The holy cross is a timeless symbol extensively identifiable as the principal sign of the Christian faith. Cross tattoos are a sign of both Jesus Christ himself (concerning the crucifixion of Jesus) and the faith and spirituality of Christians. If you’re in search of a cool cross tattoo, you’ve landed on the right page.
The cross tattoo can be a standalone tattoo or combined alongside other symbols or artistic elements. There are different versions of the cross, yet each is powerful and spiritual in representing the Christian faith. So if you get inked with a simple cross tattoo or one from among the other popular styles, like Gothic, or Celtic cross tattoos, it will still represent your faith.
In this article, I’ve shared 30 of the coolest cross tattoos for men and women. Currently, these designs have been trending and inspirational to the online community of tattoo enthusiasts and professionals. There’s a high chance you’d find them incredibly awe-inspiring too. Henceforth, I’ve given the source/artist information next to each image so that you may explore more work by the talented artists directly.
Cross tattoos have a deep symbolic meaning. You wouldn’t want to miss exploring what that is, as well as the FAQs at the very end of this article.
First, and without further ado, let’s begin with the cool cross tattoos for men and women. These are all designs you’re sure to fall in love with:
Cross Tattoos For Men and Women
#1. Simple Cross Tattoo on Bicep
A straightforward, simple symbol tattoo is an incredible choice for a tattoo because the symbolism is obvious. When you have so much faith in Jesus and your religion, there is no need for other elements anyway. A simple cross tattoo has the additional benefit that it can look cool on most body placements. Men and women both can sport this type of tattoo.
#2. Wood Finish Upper Arm Black & Grey Cross Tattoo
The upper arm is a popular place to get tattooed if you’re a man. The large surface area lets you get a larger tattoo here. Shoulders and tricep tattoos for generations have represented strength. By having a cross tattoo here, you’re showing yourself and others that your main strength is God.
#3. Cross & Clock Tattoo on Forearm
When adding other elements, it is essential that the main element — the cross in this case — stands out in the overall imagery. As seen above, the cross is standing out, while the clock and rose nicely beautify the tattoo and give it a deeper meaning.
#4. Black & Grey Cross Tattoo With Flowers On Calf
Flowers are an essential element in Church services, memorial services, and Christian weddings. Among the popular flowers described in the Bible are roses, jasmine, lily, and iris. All these flowers are associated with Virgin Mary. The above calf tattoo, suitable for women, shows a cross decorated with flowers alongside a reference to Mark 10:8-9 from the Bible. That section of the Gospel ‘Mark’ stresses.. whatever God joined together as one flesh cannot be separated by anyone.
#5. Jewel Style Cross Tattoo
This is a fantastic cross tattoo idea for a woman’s inner upper arm. The special significance of cross jewelry among Christians is its symbolism of faith, love, and hope.
#6. Black Cross Tattoo On Back Of Neck
The neck is one of the most painful spots to get tattooed. When you get a tattoo of the holy cross on the backside of your neck, you’ve gone through excruciating pain. That pain, however, is peanuts compared to the pain Jesus must’ve gone through as he sacrificed himself for the human race. This tattoo represents your undying devotion towards your faith in Jesus and Christianity.
#7. Cross Skull Tattoo (For Men and Women)
This huge cross on the forearm is quite elegant. The skull of Jesus hanging on it gives way a deeper meaning. What makes this tattoo surreal and captivating is its portrayal of Jesus’ Crucifixion through his skull instead of his body. This is a unisex tattoo with the recommended placement as the inner forearm.
#8. Minimalist Cross Tattoo on Wrist
The above tiny, fine line tattoo at the wrist, proves that a tattoo doesn’t have to be large to convey its incredible symbolism. This tattoo enhances the beauty of the cross design by being placed immaculately and elegantly at the wrist location. This tattoo, given the specific placement, looks great on both men and women.
#9. Antique Cross Tattoo
This is a traditional cross tattoo. Notice the crowns at each end of the cross. In the Bible, with reference to James 1:12, these emblems (crowns) signify the reward in heaven after all the trials encountered in the current life. This tattoo is suitable for both men and women.
#10. Upper back Cross, Wings &
The angel’s wings are an inherent part of the Christian faith. Both the cross and the angel’s wings are popular tattoo elements. This killer combination represents a more profound meaning — the freedom you feel when embracing your faith in God.
#11. Snake Cross Tattoo
This is a custom cross snake tattoo. It’s a beautiful idea for a woman’s upper arm and shoulder location. It’s one’s love for snakes and devotion towards the faith that brings to life such tattoo designs.
#12. Cover Up Cross Tattoo
This intricate piece is a fabulous way of covering up an existing tattoo. The artist has demonstrated a unique tattooing style through the artsy background design that adds value to the main element — the cross. Faith has no boundaries; both men and women can go for this cover-up.
#13. Large Cross Tattoo On Bicep
This may appear as a simple cross on the man’s inner bicep, but the man’s masculinity is properly highlighted by this cool, larger cross design. The bicep is one of the larger tattooable spaces on a man, and it is a spot that shows fitness and strength. Thus, this is an ideal location for a cross such as the above.
#14. Heavy Metal Cross Tattoo
Are you a fan of heavy metal music? This is your next tat if you are! When the cross symbol is shown as upside-down, you know it’s been utilized by heavy metal bands in the black metal scene. To them and their ardent fans of both sexes, this is a sign of irreverence towards the Christian religion.
#15. Realistic Cross Tattoo
Realistic tattoos are among my favorites. This one has a lot going on. Yet, the focus is on the main element, which is the holy cross. The other elements present in this sleeve tattoo are the dove (of peace), angel wings, the two hands joining to become one flesh as per the wish of God, the light, etc. This design is more tilted towards being a choice for men, and I say this because of the density and coverage of the sleeve design. However, this is not a rule marked in stone.
#16. Intricate Cross Tattoo On Back Of Neck
This is the classic, traditional depiction of Jesus being crucified. Jesus hangs from the cross, and the symbolism is his love and sacrifice for humanity. The intricacy and fine detailing of this black and grey tattoo on the women’s upper back and neck region are remarkable.
#17. Small Cross On Finger
A unisex tattoo such as this doesn’t have to be any bolder to leave its mark on onlookers or just to be the wearer’s reminder to follow the path of Jesus. It’s striking enough, yet minimalistic, and it looks astonishing.
#18. Rose & Cross Tattoo
The cross and rose combined have special symbolism. Many Christian tattoo enthusiasts love to combine roses with the cross symbol because, in the Christian faith, Roses symbolize joy, martyrdom, and purity. This forearm tattoo is a good choice for all genders.
#19. Cross Tattoo On Ankle
This cross tattoo at the ankle is mesmerizing, to say the least. It’s a tat suitable for men. You can see a bold black cross with empty spaces, some artsy decoration in the backdrop, and the symmetrical angel wings to enhance the meaning and look of the overall tat.
#20. Birds & Cross Tattoo
Those aren’t just any old birds. The doves represent peace in the Christian religion. This stunning geometric tattoo is the perfect idea for women who want something simple, feminine, and meaningful inked on their arms.
#21. Lion & Cross Tattoo
This is an extraordinary tattoo of a lion and cross. The lion represents courage and power. This unisex tattoo is inspired by the Gospel verse – St Mark, which is associated with a lion.
#22. Cross Tattoo On Pectoral
This masculine piece is perfection in grey shading work. The pectoral area is the placement of choice for many men. A tattoo of a cross, such as shown above, is perfect for those with a strong underlying faith in Christianity or simply what the cross means. A woman can sport a slightly smaller version of a tattoo like this at the upper center location of the chest.
#23. Watercolor Style Cross Tattoo
If you want something feminine with a cross theme, nothing beats this cute and colorful watercolor-style tattoo. Its ideal placement is the lower leg or inner forearm.
#24. Three Crosses Rib Tattoo
The ribs are a painful placement for tattoos. Yet it’s all going to be worth it if you’re into flaunting your body on the beach, for example. So, what do the three crosses mean? It could mean either of two meanings. The first is that the three crosses represent the father, son, and holy spirit. The next meaning is it represents Jesus Christ and the other two crucified along with him in Golgotha. In summary, this incredible tattoo represents the humanity of Jesus.
#25. Cross On Knees
This is a unique option for men and women. It’s not a standard option, yet it looks bold and a great way to devote your love to your faith.
#26. Three Crosses On Side Of Neck
This is another immaculately inked piece of three crosses. This time it’s on the side of the neck instead of the rib. It’s a cool tattoo for a man or woman devoted to their faith and love towards humanity.
#27. Cross & Quote Tattoo
The actual lines of the Bible verse John 10:10 combined with the cross tattooed above are one heck of an idea if you’re a man. It expresses love towards humanity and the importance laid towards every man and woman so that they can live life to their fullest.
#28. Aqua Cross Tattoo
This masterpiece tattoo shows the cross in a brushstroke effect with an aquatic background. The sea represents an emotional balance in the Bible through its symbolism of calmness, spirituality, and peace.
#29. Cross & Lettering Tattoo
This is another very pretty, feminine cross tattoo with flowers. This one even has the custom phrase “ no rain, no flowers bloom.” This mantra signifies the importance of rain for flowers to grow. Similarly, you can use your imagination and come up with a new creation.
#30. Bold Cross On Rib Tattoo
This is a beautiful cross tattoo. The flower emblems making up the interior of the cross add to its uniqueness. The specific placement and design make this a cool option for women. This tattoo is easy to cover up with clothing, so you won’t have to worry about the job place if you’re a professional.
Cross Tattoos Symbolism
The deeper meaning behind cross tattoos is what makes them appealing to the majority of tattoo enthusiasts. There are standalone cross tattoos and those with other elements added for personalizing and strengthening the intended meaning.
As mentioned in the intro, the cross itself is in remembrance of the death of Lord Jesus. In Christianity, Jesus died on the cross to save humanity. Jesus Christ felt unconditional love for the human race and therefore sacrificed himself for them. In line with that, the Catholics, for instance, wear the holy cross to express their spirituality and devotion to their faith.
The cross symbol is also prevalent in after-death rituals as a symbol to tribute a lost or loved one. To summarize what all cross tattoos mean, we can say they symbolize spirituality, unconditional love, death, sacrifice, freedom, devotion, and other such meanings.
The way your artist styles the cross affects the deeper symbolism and visual appeal of the tattoo. For instance, by adding words alongside the cross tattoo, the meaning is made clearer. Further, you could opt for the simpler versions like the Medieval era Latin cross or the more elaborate Orthodox Russian, Celtic, or Greek versions. The version you decide on depends on the level of inspiration each version has naturally drawn towards you.
One of the popular choices is the one depicting three sets of cross tattoos. It represents the Bible’s reflection on Jesus’ crucifixion, as well as an apt symbolism of spirituality. There are no two ways around this. A Cross, no matter what your reason for wearing it, expresses the Christain faith. No wonder, it’s a popular tattoo choice among deeply religious folks.
The meaning of a cross tattoo on any one of your fingers depends on what you as an individual intend for it to mean. The deeper meaning is that of faith in Christianity and spirituality. Yet, the exact placement on the finger makes a difference. For instance, a small, simple, thin line cross, on the side of your finger represents a subtler expression. If, on the other hand, it’s placed on a man’s right-hand finger, the meaning could be inclined towards “devotion towards his bride or loved one.”
A black cross is at the basic level as good as one styled in blue, gold, grey, or any other color. It’s all in how you use black that makes a difference. The dark hue of Black as color helps bring out the best in any design. You could have a bold, black cross that is expressive of the power of your faith and your strong belief in it.
The answer to this depends on your individual beliefs and religion. As per Christianity, in the Bible — Leviticus 19:28 — it can be interpreted as being called out as sinful. Hence, if you’re a practicing Christian, you may want to think twice before getting a tattoo of any kind.
In Islam, permanent tattoos are perceived as a means of unnecessary infliction of pain and a way of altering god’s creation and therefore considered by most as a sin. This interpretation, however, is not explicitly mentioned in the Quran, so varying interpretations and preferences ultimately play a part. On the other hand, if you’re from the Hindu or Buddhist faiths, tattoos are allowed.
Cross tattoos are made cool by adding artsy elements alongside the cross symbol or by stylizing the cross itself. For the most part, cross tattoos are religious symbols. Yet, crosses, like the tribal cross, are often a tribute to another tribe or an ancestor. At the end of the day, it won’t matter why you’re wearing the cross.
A profoundly inked design of a cross will inspire onlookers. It also stands firm in representing your strength and beliefs. What is your favorite cross tattoo? Use the comment section below to share your experience.