Mother-Daughter Tattoo Designs & Their Meaning

Looking to get a mother-daughter tattoo? Well, this is a special moment that needs much thought and planning. Learn about the interpretations attached to popular designs, colors, styles, and placements. Find ideas for patterns and combinations to reflect the uniqueness of your bond.

Symbolism Associated with a Mother-Daughter Tattoo

These tattoos should be personal and intimate. Consider some of these symbolic meanings for yours:

  • Love
  • Circle of life
  • Guidance
  • Dedication
  • Torchbearers


Illustrating the love between these two people in an art form is quite a popular design option. The symbol of the heart works as an excellent example, and you can get matching illustrations with each other’s names etched into the core.

Circle of Life

A mother and her daughter are two of the most vital cogs in life. This ink could, therefore, be used to represent the circle of life, and the invaluable role played by women in the grand scheme of things. 

You can showcase this role by depicting a mother holding onto her baby girl. Other abstract options include using a tree of life with the mother replacing the tree.


Nautical themes are excellent for this rendition. Another option would be to use matching stars with the one on the mom being bigger, to illustrate her authority as a guiding force to the young woman.

Animals make excellent symbols for these types of tattoos, as most of them have very strong maternal instincts. An elephant guiding her calf would make for a good illustration of supervision.


When mums and their girls get matching ink, they’re showcasing their allegiance to one another, completely unafraid to highlight their unique bond. 

You can use different fonts and symbols to etch the other’s name onto your skin. The names can be surrounded by supporting art designs: the famous Celtic motherhood knot would work well for this illustration.


For the longest time in human history, mothers and daughters have been the custodians of family secrets and traditions. One generation would tirelessly train the next to make sure that the family traditions were passed down over time.

Using an eternal flame here would make excellent representation for this notion. How about a cute doodle of one woman passing the torch to another in your tattoo?

Popular Designs

These tattoos vary in two main aspects: visual style and imagery. The following are some of the most popular design choices for these types of ink:


You have a wide range of options if you’re opting for this theme, including going for matching tats of flowers, birds, elephants, butterflies, cats, or feathers.

The lotus flower also works great as it symbolizes rebirth, showing a close connection to mother and daughter.


Text-based ink works extremely well when you use a clever or personal thought to showcase your love between one another. These can be matching tattoos as well, or you can divide the text into two parts and place one section each on matching parts of your bodies. 

Some common sentiments that tend to be used for text-based mother-daughter tats include:

  • Wild and Wonderful
  • I’ll always be there for you because you’ll always be there for me
  • I’ll love you forever; I’ll like you for always
  • Because of her, I will not fall. For her, I will risk it all
  • Together forever, never apart. Maybe in distance, but never in heart

You could also look to use a meaningful place, such as where your mom used to take you when you were little. Memories are incredibly powerful to strengthen a bond between anyone, let alone a mother and daughter.

Some opt for a simple, “Mom” and “Daughter” inscribed on their bodies, perhaps blended in with another design that’s close to their hearts.

Ancient Languages or Symbols

Another excellent idea for these tattoos would be to get inked with ancient symbols or text derived from antique languages. Popular choices here would be:

  • Celtic crosses
  • Infinity symbols
  • Hamsas
  • Mandalas

You can even pick an old language such as Sanskrit, and have a powerful sentiment represented in this language for your matching tattoos.

Puzzle Tats 

Perhaps the most fun mother-daughter tattoos of all are puzzle illustrations that don’t make much sense unless both parties are present to put the two pieces together. 

Popular examples of puzzle designs include:

  • Two halves of a butterfly
  • Flock of birds seen flying from one person’s body to another
  • Lock and key tattoo
  • Two halves of a heart

Heart Tattoos

Hearts are an important symbol used to represent the love between mothers and daughters in ink. You can do some creative things with these illustrations, including writing each other’s names on your heart tattoos or even incorporating beautiful symbols such as flowers.

Mama and Baby

You can also opt for mama and baby versions of cute animals such as elephants, lions, whales, butterflies, cats, or pandas.

Another direction worth exploring here involves creating mother-daughter versions of inanimate objects such as tea sets, flowers, handbags, or shoes. This is a great space to personalize your tattoo and use anecdotes as an inspiration to create a unique illustration for yourselves. 

Astronomy Tattoos

Common mother-daughter associations are the sun and the moon, or the moon and the stars. You can accentuate these symbols with some design elements that can reflect your personalities.

Common Colors and Styles 

If you’re stuck for color schemes, experiment based on the nature of the theme of your tattoo:

Lighter Palette

Colors such as yellow, green, and sky blue can be used to denote positive emotions and a lighter theme. If you’re going for tattoos with animals or with a funny message, these colors tend to work best.

Darker Palette 

A darker set of colors such as maroon, indigo, brown, and magenta should be used when you’re tackling more serious themes in your ink. These tones are best applied when the message of your tattoo has a deeper or personal meaning attached to it.

Bright Palette

Uplifting colors such as orange, neon green, electric pink, and blue work best for tats with positive and energetic themes. If your mother-daughter illustration has a deeply elevated theme that aims to inspire others, these colors should work best in cementing this theme.

Common Placements

The popular choice for most people is to place the ink on regions that are easily visible to others. Ultimately, a mother-daughter tattoo is meant to showcase an appreciation for a parent or a child, so what’s the point if these symbols of love are hidden from the world?

Large Tattoos

It isn’t common for mother-daughter tattoos to take up large space. Even so, large illustrations tend to be placed on the back, and less commonly on the chest, as these offer the most room.

Mid-Sized Ink

Tattoos that are between 5 and 10 inches are considered mid-sized. These work best on your arms, legs, biceps, or hands.

Smaller Tats

These tats often tend to be symbols, names, numbers, or doodles. Most mother-daughter ink designs come in small packages and work best on areas such as your hands, legs, neck, lower back, and biceps.

Best Mother-Daughter Tattoos