key tattoo gives off an antique look. The key tattoo looks quite simple at the first glance, but there are fine details in the key design that make it look elegant. The key head is a heart shape, beautifully shaded and inked in a brownish-golden hue. This tattoo appears to symbolize the ‘Key Of Life’ which unlocks new chapters in one’s life and brings major changes in one’s story.
Ornamental Butterfly Key Tattoo Design
This spectacular vintage butterfly tattoo on the arm is symbolic of change and transformation. It represents the many opportunities and grand possibilities coming your way. The enigmatic line work and realistic shading in this key tattoo artwork is a brilliant example of the skill of the tattoo artist.
The wings of the butterfly have been inked realistically and the shadow work is amazing. The key head looks like an ancient design with brilliant craftsmanship. The tattoo has a mysterious feel to it, creating the impression that this key is the answer to unlock top secrets. This arm key tattoo makes for an excellent example of bold tattoo ideas.
Key Of Flowers Tattoo Art On Forearm
Watercolour key tattoos have gained a lot of prominence lately. This ‘Key Of Flowers’ tattoo illustration is unbelievably artistic. The body of the key is inked with light and purple ink. The key head is a big red rose with dying petals that reveal the inside of the flower. Inked with multiple shades of red and orange, mesmerizing shading has been done on the rose petals using the watercolour technique. The amount of detailing and line work in this particular key tattoo is absolutely brilliant. Tattoo enthusiasts will not at all regret getting this flower key tattoo inked on their skin.
Colourful Lock And Key Tattoo Artwork
When combined with a lock, keys can symbolize protection and privacy. Lock and key tattoos are regarded to be the best way to represent the strong bond of love and understanding shared by two people. This gigantic heart and key tattoo on the arm perfectly implies the meaning of the phrase “the key to one’s heart”.
The lock, in this lock and key tattoo, is in the shape of a big red shiny heart with metallic designs at the edges and a giant keyhole. Surrounded by beautiful blue coloured flowers, this is the most romantic lock and key matching tattoo that you can wear together with your partner to showcase your love towards each other.
Greyscale Dragonfly Key Tattoo
The dragonfly key tattoos are a very interesting variation of the skeleton key tattoos. Inked in black and grey, this dragonfly tattoo on the arm looks so cool. The body of the key is in the shape of a dragonfly and the key head looks like a lamp.
Outlined in bold black lines, the tattoo has excellent examples of fine linework and shading which add an extra layer of dimension to the charm of this skeleton tattoo. One can wear this key tattoo on the arm, ankle, back neck and make a subtle style statement that is sure to catch everybody’s attention. If you decide to get one of these on your body, be ready to receive all the lovely compliments that will be coming your way!
Antique Key Tattoo Artwork
Antique tattoos have always had their own fan base. Antique keys have a story behind them and are often able to unlock more than one door. This intricately designed key tattoo looks like that answer to hidden facts and hence gives off a mystical feel. Tattoo artists have to be skilled in their art form to be able to perfectly engrave this tattoo design. The appearance of the key is being enhanced by the sophisticated details. For the person who loves hidden meanings and patterns, this tattoo design is for them!
Victorian Style Key Tattoo
Golden coloured key tattoos represent Victorian elegance and royalty. This sleek tattoo design done in traditional style is sure to win the hearts of many. The key head is adorned with exquisite traditional floral patterns with a light purple gem fitted in the centre. The body of the key has simple striped designs in fine line work done in brown ink. For people looking for simplistic key tattoos, this is an ideal choice!
Simple One Line Back Neck Tattoo
Tiny back neck tattoo ideas have a beauty of their own! This simple key tattoo inked on the back neck looks very cute and pretty. The key head has a heart on it drawn in neat curvy lines. Inked in fine black lines, this key tattoo is perfect for first-timers. This key tattoo is best placed on the wrist, ankle, and waist. For everyone who wants to get a miny key tattoo for $50, this is a must-try design for them!
Other key tattoo designs to explore include:
- Silver key tattoo
- Greek key tattoo
- Skeleton tattoos
- Key hole tattoo
- Lock and Key tattoos
feature image from Pinterest
What is a key tattoo?
A key tattoo is a type of body art that symbolizes unlocking the secrets of life, or having the power to open any door. It can also represent hope and freedom, as well as an opportunity for growth and change. Keys have been used in tattoos for centuries and were often given to sailors as protection while they crossed turbulent waters.
How much does a key tattoo cost?
The cost of a key tattoo will depend on the size, complexity, and detail of the design. Smaller designs may start at around $50 while more intricate ones can cost up to $400 or more. It is important to consult with your artist beforehand so that you can get an accurate estimate for your desired design.
How big should a key tattoo be?
The size of a key tattoo should be determined by the design and your personal preference. Smaller symbols like keys usually look best when they’re no larger than the size of a quarter. However, larger designs can also be created depending on your desired effect and where it will be placed on your body. Your artist can help you decide on the best size for your tattoo.
What color should a key tattoo be?
A key tattoo can be done in a variety of colors, depending on the desired effect and symbolism. Generally, black is the most popular color choice for this type of body art since it emphasizes the sharp lines and shapes of the design. Other options include gold, silver, red, blue, green, purple, and more. It is important to consider the meaning you want your tattoo to convey when selecting a color.
What design elements are used in a key tattoo?
A key tattoo usually consists of sharp lines and shapes that create an image of a key or keys. Additional design elements may include intricate patterns, chains, locks, ribbons, wings, or other symbols that personalize the tattoo and give it meaning. Depending on the artist, some key tattoos may also feature a bit of color or shading to add depth and texture.