Free Tribal Tattoo Designs to Download

Jennifer L. Betts

Bold, Beautiful Ink

Often times, a tribal piece is more than just your standard tattoo. It is art and history all rolled into one piece. These thick bold lines and intricate designs fascinate both men and women alike. Check out several bold, beautiful original designs that you can print at home.

To print, hover your mouse pointer over the image and click on the little source button at the top right. Your design will come up in a new window that is easy to print.

Bolder Than the Sun

Across history, the sun is a legend. Not only has it birthed gods, but it is the source of everything. From a design perspective, the round center with its rays shooting out is one of the purest forms of beauty. So, it's really no surprise that a sun tribal tat is a popular choice. Not only can you try bold and spiky masculine varieties, but it can get sensual with swirls and thinner lines. Sun tattoos can fit anywhere, but work great on the back of the neck, shoulder blade, curve of the ankle, and forearm. Choose to make it more original by adding color like swirls of yellows and blues. You might also try adding some shading to really make this sun design your own.

Moari Tribal Mask

Polynesian pieces, like Maori masks, are natural and flow with the body. Though they are bold, these designs can still be beautiful and represent a culture. While you might choose to customize this mask by playing with lines or adding more decorative elements, you want to maintain the use of the light and dark space to create the distinct face. Additionally, Maori tattoos play with line repetition, so what you do to one side to make it unique should follow that same pattern on the other side. Given the uniqueness of the mask, you'll want to stick with basic black line work.

Wonderful Wings of Ink

These aren't your typical fairy wings, these are bold, eye-catching designs that will surround your skin. More like the wings of a dragon or something that dances in the night, they will make your back pop. Wings fit well along the shoulder blades of the upper back. This isn't for the faint of heart either. If you are going to get wings, you need to go big or go home. Like a great archangel, these should decorate your back looking ready to come to life at any moment. Don't just go with standard black either, try going with a colored design like purple or blue. You might want to try alternating color to give the wings more depth.

Tribal Chinese Dragon

A symbol of courage and strength, dragon tribal tattoos couldn't get more powerful. They dance along your skin their silent strength invigorating and beautiful all at the same time. Chinese dragons can take on many forms but this design will work well on the lower back, shoulder blade, upper arm and leg. The curve of the design flows well along the flatter planes of your skin. Given the boldness of the design, going too small will make the design and the bold lines hard to make out. Therefore, for this flash, bigger is definitely better. However, you might choose to add flourishes to the tail or have it breathe fire. The u-shape curve of the body also makes it perfect for adding a pair of tribal wings.

Instantly Insect Tribal

Scorpions, dragonflies and spiders, oh my. The uniform structures and unique bodies of insects make them perfect for tribal designs. They are also representative of nature, passion, and even danger. While tribal and black might seem to go hand-in-hand, don't get stuck on it. Try making your dragonfly tat original through a customized color scheme. While scorpion and dragonfly tribal is fun, it probably isn't something that your going to cover your whole back with. These instead are usually smaller designs on the ankle, forearm and sometimes neck. Don't think you're stuck within this line work either. To make the design softer, you might have your artist surround the tattoo with a color wash.

Crazy Wild Cats

Purrr-fect for the lower back, wrist, ankle or even thigh, cat tribal tats are easy to enjoy by all. Not only can it show off your soft side, but it will show the inner animal within you. Cat designs are easy to customize by simply moving around lines or softening the hard points into smooth swirls. Whether your design is a fierce tiger or a lazy lap cat, going too small can make your tiger look more like a meerkat. So, double check the ditto once it's on to make sure you have the effect you want. Given the topic of the design, color might not work as well here.

Bold, Black Back Tribal

Whether you choose to add a tribal back design along your shoulder blades or lower back, these designs can become bold and masculine or delicate and feminine with the stroke of a gun. Colors work great with this piece especially along the lower back. This gives the lines depth and originality. You might also try adding shading behind the thick, tribal lines to make the designs stand out. These pieces don't just work on backs either. You might try one as an armband or even an anklet.

Dangerously Beautiful Butterfly

Beauty and butterflies are one and the same. They are the epitome of grace and elegance. However, when you make them tribal, it gives them an appealing dangerous edge, becoming a dangerous beauty all rolled into one unique tat. Butterfly tribal tattoos are meant to be customized and unique. Not only can this design fit almost anywhere, including behind your ear, the uniform wings make it easy to add custom flourishes or designs within the wings. Offset the bold tribal lines with soft pastel colors that kiss your skin to give this design your own unique flavor.

Getting Your Tribal On

Tattoos come in all different shapes and sizes. However, tribal tattoos have a long rich history that goes along with their bold thick lines. They are also versatile for both men and women while fitting just about anywhere. Use these designs to get your creative juices flowing to create your own or just try out one of the designs for yourself.

Jennifer L. Betts
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Free Tribal Tattoo Designs to Download