The great Geneva political philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau said-“Man is born free but he is chained by the society.” And if we look closely enough, we can feel the authenticity of such words. In every sphere of life, there are some things that bind us, constrain us, and drag us down. To portray that philosophy or our very own tragedy, many chooses Chain Tattoos. However, not every chain tattoo serves the purpose of restraint. Many chains serve additional purposes as well. Some are employed to free you up, while others serve to hold something dear to your heart.
It’s understandable that the picture of a chain would evoke bad feelings in some people. Usually, a chain is a symbol of confinement or shackling. Many people use this phrase, and some even refer to their significant other as the “old ball and chain,” which implies confinement.
In any case, there are many reasons to have a chain tattoo, and the chain has a lot of importance for individuals who have it. All you have to do is find a cool design that serves you the best and get it inked. So, where can you find these cool and meaningful designs? No worries, we got your back. we’re here with some of the best chain tattoo designs out there.
And additionally, in this blog post, we are going to tell you the meanings and philosophies behind every design. So, without any further ado, let’s dive right in-
Table of Contents
90 Chain Tattoo Designs
Chain tattoos aren’t particularly common, but both sexes have them occasionally. Because they represent a real chain, people often get them tattooed on their wrists, ankles, or necks. The ability to attach any symbol or pendant to the chain is one of the design’s best characteristics.
If we look at the design patterns, there are so many variations to match your personality. You can design these tattoos in any way you may want. Here are some design variation ideas-
- These tattoos can be as long as your arm, but you may just want to show off a few links.
- The links can be very thin or quite thick.
- Any part of your body can be decorated with a chain tattoo, including your wrist, ankle, or neck. You might wear it around your neck in the form of a necklace with a pendant at the front if you like.
- It might be inked in traditional hues like gold, silver, or copper, or you could go for something more unique like pink or green.
- Add a pendant (or multiple pendants) to the necklace. Use symbols such as letters, names, or even religious icons to stand in for the things and people who mean the most to you. Use anything from diamonds and gems to anchors and stones to animal symbols and keys.
- There are unlinked tattoos throughout the chains. The chain is broken or only has one or two links left.
- The chain could be lying flat or curved.
- The heart-in-chains design is popular among both sexes. The wearer assigns multiple meanings to this pattern, including repressed feelings of love and a need to shield oneself from romantic commitment.
Below are some tattoo designs featuring chains that might make you rethink the traditional connotation of chains as a sign of confinement. We’re sure there are many more instances like these, but these are those we wanted to highlight.
Kurapika Chains Tattoo
Who doesn’t know of Kurapika in the anime world? The lone wolf set out to his journey to seek revenge against the Phantom Troop clan for slaughtering his clan members. Kurapika belonged to the Kurta clan. A clan that was well recognized over the continent for their crimson red eyes. That said, the Kurta clan got demolished for their eyes. The violent and evil Phantom troops took their eyes and killed them all. The only survivor remaining is Kurapika. He now seeks revenge for those murders. Kurapika is persistent and committed to carrying out his mission. Kurapika has five chains on his five fingers, each representing different powers. Kurapika seeks vengeance using the power of these chains.
The character shows the utmost diligence and commitment towards achieving his goal no matter the cost. That’s why it became so famous among anime fans and it became famous for tattoo design. So, if you’re an anime fan or just like the philosophy behind the character, here are some cool designs-
- Color of Vengeance
This one is the classic portrayal of the character Kurapika. The scarlet eyes, five chains on his five fingers, and lastly the classic Kurta clan dress. The scarlet eyes and crimson red background are vividly portrayed which shows the philosophy behind the character in a rigorous manner.
2. Scarlet Eyes
This particular piece is orchestrated with the eyes as the main focus. The scarlet eyes are glowing viciously for vengeance. However, we don’t see the Kurta clan’s traditional dress here. Rather, Kurapika is wearing a suit, which is a nice touch by the artist.
3. Judgement Chain
No one can disobey Kurapika, once he ties them with the judgment chain. This design, on a man’s hand, represents the ultimate authority and shared destiny. When the judgment chain ties anyone, his destiny gets entangled with Kurapika’s. Even the evil antagonist Krolo couldn’t do anything about it.
Broken Chain Tattoo
A broken chain most commonly represents the beginning of a newfound sense of independence. What it really means to have “broken your chains” is to have conquered whatever was keeping you constrained. It can be anything, your persona, society, or any other problems. Once you finally break the cycle of obstacles in your life, there is no hold back anymore. You’re liberated! To portray this philosophy with an artistic rapture, people choose to ink the broken chains tattoo.
If you’re looking for one, then we got some great inspirational ideas here in this section. Tag along-
4. Ancient Shackle
The artist designed the chain in this piece in a very ancient way. Its surface is rusty and old which represents the lifelong period of being chained. And the thorny design on the back of arm shows how difficult the road was to break out of the hold back.
5. Broken Destiny
This particular one is rather simple tuned in design. Just a chain that has been broken. But the exterior part got this little comic vibe with some single line strikes. Overall, the piece is quite appealing.
6. Severed in Full
The design has a minimalistic touch to it. The minimal design made the shackle looks like a wooden chain. The design is very simple but puts the message through.
Bioshock Chain Tattoo
These designs are directly inspired from the video game BioShock which got released in the mid 2007. Body art fans all across the gaming world have been inking their devotion to this game onto various parts of their bodies. Players of the BioShock video game will recognize this tattoo as one worn by the main protagonist. In the game, this is shown as a chain with three links that wraps around the player’s wrist. A popular theory among gamers is that the tattoo represents the time Jack (the game’s protagonist) was enslaved. Tattoos with the words “A Man Chooses, A Slave Obeys” are common. This tattoo and its accompanying message served as a metaphor for the entire game.
Tattoos in BioShock are available in a wide variety of styles. The most common request is for wrist chains, but the patterns for the other plasmids are also straightforward enough that any tattooist should be able to create a custom tattoo for you with little effort. So, here are some of the coolest designs-
7. The Wild Bunny
This particular design depicts the most fundamental things about the game. The cursed wild bunny and the wrist chain. The art is quite fluent and the whole design can be a compliment to your wrist.
8. Chained Wrist
These wrist chains depict the philosophy that a man “chooses” and a slave “obeys”. This design is the artistic portrayal of that philosophy from the game BioShock.
9. Memento Mori
This particular body art is filled with symbolism. The text “memento mori” and the abstractionism of sparrow and hourglass with wrist chain made this piece an elusive one. Its abstraction is sure to catch some eyes.
Chain Tattoo Design
The chain tattoo designs typically symbolize both security and strength. Many people use chains to secure their most precious belongings. The chair can stand for safety from any danger, be it evil, adversaries, or the wider world. You can use the chain as a symbol of your determination to keep going even when things look bleak. On the other hand, these chain tattoos also mean the constraints that keep holding us back. These designs are both appealing to the eye and rich in a symbolic manner.
So, we gathered up the best of such chain tattoo designs for you. Let’s have a look-
10. Thorn Princess
The thorny shackle on the woman’s stomach depicts the hardness in the life of women. And the glaring stars are the symbolic portrayal of vanity. No matter how hard life gets, one should keep going towards his goal.
The design is based on the ancient Hieroglyphic symbol of life, the “Ankh” or the “key of life”. The chain around the man’s neck represents that we are all chained to life. No matter how hard we try, we cannot outrun life except in death. So, we should embrace life’s sorrows and sadness and move forward.
12. Iron Born
The chain in this design is shiny but monochrome. This art style tells that life is full of obstacles, sorrows, and sadness. But we keep moving forward. And Hello Kitty and other figures represent the little things that we cherish along with the sorrows of life.
Daisy Chain Tattoo
Many different sentiments, including those of innocence, beauty, luck, tranquility, and love, are linked to daisy tattoos. The daisy received its significance from Freya because she considered it to be her favorite flower. The daisy was a sign of love, passion, and fertility because it represented motherhood and childbirth. And the daisy chain tattoos suggest the way we get entangled with these things like motherhood, love, or passion. These designs are a sleek and supple way to portray one’s struggle through life.
These designs are generally worn by women. And if you’re thinking of getting one done, here are some of our best suggestions-
13. The Wreath
This one is an absolutely mind-blowing floral design. The daisies formed an orbital chain that looks like a wreath. The flowers are vividly colorful with an aesthetic posture. And the knee cap placement is a subtle touch from the artist.
14. Melting Daisies
A bit surrealistic, this one is. It looks like an art straight from “Dali”. The chain is melting and the daisies are hanging from the melting chain. The design doesn’t portray anything in particular and is filled with abstractions.
15. White Vibrance
It’s a simple and sleek design in a wrist band form. The vibrant white of the daisy and the thin metal chain made this design quite appealing to the eyes.
Chained Heart Tattoo
The chain can lay flat or it can wind around and around. The heart-in-chains design is a favorite among both sexes. Different interpretations of this pattern exist, including the idea of restraining one’s affections or of shielding oneself from romantic commitment.
So, in case you want to portray your heart in chains, we got your back. Here are some exotic design ideas-
16. Hooked Heart
The artistry in this design is quite vibrant. There are four hooks on the four corners representing the restriction for not to follow the heart. And the whole heart is chained with a lock. This is kind of grotesque but very sensational.
17. Spear Chain
The design is undoubtedly inspired by the anime character Kurapika. However, inspired or not, this design has that certain appeal to it. The spear headed chain looks very dashing and gothic at the same time.
18. Heart’s Fence
The artist made the design in quite a minimalistic manner. Its placement under the hip makes it very personal and not for everyone to see. It shows that crucial path to the one true love.
Bike Chain Tattoo
A person who is passionate about cycling or motor-biking is likely to get this tattoo. Typically, the meaning is obvious. These tattoos are very common among bike messengers and cyclists who compete in races. It’s a cool method to show the world what you care about. These designs come in minimal or simple designs to complex and intricate designs.
If you’re an avid enthusiast of motor bikes or bi-cycles, then these below designs can serve you best- Let’s have a look-
19. Rectangular Roller
This one is a simple minimal design of a roller chain. The rectangular shape looks aesthetic on this man’s forearm. And its minimal design gives it the edge.
This particular piece of body art can be a compliment to any bike enthusiast. As the human body is nothing without information stored in DNA, this artistic spiral design of roller chain in a DNA shape shows the core connection of a biker to his bike. It portrays how dearly and deeply you love the machine.
If it is put in simple words, the design is shiny. This roller chain design is perfect for commemorating your favorite two wheeler, when it’s not with you. It doesn’t just portray your love for your bike but also portrays an eye appealing design.
Chain Link Fence Tattoo
Chain-link fences are made of galvanized steel wire that has been braided into a fence. Horizontally bending the wires into a z shape. These tattoos once gained widespread renown among Russians. Surely you’re curious as to the significance of a Russian chain link fence tattoo. Chain link fences are commonly used to secure buildings or yards. Getting a tattoo of a chain link fence can represent stability and protection. You can give the impression that you are protecting something very important to you. zigzag pattern in which each “zig” is hooked with the wire on one side and each “zag” is hooked with the wire on the other.
Here are some intriguing design ideas-
This design is quite simplistic. Just a zigzag chain-link fence inked on the body. The design also has a certain monochrome glimpse to it. It looks cool while it depicts the original meaning of a chain-link fence tattoo.
23. The Protector
This particular piece is superbly detailed and very intricate. The artist gave his all to pinpoint every single detail. The design wraps around the man’s lower leg like a legging and looks super cool. This piece of artistry portrays a meaningful message while looking fabulous.
24. Veiny Vanguard
In this design the chain-link fence is covered with flowers and veins. This shows the tenderness you hold in your heart while protecting your near and dear ones.
Cross Chain Tattoo
Some people get cross tattoos to show how much their faith means to them. The cross is a key symbol in Christianity since it is there that Jesus sacrificed himself to save humanity. It’s also possible to interpret a cross tattoo as a symbol of the selfless love and sacrifice that Jesus had for all people. And when the cross is attached to a chain, means that we are restrained by religious from doing any wrong thing towards society or any person in particular. These designs are a great way to portray your faith and devotion to religion and God hinself.
Below are some inspirational design for you to choose from-
25. Holy Cross
This design of cross chain is entirely gothic. It looks gorgeous and depicts the meaning that, no matter what we do or did, God knows everything. And the judgment will come. So, wearing this piece on your body will remind you of God continuously.
Traditional Chain Tattoo
Wrist Chain Tattoo
Chain Mail Tattoo
Anchor Chain Tattoo
Flower Chain Tattoo
Forearm Chain Tattoo
Chain Chomp Tattoo
Chain Necklace Tattoo
Chain Sleeve Tattoo
Chainsaw Chain Tattoo
Belly Chain Tattoo
Dirt Bike Chain Tattoo
Gold Chain Tattoo
Celtic Chain Tattoo
Chain Thigh Tattoo
Ankh Chain Tattoo
Bicycle Chain Tattoo
Dog Chain Tattoo
Kratos Chains Tattoo
Pocket Watch Chain Tattoo
Bicep Chain Tattoo
Once a wise man said-“even the birds are chained to the sky”. No matter what the human kind do, they won’t find true freedom. There will always be some things that will confine them for better or for worse. Religious, social, and humane confinements will restrain them from any wrong-doing. While things like bad memories, incidents, or depression will shackle their feet from marching forward. There is no otherwise. And Chain Tattoos are a phenomenal way to portray that philosophy.
So, no matter what your philosophy behind getting a chain tattoo, we hope you find your desired design from our top picks. We included the symbolism and meaning of each design for you to choose effortlessly. Just choose one and get it inked by a professional.
Frequently Asked Question
1. What do chain tattoos symbolize?
Chain tattoos are commonly used in prison tattooing to represent imprisonment or a life sentence, but they are not limited to that context. Many people associate the sight of chains with feelings of oppression, servitude, and defeat; nevertheless, chains can also represent the reverse.
2. What does a heart chain tattoo mean?
Depending on your preference, the chain can either lie flat or be wound in an endless spiral. The heart-in-chains motif appeals to both sexes. This motif can be interpreted in several ways, including as a means of protecting oneself from romantic commitment or stifling one’s emotions.
As the primary sign of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the appearance of a three-link chain on a grave marker, monument, or tombstone attests to the decedent’s membership in this fraternal organization after death. Friendship, love, and honesty are symbolized by the three ties.
4. What does a metal chain symbolize?
Chains have been used historically and symbolically for many different reasons. They have double meanings as symbols of both slavery and incarceration and of bonding, love, and fraternity. However, the metal chains go with the concept of imprisonment as these chains are generally used in prison. But, metal Roller Chains can symbolize the love for one’s bike.
5. What is the meaning of broken chain?
In most contexts, the opposite of a connected chain is just a broken one. A broken chain can represent a variety of ideas, including independence, emancipation, self-expression, and individualism. You are no longer restricted in your actions and are free to pursue whatever interests you…. Separated ties can also be represented as shattered chains.