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A commonly recognized symbol, the crescent moon is not only beautiful but also significant. In Middle Eastern culture, the crescent moon paired with a single star is a symbol of Islam. In Catholicism, the moon can represent the church reflecting the light of Christ (the sun/Son).
In a more general sense, the crescent moon shows changing times. The moon cycle is associated with the life cycle (because of a woman’s fertility cycle), and so the different phases of the moon symbolize the ebb and flow of life, the changing of times. To put a crescent moon into a design brings up these themes, particularly paired with other symbols such as flowers and landscapes that have their own significance.
In tattoo design, crescent moons can take on several artistic representations. Sometimes it is the literal moon, as part of a nighttime scene or other natural landscape, other times it is more symbolic. Crescents also feature in the background of tattoo designs as accent pieces or to add a touch of imagery.
Whatever your choice, crescent moons are versatile and add just that little something to your tattoo design. Hopefully among these you will find your inspiration!
Best Crescent Moon Tattoo Designs
One of the best attributes of a crescent moon tattoo is its versatility. A crescent doesn’t have to be a moon to be an effective tattoo, the flowers here take the shape of the crescent while adding symbolism. Hibiscus flowers have several meanings, including beauty and delicacy, but also power and immortality. The delicate colors of the other flowers offset the pop of pink from the hibiscus.
Tiny Pointillist Crescent
Simple tattoos are often the most effective, and tiny tattoos are a trend among these. Using the pointillist art technique, this delicate crescent fits with the curve of the stomach. This would also be an excellent choice for a temporary tattoo.
Small tattoos are not only trending, but also are perfect if you need to cover your tattoo at any point. Placing the tattoo on the shoulder means that a wide tank top or sleeved shirt covers it, ideal for the workplace or another professional location. However, when you want to show it off, this cute crescent is right there!
Henna-inspired, the swirls and droplets fit with the common themes of Eastern tattoo patterns. Adding in the stars makes connections to other celestial bodies, but also fits with the Islamic symbolism of the star and crescent. Keeping the tattoo in black and white allows the details of the design to remain clear.
Crescent Behind the Ear
Within the tiny tattoo trend, behind the ear tattoos are also growing in popularity. A small crescent moon is an adorable behind the ear choice, simple and classic. While the tattoo is cute in plain black, you could go with any color you wish with such a basic design. If you want your tattoo to be even more subtle, you could go for a white ink tattoo.
Taking inspiration from paisley designs, this is a charming option for a crescent tattoo. The bold outline of the crescent is a nice complement to the delicate lines of the paisley. Pulling the artwork to the outline of the crescent brings cohesion to the tattoo. Placing the tattoo on the back of the arm is a unique choice, but this tattoo would also look great on the ankle or forearm.
A cool visual illusion, the crescent is formed by the moon coming up over the water and the reflection of the moon below. The sharp distinction of the shining moon and the waves of the water add to the complexity of the design. While the black and white nature of the tattoo helps to make the illusion work, the design would also be cool in color to add another element of contrast.
Lighthouse in the Night
Putting the lighthouse within the crescent moon helps to create a scene contained in one tattoo design. The shading techniques help to give the tattoo a hand drawn look, almost like a little doodle from a sketchbook. While this is much larger than a doodle, the tattoo lends itself to multiple sizes and placements.
Ombre Crescent Moon
The details in this design make the tattoo. Craters add a sense of realism to the moon, while the gradation of the colors add the fun of a sci-fi type look. The crescent seems like it pulled away from the rest of the moon, a different take on the shape. Using white outlines sets off the look of the tattoo, while also adding another dimension.
Roses and Lilies
Roses traditionally have a meaning of love or romance, while lilies connect back to the concept of purity. Combining these symbols together with the meaning of the crescent, the ebb and flow of life, this tattoo could mean the constancy of pure love in spite of the changing times. In addition to the beautiful meaning, the design itself is breathtaking. The crescent works well as the focal point, with the flowers providing length and movement.
Man in the Moon
Many cultures have stories of “the man in the moon,” prompting artistic renderings like this tattoo. The delicate lines and shading help to sharpen the details the facial features, adding to the whimsy and fairy tale nature of the design. Using white ink for the stars and to highlight aspects of the artwork add a little pop without adding unnecessary color.
Ohana Means Family
Traditional Hawaiian tattoos are trending, and among these are a rising trend in ohana tattoos. The moon and flowers connect to the land and ocean, which is a theme in Hawaiian tattoos. While the design in nice in black and white, adding a punch of color in the flowers would set of the rest of the tattoo.
Peonies convey compassion and honor, but also have a meaning of good fortune. As the crescent moon is connected to fertility, the peony and moon together could mean happiness and prosperity in the family. From a design standpoint, as a full flower peonies are a beautiful way to fill in the spaces of the tattoos.
Wo-man in the Moon
A different take on the myth, this adorable design feminizes the face. Keeping the lines thin allows the details of this smaller tattoo to remain clear. While the placement here is a bit more intimate, a tattoo of this size would be easy to place on the shoulder, wrist, or forearm.
Both roses and crescent moons are significant in Middle Eastern culture, making this tattoo a great option to respect your culture or the culture of your ancestors. Other details, like the stars and delicate jewelry also fits with the theme. Artistically, the shading in the design makes the roses pop as well as making the look.
Poppies and Peony
While peonies are connected to compassion, romance, and good fortune, they also represent honor. Poppies often are used to show remembrance, so putting the poppies and peonies together on the crescent moon make the perfect tribute tattoo. As crescent moons fit with the passing of time or the ebb and flow of life, honor and remembrance as life moves on work well within such a design.
Tale as Old as Time
The silhouette of the rose is reminiscent of the magic rose in Beauty and the Beast, sparkling in the night under the light of the crescent moon. Putting the moon on its side helps to make the tattoo symmetrical, but also could show the conflict felt with in the story of the Beast. Using the shading on the moon rather than the black rose heightens the contrast within the design.
Stained Class Moon
Taking inspiration from stained glass, the beautiful flowers within the crescent moon stand out beautifully against the black background. Using thicker lines for the leaves and outlines of the petals complete the stained glass theme. This tattoo is the perfect size for the forearm, but also would be the right size for the shoulder or upper back.
Day and Night
Beautiful matching tattoos, the crescent moon is the ideal pairing to the rising sun. Using the ocean within these scenes adds a sense of serenity and life. The subtle shading within the artwork adds depth to the designs. These tattoos would also make a great option for couples or partners.
Small Crescent Back Tattoo
This small crescent makes the perfect back tattoo, able to be shown off when you want it seen and covered when you don’t. The shading from the points of the crescent helps add curvature and dimension to the tattoo. Keeping it simple is a great option, but you could also add a star or two if you wanted some extra detail.
Peace on the Mountaintop
A beautiful nighttime scene, the pine trees are a nice contrast to the details of the crescent moon. The rough crags and craters of the moon stand out within the design, making the moon the focal point of the tattoo. Using white ink in some of the details and the stars makes these elements pop.
Aside from stars, planets are the natural complement to a moon within the design. Using tiny dots for the faraway stars makes it easy to blend in the lines that make the planets look like they’re hanging off the moon. The shading and pointillism add whimsy to the artwork, fitting for a far-out tattoo.
Sunflowers and Hydrangea
Sunflowers have the meaning of adoration, while hydrangea convey deep understanding. Creating a tattoo with this design is a wonderful way to show your affection for someone you care about. Using the colors within the crescent make it seem like you are looking through a window into someone’s garden.
Peonies and Dragonfly
Dragonflies tend to symbolize change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. The flowers, camellia, show love, affection, and admiration. Combined with the crescent moon, the dragonfly makes perfect sense as it fits with the changing of time. The flowers’ symbolism is most likely more personal, but with a loving connotation. Using plain outlines rather than colors allows the tattoo to make an impact while maintaining simplicity.
A fun visual trick, the delicate nature of this moon is both a crescent and full moon in one. The texture of the crescent is beautiful, the shading emphasizing the details. Using the simple dots to fill in the crescent completes the visual, effectively creating the full moon without overdoing the design. The tattoo looks nice on the forearm, but would also fit well on the shoulder or even the back of the neck.
Find the Crescent
One of the major advantages to tiny tattoos is their placement. By its nature, you can put a tiny tattoo in almost any location on the body and it will fit, regardless of the design. This adorable crescent is a fun surprise on the inside of the arm! Keeping it simple is the right choice in this instance, as over complicating tiny tattoos muddles the design.
Again using the pointillist technique, the shading of the artwork gives beauty and shape to the design. Making the shading in opposite directions adds to the idea of peace and serenity of nighttime. By drawing the trees at different heights, it shakes up the visual interest of the design.
Que Será, Será
A beautiful tattoo with a beautiful message, que será, será translates to “whatever will be, will be.” As the purple pansy connects to freethinking and memories, while the crescent refers to the passage of time through life. Bringing all these symbols together could have several meanings, from moving forward from a past hurt or acknowledging that you don’t need to control every aspect of your life. While the deep purple and gorgeous script are truly lovely, the significance is what makes it so fabulous.
While the crescent is more in the background, the shape enhances the tattoo and serves to give it structure. Outlining the mountains and clouds allows those aspects to stand out more in the foreground and fits with the natural components within the design. Delicate shading gives depth to the artwork and the tattoo as a whole.
Gorgeous, deep colors make this crescent moon tattoo. Orange tends to mean excitement and enthusiasm, paired with the crescent could imply and excitement for life and all its potential. From a design perspective, using bold outlines makes the colors stand out against the black of the crescent, while the white highlights give dimension. This would also be an excellent choice for a temporary tattoo if you are looking to try one out.
Lotus Crescent Moon
Lotus flowers are another Eastern symbol, much like the crescent moon. Lotuses are symbols of purity, enlightenment, and rebirth, fitting with the changing times of the moon. The other beautiful designs fit with the Eastern theme, accenting the feeling of the tattoo. Using the white ink allows for a bit of pop and dazzle without adding unnecessary color.
Another Eastern inspired design, the crescent moons frame the lotus flower in a beautiful pattern of symmetry. Using pointillism to create the shading, giving both depth and texture to the design. The tattoo looks gorgeous on the back, but if you aren’t willing to endure sitting for a spine tattoo this design would be perfect for the forearm.
Daisies represent purity and innocence, and are just plain cute, making them a sweet component in this tattoo design. The shading and white highlights of the flowers are a nice contrast to the bold black of the crescent moon in the background. Delicate jewelry adds a decorative touch to the overall look.
This tattoo design takes modern art to a new level! A mountain scene in front of the crescent moon is not uncommon, making the mountain into a geometric shape deviates from the standard. Using the lines as the shading shows the different angles of the mountain while sticking to the modern art feel. The stark nature of the crescent moon also helps the mountain to be the focal point of the tattoo.
Starry Night Roses
A beautiful cluster of roses is a gorgeous pairing to the night sky in this tattoo design. Phenomenon shading helps each petal stand out, while the white highlights make other details like the stars pop out. This design shows romance and mystery, captured in a stunning tattoo. While the black and white is striking, a deep red in the roses would work nicely.
Crescent Finger Tattoo
Delicate by nature, this tiny crescent finger tattoo is a sweet accent, like permanent jewelry. Black makes the tattoo stand out, although you could go for a color or even white ink if you want something a bit more subtle. Pairing the crescent with another tiny tattoo, like a star or planet, would be a fun option.
Crescent Wrist Tattoo
In this tattoo, the crescent is a smaller component supporting the roses. In this instance, it is likely that the crescent holds personal significance in combination with the roses. The hand-drawn nature of this design emphasizes the personal feeling. A smaller tattoo like this would also be nice on the ankle.
Painted Crescent Tattoo
This tattoo has a painted look, helping making the colors deep and rich. The details are striking, like a painting, and stand out against the black of the crescent. A design like this would also make an excellent temporary tattoo, especially if you wanted to try out this placement before committing.
A gorgeous flower, dahlias represent elegance, inner strength, creativity, change, and dignity. The perfect flower for a strong woman looking to make a statement, or display its personal significance, about the owner. Subtle differences in the shading, and the distinct pointillism of the crescent, add dimension to the design. It is the perfect way to bring depth to a tattoo without bring in color.
Delicately designed, it is like seeing the flowers through a crescent-shaped window. Emphasizing the outlines of the flowers versus the crescent helps to make the flowers the focal point within the design. While black and white gives a sense of simplicity, adding color would still emphasize the flowers and give a pop to the tattoo.
It is important when choosing a tattoo for it to have meaning. With crescent moon tattoos, there are several meanings you could create within your design. If you want something to represent nature and its beauty, the moon is an obvious choice. The crescent moon can also bring in themes of life and death, of change and moving forward, all of which are deeply personal and beautiful. Putting a crescent moon in your tattoo could be a subtle way to show these personal themes without showcasing them to the world. Flowers of varying symbolism pair well with the crescent as well, adding depth to the overall meaning of the tattoo design.
However you want to use your crescent moon, you will not be disappointed with the outcome in your tattoo!