I never heard of stick and poke tattoos until I was at a little indie magazine launch party in Brooklyn. In a small, cramped, secluded section of the grounds, away from the fray, was a booth where a woman, Tea Leigh, was busy tatting up customers who were lucky enough to sign up for one early; the list filled up ridiculously quickly. Unlike traditional tattoos, which are done with a tattoo gun, stick and poke tats are generally made with a basic needle (like a sewing needle), completely by hand, without machinery. As soon as I saw the results, I understood the appeal: The stick and poke style feels slightly more minimalist, ranging from messy DIY styles that literally look like little more than tattoos drawn on with pen, to more elegant styles like Tea’s.
Personally, I like the idea of a tattoo, but I flip flop between whether or not I’ll actually go through with it. And yet, whenever I see a cute stick and poke tat, I turn into a heart eyes emoji and I consider going, “eff it, tat me up, please.” Whether you’re in my shoes, you already have a few tattoos under your belt, or you just like looking at tattoo designs, then you’ll appreciate these 21 cool stick and poke tattoos. You’ll definitely end up wanting to throw “get a stick and poke tattoo” onto your end of summer bucket list.
1. A killer tattoo of a falling girl.
2. This gorgeous moon tarot tattoo with a lot of gorgeous detail.
3. This beautiful moon and mountain combo has a boho touch that’s hard not to love, even if you’re not a nature nut.
4. A cute duo of cats that any cat lover would want. I mean, portraits of your pets on your body are a great way to honor them!
5. This cute hand holding tattoo will cheer you up whenever you’re a little lonely.
6. Whether you can keep a promise or not, this pinky promise tattoo would look cute on just about anyone.
7. This 666 tattoo for anyone who ever had a cool aesthetics Tumblr once upon a time.
8. This teeny tiny flower tat would be perfect for those of you who want a tattoo that only you can see.
9. If you prefer flowers with a little more detail, a flower stick and poke like this is probably up your alley.
10. This leaping rabbit is really cute and looks like a cute throwback to old school picture books.
11. These minimalist twin portraits would be awesome for a Gemini TBH.
12. This custom tarot card stick and poke is so bold and gorgeous that even your tattoo hating mom would probably find it somewhat endearing.
13. This style of stick and poke is great if you’re into a more DIY style instead of a super refined one.
14. Stick and poke tattoos are great for cool surreal art like this one.
15. Try a stick and poke tattoo that practically tells a story, even if it’s a cryptic one.
16. This clean illustration with an accent color is great for those of you who want a stick and poke that’s both bold and simple.
17. What I love about this stick and poke is that it almost looks like it has been embroidered into the skin. Plus, the dual colors are a great touch.
18. I can think of a few Harry Potter stans who would find a lot to love about this cute stag tattoo.
19. This anatomical heart tattoo’s location is probably incredibly painful, but the clever payoff makes it worth it.
20. This quaint little tattoo of a moon in a valley almost looks like a Girls Scout or Boys Scout badge. That might be something to consider, aesthetically.
21. …Weiner dogs are just cute, guys.
Would you get a stick and poke tattoo? Do you already have one? Tell us in the comments!