The Internet’s Top 10 Lantern Tattoos


If you are a fan of lantern tattoos and want to learn more about the history of them, then the list below should certainly be of interest to you. In addition to filling this post with the most creative lantern designs we could find online, we also wrote a little about how lantern tattoos came to be, and why so many people enjoy getting them. So, whether you’re looking to get one of these designs yourself, or wanting to further educate yourself before doing so, you are certainly in the right place!

The history of the lantern tattoo dates back many, many years and is widely recognized as one of the oldest designs known to man. Meant to symbolize a vessel of light being used to guides one’s way, the lantern tattoo can be found on many people who feel lost, or who are looking to find their path. However, some people choose to get lantern tattoos solely based of how appealing they tend to be, and how common they are. Fortunately, these tattoos can be done in a multitude of different styles, including traditional and sailor jerry’s (two very popular choices and favorites to many people). Therefore, no matter what look you are going for when picking out your lantern tattoo, it is bound to look great.

Though many people all over the world have lantern tattoos inked onto them, the designs are actually very easy to customize. In fact, due to the overall simplicity of a lantern, an almost endless amount of improvisations can be made in order to add uniqueness, creativity, and originality to the tattoo, including different colors, wording, dates, or quotes. As you will see when scrolling through the images below, placement and sizing are great ways of making sure your lantern design stands out as well.

1. “Hope For The Hopeless – A Light In The Darkness”

Not only did this one come out great, but it has a very inspiring message as well. Since lanterns (as you now know after reading through the intro) are often used to symbolize guides, the message “hope for the hopeless” is actually very well thought out, and falls directly in line with what the tattoo stands for.

“Hope For The Hopeless – A Light In The Darkness”

2. A Very Nicely Done Victorian Lantern Forearm Tattoo

Though this victorian lantern design is rather standard, it looks great and is colored in nicely too. This not only proves that even simple, quote-less lanterns look great, but also that there are many different types of lanterns to choose from for those seeking a design of their own.

A Very Nicely Done Victorian Lantern Forearm Tattoo

3. A Graphic Lantern Upper Arm Tattoo

A neat graphic design, proving that lantern designs look great with or without color. This tattoo is very nicely shaded, and is certainly a great choice for anyone wanting to maintain a neutral black and white theme.

A Graphic Lantern Upper Arm Tattoo

4. A Very Unique Burning Lantern Design

Though lanterns with flames bursting through them are not at all common, this specific design looks great and is actually very original. Moreover, there is probably a much deeper meaning to this tattoo than that of the others listed.

A Very Unique Burning Lantern Design

5. A Very Eerie Lantern, Done Entirely In Black Ink


A great choice for those who enjoy colorless tattoos, done entirely in dark black ink. In all honesty, this lantern design is actually pretty eerie, giving off a rather creepy-nighttime feeling to all who look at it closely enough.

A Very Eerie Lantern, Done Entirely In Black Ink

6. An Old Lantern, With A Burning Red Candle Inside

Not only does this lantern feature a burning red candle, but it has some neat flowers added in as well. Much like the second image listed, this too is a vintage victorian style lantern (one of the more popular choices).

An Old Lantern, With A Burning Red Candle Inside

7. A Vintage Style Lantern And A Beautifully Colored Moth

Likely used to resemble a moth to a flame, this lantern design is not only unique but also very well thought out. Come to think of it, this may just be the most creative lantern design on the entire list.

A Vintage Style Lantern And A Beautifully Colored Moth

8. A Very Detailed Lantern Neck Tattoo

The neck isn’t a fun spot to get tattooed, however, if you can deal with the pain, then the image below is certainly a great choice for you. Though this design features very little detail, if you look closely enough, you can see the intricate shading methods used by the artist.

A Very Detailed Lantern Neck Tattoo

9. A Traditional Style Lantern Forearm Tattoo

If you are a fan of traditional tattooing, then it’s likely the design below will serve as your favorite on the list. And for those who don’t enjoy the style, it may be beneficial to know that years ago, traditional was (by far) the most common style amongst those with lantern designs.

A Traditional Style Lantern Forearm Tattoo

10. A Hand With Stairs Holding An Old Golden Lantern

It is hard to describe in words just how unique this lantern tattoo is, and to be honest, there is probably a lot of meaning behind it too. In addition to the very nicely done lantern, this tattoo also features some flowers, leafs, and a hand with a staircase inside of it…

A Hand With Stairs Holding An Old Golden Lantern


Hopefully after scrolling through these 10 images, you either have an idea for your own lantern tattoo, or are wanting to read more into the history of the designs. Nevertheless, we hope you enjoyed the list and encourage you to check out some of our other tattoo-related posts as well. Not only will they teach you more about the history of each style, design, and idea, but they will also serve as a platform for you to find out which tattoos you want (or don’t want) for yourself.


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