Think Before The Ink: 35+ Incredible Cover Ups Of Impulsive Tattoos

By Anthony K

A tattoo may reflect sentimental attachments to dates, relatives, or personalities. Before getting a tattoo, you should choose an image that you will appreciate for years, your artist’s level of expertise, type of ink, and emerging trends in tattoos because you have to bear the ink all your life. We acknowledge that humans are vulnerable to error, but that shouldn’t mean the end of your happiness or comfort in your skin. Losing a connection to a tattoo may call for an immediate intervention like a correction or laser removal instead of peeling off the skin. Most ink lovers consider reworking or covering up the tats before laser removal. A skilled artist can help you cover the tat with a new design to enhance your results or deliver a better plan. This list explores iconic cover-ups we collected from the subreddit r/FixedTattoos.

1. Beautiful serpent

We begin with a unique cover-up that may raise many questions from believers of the Biblical creation accounts. It could be one of the most beautiful cover-ups featuring a serpent and chrysanthemum to form a unique artwork. We hope that the snake shall not give the tat owner more of the forbidden fruit.

Photo Credits: Instagram/ macytattoos

The image above shows the movement from a simple ink job to a complex artwork done by the artist known as Macy. Producing superb results has allowed Macy to gain a massive fanbase on Instagram. The transformation proves that she is a highly talented artist worth the praise.

2. Rabbit time

Rabbits are widely known for their incredible speed and survival tactics. In some cases, a rework can deliver better results than a cover-up. A rework may need additional skill as the artist makes specific improvements to the original work of art.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ whitestainedwood

It may have taken some time for the original piece to fade away. The tat owner visited Ali Burke at Highwater Gallery, Swansea, UK. The rework makes the rabbit more graceful and focused. This version reminds us more of the lovely creature in Alice in Wonderland.

3. A happy cover-up

Life has various avenues allowing us to be happier. Even a smiley tattoo can change into a happier face featuring a more joyful smile. This artist used limited space to create a great cover-up. We may have an idea of why one would choose to modify the smiley tattoo.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ Cursed_Idol

The smiley face on the left is enough to cheer you up on a sad day, but we believe the happy raccoon seated on a branch could make your day brighter. The raccoon is wholesome, cute, and entirely oblivious of the trouble folks face worldwide. We hope that it makes the tattoo owner happier and more smiley.

4. A necessary cover-up

While some cover-ups may be unnecessary, we believe this person needed it sooner than later. It is more than a simple cover-up as it shows more about a butterfly’s life after exiting the cocoon. The new butterfly is bigger, better, and more colorful, making the tat owner’s life better.

Photo Credits: Instagram/qbostattoo

We haven’t made sense of the original tattoo or whatever it may represent. The piece looks smudged and quite old. One may argue that it was done long ago or done poorly. We applaud the artist responsible for the perfect cover-up of the charcoal smudge.

5. Retouch over cover-up

Sometimes a retouch can deliver better results than most people would imagine. Our next post shows a retouch that could pass for a cover-up as the recipient improved the original masterpiece. The tattoo on the left was unique but faded over time, denying the owner a chance to fly.

Photo Credits: Reddit

We believe that the fading was because the ink or drawing wasn’t the best quality. The post highlights that the recipient wanted muted watercolors and knew they would fade over time. The tattoo on the right shows that slight improvements can deliver a new level of beauty and mastery.

6. One for Batman and The Simpsons

Would you go to the lengths of getting a tattoo of your favorite brand? Choosing to cover up the Apple logo could be because the tattoo owner realized that the company wouldn’t pay them for getting the logo, whereas the movie characters made their days worthwhile. This tattoo is best for fans of Batman and The Simpsons.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ RandyTheDwarf

One may also argue that the tattoo owner could finally cover expenses for a larger tattoo than the simple Apple logo. The artist came out of their comfort zone to rectify the situation by inking a bigger and more detailed tat combining Dark Knight and The Simpsons in an ink web.

7. End of the Roman Empire

You will realize that not every tat cover-up involves a previously botched assignment. One may choose a cover-up to use the available space better or get past specific dates of importance. Only the tat owner can help us understand why they decided to do away with the dates.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ Captain-Howdy94

All in all, we love change, especially if it brings a new concept. The tat cover-up is brilliant and more colorful. Crow lovers will agree that the bird is fantastic and beautiful. We focus on the bird because we can’t make sense of the dates with the prehistoric arrows. Anyone?

8. Different metamorphosis

A butterfly may be the final stage of metamorphosis after the caterpillar in real life. A tattoo artist can transform your butterfly into something better and more significant based on your preference. The tattoo on the right features beautiful cats that may have feasted on the butterflies for dinner.

Photo Credits: Instagram/ mykolapfefer

This tattoo lover chose not to let the piece fade further or become less attractive. He may have also changed from adoring butterflies to a cat lover. He’s lucky to have found an ideal artist for the advanced metamorphosis changing butterflies into adorable cats looking to jump out of the arm and catch some rats.

9. Could get better

Some cover-ups are made not to rectify mistakes; however, they are due to changing tastes and preferences. The first tattoo is a fantastic artwork with a calming and soothing effect that we wouldn’t understand why the guy opted for a cover-up instead of reworking the fading ink.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ CrowKingZero

He chose to go with a different color, design and feeling from the original piece. The second piece is bold, daring, forthright, and quite aggressive in an artistic way. It features a roaring animal that could represent the owner’s personality change over time. We hope that he finds peace.

10. Pretty cover-up

Your tattoo may fade and get blurred over time. We have questions on whether our next image features a blurred picture or tattoo that has begun fading over time. Considering clarity in the rest of the image, we conclude that tat may need a modification to gain clarity or more life.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ Bored_Cucumber123

The cover-up leaves us wondering whether the tat lover used laser removal to rid themselves of the text. We concur that changing the tat was the best decision and we’d like to acknowledge the artist responsible for making it livelier. Even the hand appears more vibrant and more colorful.

11. Shark tank

The first tattoo looks like a trapped shark struggling to break free from bondage. We hope that the artist and recipient intended to trap the sharks because the piece isn’t pleasant. The artwork seems incomplete, with vague outlines that proved helpful during the upgrade.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ shaldaya

One may think that the first tat is incomplete because the artist had to put a sudden halt. We see a completed version of the first tattoo on the right side with perfect features. The artist brought out the Great White shark, smaller sharks, and made the corals more realistic and livelier.

12. Beauty lies in the eyes

We are still processing what may have happened in this tattoo transformation. It takes a high skill level for a tattoo artist to deliver a perfect portrait. The shift makes us speculate that the owner may have tattooed his ex’s face and name on his arm. We guess it was time to avoid looking into Kim’s eyes.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ hitman56490

The portraits are more of how he viewed the ex before and after the breakup. The ex must have been a sweet, charming woman before she changed into a woman like the mythical Medusa. The message is clear that he wouldn’t want anything more to do with her.

13. Covering a disaster

Refrain from choosing a tattoo when under the influence. The next tat lover must have selected a scary, spooky, and creepy image that may have driven away most people. She came back with a gamepad and Gameboy ten years down the line, probably after developing a love for the games.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ MrsMeowsifer

She may have been running around looking for the ideal artist for the upgrade, or she had better priorities. The tattoo on the right side depicts what most will call a happy ending, and we hope it served her better in the search for a partner with an undying love for gaming.

14. Covered with love

We agree that the concept behind our next tattoo is exceptional. The following image features a slide of four pictures showing the transformation of a thumb-print heart tattoo into an exclusive piece. It seems like a smooth transition, but we’re sure that it took lots of work to succeed.

Photo Credits: Instgram/ tattooist_sigak

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the fantastic artists that changed the simple tattoo into a more complex and precious artwork. We believe it may have enhanced the individual’s life as the tattoo makes the tiny space livelier and more colorful. The stars and daisies are a perfect blend.

15. A smooth cover-up

What would prompt one to draw a random bottle on your leg out of everything? This person may have had sentimental attachments to the bottle and the number ‘2’. The first image is a simple dull tattoo that could be a sketch for the final product. One may argue that this person has a strict policy of two drinks.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ ynsein

The client and artist may not have given the image a second thought despite having the number two. We appreciate the pro artist for making the tattoo more colorful, beautiful, and ideal for cartoon and Stitch lovers. Why the bottle remains in the updated tattoo, we’re still unsure.

16. Over my ex

Most text tattoos are meaningful dates or names of individuals we share love or friendship with. Our next illustration shows the lengths one would explore to get over their previous lover. It features a lady after breaking up with Youtuber Onision. Moving on may have entailed removing Onision’s name from her neck.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ hamsters-

The couple must have shared such a deep bond that she decided to tattoo his name on her neck. She chose to cover the tattoo with a large cat and elegant roses. We hope that she can make the catwalk confidently as she begins a new chapter free of relationship struggles.

17. One for the Dark Knight

The tattoo on the left side seems out of place and quite faded, making it lose the touch of the Dark Knight. Failing to reinforce the Dark Knight could give rise to more villains in Gotham. It took the intervention of a cover-up in a different direction to deliver a better Batman.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ express_sushi49

We strive to make the world a haven for all people, free of villains roaming around Gotham. We’re impressed by the guy’s choice to modify the tattoo and bring Batman back to life. The first image may have faded, but we must acknowledge that the artist did an impressive job.

18. A good feeling once again.

Most of us can derive a lesson or two from this tattoo. It’s always advisable that you shouldn’t get your partner’s name as a tattoo on your hand, feet, or any other body parts. You could be the next victim if you walk down this path.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ lexann-brapp

Teenagers fall deeply in love and tend to believe that their bond may last forever, not knowing that affairs of the heart don’t need to be rushed. This woman had to bear her ex’s name for years after getting his tattoo while madly in love at 17. We love the second version and hope that it makes her happier.

19. Fix the cross

The Way of the Cross may be longer than most people anticipate. We believe that the tattoo holder may have experienced life challenges that made their faith shift. This is characterized by movement from the plain-looking cross to embracing nature’s value in adding color to life.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ retardvark

Before speaking of the crucifix or getting this cruci-fixed, let us acknowledge the artist responsible for the upgrade. It must have taken more time and skill for the artist to forge a tree from a cross. The tree tattoo is gorgeous and brings us closer to nature and its gifts.

20. Floral makeover

Our next makeover is ideal for those that love flowers. The story begins with two tiny colorful leaves on the left before growing into the bigger and more colorful flowers on the right. Producing the second set of flowers requires creativity, effort, and precision. She must have sought the services of a highly renowned artist for the job.

Photo Credits: Instagram/ alicetattoos

The first tattoo isn’t unattractive or poorly done, but the facelift gives the leaves more life. The artist did a commendable job making the flowers more realistic and vibrant with insects searching for nectar. Alice proves that dry old leaves may deserve a second chance to thrive.

21. Baby steps

Most folks with foot tattoos claim that foot tattoos are the most painful. If you don’t have a threshold for pain, you may leave the tattoo parlor while your artwork is halfway completed. We applaud this lovely lady for revisiting the artist for a makeover, despite the pain.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ stlkersally

She may have been born with natural painkillers or was unimpressed with the first tattoo on the left side. The lady must have an undying love for her beloved fur baby or loves her feet more than other parts. One may argue that the tattoo would have been better on her shoulder.

22. Let’s give it a new life.

Most people believe that the best tattoo artists are male. The remarkable Tattooist Muha overrules the shared belief by making this piece better in every way. Our original work on the right features ink that looks as if it may have a keloid scar.

Photo Credits: Instagram/ tattooistmuha

The original artist did a commendable job, but Tattooist Muha makes their wrist livelier, and more colorful to produce lovely and beautiful scenery. Muha upgraded this by using her mastery to focus on the trees to make the piece better.

23. Hide and seek

Most kids prefer hiding their toys from third parties to keep them safe. They try to hide the toys when friends come over where they can easily find them after. As one grows older, they may prefer other toys or get over the need to cuddle teddy bears.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ Ceerner

The tat owner may have also gotten over the teddy bear being at the back of her neck for an entire year. She chose to hide the teddy bear under a colorful flower, hoping to retrieve it when the need arises. Covering up the bear with a flower also shows a different level of maturity.

24. Party with the dogs

One may get a tat based on sentimental attachments or the ability to sketch a simple image of what they need to see on their skin. A profound meaning may have informed the image on the left in the tat lover’s life, or a kid was practicing what they drew at school.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ The_Cpt_Hazza

The tat owner chose to make the dog livelier and more colorful for future parties. The three images highlighted above show that the Party Dog’s growth and evolution took time and resources. It seems almost as the first one was a dare, who would willingly put that on their skin?

25. Hulk the smash

Hulk is always in the mood to smash people or various items. On the left is an incomplete tattoo of Hulk, and we can imagine how much he would be displeased to find himself in a preliminary design. The artist may have developed cold feet as he couldn’t get to draw the giant on a tiny space.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ twistedup75

Putting Hulk in a box could be better than challenging him to a boxing match. Hulk’s face in a box is on the right, saving them the time and energy needed to draw the enormous guy. The shading and details in the second one are fantastic.

26. Increased beauty

Not every cover-up entails a piece of art that someone regrets. This makeover also stands out because the original work was also beautiful and outstanding. It was more of an upgrade to the initial artwork targeting parts that the artist may have failed to bring out well.

Photo Credits: Instagram/ samilocke

The image on the left may not have impressed the recipient as they had anticipated, but we believe that most people were impressed by it. The right side is a perfect image with various additions making it more attractive. This proves that there’s always room for improvement.

27. Improving Intensity

Our next original tattoo is more of a minimalistic vibe but not entirely terrible. Anybody would agree that the cover-up improves the first tattoo by giving it more life, making it fiercer, and inspirational for artists and tattoo lovers.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ deleted user

The tattoo features the theme of a lady hunter donning a wolf’s head-like cap. We must applaud the artist for making the image unique and more intense. The first artist did quite a good job but failed to give the final product an oomph delivered by the second artist.

28. Less of a cover-up

We have spent a considerable amount of time understanding what the original tattoo is. Our first thought was a globe, then maybe it’s a happy snake or giraffe? Whatever it is, it’s clear this person no longer wants anything to do with it.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ dwdwaterdrop

The left tattoo seems like absolutely nothing compared to the cover-up. The right tattoo is colorful, attractive, and the real deal. This person was lucky to get a beautifully shaded bloom on their lower back. The time and energy spent on the new piece was well worth it.

29. Better your best

The first tattoo creates a hunger for more ink on your skin. The subsequent cover-up doesn’t include a poorly done tattoo by an amateur ink artist. You can see an outline of the final product sketched over the left image as the artist outlines the final product.

Photo Credits: Instagram/ bulletbg

The final product on the right is an exceptional masterpiece that took more time, skill, and precision than the original tribal tattoo. Our artist transformed the original piece into a unique tattoo, including parts of the original ink as intentional shadowing peeking through the final product.

30. Marge over Mary

How do you react to a break-up? Most people choose to get over a breakup by moving on to the next relationship. Most fans of The Simpsons will agree several episodes of the long-running show can help you survive the most turbulent breakup, divorce, and separation.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ noijonas

This tattoo holder may have had a hard time getting over Mary if not for Marge. He was lucky to have Marge to take over Mary’s role. Marge is more willing to support and care for this man than Mary.

31. Time to bounce back

You should gather the energy and courage to bounce back with a bang when you fall. On the left side is a creative tattoo of a man falling. The piece is accurately done, but the owner could have made it more colorful.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ c0quine

We believe that it took lots of energy, time, and creativity for the artist to change the falling man into a colorful flower. Such cover-ups bring out the hidden skills an artist has up their sleeves (get it?). We believe that this lady was lucky to get the best artist for her cover-up.

32. Making it more meaningful

A tattoo may be less meaningful if the artist doesn’t get all the details in the first or subsequent corrections. A successful cover-up can help you give that tattoo more meaning if you get a better tattoo artist. This image allows us to stress the importance of an excellent cover-up.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ shaldaya

The original version appears to be a bird and serpent fighting, the lines are fading and the image is blurred. It may have taken the intervention of a pro artist to give the eye and galaxy more life and make them more outstanding.

33. Not so expressive

Artists never cease to amaze. On the left is an image of the original tattoo that was quite impressive but less colorful. Unfortunately, the owner may have needed to make the tat more expressive and worth the pain. Only the owner can shed more light on their decision.

Photo Credits: Instagram/ fireblade_tattoo

The second tattoo on the right is more meaningful and quite extraordinary. Our biggest question is how the artist did away with the text during the cover-up. Only the artist can help us locate the text from the book or the spaceship leaving the earth.

34. From nothing to something

You may find it hard to believe the transformation because the final product is much better and more colorful than the original. Most people would regret getting the first tattoo soon after leaving the shop. It takes professional hands and skills to go from left to right.

Photo Credits: Instagram/ 2.can.sam

The left tattoo has the right inspiration, but the artist may have failed to produce the client’s specified vision. We cannot read or make sense of writings on the left but are drawn to the right side’s beauty, colors, and precision.

35. Pikachu, the artist

Pikachu drawing Pikachu may be one of the best cover-ups on our list. We love the makeover because it includes creativity. It’s cute and quite accurate. On the left side, the character looks like a pen drawing. The piece is quite incomplete and could benefit from an upgrade.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ DarkStarFTW

While the original Pikachu is dull and incomplete, the second image features a happier and more attractive character with an inner child smile. The artist made the cover-up better by including a Pikachu, rectifying the initial mistake through a fantastic self-portrait.

36. Red roses in the spring

We may need to launch an in-depth investigation into women’s love for flowers. The first flower may have surprised the lady as she expected a bigger and more colorful flower. She may have needed an uplift to make the artwork more vibrant.

Photo Credits: Instagram/ maryeink

The tattoo cover-up allowed the lady to get a correction making the flower bigger and more vibrant. We may argue that the left tattoo was an incomplete tat, while the second is a bloomed version of the initial flower thriving in the middle of the spring.

37. A salvaged portrait

Instead of hanging a portrait of your favorite people on the wall, you can have ink on your skin and carry the picture with you wherever you go. Unfortunately, a poor artist may fail to deliver your desired image, as evidenced by the photo on the left.

Photo Credits: Instagram/ petertattoer

We assume that this portrait features the person’s daughter. The artist tried but didn’t deliver the best results as were expected. It must have taken the artist more time and skill to rectify the error and make the girl more alive and attractive. One may argue that the first image is incomplete.

38. Owl covers Superman

A pro artist can perform better than a magician by changing a simple tattoo into a complex ink web. The following image shows an improvement from a simple Superman logo to an owl in the woods giving it more life while making it more beautiful.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ Back2Beantown

As we marvel at the new image, we believe that the person may have shifted allegiance from DC comics to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or developed a new interest in birds. We acknowledge the role and effort of Rodney Eckenberger in making the cover-up.

39. Newest navigator in town

Compass tattoos are common among ink lovers. It may hold sentimental values like hoping that they would always find their way home. Your compass tattoo can include unique features making it stand out or be plain like the one highlighted below.

Photo Credits: Reddit/ crabytree

One tattoo lover may have chosen to make the piece more unique by adding Korean wildflowers to give the work a lovelier touch. The simple addition transforms a simple compass devoid of purpose into a guide towards personal happiness and grace by increasing perfection.