Spider Tattoo Designs & Their Meaning

Spider tattoos are usually used to add detail to more elaborate designs, but they can also be used independently. They are fertile grounds for artists and can be employed to create eye-catching and thought-provoking pieces.

These tattoos are good ink options because they can be altered to express different ideas with very little modifications. There are countless design combinations, color schemes and placements for these tats.  We’ll show you how to pick the best for you.

Spider Tattoos: Associated Meaning

The ink can carry anything from a simple idea to a mash-up of complex notions.

Friend or Foe?

What’s your relationship with spiders?

  • Pet spider owners may want to commemorate their exotic companions
  • Others  may choose spider illustrations to overcome their own phobias
  • Budding arachnologists might also get tattooed to illustrate a dedication to their careers

Shock Value

These tattoos are a good choice if you’re going for shock value. Arachnophobia is among the most common insect-related fears in the world. You’re bound to provoke a reaction, positive or negative, if you have a visible spider inked on your body.

The shock value will also serve to attract attention to other ink on your body. If you want to attract attention to special art, add spider tats around the design. This works especially well if the arachnid has bold colors that help it pop out.

Cultural Symbolism

In Native American traditions, spiders are symbols of the wisdom of creation. These tats can, therefore, be used to emphasize a theme of wisdom in another tattoo.

When going for this little-known association, avoid the traditional dark illustrations associated with gloom. How about a golden or silver spider sitting on an earth-shaped web, instead?

Popular Culture

In the modern world, spiders are getting a makeover. As cultures move from deep mystic beliefs to more scientific conclusions, animals that were once thought to be evil are finding acceptance.

Spiders are especially well-portrayed in modern films; think of the Spiderman franchise where the hero has this arachnid to thank for everything. You may even opt for a Spiderman-inspired tat to illustrate your inner child or hero.

What Do Spider Tattoos Mean?

The most interesting quality of tats is that the designs, even when they’re depicting the same subject matter, can mean different things to different individuals. These are some of the various interpretations associated with spider tattoos:

  • Empowerment: Spiders are wonderful hunters that always seem to get what they want—to enhance this theme, go for bright colors that stand out against a darker background
  • Strength: Despite their small size, these arachnids produce a web that, pound for pound, is stronger than silk—some people use this fact to drive home an idea of strength
  • Power: The design can be decorated with diamond symbols to illustrate strength—the arachnophobic may use the tat as motivation to break free from the fear
  • Uniqueness: Spider-related ink may be used to showcase your individuality because, let’s face it, it’s not something that everyone can pull off
  • Perseverance: The gloomy association can be used to enhance the theme of determination and victory—how about the imagery of a bird breaking free from a mean-looking spider’s web to symbolize victory over a life-threatening disease?
  • Fertility: Spiders seemingly never run out of web silk: use the idea to illustrate or emphasize fertility
  • Life: A few tweaks to the spider tattoo can make it illustrate an entirely different meaning—bright colors and combinations with life-related symbols, like the phoenix tattoo, could cement the idea
  • Danger: Dangerous spider species, like the black widow, can be used to bring out the idea of prevailing danger or doom

Life Struggles

Typically, a spider in its web is a symbol of the struggles that go on in the web that’s life. Alternatively, the spider can be cast as the villain approaching an innocent creature trapped in its web. With such an illustration, making the spider bigger than its potential victim may be a reminder that life isn’t always fair.

For a more optimistic design, you could have the victim break the web. In such a scenario, make the prey more detailed than the spider and use bright ink to draw attention away from the arachnid.


Spiders, despite the misconceptions around the animal, are highly intelligent creatures. Consider the difficulty, determination, and wisdom that goes into the construction of a web. You can capture the intelligence in ink by having a spider hovering above a symbol of intellect like a scroll.

Feminine Energy

With the relevant color adjustments, a spider tattoo can be used to express the struggle and strength of women. 

A now-popular idea is to have the deadly black widow colored pink in illustrations. This is usually taken to imply that it’s dangerous to judge on appearance.

Common Spider Tattoo Designs

The most common designs of spider tattoos also tend to include a web of some sort to symbolize the beauty and wisdom of these arachnids.

Spider With Web

A spider and its web may be a reminder that, just like the spider, we owe a lot to our homes. It’s worth fighting for, sweating for, caring for, and staying put for.

The fact that the web comes from within the spider may be used as inspiration for some thought-evoking designs. How about a spider spinning a web-shaped like your dream car to remind yourself that you have to dig from deep within yourself to achieve your dreams?

Life-Like Spiders

These are easily the most shocking and eye-catching spider tattoos today. A life-like illustration is inked onto exposed skin. The tat is usually very detailed to bring the image to life. For recovering or recovered arachnophobes, this can be a liberating design. It’s also excellent for the ink-enthusiast looking to turn a few heads.

The legs on this spider design tend to be bold to emphasize the eight legs. There’s also a lot of detail in the eyes with elaborate shading to make the eyes come alive and add the tat’s overall appeal or horror—depending on the theme sought by the design. 

Spider Tattoo Placement

These tattoos are mostly found on arms mimicking a crawling movement for added effect. They can also be found on the chest and back when the design is more elaborate.

Smaller designs may be used alongside other tattoos or on the fingers, toes, under the eyes, and behind the ears.

In Summary

Spider tattoos are excellent methods to express an idea in a context that’s most likely to draw attention. These tat designs are often perceived to be gloomy and any alternative approach to the design is bound to draw the attention of those around you.

If you’re concerned that the ink may offend those around you, especially if you work around children, go for popular Spiderman-based designs rather than life-like art. Both ways, this tat is very flexible and can be adjusted to suit different themes.

Best Spider Tattoos