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Carnation Tattoo: Designs, Meanings, and Variations

by TattoosNear 25 Jun 2023

Carnation tattoo designs, along with carnation flower tattoos, have been a symbolic choice for body art enthusiasts for generations. Their beauty and the meanings they convey have been admired and expressed through a multitude of artistic forms from literature, paintings, and now skin art. These tattoos, with their different color palettes, techniques, and styles, bring an unparalleled allure to the world of tattooing. Depicting a wide range of sentiments, the carnation tattoo is more than just an aesthetic choice. It's an emblem of personal narratives, ideologies, and emotions. Let's embark on an exploration of the fascinating world of carnation tattoos and the many interpretations they offer.

1. Carnation Tattoo Meaning

Carnations, like many flowers, carry a variety of meanings, many of which depend on their color. When translated into tattoos, these meanings can be deeply personal and reflect the individual's own experiences and beliefs. Here are some general meanings associated with carnation tattoos:

Love and Affection: Carnations are traditionally associated with feelings of love and affection. A carnation tattoo could represent a deep, longstanding love or a new, passionate love.

Healing and Resilience: Carnations are hardy and long-lasting flowers. As such, a carnation tattoo could symbolize healing, resilience, or strength in the face of adversity.

Spirituality and Devotion: Carnations have also been used in various ceremonies and traditions. In this context, a carnation tattoo could represent spirituality, faith, or devotion.

Grief and Loss: Carnations are often used in funerals and memorials. A carnation tattoo could symbolize grief, loss, or remembrance of a loved one.

The color of the carnation can add further meaning to the tattoo:

- **Red Carnations** are associated with love and admiration.
- **White Carnations** symbolize purity and luck.
- **Pink Carnations** are thought to symbolize a mother's eternal love.

Remember, the personal meaning behind a tattoo can vary greatly depending on the person wearing it. It's always best to talk to the individual (or the tattoo artist) to fully understand the significance behind their specific tattoo design.

2. Black Carnation Tattoo

The striking appeal of a black carnation tattoo lies in its elegance and mysterious symbolism. Black often represents sadness, or rebellion. However, it also brings forward the tattoo's shape, and shadows in a vivid, almost surreal way. This design is perfect for individuals who want to make a bold statement or convey a personal, deeper sentiment.

3. Small Carnation Tattoo

Small carnation tattoos have a delicate, understated beauty. Despite their size, they carry the same meaning as larger designs. They are versatile and can be placed anywhere from the wrist, ankle, behind the ear, or on the finger. Small tattoos can represent a discreet expression of one's personality or a personal memory.

4. Carnation and Rose Tattoo

A carnation and rose tattoo blend the symbolism of love, fascination, distinction, and admiration. This combination results in a powerful, aesthetically pleasing design. While the rose often symbolizes passionate love, the carnation can represent the love of a mother, creating a balance of familial and romantic love.

5. Carnation and Snowdrop Tattoo

The carnation and snowdrop tattoo can represent a balance between love and hope or consolation. Snowdrops, a symbol of hope and renewal, beautifully juxtapose the carnation's symbol of love and admiration. This pairing makes a beautiful statement about overcoming adversities and holding on to hope.

6. Carnation Tattoo with Name

A carnation tattoo with a name makes a personal, heartfelt statement. It can honor a loved one, a special moment, or a personal achievement. Whether the name is that of a parent, child, or significant other, this tattoo serves as a constant reminder of the bond between the bearer and the named individual.

7. Outline Carnation Tattoo

Outline carnation tattoos offer a minimalist, chic design. The simplicity and elegance of this style draw attention to the carnation's shape and structure, creating a subtle and visually pleasing design. This type of tattoo is perfect for someone who appreciates simplicity and understated beauty.

8. Pink Carnation Tattoo

Pink carnation tattoos have a special place in the realm of body art as they symbolize a mother's undying love. These tattoos often serve as tributes to mothers, making them an excellent choice for Mother's Day or as a personal token of appreciation for the love and support received.

9. Simple Carnation Tattoo

The appeal of a simple carnation tattoo lies in its minimalism and elegance. A simple design often focuses on the form and beauty of the carnation without additional elements, resulting in a clean and modern appearance. Despite the simplicity, these tattoos can carry profound meanings.

10. Red Carnation Tattoo

Red carnation tattoos symbolize admiration and love. The deep, vibrant red color can represent deep affection or intense passion, making it an expressive and emotionally charged design. This bold choice is perfect for

those wishing to wear their heart on their sleeve.

11. Carnation Drawing Tattoo

Carnation drawing tattoos have an artistic flair, capturing the beauty of the carnation through different art styles, such as realism, abstract, or sketch-like designs. The intricate details in these tattoos can express the bearer's admiration for art and beauty.

12. Carnation Tattoo Black and White

A carnation tattoo in black and white offers a classic and timeless design. The contrast between black and white brings out the tattoo's details and gives it a dramatic effect. This monochromatic design is versatile and works well with various styles, from realistic to abstract.

13. Minimalist Carnation Tattoo Simple

Minimalist carnation tattoos focus on simplicity and subtlety. These designs often consist of basic lines or shapes, creating an understated yet sophisticated look. Despite their simplicity, minimalist tattoos can still carry a powerful message, making them an excellent choice for individuals who prefer a less-is-more approach.

14. Blue Carnation Tattoo

Blue carnation tattoos are not only visually stunning but also carry a unique symbolism. They represent mystery, fascination, and the impossible, or the extraordinary. If you're someone who loves to defy the odds or values the enigmatic, a blue carnation tattoo might just be the design for you.

15. Carnation and Daffodil Tattoo

The carnation and daffodil tattoo combine love and rebirth. The daffodil represents renewal and the start of something new, while the carnation brings love and admiration to the mix. This pairing can be a symbol of a new beginning in love or life.

16. Carnation and Daisy Tattoo

Carnation and daisy tattoos merge two beautiful flowers, each with their own distinct symbolism. Daisies often represent innocence, purity, and true love, while carnations stand for love and distinction. Together, these flowers can create a unique tattoo design that embodies a combination of these virtues.

17. Carnation January Flower Tattoo

Carnation is the birth flower for January, symbolizing love, fascination, and distinction. A carnation January flower tattoo can be a beautiful way to represent your birth month or to honor someone born in January.

18. Traditional Carnation Tattoo

Traditional carnation tattoos incorporate bold lines, bright colors, and simplified shapes – hallmarks of the traditional or "old school" tattoo style. The carnation's symbolism of love and distinction fits perfectly into this style's repertoire, making it a classic choice for any tattoo enthusiast.

19. Carnation and Lily of the Valley Tattoo

A carnation and lily of the valley tattoo can represent a beautiful balance between love and humility. The lily of the valley, often symbolizing humility and purity, adds a special meaning to the carnation's symbol of love and admiration. This combination creates a harmonious design, ideal for those who value these virtues.

20. Carnation Birth Flower Tattoo

As a birth flower, the carnation symbolizes the month of one's birth, making it a popular tattoo choice to celebrate one's birthday or commemorate the birth of a child. The different colors of the carnation can represent different birth months, adding another layer of personal significance to the tattoo.

21. Green Carnation Tattoo

Green carnation tattoos are unique and represent nature, life, and rebirth. Green is also the color of luck, making this tattoo an emblem of fortune and positivity. Its vibrant hue makes a green carnation tattoo stand out, a perfect choice for those who love unconventional designs.

22. Purple Carnation Tattoo

The purple carnation, often associated with capriciousness, makes for a captivating tattoo. It can also represent charm, creativity, and uniqueness. Purple carnation tattoos are an exquisite choice for those who celebrate their individuality and possess a creative spirit.

23. Watercolor Carnation Tattoo

Watercolor carnation tattoos use the fluid, vibrant, and translucent qualities of watercolors to create stunning pieces of art. This style gives the tattoo a soft, dreamy look, making the carnation appear as if it's an artwork painted right onto the skin. It's a unique approach to tattooing that's perfect for artistic souls.

24. White Carnation Tattoo

White carnation tattoos symbolize pure love, innocence, and good luck. The striking contrast of a white carnation against the skin makes it an attractive choice. It can also serve as a memorial tattoo, signifying everlasting love and memory for a loved one who has passed away.

25. Carnation and Marigold Tattoo

A carnation and marigold tattoo combine the meanings of love and grief, creating a powerful symbolic juxtaposition. Marigolds are often associated with mourning, but also with the sun and its life-giving force. This pairing can represent overcoming loss with the power of love.

26. Carnation Fine Line Tattoo

Fine line tattoos are known for their delicacy and precision, and these qualities beautifully complement the carnation's structure. A carnation fine line tattoo can capture the intricate details of the flower with an elegant subtlety, perfect for those who appreciate the beauty in simplicity.

27. Carnation Spine Tattoo

A carnation spine tattoo makes a bold and stylish statement. The spine provides a unique canvas for showcasing the elongated structure of the carnation stem, allowing for a creative and striking design. This placement is also symbolic of strength and resilience.

28. Carnation and Chrysanthemum Tattoo

The combination of carnation and chrysanthemum can create an enchanting tattoo design. While carnations symbolize love and admiration, chrysanthemums often represent lost or rebirth in many cultures, creating a beautiful symbolic balance.

29. Carnation Bouquet Tattoo

A carnation bouquet tattoo can represent an abundance of love, admiration, or gratitude. The details and colors in the bouquet can create a captivating, vibrant tattoo. It can also serve as a commemoration of a special occasion or milestone.

30. Carnation and Larkspur Tattoo

A carnation and larkspur tattoo fuse the symbolism of love and lightness or levity. This combination can symbolize a carefree love or joy. It's a delightful choice for those who want to express their love and joy in a unique, floral way.

31. Carnation Shoulder Tattoo

A carnation shoulder tattoo makes a fashionable, expressive statement. The shoulder provides ample space for detailed designs or larger carnation tattoos. It also symbolizes carrying the weight or responsibility of love, making it a profound


32. Sagittarius Carnation Tattoo

Sagittarius, a fire sign known for its adventurous and optimistic nature, paired with a carnation, can symbolize an adventurous love or passion. A Sagittarius carnation tattoo can be an expressive way to display your zodiac sign along with the rich symbolism of the carnation.

33. American Traditional Carnation Tattoo

American traditional carnation tattoos are characterized by bold lines, primary colors, and iconic images. The carnation in this style brings a touch of elegance and symbolism to the boldness of the American traditional style, making it a timeless choice.

34. Carnation and Butterfly Tattoo

Carnation and butterfly tattoos represent love, beauty, and transformation. Butterflies often symbolize change or spiritual growth, adding another layer of meaning to the carnation's symbol of love. This pairing creates a dynamic and deeply symbolic tattoo.

35. Carnation and Narcissus Tattoo

A carnation and narcissus tattoo bring together love and self-love. Narcissus, symbolizing self-love and respect, can create a balanced design with the carnation's representation of love and admiration. It's a perfect reminder of the importance of loving oneself as well as others.

36. Carnation and Poppy Tattoo

A carnation and poppy tattoo merges the themes of love and remembrance. Poppies often symbolize remembrance and consolation in times of loss. This design can be a heartfelt tribute to a loved one, serving as a constant reminder of enduring love and memory.

37. Carnation and Violet Tattoo

Combining a carnation and violet in a tattoo can symbolize love and faithfulness. Violets are often associated with loyalty, making this pairing a perfect way to express steadfast love. The contrasting colors of the two flowers also make for an eye-catching design.

38. Carnation Hand Tattoo

Carnation hand tattoos are prominent and bold. The hand is a place of action and power, making it a fitting place for a carnation tattoo, symbolizing the power of love and admiration. This tattoo is for those who want to wear their heart on their hands, literally.

39. Carnation Neck Tattoo

Carnation neck tattoos offer a unique and distinct look. The neck is often considered a sensitive and intimate area, making a carnation tattoo there all the more meaningful. This placement can represent personal, deep-seated love or admiration.

40. Carnation Tattoo Behind Ear

A carnation tattoo behind the ear is a subtle yet impactful statement. It's an ideal choice for those who prefer more discreet tattoos. Despite its small size and hidden placement, it doesn't diminish the rich symbolism of the carnation.

41. Carnation Tattoo Sleeve

A carnation tattoo sleeve is a bold and expressive choice. The sleeve offers ample space for intricate details, multiple flowers, and additional elements, making it a visually stunning and meaningful piece of art. It can tell a story of love, admiration, and personal journey.


From green and purple carnations to watercolor designs and fine lines, carnation tattoos offer a plethora of choices for personal expression. Whether you choose a design for its aesthetic appeal or personal significance, a carnation tattoo is sure to be a captivating and symbolic addition to your body art.

Temporary tattoos are a safe, affordable, and non-permanent way to enjoy body art. They're easy to apply and remove, offer a wide range of designs, and are great for testing out looks before committing to a permanent tattoo. Suitable for all ages, they're a popular choice for fashion, fun, and in the entertainment industry. Flower temporary tattoos are also popular!

Carnation Tattoo FAQ

1. What does a carnation tattoo symbolize?

Carnation tattoos often symbolize love, affection, healing, resilience, spirituality, and devotion. They can also represent grief or remembrance of a loved one. The specific meaning can vary based on the color of the carnation and the personal experiences or beliefs of the individual.

2. What do different colors of carnation tattoos mean?

Red carnation tattoos typically symbolize love and admiration. White ones represent purity and luck, and pink ones symbolize a mother's eternal love.

3. Where is the best place to get a carnation tattoo?

The best place to get a carnation tattoo really depends on your personal preference and the design's size. Some popular locations include the arm, wrist, shoulder, ankle, back, and chest.

4. Is it painful to get a carnation tattoo?

The level of pain experienced during tattooing varies greatly from person to person and depends on the location of the tattoo. Areas with thinner skin or close to bones (like the ribs or ankles) tend to be more sensitive.

5. How should I care for my new carnation tattoo?

Follow your tattoo artist's aftercare instructions, which will likely include keeping the tattoo clean, avoiding swimming and direct sunlight, and applying a specific lotion or ointment.

6. How long will a carnation tattoo last?

Tattoos are permanent and will last as long as your skin lasts. However, they can fade over time due to factors like sun exposure, the quality of the ink used, and how well the tattoo was taken care of during the healing process.

7. Can a carnation tattoo be covered up or removed?

Yes, like most tattoos, a carnation tattoo can be covered up with another design or removed using laser tattoo removal. However, both processes can be complex, so it's best to choose your original design wisely.

8. Do carnation tattoos have a specific style?

Carnation tattoos can be designed in a variety of styles, including traditional, realistic, watercolor, line work, and more. The choice of style largely depends on personal preference and the artist's capabilities.

Remember, when getting a tattoo, it's essential to do your research, understand the meaning behind your chosen design, and choose a reputable, professional tattoo artist to ensure the best results.


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