How to Design Your Own Memorial Tattoo

Written by james gilmore
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How to Design Your Own Memorial Tattoo
Include symbolic images in your memorial tattoo design. (tattoo image by shime from

The loss of a loved one and other significant emotional events can leave a permanent impression. A tattoo, a permanent impression in the skin, is a great way to capture all the feelings encompassed in this type of loss and memorialise the person or event that spawned such emotion. Design your own memorial tattoo and celebrate a lost life.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Decide who or what you intend to memorialise with your tattoo. For example, memorialise a deceased love one or a specific event.

  2. 2

    Wait until you have given yourself time to go through the grieving process before you decide upon a design, in order to prevent yourself from going with a design you might later regret.

  3. 3

    Brainstorm a design that celebrates--and not mourns--the loss. Your tattoo will be permanent and--unless you want to undergo expensive tattoo removal process--you won't want to get sad every time you look at your tattoo. For example, if you wish to design a tattoo that memorialises those killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks, consider a design with hopeful images as opposed to those evocative of the actual attacks.

  4. 4

    Decide upon the manner in which you wish to memorialise with your tattoo. For example, if you wish to memorialise a deceased father, get a portrait of him or a symbol that represents his life, such as a baseball glove if he was a baseball fan. Or do both.

  5. 5

    Include symbolic images into your memorial tattoo. For example, if a person you wish to memorialise was Christian, incorporate a cross into the design.

  6. 6

    Incorporate specific elements into your design, such as names and dates. For example, you might include a deceased loved one's birthday and date of death along with his name or initials.

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