112 Anchor Tattoo Ideas for First Timers


Getting a brand new tattoo can be a huge commitment, especially if it’s your first time getting one. Tattoo designs are usually chosen based on taste, but most of the time, tastes can change quite often. Also, getting a tattoo might hurt a lot, so make sure that the design you choose is worth all the pain.

An anchor is one of the most timeless designs you can have. This design, which started as a trend among the sailors, has come a long way. Here, you will find a number of anchor tattoo ideas to give you inspiration on what to get for your first tattoo.

1. Memorable Dateanchor tattooA classic, colored anchor design stringed through a rope. It is surrounded by water bubbles to give it that underwater look. The anchor is known in current times as a symbol of hope, steadfastness, and calmness. You can add a personal touch to this design by indicating the date of a memorable event in your life right in the middle.

2. Hawaiian-Inspired

Give the ordinary anchor design a more vibrant look by adding big flowers around it. Adding a wooden accent right below the anchor’s ring would help complete this Hawaiian-inspired design. It is best that you use a type of wood that has a certain meaning to you since different types of wood symbolize certain things. You can also put in some text right at the bottom such as the word “Ohana” which is the Hawaiian word for “family”.

3. Red Roses and Blue Flowers

Make your anchor look like a vine by wrapping flowers around it. This is a perfect design for a dark anchor that’s shaded with black in order to give it a more gentle look. The colored flowers are also a perfect contrast to the dark and sharp anchor. Try choosing flowers that would effectively express who you are. Most flowers have their own meaning; for example, the rose has been commonly used as a symbol of balance, hope, and beauty.

Also See: 55 Inspiring Arrow Tattoos that Will Make You Want to Get Inked Immediately

4. Unshaded Anchor Window

If you want to have a unique arrow design, try turning the borders of an oval window into the shape of an arrow. The window is a great symbol of growth and courage. Inside the window, you can have the tattoo artist draw an ocean view with a ship sailing its waters. This design would look best without any shading because the outline itself is already beautiful.

5. Red Anchor with CrossThe anchor is also known to have been used to hide the image of the cross so people can still carry their faith with them without being too expressive about it. The upper portion of this tattoo is shaped like a cross, and the bottom part filled with roses is in the shape of a heart.

6. Sharp Anchor

Although a sword is also a great design for a tattoo, it may seem a little bit too much for some people. A good alternative would be masking the shape of the sword by redesigning it to look like an anchor. You can even have the upper end of the anchor form like the handle of a sword.

7. Heart and ThornsThe rose isn’t the only symbol of love and pain. This classic anchor design is accentuated by a small heart right over the anchor’s stock, devil thorns for its fluke, and a more pointed crown. It is a great alternative if you don’t want to go with a rose tattoo.

8. Mixed DesignThe anchor is only one aspect that helps make a successful voyage. If you want to add more to your tattoo than just the arrow, you can also put a map for your background and draw in a compass, a captain’s wheel, and other instruments used by sailors to complement the arrow design.

9. Lighthouse Instead of having a regular anchor for a tattoo, you can add a little twist to your design by replacing the anchor’s shank with an entire lighthouse. Adding a rope around it that combines the lighthouse and the bottom of the anchor will help complete the artwork.

10. Anchored Heart

If you want to get both a heart and an anchor tattoo, why not combine them together? This design gives a unique take to the typical heart and anchor tattoo. Make it look even more creative by adding text in the middle and wrapping a rope around the heart, connecting it to the anchor.

11. Steel Anchor with Watercolor Effect

The classic, steel anchor is a timeless tattoo design. However, if you want to make your tattoo more personalized, you can add a ribbon at the bottom with your name on it, and add some watercolor effect in the background.

12. Pocket Watch

One of the perks of wanting to have an anchor tattoo is its versatility. You can combine it with almost anything you could think of. Here is an example of an anchor tattoo with a pocket watch for its shank which could symbolize stability and hope.

13. Magical

Want to add a little twist to the usual anchor tattoo that a lot of people already have? If you are into magical tales, you can add a cloud of dust and sparkles as a background for your anchor. You can even have the tattoo artist draw some magical characters like fairies.

14. Rainbow Love

The anchor is a symbol of hope and strength. You can make this symbol even more meaningful by adding a heart and a pop of color in the background as a symbol of acceptance and love. You can also add other shapes, symbols, and colors to give your tattoo a more meaningful design.

15. Love and Roses

Your tattoo can be a great way to express yourself. If you want people to know that you are a very affectionate person, you can try to do so through this anchor design with a big rose covering its shank. The word “love” on top of its crown and arm will definitely show how loving you are!

16. Black and White 

A shaded black and white anchor tattoo is one of the safest choices you can make, especially if it is your first time to get one. This design usually never goes out of style and can be easily accentuated by a simple heart around the shank and a diamond on the head.

17. Knot

If you plan on getting a smaller tattoo, adding a big knot around a small anchor is a creative idea. It gives the anchor a more interesting look. Despite its simple design, the knot holds great meaning. It is a symbol of eternity whether on family, friendship, or love. This design looks best when placed on the wrist or at the back of the neck.

18. Tropical and Religion

You can show your love for flowers, the beach, and everything tropical by adding these designs onto a simple anchor design. You can even replace the metal anchor stock located at the top of the anchor with a wooden one to make your design more unique. Since the anchor is also a way of expressing religion, you can also add the symbol of the heart of Jesus at the center instead of emphasizing the shape of a cross.

19. Name

A lot of people get tattoos as a tribute to someone special in their lives or as a symbol of their never-ending love for someone. What better way to do so than to get inked with the name of your special someone combined with the symbol of an anchor which represents strength, hope, and love? It is a simple way of showing how much you care about your loved one.

20. FieryAlthough the anchor is usually associated with the ocean and the color blue, you can make your design more unique and interesting by using the colors red and orange to give it a fiercer and fiery look. This makes you look cooler since you will be diverting from the typical anchor tattoo design that a lot of people have.

21. Flower

If you love flowers, you can also combine them with the anchor design. Different flowers symbolize different things and have various meanings, so it is up to you to decide which type of flower you want to combine with the anchor. Although it is important to consider how the flower’s color would complement the anchor, it is also equally important to choose a design based on what these symbols mean to you.

22. Webbed Anchor

When getting a tattoo, you don’t always have to compromise having a cool design with having a special meaning. You can have both as long as you are willing to bear the pain depending on the design you decided to ink yourself with. If a lot of symbols mean something special to you, you can combine them with the anchor to create one cool and eye-catching tattoo.

23. Artistic Design

Although tattoo artists usually show you some ready-made designs and tattoo ideas to choose from, there are some people who would prefer to make their own tattoo designs. For artists who want to add a personal touch to their tattoo, you can draw in any shape you want to give your tattoo a more unique, sophisticated, and artistic design.

24. Flames

Who said anchor designs look good only when associated with water? If you don’t want your tattoo to look just like anyone else’s and want your anchor design to stand out, try surrounding it with flames. This design is definitely more unique since it places the anchor in a different setting. To add to the effect, use a wooden anchor design instead of a metal one. This also shows a different way to symbolize strength.

25. Compass

The compass mainly points to four directions – North, South, West, and East. It is a special symbol especially for travelers since it is a representation of the ability to be brought into the right direction. The compass would make a great addition to the anchor, and together, they could symbolize strength and guidance. To incorporate the compass design onto the anchor, a creative idea would be replacing the anchor’s shank with a compass. You can also add colors to your tattoo to make it more meaningful.

26. Flying Balloons

Balloon tattoos are becoming a trend lately. It is a very simple yet beautiful design, and it also holds a lot of meaning. A flying balloon is usually a symbol of freedom. You can play around with the anchor and balloon design by having a group of floating balloons tied together on the anchor’s ring. This symbol can be a great reminder to keep you grounded and strong despite being free to do whatever you want. You can also play with different colors because a group of balloons looks better when they’re colorful.

27. Rope Around

An anchor with a rope around it is usually a symbol for a former member of the Navy. Now, this design has evolved and is being used by people for aesthetic purposes and have been given their own personal meanings. The anchor with a rope is a cool and classic combo that will definitely stay on trend for a long time. You can also add a little shadowy background for a cooler effect.

28. Conch Shell

The conch shell isn’t simply known for its beautiful design. It also has a special meaning and has been used as a symbol of spiritual awakening during ancient times. Since the anchor has also been used as a way to express one’s faith to his religion through the shape of the cross hidden in the frames of an anchor, combining these two symbols makes your tattoo even more meaningful. It is a great way of reminding you of your faith and carrying it with you wherever you go.

29. Classic Design

If you are having doubts about being bold and daring for your first tattoo, it is best to stick with the classic anchor design. This is a timeless piece that will surely outlive many generations. Another advantage of getting the classic design is that you can associate several meanings to it due to its versatile look. You can make it a symbol of anything that you can think of.

30. Dedication

If you want to dedicate your first tattoo to someone special in your life but don’t want to simply get inked with their name or a significant date, you can always add these details on an anchor design. It is a special and creative way of keeping the memory of an event or an important person.

31. Slashes of Color

Adding colors to a simple tattoo can really help make any symbol look more unique and eye-catching. Give the ordinary steel anchor with a rope around it a more significant meaning by putting it on a colorful background. Every color has its own meaning and symbolizes a certain trait, so be sure to pick colors not only because they go well together but also because they have a special meaning to you.

32. Small Design

Oftentimes, it is the simple, small designs that make a great impact and express a certain symbol more effectively. If you want to be more simple for your first tattoo, use the classic anchor drawing as your design. This symbol looks great even on small sizes, so you can easily put it on your finger, wrist, or even behind the ear if you aren’t ready to show off your tattoo just yet.

33. Anchor with Compass

Although generally known as a symbol of guidance, the compass can mean many things to different people. Some people think of the compass as a bringer of luck during the times when they are lost. Others see it as a symbol of protection which is associated with religious symbols. This makes the compass a great pair to the anchor design since they both symbolize similar things and look great when combined together. The round shape of a compass also complements the sharpness of the anchor’s crown and fluke.

34. Wooden Sketch

Wood from different trees can have different meanings depending on their history. Some meanings are known universally while some are only given importance by a specific group. Different types of wood can symbolize exploration, wisdom, and strength. Such material can be a great alternative to the steel anchor and can be used to express a stronger, more meaningful symbol through your tattoo.

35. Detailed Design

A lot of tattoo veterans take pride in their body art due to the intricate designs that tattoo artists put on their work. If you want to go all out but also want to tone it down a bit by sticking to black ink for your first tattoo, this detailed anchor design is the perfect choice for you. It has a 3-dimensional effect and every detail has been carefully crafted – from the anchor itself down to the rope around it.


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