Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
Fascinated with Mexican culture and searching for meaningful tattoo designs? Well, we have here some sugar skull tattoos straight from the Day of the Dead!
Sugar skull tattoos are a testament to the celebration and a unique perspective on death.
Mexican dead festival, Dia De Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead has consistently featured the sugar skull- a decorated sweet based on the human skull which they relish during the celebrations. Calaveras, aka the sugar skulls, were brought into practice by the ancient tribes residing in Mexico but are still proudly carried on by the modern folks.
What does a sugar skull tattoo represent? Well, the connotations associated with death are barely positive. In general terms, death signifies all that is ghastly and opposite of what life is. But the Mexican people had taken a novel approach in viewing this philosophy. They viewed the deceased members of their families with sincere regard and found a deeper meaning in commemorating their deceased loved ones. The Day of the Dead celebration thus primarily entails the departed coming back to endow blessings on the living and includes cultural participation with music, dance, and feast, offering these sugar skulls on the tomb of their ancestors. Thus, a sugar skull tattoo is all things positive and have been in trend for a long time now.
How much is a sugar skull tattoo? The answer depends on the kind of tattoo design you opt for, the number of colours invested, and the time that it takes. But typically, a smaller sugar skull will cost you a couple of hundred bucks and with more additions and time the price will move further up. Now that you have your bases covered, scroll to find out some of the best sugar skull designs and get set inking!
Traditional Sugar Skull Tattoo Design
The quintessential traditional style is here coupled with the sugar skull here with showy colours and bold black fillings. Flowers are one of the most common tropes taken from nature to beautify traditional tattoos and this skull is no different. The red rose in the head, pink and vermillion flowers in the eyes and chin both serve as ornamentation and occupy most of the surface area that would otherwise have to be coloured in different shades. The gold is a prominent marker and an integral part of traditional tattooing and also increases the appeal of this traditional sugar skull tattoo.
Sugar Skull Tattoo With Flower Tiara
Decorate your sugar skull with a marigold tiara and amp up a female sugar skull tattoo that would look drop-dead gorgeous, well literally! The interiors of the skull are carefully drawn with mandala-esque patterns and black line work to direct more attention to the tiara. The marigolds are considered as healing plants and could here account for the blessings of the deceased family members. This tattoo is highly suggested for women looking for a symbolic and hyperrealistic marigold sugar skull. Plant this beauty on your forearm or right above the elbow and watch the heads turn!
Sugar Skull Tattoo For Baseball Lovers
Men who are feeling left out, don’t worry, we got a badass sugar skull tattoo for you too! Here the tattoo artist takes the idea of an expired LA Dodgers fan coloured in the shades of a beautiful blue. Though the concept may seem witty and alter the sugar skull tattoo meaning, it mixes Dia De Los Muertos with contemporary culture and makes you think about the sugar skull representation of that one particular family member with Dodgers fancy. Add a gold tooth to add a subtle reference to the 2020 championship and enjoy this fun tattoo forever! You can also draw inspiration from this design and incorporate your bias accordingly.
Sugar Skull Tattoo Designs Inspired By Nature
Return back to nature with this small tattoo featuring a rhombus with an unconventionally designed sugar skull. Sugar skull tattoos generally involve a lot of patterns and colours being drawn on them. Here, the skull is decorated with a twig of dandelion, a butterfly, a bunch of roses, and a wilted sunflower. Unlike the tattoos that you may have already seen, this sugar skull tattoo design strikes a balance between the grim skull tattoos and the colourful Calaveras. This sugar skull combination of monochromatic shade with beautifying elements is a new tattoo idea that you can well implement on your sugar skull design.
Small Sugar Skulls
Speaking of small tattoos, these baby sugar skull tattoo designs are an absolute game changer! Intricately designed with dot work and light patterning, the skulls possess a shiny diamond right above their eyes. You can also alter the position of flowers, or can replace the hollow eyes with diamond eyes and see how it changes the overall look of your sugar skull tattoo.
A smaller tattoo does not have to mean a plain design and this artsy piece of body art is the proof of it. This pretty design contains the sugar skull with its many intricacies and flowery eyes amidst a vine of leaves that extends from the calf to the ankle. Contrasting blue flowers with red roses adds a plus to such sugar skull tattoo designs.
Feminine Sugar Skull Tattoo Designs
Women, add your fascination with the Mexican diva with her trademark unibrow to your body and enliven yourself with flamboyance. The tattoo artist here pictures Frida Kahlo along with a sugar skull in bright colours. Note the careful shading that goes into Frida’s hollow eye socket and the flowers. The sun and moon serve as ornamental pieces but can also be a subtle hint on the radiant spirit of the diva that had reached the sky. You can extend this brilliant sugar skull tattoo throughout your arm to get a beautiful sleeve.
Multiple Sugar Skulls Tattoo
Did you know Dia De Los Muertos happens around the same time as Halloween (without the spooky part of course)? For more Halloween-friendly tattoo designs zhoosh up your dead tattoo featuring skulls with roses, hearts, and a bit of cobweb too. The three skulls are designed differently with distinguished mandala patterns on their skulls and the object of adornment, respecting the individuality of the deceased (no puns intended). Add a ghostly owl tattoo and cover your outer arm with these funky sugar skull tattoos.
Sugar Skull Tattoo Ideas From Disney
Whenever in doubt, contact Disney. The touching Disney movie Coco has portrayed Dia De Los Muertos in the most beautiful way that educates and pays tribute to the lesser-known Day of the Dead. This tattoo features a glittery sugar skull, golden flower petals, the silver guitar, and significant flags with symbols, all referring back to some key elements of the movie. The image in general sums up the Day of the Dead in bright colours and makes the sugar skull tattoo design stand out from the crowd.
Colourful Sugar Skull Tattoos
Fill your sugar skull tattoo designs to the brim with approval from these beaming statement pieces from different tattoo artists. This sugar skull design showcases a bright blue skull with a black outline. However, the insides contain the same effect showcasing a pierced heart and flowers from a traditional tattoo flash sheet. You can place this sugar skull on your upper back and pour life into your skin.
Colour ombre has not looked any better like it does on this skull design! Paint your skulls with multiple colours that blend with one another and at the same time contrasts for significant attention. This sugar skull tattoo is far away from the horrors of death and paints a vibrant picture instead. Dip your sugar skulls in the colours of your choice and let them exhibit your persona.
Watercolour Sugar Skull Tattoos
If you do not prefer colour blocking, opt for watercolour sugar skulls that bring the best of both worlds. This tiny sugar skull tattoo is well-detailed with its patterning but the splash of powder blue, pink, and yellow increases the visual appeal of the skull tattoo. Place these sugar skulls on your arm and let them do the talking!
The day of the dead contains immense significance for the Mexican folks as they welcome their late loved ones and bask in their ancestral glory. Sugar skulls are fitted for both men and women and the pictures above testify that claim pretty well! Now that you are well-informed on what does a sugar skull tattoo mean, where to place them, and the many ways you can style them, take more ideas from the sugar skulls list below and get to inking:
- Sugar skull sleeve tattoo with dead moth
- Black and white sugar skull tattoo
- Sugar skull tattoo with roses
- Face painting sugar skull tattoo
- Sugar skull on a single stem with roses surrounding it
feature image from Pinterest