Sternum Tattoo In 2024: Best Design Ideas And Aftercare Tips

Sternum Tattoo
Before inking the sternum, you should not only think about the design but also about how to make the session comfortable and speed up the healing. Check the article for answers.

Sternum tattoo is one of the sexiest and most beautiful body art you can have. It suits everyone, despite the sex and size. This tattoo is something that can increase your confidence and love for your own body.

Below we will show you the most popular ideas for tattoos on the sternum. For every idea, we also added information about the symbolism of the tattoo. In the end, it is up to you to decide on what you want it to mean.

What Tattoos Are the Best Looking in the Sternum Area?

The tattoo in the sternum area should be balanced. It does not mean it should be symmetric, but one side should not be heavier than another.

Long and narrow tattoos that go along the sternum look fabulous. The big tattoo is usually placed underboobs, highlighting your natural forms. 

The most popular option for the sternum tattoo is black colors, while the colorful art is less widespread. 

Sternum Tattoo Design Ideas in 2023


Butterfly tattoo is a trend among woman. These tattoos are easy to personalize. The butterfly is delicate and looks awesome both in black or color design. It also varies in size from a small papillon between boobs to large composition with geometric lines, flowers, etc.

Meaning: the same as the worm turns into a beautiful butterfly and starts flying, the tattoo with this insect means change, personal growth, grace, and freedom. In China culture, it represents young love. 


Dragons are mysterious creatures that appear in many legends all over the world. You can select the design depending on what culture you prefer. In European legends, the dragon is a fire-breathing animal with four legs and large wings. In most stories, they are aggressive creatures and are presented as an obstacle for heroes to overcome. In the Eastern culture dragon is a more spiritual symbol, it has a serpentine body, whiskers, horse-like mane, and NO wings.

Meaning: In European culture, it is a symbol of bravery, courage, and power, while the Eastern world interprets it as a symbol of strength, wisdom, intelligence, and protection.


Snake is a good option for a sternum tattoo. You can decide on different twists and coils that will emphasize a unique design.

Meaning: why somebody can consider a snake is a bad symbol, in many cultures it has a deep positive meaning. Snake is commonly seen as a symbol of rebirth and transformation because it sheds an old layer of skin periodically. It is also a sign of immortality.


Scorpion tattoos are popular among both people who were born under that zodiac sign and those who want something not as classical as a spider or a snake.

Meaning: It represents the strength, and ability to protect oneself. It is also a sign of male sexuality.


The dragonfly tattoo is elegant and refined. There are two popular variants of placing dragonflies on the chest. The first one is with the dragonflyโ€™s abdomen on your sternum and with spread wings under the boobs. Another option is to flip it, so the abdomen is forward to your navel.

Meaning: Dragonfly is associated with change, agility, and metamorphosis.


Birds are popular among both men and women. Usually, people select a โ€˜flyingโ€™ bird for the tattoo with spread wings.

Meaning: A tattoo of a bird is a symbol to express freedom. If you care about the meaning it is also better to place the bird flying up, than down, as it depicts the strive for a happy life.


Like all insects with outstretched and membranous wings, bees look wonderful for tattoos. It can be placed solely or used as an element of complex design. 

Meaning: Bees are associated with deduction, responsibility, teamwork, and loyalty. It also is a sign of mother nature, due to the complex and even honeycombs they build. 


The moth is a nocturnal insect that uses the moon to navigate during flight. It can be an alternative to the butterfly for those wow associate their lifestyle, behavior, and interest with this insect.

Meaning: In most cases, the moth represents transformation and metamorphosis as it developed from the larvae to the adult form by breaking down the old body. As a moth has a strong connection to the moon it also can be a sign of persistence. 


Bat is a well-known nocturnal animal. It is also associated with popular fiction characters, such as Batman or Dracula. For sternum tattoos, people choose a bat handed upside-down along the sternum.

Meaning: It is a traditional symbol of darkness, mystery, and wisdom. It can also represent rebirth and intuition.


The elephant is a unisex tattoo. Its muzzle with a long trunk looks fabulous on the sternum. You can also add some additional elements, for example, flowers, ornaments, etc.

Meaning: Elephants are symbols of strength, loyalty, good luck, and wisdom.


The tattoo art with the wolf is widespread among men, while recently it has gained popularity among women too. It is universal and looks great in every style.

Meaning: Wolf symbolizes power, strength, leadership, protection, and freedom. It also means a tight connection to the family.


Rose tattoos have a delicate and attractive appearance. You can choose a simple design with bold lines and fewer fades and details, or decide to make a one-needle tattoo to make it realistic. In both cases, it looks pretty. For those who dream about having a large tattoo, the rose can be a part of the bouquet composition with many flowers spread from the sternum to underboobs.

Meaning: It is the famous symbol of beauty, love, romance, and grace. 


Lotus is one of the most popular floral designs for sternum tattoos. Women choose them because of their sophisticated look and wide variations of relatively simple design.

Meaning: Lotus flowers have many meanings in different cultures, so it is up to you to decide on the meaning. It is usually associated with beauty, purity, and enlightenment. As lotus do grow in muddy water, it can also be a symbol of personal growth. 


A sunflower tattoo is always an eye-catching element. You can choose to ink the whole flower with leaves and the stem or get a part of the flower that repeats the contours of the boobs.

Meaning: As the sunflower turns its head to the sun, its tattoo means a happy, long, and bright life. It is associated with good luck. The sunflower is a symbol of true and everlasting love or friendship.


A mandala is a geometric combination of forms and symbols located evenly around the center. It has a sacred meaning in Eastern religions. Mandala tattoos look like a flower, for example, a lotus from the view above.

Meaning: In Buddism mandala symbolizes the balance of body and mind. It is also a sign of perfection and eternity. Depending on the symbols and patterns, it can have more in-depth meaning. You can dive more deeply into symbolism to make the tattoo unique.


You can select the ornament and pattern from different cultures and styles according to your preferences. There is no standard meaning of this tattoo as it mostly depends on the used symbols.


Skull is a popular design both for men and for women. You can combine it with other elements, for example, flowers, different insects, and lace. 

Meaning: The skull symbol is usually associated with death and mortality. People choose it as a symbol of their fearlessness of death. It can also be a reminder for living full and bright life till the end.

Astronomical objects are popular for tattooing because of their minimalistic design that combines simple geometric forms, lines, and dots. It is delicate and dainty pictures that make their owner a little bit mysterious.

Meaning: As the sun gives light to the world every day it symbolizes life, truth, energy, growth, and rebirth. While the moon is a powerful symbol of femininity. It is also associated with growth and changes. A tattoo of stars means ambitions, adventure, and good luck.

Due to its narrow and long shape, the sword is an ideal match for the sternum tattoo. The combination of the sword with flowers, vines, butterflies, or snakes is popular too.

Meaning: The sword symbol is usually associated with justice, strength, bravery, honor, and power. It also depends on additional elements you have decided to add to the design.

The lace is placed in the underboob area. It is a unique piece of art as it combines thin lines, curves, and many details.

Meaning: The lace is a powerful symbol of female sexuality. It can also mean purity and innocence.

Think Twice Before Getting a Sternum Tattoo

The sternum is one of the sexiest places to get inked. However, there are some reasons why you should think twice before getting the sternum tattoo.

  • The sternum is one of the most painful areas to ink. The fewer muscles and fat separate the tattoo from the bones more painful it will be. The sternum is a bonny area that makes it sensitive. In addition to pain, you might feel the vibration in the bones during inking.

Read our tips on how to reduce pain during sessions.

  • High price. The skin on the sternum is tricky to work with as it is thin. You should look for an experienced tattoo artist with previous work in this zone. As the procedure is painful, you might have more time-outs and will pay for this time. Tip! Speak to the artist about your pain resistance, so you can plan the process accordingly. 
  • Look for a trusted tattoo artist. A sternum is an intimate place so you should be comfortable with taking off the bra and showing the breast to the artist. Look for somebody with previous experience with inking this area. 
Check our catalog of more than 1000 tattoo artists located in different cities of the USA. Find the best who works in your favorite style or get more inspiration from their works.
  • No bra-wearing during the healing process. We know that for somebody it would be a relief, but you need to be comfortable with this fact. The bra is too tight and causes irritation and inflammation of the tattooed zone. As an alternative, you can wear a string bikini or pastries.
  • Hard to keep it covered. The sternum and underboob areas are tricky to keep coved with bandages. Thus you are likely to go home without anything between a new tattoo and the cloth, which irritates. Moreover, the oozing blood, ink, and other exudates will strain the light-colored cloth. Tip! Wear dark cloth during the healing process.

When there are no major cautions about having a sternum tattoo, there is one category of people who should postpone the decision about making a tattoo in this area.

Who Better Not To Make a Sternum Tattoo?

The sternum tattoos look gorgeous until a woman gets pregnant and give birth. This zone is stretched during pregnancy leading to tattoo deformation. Tattoo artists recommend stopping planning children before inking the sternum area, stomach, and breast.

Make Yourself Ready for a Sternum Tattoo


Have a good night’s sleep and a full and high-calorie meal beforehand. You can also plan the session in the morning when the adrenaline level is high making the process less painful. 

Take some snacks, things to watch, or listen to keep you distracted from the pain and make the time run faster. You can also focus on your breathing, which will give relief from the pain. 

Wear a button-up or a zip-up jacket for the session. You will have your body covered and warm but give full access to the artist to the breast. As we mentioned above you would better wear dark cloth to prevent straining them with ink or blood. 

Speak to your artist about using a numbing cream. Some artists do not like how the skin feels after the numbing cream. However, as this zone is highly sensitive, you should think about reducing the pain ahead to make the session more comfortable for you and the artist.

Aftercare Tips for Fast Healing


After you get the tattoo clean it with unscented soap twice a day then par dry and allow it to get some air. After two days, start applying the unscented lotion to keep it moistured. Wash and apply moisturizer for at least 2 weeks.

Do not pick, scratch, or peel the tattoo.

Donโ€™t show off or swim

To prevent infections, fading, and speeding up healing avoid direct sunlight exposure and soaking in the water. Take a cold shower and keep the tattoo under the cloth. For the first few weeks, donโ€™t apply sunscreen to the tattoo, as it can lead to skin irritation or even harmful infections and ink fade.

Donโ€™t wear anything that put pressure on the sternum, including bras, diagonal purses, or seatbelts to avoid trouble with healing.

Sleep on your back. 

We have bad news for stomach and side sleepers. For the first few days, you should sleep flat on your back. This will prevent accidental pain from touching the area and speed up the healing.


Even though the sternum tattoo is not โ€˜beginner-friendlyโ€™, this piece of art will become one of your favorites. Almost every design and style look great in this zone, including animalistic, floral, or ornamental art. The preparation and aftercare processes are not much different from standard procedures Nevertheless, you may need to give up wearing a bra, belly-sleeping, and everything that can put pressure on the area during the healing process. This tattoo zone is tricky and has some specifications to work with so you should look for the artist with similar works examples and for who you fully trust.


๐Ÿ˜– Is a Sternum Tattoo Painful?

The sternum is one of the most painful areas for tattooing. As the skin is thin and located near the bones this zone is highly sensitive.

๐Ÿ˜ Do Sternum Tattoos Have Meaning?

Not really. If you care about the symbolism, the meaning depends on what you tattoo.

๐ŸŒˆ What Is the Best Time for a Sternum Tattoo?

There is no best time. However, it is better to plan that kind of tattoo during the cold season. For the first weeks, you should avoid swimming and direct exposure of the tattoo to the sunlight, which is more achievable during the winter season.

๐Ÿ’ธ How Much Does a Sternum Tattoo Costs?

The cost depends on the design and time. In most cases, the sternum tattoos are more expensive, as this area is delicate and painful it takes more time to get the tattoo.

๐Ÿ’œ How to Care for a Sternum Tattoo After the Session?

The rules are almost the same as for any tattoo. Keep it clean and moist, and donโ€™t allow direct sunlight exposure. Additionally, try to avoid putting pressure on the area with a bra, pursues, seatbelts, or during sleeping.

๐Ÿ˜Š Can I Get a Sternum Tattoo if I Have Big Boobs?

Yes, sure. If your boobs hang a little bit down, you can place the tattoo lower to see it easily. You can also consider a large size tattoo.


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