Steampunk tattoo designs are gaining in popularity as the alternative lifestyle culture continues full steam ahead. Capture the aesthetic of this growing genre in a historical, fantastical or sci-fi inspired design.

Gaining inspiration from famous literature greats such as Mary Shelley and Jules Verne, steampunk is an alternative fashion and lifestyle style that combines Victorian, British, Wild West and futuristic influences.

From Victorian-inspired jewelry tattoos with mechanical faces to birds with no feathers, but steam-powered wings instead, these ideas are sure to put you on the right punk path. So gather up all your treasures and find a way to place them on your body in a unique and eclectic design that’s part future, part history and all you.

1. Watches

Steampunk Tattoo Designs - Watches
Steampunk Tattoo Designs. Image @abt_tattoo

From Salvador Dali inspired melting pocket watches to vintage timepieces, watches are a fundamental aspect in the steampunk style. Consider pairing your clockwork tattoo with an animal for unique symbolism. For example, a regular owl could be turned into its own timepiece by opting for a body made of grinding gears or utilitarian accessories like a pair of goggles.

2. Cameo Jewelry

Cameo Jewelry Tattoo
Jewelry inspired tattoo. Image CC Dita Art @ Flickr.

Add some Victorian elegance to your body ink with a jewelry-inspired tattoo. From cameo designs to Victorian-inspired filigree lockets, steampunk style for women can rightfully include a few sentimental pieces. Consider a heart-shaped locket that pumps some steam to keep its motor running.

3. Airships

So long as it is steam-powered, it’s steampunk. Airship tattoos are yet another whimsical way you can celebrate your personal tattoo voyage. Add some sails to your design or hot air balloons to create even more imagery. If you know your destination, have your artist design it and create a fantastical world in which your ship can fly.

4. Birds

Birds steampunk tattoo designs
Birds steampunk tattoo designs. Image @tommykommerz

Whether it be a blackbird or a crow, birds are the animal of choice for steampunk influenced tattoos. The dark alternative world of steampunk can be captured in a bird design when you pair the bird with other steampunk aspects. Clock faces can compose the belly of the bird while adding grinding gears to a tree branch for your bird to perch. Add a smidge of color by way of lilac blossoms and your design can be both beautiful, simplistic and delicate.

5. Gears

Gears steampunk tattoos
Gears steampunk tattoos. Image @ marcsangratattooart

When it all comes down to it, nuts and bolts are the bread and butter of true steampunk style. From grinding gears to the inner parts of all machinery, adding mechanical elements to your tattoo will ensure you capture the steampunk aesthetic. There’s no need to add color, keep your tattoo black and grey for the most style statement.

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