50+ Majestic Elephant Tattoo Design Variations and Placement Tips

By Jason Hamilton / October 6, 2018
elephant tattoo men
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Animal tattoos are one of the most popular tattoo designs. They have lots of design variations plus they look adorable. But don’t be fooled by the way they look. This type of tattoo design also conveys a deep meaning too. Plus, it can even tell what the wearer’s personality is. An elephant tattoo, for instance, has many significant meanings.


Elephant Tattoo Interpretation

Almost everyone around the world sees the elephant itself, as well as the elephant-inspired tattoos, as symbols that depict many positive things compared to owl tattoos. Some cultures associate owl tattoos with death and other negative events. On the other hand, generally speaking, many people believe that elephants represent good luck and prosperity. Some cultures also see elephants as a sign of dignity, power, longevity, and power.


Elephants are one of the largest mammals in the world. They weight between 11,000 to more than 15,000 pounds and their height ranges from 1o to 13 feet. In spite of that, they remain as one of the gentle giants in the wild. In fact, reports say that experts found out that elephants are like babies. They usually suck on their trunks to find comfort just as how babies do.


In addition to that, elephants also play a big role in the ecosystem. They are like construction workers and gardeners in the ecosystem. Like any other animals, their manure helps nurture the soil. They can create a grassland and salt lick as well. This helps other animals to survive in their habitat.

Moreover, they are one of the animals who have the longest lifespan. Depending on their species, they can live between 48 to even 70 years. These nature and roles of elephants in the environment make them a symbol of longevity and power.



Elephants also appear in numbers of religious traditions. Some people even respect them as deities. Also because of elephants’ nature and role in the ecosystem, ancient religions also see elephants as symbols of positivity.

In Hinduism, elephants are one of the sacred symbols. Hindus worship a deity who has a human form with a head of an elephant. They believe that the said deity’s role is to remove obstacles for them.


Aside from its strength, elephants are also known as dependable animals. Thus, it became a symbol of mental and physical strength. In Buddhism, elephants, particularly the white ones, represent composure, fertility, and mental strength. They also believe that it can clear all of the obstacles for humans too.

On the other hand, Christians believe that an elephant is a symbol of chastity. This is because elephants seem as if they don’t show any sign of passion in them. In addition, for Christians, elephant tusks depict purity.


Elephant Tattoo Cost

There are many factors that can affect a tattoo’s price. The design, the placement, the size, as well as the artist’s expertness can all play a huge role on the tattoo’s cost. For a better idea, the more intricate and big the tattoo is, the more it will cost.

A small mandala elephant on the forearm, for example, could cost more or less $250. However, don’t expect that it will cost the same in your area. Remember, the expertise of the artist plays a part in its pricing too.


If you’re already decided to get an elephant tattoo, here are some elephant tattoo design ideas and placements that we recommend. They aren’t just the best of the best but they sure are very meaningful too.

Elephant Tattoos for Men

Some of the traits that elephant tattoos represent are power and strength. These traits can also fit men. With the right placement, elephant tattoos can even empower the wearer’s masculinity. Here are the best spots to place an elephant tattoo.


The back is probably the finest body part to place an elephant tattoo. It offers a huge space so the wearer can add more complex details to his elephant tattoo. On top of that, the wearer has a control over it – meaning he can hide it whenever necessary or show it off whenever he wants.

A big 3D elephant tattoo with the Eye of Providence at the back


Another big 3D elephant tattoo at the back made with black and brown ink

An impressive 3D elephant tattoo on the back with white ink tusks


A colorful elephant tattoo on the upper part of the back made using the watercolor technique

Another big realistic elephant tattoo at the back with hints of orange, yellow, and brown ink


The bicep is yet another area that’s recommendable for a tattoo. If you’re opting for an intricate elephant tattoo design, the bicep is a good spot to place a tattoo. It’s not going to be compared to other parts of the body and, depending on its size, concealing it will be no sweat.


A realistic colored quarter sleeve elephant tattoo on the inner bicep

An impressive realistic sleeve elephant tattoo where the trunk is perfectly drawn on the arm

A multicolored and richly detailed elephant tattoo on the forearm


A stunning realistic drawing of an elephant’s head with a green background

A black ink silhouette of an elephant surrounded by a wreath


The forearm is also a perfect spot to place a tattoo. It is a body part that’s often exposed so if you want to always be reminded of your tattoo’s message, consider this spot.


A bright and vividly inked elephant tattoo with geometric details


A half-faced elephant on the forearm with good shade work


A Dali elephant tattoo with legs stretch down to the wrist


An elephant tattoo with rich detail covering the whole forearm


The rib area is also a popular body part to place a tattoo. However, we can’t guarantee you that the tattooing process would be painless. The ribs have fewer fats and muscles so placing a tattoo here will likely hurt. In spite of that, it will sure be worth it as it can also accentuate your torso.

A black ink Dali-inspired elephant tattoo on the side of the ribs


A colored elephant with an armor and weapon that signifies power

A big puzzle elephant tattoo that might mean the owner is still trying to build up his power and strength

A 3D black and grey ink face of an elephant


An intricately detailed side view of an elephant in black and grey ink


If you want to have a very detailed elephant tattoo, go for the chest. Like the back, it also offers a space that’s big enough for drawing complex tattoo designs – that is if you can stand the pain. Many people say that the chest area is one of the spots that will give you high levels of discomfort. Despite that, you’ll see great results.

A jaw-dropping elephant tattoo design in 3D inked on the left side of the chest


A big elephant tattoo on the center of the chest with geometric details and vivid colors


An intricate face of an elephant tattoo that covers the whole chest and abdomen

An abstract red and black in elephant tattoo that covers the whole chest

A multicolored moth and elephant tattoo morphed together with an Eye of Providence atop

Elephant Tattoos for Women

Elephant tattoos are also used by women too. In fact, it’s one of the most popular designs for women too. However, most women prefer their elephant tattoos a little smaller than what most tattoos that men prefer. If you’re looking for a smaller elephant tattoo design, here are some ideas for you and the best spots to place them.

Shoulder Blades

The shoulder blades is one of the places that women prefer to situate a tattoo. It’s sophisticated which is especially suited for fashion conscious women.

An intricately detailed black ink elephant tattooed on the left shoulder blade.

A mother and child elephant design that can represent motherhood

Another elephant tattoo to represent a mother and a child’s relationship

A small minimalist elephant tattooed on the top of the right shoulder blade

A black and grey ink family of three elephants holding each other


The thigh is a good spot to to situate a tattoo too. It’s often hidden but when it’s revealed, you can sport a very sexy look. Plus, it can accentuate your thighs too.

A face of an elephant with a crown made with good shade work

A richly detailed grey ink elephant tattoo on the left thigh

A big outline lotus and elephant tattoo that stretches up to the waist

A big black ink mandala elephant tattoo on the right thigh

A 3D front view of an elephant tattoo with a colored watercolor-styled background


The back is also a good site to situate an elephant tattoo. But for women, many prefer their tattoos placed on the upper part of the back just below the nape.

A classic black and grey ink elephant on the upper part of the back

A small outline of an elephant with little shade work

A lively elephant with trunk pointing upwards on the lower back

A unique outline of a mother elephant protecting her child

An adorable elephant tattoo with a tribal design on the lower back


The hands is a place for those who are bold enough to ink a tattoo. This area is exposed and is not that easy to hide yet a tattoo placed here will give you the aesthetics that you want.

An intricately detailed Mehndi-inspired elephant tattoo design at the back of the hand that stretches to the middle finger

A baby elephant with trunk placed on the index finger

A Mehndi tattoo of an elephant on the wrist with a trunk that stretches up to the palm

A cute small outline of an elephant on the side of the middle finger

A small yet detailed elephant tattoo with great dot work

A geometrical elephant with trunk pointing upwards drawn on the side of the wrist


The chest and the ribs are parts where you can have control over your tattoo. This means you show it whenever you want.

A white metallic ink elephant tattoo placed on the chest

A detailed elephant tattoo on the side rib with metallic white markings

A side view of an elephant’s head adorned with black and purple ink flowers

A colorful family  of elephants on the ribs made using the watercolor technique

While these ideas look gorgeous and astounding, these shouldn’t limit your imagination when it comes to your elephant tattoo design variation and placement. If you like any of these ideas, tell us on the comment section below and we can give you more high-quality samples if you want. Which one impressed you and which one didn’t?

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About the author

Jason Hamilton

Jason has been an avid fan of tattoos for over 13 years now. He is currently 35 years old, and he got his first tattoo at the age of 22. Since then, he has added over 20 tattoos to his collection. He is also into writing, which is why he decided to celebrate both of his passion and hobby through tats ‘n’ rings. Jason dreams of having his very own tattoo parlor soon. Jason would be very happy to answer any questions about tattoos that you may have! Leave a comment below and he’ll answer it for you right away!

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