125 Grunge Sugar Skull Tattoo Designs for Men and Women


If you are Mexican or know all about Mexican culture, then you will know that a sugar skull is known to be an important motif in Mexico’s annual Day of the Dead celebration. Similar to how real human skulls are meant to symbolize both birth and death in plenty of ancient customs, a Mexican sugar skull can also mean the same thing, thus becoming an important symbol in this month-long ceremony. This controversial symbol can be seen on a lot of stuff – specially baked sweets, souvenirs, outfits, and jewelry such as this green eyes sugar skull ring.

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Mexican tradition says that the sugar skull is supposed to represent the soul of a departed loved one. People are supposed to write the name of a departed loved one on the sugar skull’s forehead and put them inside their homes. During the celebration of Day of the Dead, other people bring their sugar skulls with them and put them on top of gravestones, so they can celebrate the return of the deceased’s soul on Earth. The signature art that is drawn on sugar skulls reflect the traditional Mexican and Hispanic culture. These skulls are decorated with glitter, sparkles, big smiles, and colorful trinkets, which helps get rid of the scare factor. Despite their name, sugar skulls are not edible.

The idea of getting a sugar skull tattoo is popular for both women and men. However, a lot of people who get these tattoos don’t even know that a sugar skull carries a much deeper meaning and isn’t just meant to be a symbol to celebrate a particular occasion. So those people who enjoy sugar skull tattoos can use them as a way to honor their departed family members and friends.

Mexicans celebrate Day of the Dead by spending time at the graves of their deceased loved ones and decorating their graves with sugar skulls and candles. This is the reason why sugar skulls are a popular tattoo choice. Skulls are meant to symbolize energy and human power to ancient Aztecs.

Sugar Skull Tattoo Designs

Both boys and girls enjoy getting sugar skull tattoos – Unfortunately though, several young people of today do choose to ignore the deeper meaning of a sugar skull, and only get a tattoo because of its pretty design. A sugar skull is an integral part of Mexican culture, as mentioned. These are mostly crafted during the Day of the Dead celebration, which is held on November 1 and November 2. These will then be decorated and placed on top of their loved ones’ graves. Not only is this simple gesture meant to recognize and pay tribute to the deceased, but this also supposedly brings their spirit right back on the Day of the Dead. And keeping this in mind, sugar skull tattoos have turned into a popular and completely symbolic tattoo for people these days, to honor dead family members or friends who have left them.

  • 3D Sugar Skull Tattoo: A popular sugar skull tattoo deals with a sugar skull on top of a sugar skull, on top of a third sugar skull. This is a very cool tattoo idea and should only be done by a professional tattoo artist. The shading for a 3D tattoo – Let alone a 3D sugar skull tattoo – Is just amazing. You can also put on roses on top of the skull, since in real life, people also leave flowers on top of their loved ones’ graves during the Day of the Dead.
  • Cross With Sugar Skull Tattoo: This is perhaps a great example of a traditional sugar skull. You can decorate your sugar skull tattoo with not just a cross, but diamonds, vines, flowers, spider webs, or even fix the nose in the shape of a heart, to give it a cute and somewhat feminine touch. These are actually common elements found in a Mexican sugar skull tattoo design in real life.
  • Black And White Sugar Skull Tattoo: When you decide to go out to get a tattoo, some of you might think about acquiring a full-colored sugar skull tattoo. Even though colored ink does give a tattoo more life, a plain black and white sugar skull tattoo still makes it look just as great. Black and white sugar skull tattoos are slowly gaining popularity nowadays, so don’t be surprised if more and more people decide to get this as a tattoo some time in the future.
  • Colorful Sugar Skull Tattoo: As mentioned, colors make a tattoo look extremely vibrant and eye-catching. This is probably the reason why sugar skull tattoos were created in the first place. In real life, a sugar skull is just as colorful as its tattoo counterpart. If you want to get a colorful sugar skull tattoo, make sure to pick the brightest hues imaginable. The only thing you have to be careful here is to not use two random colors – This could look extremely awkward when you combine the two of them together.
  • Pair Sugar Skull Tattoos: You can get two sugar skull tattoos in one go and have them be linked close to one another. They can look the same or look vastly different from one another. Whatever the case may be, they will still look amazing when done correctly by a talented artist. If you can, you can link the two sugar skull tattoos together using flowers, or draw spider webs around them to give off a spooky vibe.

Sugar Skull Tattoo Meaning

The sugar skull tattoo is the best option for those who want a skull tattoo but refuse to stick to the traditional design. Sugar skull tattoos are becoming more and more prominent nowadays. These are over-the-top designs that don’t look too creepy compared to their actual skull counterparts. They do possess the same qualities here but have a high rate of pure artistry.

Getting a sugar skull tattoo is a great way to show off one’s heritage, especially if you happen to be Mexican. Even those who aren’t of Mexican descent can get a sugar skull tattoo, if they love and appreciate the culture and know what a sugar skull really signifies. There’s a never ending list of individuality found inside the complex displays of a Mexican sugar skull tattoo, and the fact that tattoos like these put emphasis on symmetry can result in a highly-involved challenge when it comes to the tattoo’s own design. A sugar skull tattoo’s imprint is far bigger than the ones that use skulls and crossbones. And what’s more, they oftentimes incorporate abstract line-work and flowers.

Ink used for a sugar skull tattoo allows the capacity of a tattoo found inside a tattoo. Designs like these are the reason why sugar skull tattoos are completely mind-blowing, not to mention a completely revolutionary concept as a whole.

A sugar skull tattoo is also known as calavera in Mexican language. As its name suggests, it’s meant to represent the human skull. Sugar skulls are highly popular in Mexico, and are comprised of sugar and clay, hence the name. You can mostly find sugar skulls during the Day of the Dead celebration, which is not unlike Halloween and All Souls’ Day celebrations. A sugar skull is often given out as a present. They come in plenty of bright colors and are decorated with embellishments, to add more beauty to something so grim.

Sugar Skull Tattoo Placement

If you’re still thinking of a good location to put your sugar skull on, there are a couple of factors that you have to consider here, apart from your choice of tattoo design. For instance, you need to think about putting your sugar skull tattoo on parts of the body allowable for your current career (if it’s a formal one), or an attractive attribute about yourself which you can greatly improve using this tattoo.

In the case of a sugar skull tattoo, the back is a great idea, and men who get skull tattoos usually place them there. But because sugar skulls are supposed to be whimsical and creepy at the same time, you can practically place it any way you like on your back, and it’ll still look amazing no matter what. You can place your tattoo in between your shoulders, across the back, or even right in the middle of the back.

Sugar Skull Tattoo Preparation Tips

Always remember that after you shave the hair where you plan to put the tattoo on, it’s always a good idea to keep the skin moisturized, so it’s looking more than ready for a tattoo. Do not use any alcohol-based aftershave to moisturize your skin, since this could dry it out.

You must also shave the area at least one to three times a week, especially during the days leading up to your tattoo session. This is a must for those who have loads of body hair. Apart from the fact that a shaved canvas makes it so much easier and faster for your artist to start doing your work, getting rid of the hair can help the moisturizer enter your skin much easier, and allow your skin to prepare itself for the upcoming tattoo session.

If razor burn happens, then don’t continue shaving and give yourself at least up to a week to heal before you can go to the shop and get that tattoo done.

Make sure to exfoliate your skin. Getting rid of the gunk and impurities from your skin’s pores is one more way for you to make the entire procedure feel more comfortable, not to mention everything becomes so much easier for your tattoo artist. Exfoliate gently with the help of a loofah, or one that you purchase over the counter. An exfoliator can also moisturize your skin much faster.

Get plenty of rest on the day before your tattoo session. Sleep early, and don’t drink any alcohol or take any drugs. You will want to be fully rested before you get a permanent piece of body art. And be sure to eat a well-balanced meal before you head on over to the shop.


Are Sugar Skull Tattoos Painful?

A tattoo is certainly not for the faint-hearted. But if you still have plans of getting one, make sure that you already know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Keep in mind that getting a tattoo will hurt – And there’s just no way for you to escape it. But there are some parts of the body that are highly susceptible to pain, and only the most courageous souls should get a tattoo done in those areas.

Here’s a general rule: If you are sensitive or a tad bit ticklish in that area, then getting a tattoo there might hurt a little bit. One of the things you have to consider here, however, is that each person has their own sensitivity to pain. So make sure that you choose a good tattoo design that you really like, so you won’t have to spend too much cash in trying to remove it or cover it up – Both methods known to be painful as well.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sugar Skull Tattoos

  • When is the best time of the year to get a tattoo done?

Even though you can get a tattoo in pretty much any time of the year, your skin goes through more abuse during the hot summer months, thanks to tanning, swimming, and just being exposed to the harsh elements. Winter is the best time for you to get a tattoo.

  • What if you change your mind?

If you have decided that you’re not a big fan of the design, or if you want to just go for a different design altogether, then you can cover it up or remove the whole thing entirely. Your artist will talk to you through your options, and give you advice regarding the next few steps of tattooing.

  • What should you look for when you’re hunting a good tattoo shop?

A great tattoo studio must be clean, look professional, and not intimidating. The artist has to be ready to answer all of your questions. They shouldn’t expect you to know your stuff about tattoos, and have all of the answers at hand.

  • How do you get a white tattoo?

Even though each type of skin will heal up differently, it’s unrealistic to think if a white tattoo will stay white. Plenty of artists will tell you that they don’t guarantee the quality of a white ink tattoo. but a couple of artists will still do them if you really want one.

  • Do you allow children in your studio?

A tattoo shop does not allow young children or babies inside a tattoo studio. Children are allowed in the lobby, but not inside the tattooing area. A hyper child who screams a lot can also be distracting to the artist and the client.

How Much Does A Sugar Skull Tattoo Cost?

The cost of a tattoo is one of the things that people think about before deciding to get one, and rightfully so. The final price of your tattoo will vary depending on dozens of factors, including the colors, the placement, the size of the design, the geography (say, an artist based in New York vs. an artist based in Bangkok), the experience and professionalism of the artist, and how detailed you want your tattoo to be.

Tattooing has gradually turned into a sign of identification for plenty of entertainers worldwide. Every tattoo worn by an entertainer – Or just about any person, really – Carries a special meaning that matters a lot to them as a person. The biggest and most important factor when it comes to pocking a tattoo, is its final cost.

One of the costs of your tattoo will all depend on how skilled your chosen artist is. A lot of professional artists out there will charge you by the hour with their work. Hiring a professional to do your tattoo results in a good tattoo. In this case, the cost will start at roughly $100 to $300 per hour, and depending on how big or small your tattoo is, you could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars. A customized tattoo can cost more.

Sugar Skull Tattoo Maintenance Tips

As your tattoo heals up, there might be instances where your body could end up rejecting a skin color. In case your body suffers an allergic reaction to ink, then you could end up getting a painful rash on your skin. If you want your body to accept your tattoo ink, then a couple of tattoo artists will perform an allergy test using the pigment in question by placing a small amount onto your skin. If your skin reacts to it, then this means it’s not safe enough to use.

The reason why ink allergies happen is because the colors used in tattoo ink can contain plenty of substances. For instance, red ink has mercury sulfide in it, while black ink contains carbon. Those who end up getting a rash surrounding their tattoo need to go see a doctor, since they can look for a way to treat and identify this rash. You can also call up your artist if you want.

Each artist will have a different recommendation about the type of moisturizer that you could use after you get a tattoo done. These include alcohol-free healing ointments, coconut oil, pure cocoa butter, or a tattoo-specific aftercare cream.

Do not use any scented creams or lotions when keeping your tattoo moisturized. These creams can contain harsh chemicals that could potentially irritate the wound and harm the tattoo surrounding your skin. Another piece of advice here is to avoid using sunscreen while it’s healing up, since this could potentially trap bacteria inside your skin, and clog up the pores.


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