Tattoo Inspiration for Every Soul

30 Swallow Tattoos: Designs That Tell Your Story

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Swallow tattoos have been popular for ages. In the beginning, they were mostly worn by sailors and they were a sign that the seafarer had crossed 5000 nautical miles. Today, everyone can proudly wear this tattoo since it now has a number of other meanings as well.

These tiny songbirds now represent traveling and returning home. They’re also seen as symbols of hardship and struggle that you’ve successfully overcome.

Honestly, people get them for all different reasons. If you’re looking for a bird that’s going to signify love, family, loyalty, or even freedom, swallow is the way to go.

It’s obvious that these flying creatures tell a story. And even though they’re fairly popular and more and more people choose to tattoo swallows on their skin, each one of those tattoos is unique and personal because you’re going to give it meaning.

Now, when it comes to choosing your perfect design, that may be a little harder. There are so many options to choose from and for a moment, you may feel lost in all the possibilities.

We wanted to make it easier for you so we made a list of some of the coolest swallow tattoos we could find. Check them out and see what you think of them.

1. Realistic swallow

Credit: irisnawer_art

Do you like realistic tattoos? If they’re your cup of tea then you’ll love this adorable swallow and you’ll proudly wear it on your skin for the rest of your life.

2. Flying swallow

Credit: antonio__dangelo

You can always change up your swallow tattoo by combining it with a phrase or even a quote that means a lot to you. This is how you can do that.

3. Classical swallow

Credit: monomorphic_keepsake

This simple, fine-line tattoo will never go out of style. If you’re looking for something that’s not in your face, this is a design for you.

4. Swallows come in pairs


The reason why swallows are seen as a sign of love is because once they find their pair, they breed with the same swallow for the rest of their lives and always come back to the same nest. How romantic?

5. Traditional swallow

Credit: pedroreckless

What about a traditional-style swallow tattoo? We love the thicker lines and the color combination of this one.

6. Swallow carrying eucalyptus

Credit: muriel_mortal

If you want your tattoo to tell your story, you can always combine elements that can help you with that. Such is the case with this swallow carrying an eucalyptus branch.

7. Bigger and bolder

Credit: giuseppe_presta_tattoo

We have another traditional tattoo option but this one is a bit bigger and bolder. It’s perfect for those of you who aren’t afraid of colors.

8. Trash-polka-style swallow

Credit: sonerkurak

If you love the dot-work on your tattoos and appreciate the trash-polka style then you’re going to love this idea. It’s simple but captivating.

9. Swallow of hope

Credit: noa_kom_

This is another idea on how you can combine different elements to get the meaning you’re looking for. It’s also a cool way to add some color to your new tattoo.

10. Unusual combination

Credit: joseph_dossa_ink

This tattoo is one of the most unique designs we’ve ever seen. If you choose to get it, be aware that it’s definitely going to become a show-stopper and everyone will ask you questions about it.

11. Inspired by Harry Styles

Credit: sofietvarno

Inspired by Harry Styles or not, we love this tattoo idea. It feels like two swallows are flying back to each other. What’s not to like?

12. Spreading wings all over your back

Credit: ilbuetattoo

If you’re looking for a back tattoo, then this is a good option. It’s a bit bigger but your back is a perfect spot for designs like this one.

13. Carrying a branch


What about a swallow carrying a branch? If you don’t like this position, you can always choose to get the same design somewhere else.

14. Swallow and rose

Credit: twistyartist

If you’re looking for a way to give tribute to someone special from your life, you can do that by tattooing a swallow that’s carrying a rose. It’s a unique way to remember someone.

15. Matching swallows

Credit: sudalisotter

Are you looking for a matching swallow tattoo for you and your best friend, partner, or family member? Or do you need two of the same tattoos to represent your children or siblings? We believe this is the design for you.

16. In love with swallows


Are you obsessed with swallows? Or are you simply looking for a bold and daring background that will make your new tattoo stand out? Check this one out then.

17. Bright-colored swallows

Credit: bendaviestattoo

These flashy swallows will steal the show, especially if you choose to get them on your arm or some other place that’s more visible. If two of them sound like too much, you can always choose to get only one.

18. Flying high

Credit: dot_tattoo

This is another interesting option that you may like. It’s not the most inventive design ever but it looks cool.

19. Swallow or a face?

Credit: david_larra_tattoo

We love this idea even though it’s not for everyone. But if you’re looking for something different you may consider this design.

20. Swallow as a part of a bigger picture

Credit: andreagorellitattoos

Since swallows have always been closely related to sailors, you can get them as a part of a nautical-themed tattoo. Of course, if you’re ready to commit to something more complex.

21. Tiny swallows

Credit: pedro_navaja_tattoo

These tiny swallows are adorable if you’re looking for something simple. They’re also a great choice for a matching tattoo.

22. Three is not a crowd

Credit: lucybethantattoos

These three swallows could represent your family and their importance in your life.

23. Swallows in nature

Credit: eliluciitattoos

Your body is a canvas and this tattoo is a piece of art you can wear. Honestly, we love this design and the way it wraps around your leg perfectly. It looks stunning.

See also: 24 Tweety Bird Tattoo Ideas To Commemorate Your Childhood

24. Carrying a flower

Credit: sierrakellie

A simple black and gray tattoo of a swallow carrying a flower is an easy way to get a meaningful piece of art on your body.

25. Don’t want to be chained

Credit: celesteciafarone

If you’re looking for a tattoo that’s going to represent your will for freedom, this is a good option. You can’t chain a swallow that’s meant to fly high and away.

26. Additional shapes

Credit: matkaciezabije

You can always give your tattoo additional character by adding different shapes that are going to make it more interesting to the eye. This is how you can do that.

27. Nautical swallow

Credit: lauren.violet

We’ve already mentioned that swallows are closely tied to the vast sea. Why not celebrate that by getting this nautical swallow? Also, we love the blue pops of color.

28. Ready for the battle

Credit: who_is_agne

These two swallows look like they’re ready to fight. You can get them if you’re looking for a tattoo that’s going to represent the difficulties you’ve been through.

29. Pop of color

Credit: tattoo_mowe

The red circle behind the swallows is a great way to make these songbirds stand out. It’s such an easy way to add some color to your tattoo.

30. The silhouette of a swallow

Credit: joel_en_boucle

Do you wish to get something simple and clean? This fine-line silhouette of a swallow could be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s minimalistic but still has the same meaning.