The ultimate mistake: Getting a tattoo that you completely regret at one point in your life. It’s no big deal, really – you have two options. The first is have it removed surgically with lasers. Sometimes, massive scars remain or the procedure has your skin looking gross afterwards, as if you’ve been burned in a fire or have permanent ink marks under your skin you’ll never rid of. The second option is much more fun and won’t leave you with unnecessary scars- getting cover up tattoos!
It can be a dreamy second chance at fixing one’s own body art, with endless possibilities so long as you choose a good cover-up artists. Trust us, you don’t want to go with the cheapest design or cheapest artist when getting a cover-up. Remember, you want to fix the problem on your skin, not make it worse.
Below you’ll find 58 absolutely stunning cover-up tattoos that our friends here have had the privilege of receiving. That is, after years of stunting with horrible ink they’re finally glad to get rid o
1. Skulls, Diamonds, and Roses
We’re glad this tattoo was covered up, it’s symbolic of all the cliches that inevitably surface when faced with tattoo decisions. The unlucky number 13, a skull with daggers through heart shaped eyes, a blood-dripping rose… The new design looks far better, with a Dia Des Los Muertos design on the skull and far better rose designs! We’re glad the daggers were just completely removed.
2. Flooded by the Sea
Sure, a moon and heart in clouds with a little star is quite cute, but we don’t like it when cute is also mediocre… This cover up was well done, using black and white sea shells and a splash of color in the waters of the surrounding ocean. Can’t even tell it’s cover-up!
3. Goodbye Meaningless Quote
Not quite sure what that quote says… But I’m sure the wearer is glad to get rid of it! The jeweled and pearled rose cover-up was well done, but is that a humongous diamond on the top corner or a bongo drum? Hmm. Something else may have looked better or more chic when covering up the end of the feather.
4. Making a Comparison
Instead of covering up an old mistake, you can always make fun of it… Here we see “Is nothing on Ryan Wilson” was added to the “Nathan” tattoo above. We’re guessing she is still holding onto this Nathan fellow. If not, then what’s the point in keeping it? Is she going to have a library of names on her back?
5. Just a Shadow
One of our favorite cover-ups, the wearer here held onto their love of spiders and the ink artist cleverly incorporated the old tattoo into the new design, placing it the shadows of the newfound three-dimensional spider. What a great use of shading, truly impressive!
6. Oceanic View
A classic example of someone that got the name of their lover mistakenly tattooed onto their chest. The design seen here was done by a crafty ink artist, one that truly knew how to shade evenly and draw an amazing seascape. We love the vivid colors, and the old tattoo of a heart and name can’t be seen at all!
7. Getting that Tribal On
This guy’s chest is just a complete mess, who would do this to themselves? Well, we’re glad that he has the designs etched on him for a new cover-up tattoo, otherwise people would have to stop and stare and wonder what the heck is on that dude? Looks like he’s going to get a great tribal cover up that reaches up and over his shoulder.
8. Childlike to Adult & Vivid
Halloween is awesome, who doesn’t love to get a few scares each year and celebrate by going to corn mazes and carving pumpkins? This guy took his love of the holiday to the ultimate level, getting some rather childlike tattoos of Halloween’s symbols inked on him. The cover up is marvelous, taking this guy’s obsession to a whole new level of awesome.
9. Dagger & Rose
What the heck is the original tattoo of, a torn up and scabbed knee?! Gross. Glad to see this fellow had a change of heart and got a cover up that is far more appealing to look at. The rose looks a little off, but at least the dagger looks like something you’d find off of World of Warcraft.
10. Feathers of a Wing
A lovely design of realistic feathers has successfully replaced both a name and the Nike symbol (I mean the real Nike symbol – Greek mythology and such). The shading of the white feather is truly impressive, it’s hard to imagine a name is hidden within the shadows of such a lovely piece of work.
11. Vampiric Skull
He’ll drink your blood and eat your exes! Looks like Kiara is nothing more than the mouth’s shadow of this incredible vampire skull design. The skull’s teeth are done wonderfully, even incorprating a chipped tooth along with vampire fangs. Don’t look at the mouth at an angle though, looks like Kiara is still a bump on this guy’s skin.
12. Tramp Stamp Replacement
What girl doesn’t love a tattoo right along their tail bone? They’ve been given the title “tramp stamp” but there’s nothing really “tramp”ish about them… Unless of course, it’s of a name… Well, kudos to this lady, she finally decided to get rid of “Anthony” and got some gorgeous flowers to replace him. No more claims on her body!
13. Family of Lions
This guy really wanted an Asian design regarding his lion, not too far from what Foo Dogs look like. Unfortunately, the artist wasn’t quite up to par with what the design should truly encompass. Either that, or the wearer now has a family of five, the cover up of a male and female lion with three cubs. What a clever way to have your family tattooed on your body without having to have their faces staring back at you forever!
14. Transcending to Samurai
Maybe this design was cool at some point in the wearer’s life, but it looks like a huge blob of black now. Thankfully, the ink artist here placed a Samurai helmet atop this tat, with great shading and cleverly placed lines. It isn’t finished, but judging by the blues and yellows used in the face, we’re guessing the final product will be amazing.
15. Bye-Bye Pixie
This isn’t exactly the most clever way to cover up a tattoo, but we suppose it does the trick. This person used to have a lounging pixie or fairy on their back. Why they chose to have some of the simplest designs of flowers placed over it beats us… There could have been so many possibilities of better designs.
16. No More Wolf Cry
This guy must do some kind of black-smithing, either in real life or on an online gaming role play or PvP game. It’s not too often you come across a skull with an anvil and hammer, but it looks much better than the old howling wolf paired with pine trees. Too bad, wolves are actually quite awesome if done right.
17. Scribbles to Art
The original tattoos seen here look as if some young teen randomly went on a tattoo splurge with no real design or direction as to what themes they wanted on their body. Good thing the cover-up looks better. But why is there a heart on a wrist with a rope going through it? Must be symbolic to the wearer.
18. Sprucing Up An Old Anklet
This wasn’t exactly a cover-up, the original just needed a little bit of sprucing up! This beautiful design looks like a lovely Native American anklet, and the added beads give the entire tattoo more dimension, like a piece of art that draws your eyes up the wearer’s ankle. Now the tat looks far more realistic.
19. Glowing Skull
Wonder what that date was of? The beginning of a relationship? A marriage date? A death date? Anything could really be possible, but looks like the wearer was definitely ready to move on from that memory. The newfound skull cover-up is fantastic, with great shading and a demonic red glow that really draws attention.
20. Additions & Colors
Another lovely tat that was enhanced instead of completely covered up. This person wanted to keep their old art and memories, just make it look better! Switching from blue to green in the main design of the butterfly was a great idea, bringing out the art to better catch their audience’s eyes. Not to mention the pretty yellow sun-like design surrounding it like a halo or portal.
21. Dia Des Los Muertos Girl
Bye-bye little birdie, hello gorgeous girl. This person must really like the Hispanic holiday Dia Des Los Muertos to have its signature look tatted permanently onto him. We’re just wondering what his girlfriend or future wife will think of this design… Or maybe it is of her?
22. Dead Time Capsule
Amazing! This is a unique design of an hourglass with skulls that seep into one another. There’s a ton of symbolism here regarding death, rebirth, eternity, fire & water, and consistency. The design is so much better than the original that says “Fire Pain”. What exactly was that supposed to mean, anyway?
23. Religious Changes
This girl once was committed enough to her beliefs and/or religion to get a cross tattooed on her hipbone. But now she’s decided to cover it up with an artistic paint-soaked feather sporting cold colors. Wonder what made her change her mind about the cross?
24. Before the Creepy House
What a completely odd and useless tattoo. Sorry, but what was the original supposed to be? It’s completely abstract, and doesn’t really look as if it’d have too much real meaning to the wearer. Luckily, he didn’t mind filling them in and adding a really cool looking haunted house with a graveyard in front of it. Interesting.
25. Butterfly Improvements
Butterflies are always cute, but whenever we decide to get one when we’re young, they usually come out looking similar to the original one above. Mediocre in design and uncolored. The cover up done here takes the original memory of the tat and enhances it, simply helping the butterfly evolve into something more beautiful.
26. Mini Memories Covered
How cute! Little tiny butterflies, sparkles, and flowers with mini vines! Sometimes, we don’t want to be “cute” forever. Some blue petals were added here, with the old flowers, sparkles, and a part of a butterfly still peaking out over the edges of them. Not the best cover up, but certainly not the worst. Perhaps its not finished?
27. Icky Fade to Colorful Coy
What a detailed coy fish! The colors are amazingly vivid and eye-catching, the surrounding art clashes well with the fish, and the design covers up his entire arm! The artist here really knew what they were doing, especially because the original tattoo was anything but artistic. What is the original anyway? It’s too hard to tell…
28. Samurai Slashed the Tribe
I can’t count how many times I’ve seen tribal tattoos similar to the one covered up above. It’s definitely a piece of “art” that you can pick out of your average tattoo booklet. But wow, the cover up is fantastic and detailed! A lot of work went into it, far more than what went into the original tribal design.
29. Dragonfly Love
The two original tattoos here aren’t exactly bad, but their placement in regards to one another are horrible. Turning the blotched out sun into a decorative flower beneath the dragonfly was a marvelous idea, and now the wearer has an entire piece of art covering her upper arm! It’s not finished, but judging by the colors already used, the final product will be stunning and shaded well.
30. Too Tiny to Huge Flower
If you’re far away enough, the original design here might look like some kind of skin deformity instead of a tattoo. Now that the miniature dandelion and butterflies have been turned into a large rose, it’ll be easy to tell that this girl has a tat and not a transmittable skin disease.
31. Gorgeous & Sensual Rose
Zodiac signs and symbols truly make great tattoos, but the one seen here doesn’t quite make the cut. It’s singular, with no surrounding designs or true meaning or value to it. The rose that covers it up, however, is one of the best shaded roses we’ve ever seen. Look at how realistic it seems, with shadows, deep reds, light reds, and even white used to create the dimension!
32. Sad Memory to Lovely Dream
Is that a coffin with flowers or… Well, we’re not sure what that tattoo is, but the cover-up is simple and eye-catching, covering up whatever that tattoo is quite nice. Sometimes, simplicity is all we need to successfully cover up a lingering memory we wish to get rid of.
33. Adding Those Details
This girl loved someone that must have died of cancer (the pink ribbon gives it away). Though she wanted to keep the memory of the Johnetta Baker with her, she decided that the original tattoo didn’t do her loved one justice. Instead of ridding of the tattoo completely, she kept her love for this individual by hiring a better tattoo artist and having them enhance the original, making it look more realistic and adding a large ribbon. Great work!
34. True Body Ink Art
Wow! If you look closely, you can see several tattoos on this person’s back are being covered up. If you’re one of those people that have a ton of individual tattoos that don’t look great together, consider getting one huge one that covers them all. You’ll get something as amazing as the tat above. You’ll need a great artist, though! And a tat like this isn’t cheap!
35. Finishing Up the Details
Oh no, a dolphin tramp stamp with a heart incorporated into the design. Could you be any more cliche or… strange? Glad to see this one got covered, especially with a gorgeous peacock. The detail is out-of-this-world – whoever the artist for this cover-up is was truly gifted.
36. Foo Dog to the Rescue
Believe it or not, Foo Dogs are one of the best cover up tattoo designs you could possibly choose. They’re usually extremely detailed and use lots of dark colors and shading, making them a great choice if you have a blob for a tat you want covered up. The dark foo dog beard completely covers the old tat perfectly.
37. Monocled Dinosaur
This little fairy lived a lovely life, but it was time for her to move on (along with whatever that thing is above her). Taking her place is a sophisticated dinosaur, complete with a monocle, book, Sherlock pipe, and hat. Whoever designed this tattoo was truly creative and loves fantasy art.
40. King of the Crowd
What was wrong with the original? Admittedly, it does seem a little small for this dude’s muscles. The cover up is highly detailed, though, and eye-catching! He’s definitely king of his domain.
42. Goodbye Inappropriate, Hello Gorilla Love
We’re glad this guy decided to take the porn off his leg and replace it with… a Gorilla? It’s still kind of ugly, but far better than being flashed by two fictitious and naked women.
49. Jeffrey’s Creepy Replacement
Not sure which one looked better… the cute teddy bear with honey and bees or the weird gremlin-looking demon that lacks real hands and feet on the right. This might be a cover up fail.
50. From Dragons to Flowers
The cute dragon is no more, and a lovely trilogy of flowers has taken its place. Flowers are great cover up tats since they can be shaded in differing ways depending on which parts of your old tattoo are dark and light.
52. Cute Owl Trumps Angel
While the original was cute and didn’t actually show anything inappropriate, we love the new old design formed over it. It’s cute, has personality written all over its face, and the colors make it pop.
53. Dead to Me
Someone clearly no longer likes the person they had tatted on their skin anymore. Changing a face from a person to Death is certain transcending and perfect for getting over those old memories.
55. Little Lizard’s Habitat
While the little lizard was once cute, the new cover up tat looks out-of-this-world. Dandelions are a great option for anyone that likes a breezy look and wants floating seeds/designs wrapping around their leg or arm.