Sugar Skull Tattoos – Symbolism, Meaning and Best Designs

Meaning and Symbolism of Candy Skull

Sugar skulls take its origin in Mexican culture representing the Day of the Dead. But it is known that Italians missionaries firstly brought the skulls to America in the17th century. They have used it as a symbol of the Jesus rise. Of course, the main idea of such tattoos is to remember died relatives or friends, and it is directly connected with the Mexican culture. Mexicans have been decorating skulls and celebrating Dia de los Muertos. Nowadays sugar skull tattoos have a diversity of intense meanings and are in high demand among all social groups. Let’s look at the list of them:

  • Honor to the passed person
  • Celebration of the life
  • Spirituality
  • Belief in afterlife
  • Renewal and eternity
  • Overcoming obstacles/new beginning

You сan create your own original sugar skull tattoo combining it with other patterns. The most popular ones are flowers, candles, webs, owls, diamonds, and clock. Each pattern adds a special feature to the tattoo. A lot of people choose flowers to indicate life in the full. On the opposite, the web means death and the clock – the brevity of the life. A combination of skull with an owl is a beautiful idea for those who believe in the afterlife, and it is considered owls accompany the soul there. But such variant can also symbolize wisdom and raw power. Firing candles are widely inked together with skulls and stand for reminiscence.

Sugar Skull Tattoo Designs

Actually, the design depends on what you want to portray. The creative artists propose mandala, dots, perfect outlines, and 3d effect while inking sugar skulls. If you wish, it can be drawn in vibrant colors or black and white. Big and small sizes work equally well but the choice depends on your wish to show a tattoo to the publicity or it will be your personal totem. When choosing a location, you should also consider the factor mentioned above. The classic places are back, shoulder, sleeve, forearm, and calf. Fingers and wrists are good options for smaller sizes. Let’s take a look at the fabulous design ideas below that will inspire you to make the appointment to the tattoo saloon!
A floral design of the skull looks amazing! The ribs location is a perfect choice for those who want to carry something special and private be wearing sugar skull tattoo. According to the tradition, a rather big size of the tattoo represents the adults who have passed away.


Wow! Such a cool job! It includes several designs such as mandala, geometry, and dots. But the overall look of the tattoo is not too heavy. Alternatively, the Celtic sugar skull tattoo on the arm is a real masterpiece.


That is the very thing! Intense meaning and vivid colors make the presented work amazing. The colors render the vibrancy of the life. It is like a totem that pushes you to live in full every moment!


It`s gorgeous! It is known that the connection between mothers and daughters are very close. An aesthetic appeal of this tattoo serves as a tool to honor the MOM who has passed away. The love of the daughter is emphasized by heart, quote, and roses.


A cute symbol of connection with the afterlife! A sugar skull is masterly carved in gray hues and looks stunning on the forearm!

Sister Infinity Tattoo with Feather
Here is a nice sample of how an outlined approach can be all you need to get a cute tattoo piece. It is surely done by a professional to show the existence of next level. If you are looking for something simple still meaningful, that design is yours!


Awesome! It is believed that the owl follows the soul in the afterlife. A Day of the Dead skull coupled with the owl on the tattoo is a huge and meaningful symbol to show your belief in rebirth and celebration of life.


A black art is just perfect! The skull is decorated with a rose on the side and thus creates an absolute traditional sugar skull tattoo. I love the placement! The tattoo is hidden from the publicity and carries a deep sense to the wearer.


Red accents draw more focus to this skull ink. A feminine outlook personalizes a person who has passed and was a loved one to the wearer. But together with the red rose, a skull tattoo stands for immortal love! It is really nice, isn’t it?


Hearts, flowers, and bright coloring make this tattoo girly! Indeed, the pretty look contains an intense meaning. Such design signs the obstacles which the wearer has overcome and the start of new life.

Realistic Wolf Tattoo Designs
The black work is fabulous! The leaves create a wavy and magic look! A gypsy is pictured looking off into the distance with a skull instead of the face. Such combination might mean the loss of the loved person.


Male and female skull tattoos are inked realistically. A tender kiss and tears portrayed on the tattoo speak about the immortal love of the couple. A fantastic piece of art!


Would you like to get a beautiful skull tattoo? Sure, this one will tight up your alley. A female skull is embraced by leaves and flowers imitating a brushy hair of the Hispanic woman. By the way, in Spain skulls were used to sign the entrance to graveyards.


Freaking gorgeous! If you are a strong man and would like to stand out from the crowd, this is exactly your variant for the skull tattoo. The bleak brown color looks advantageously in the frame of light green flowers. Take it as your inspiration and go to the skilled artist!


A placement of the tattoos on the inner muscles and in the armpits is the coolest trend in 2017. Here is Calavera is inked in neo-traditional style. It describes two opposites: life and death. Flowers are meant to represent life and web – death.

Small Tattoo on the Finger
A tattoo is done traditionally as skull tattoos originate from Mexico. Really cool symbol of the returning spirit! The forearm location is nice to show to the World that you are a spiritual guy.


A black work is simple, yet challenging. It`s a stark reminder of short boundaries between death and life. So, go to the master and enjoy this time!


If you are looking for classic style and beauty under one roof, check this sample. The flowers, hearts, and colors ring the changes with the presented style. You want it, don`t you?


The black and gray art piece is just brilliant! This pattern really does not depict a skull, but a portrait of the woman with Day of the Dead face. This creates the contrasting symbolism of life and death.


The whole appearance of the sugar skull sends a hint of sexuality and seductiveness. The shadows on eyes and nose are perfect and work well with the pale face. Only a big cheese like you… yes, YOU… can ink it.

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It inspires whereas the design is simple. Look at the eye sockets! No, at the galaxies! They are just stunning! Such tattoo speaks about the optimistic view of death and belief in the afterlife.


A small and floral design of the sugar skull is a cute option for girls! Due to this the skull has a pleasant look with the deep sense.


That is a real masterpiece! The calf is a nice place to put all bells and whistles. The web on the girl’s face is an indication of death, and the roses around stand for life.


A really good concept for men! The combination above represents certain individuality and the change in the bearer’s life.


The lines are perfect on this gray scale job. Should turn out pretty rad! You are ready to move forward with it, aren’t you?

Delicate Cherry Blossom Tattoo Idea
Dope! A tiny sugar skull looks like a seal-ring. The white lighting-up works well with the presented design.


That’s damn awesome! Such design will satisfy even the most exacting woman due to the


A realistic concept renders the beauty of the details in full. Such mixing of skull with lotus is a symbol of life and love. The detailed tattoos are good to ink on the half sleeves as there is enough field. Love this!


A unique idea for a man! A sugar skull is located on the hand and is always seen to everyone. The 3D effect adds more reality to this symbol of the human power and energy.


The idea with the mask is fascinating! Spanish phrase В«Viva la mujerВ» means В«woman aliveВ». Such tattoo will inspire any strong fighter in life to get such Spanish ink!

Tattoo with the Steampunk Clock
There is an alluring combination of the sketched effect face and big roses inside. Cute idea for your shoulder!


A black and gray couple tattoo is great for ladies to show that the love is endless. After


Very cool idea to describe your belief in souls and post existence! The feathers are just done!


A creative design for coffee lovers! The skull is done in the form of a cup. But the details are cuter! The lines imitating the vapor, coffee beans and the hearts inside the skull make the tattoo outstanding!


An original two-faced design is a good option to display male and female as the endless unity. The geometrical side speaks about the man and the floral one – about the woman. This would look even better than two separate skulls.

The Black and Gray Rib Tattoo
A badass tattoo for the girl! The roses decorate the skull around the mandala ornaments inside. Such idea can be a sign of the kid and your eternal love to him or her. It is all you need for your next tattoo inspiration!


The tattoo combines two techniques: dots and lines. Aren’t you jealous of his forearm ink? Really wonderful!


Ten out 10! The sleeve looks mind-bending with the skulls in the marigold foreground. Actually, marigolds are a mainstay of Day of the Dead.


An excellent job in the traditional style! Such symbol of the connection with dead relatives would look well in any place of the body.


A wide range of emotions is awakened looking at this piece. The skull is a little bit unusual and funny looking with the hair. But the traditional style of coloring suggests a deeper sense about the vessel of the soul.

Cool Rosary Necklace Tattoo
Absolutely amazing sugar skull tattoo! This painting fits females as it includes diamonds, roses, and hearts. Red markings make the job vivid!


Lovely work! The design defines a black and white skull with the perfect nose, floral eyes, and head. That is very cute for females to estimate the belief in eternal life and rebirth.


WOW! Extra great idea! Marilyn Monroe’s sugar skull is carved in pin-up design can stand for absolute freedom. You can do what you want!


Top idea! You will love it not only for the intense meaning but also for a breathtaking look! The tattoo is carried on the full sleeve in a realistic way to memorize a woman in the wearer’s life!


Simple, yet bold! The diamonds inside the eye sockets are inked masterly, and it seems that they are sparkling.

Dotwork Tattoo Design Ideas
OMG! So great! A picturesque design showcases power and bravery. The candle and fire elements symbolize the life. A big size is perfect for the rib.


A classic sugar skull tattoo with a rose is done in an array of the vibrant colors. It is a good option for a female to demonstrate an adventurous nature of love.


So badass! A blue color is a cute spin! Life is going on in any case, even if one of our dear persons has left. The idea above demonstrates the endless life.


Total black work is flawless! The Mexican icon empowers a lot of people around the world. Show your devotion to Frida Kahlo by inking such amazing sugar skull. The earbobs fill up the image.


A sugar skull token can be used to honor a loved one who has gone away. Vibrant colors look brilliant on the gray skull. I like the nose which combines heart and infinity symbol. A cool peculiarity!

Super Cool Fishing Hook Tattoo
The thigh piece is beautiful! It is a favorite one among men as it features a raw power and wisdom. Ink it, you, boys!


That’s something like! Damn pretty! Bright flowers are circling a black skull and create a cute contrast. The best variant to choose for women!


Whoa! That’s out of my imagination! May be it signs the beginning of something new.


A 3D image is bursting due to the masterly done shadings of blue and orange. One has nothing to lose if is afraid of death. The tattoo mentioned above is a reminder of that.


A clock is an intense reminder of the brevity of a human life. The presence of the woman’s image speaks about a big love in the bearer’s life. So, live and love to the max with such creative tattoo on your sleeve!

Possible Music Tattoo Designs
Ooooh! Incredible and telling! A mandala styled Calavera is perfectly outlined. Here the skull represents a hard part of the life but the arrows symbolize moving forward even the path is difficult.


A sugar skull is nicely decorated with floral design. The eyes with roses inside arrest the sight! Such symbol indicates a renewal of the person after some life incidents or struggle. If you want to tell about your hard character to the World, choose the described concept.