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Key Tattoos and Designs-Key Tattoo Meanings And Ideas-Key Tattoo Gallery

Updated on October 31, 2013
thelyricwriter profile image

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.


One unique tattoo design that you may want to consider is the key tattoo. Key tattoos can be worn by both men and women. Key tattoo designs can be designed alone or designed with a variety of different elements and symbols. Key tattoo designs can be designed in several different colors and sizes. Due to this, the key tattoo can nearly be tattooed anywhere on the body.

In this article, we will discuss key tattoos and key tattoo designs. We will also review key tattoo meanings and you will have the opportunity to view a variety of different key tattoo designs. In the end, we hope that you are able to find inspiration and ideas for your own tattoo design.


Although the key tattoo is not considered to be a mainstream tattoo, there is a popularity for the tattoo symbol. Key tattoos can be designed alone or they can be placed with other symbols and elements. You may be familiar with the key and lock tattoo design. The only difference with the key tattoo is that the lock is not designed with the key. However, we have provided you with information on both tattoos.

Keys are actually a big part of our everyday life. We have several uses and purposes for keys in our life. Keys are used to open doors, open locks, or open anything that is locked. However, they are used to close and lock things as well. In fact, keys can be viewed in these two different perspectives. Because of this, the key tattoo can symbolize a variety of different things.

Key tattoos can come in a variety of different variations and designs. While the key tattoo can portray one single key, it can also portray a key and lock. Keys can also be designed as a specific key, such as a skeleton key. When it comes to key tattoos, you will have plenty of options to weigh out. Some key tattoos may portray the key in a simple way while others are more artistic in design.

Key tattoos can be designed with a variety of different symbols and elements. In this case, no symbol or element is wrong. Although keys are commonly designed as key and lock tattoos, they can also be designed within heart tattoos, ribbon tattoos, star tattoos, and chain tattoos. Key tattoo can design the key to be on a necklace or bracelet. Key tattoo designs may also portray decorative art designs in various ways.

One popular variation of key tattoos is the key and lock tattoo. In such tattoos, a key and a lock are designed in the tattoo. Key and lock tattoos may be designed together or separately. Men and women that choose to separate the key and lock tattoo usually get one on the arm and the other on the opposite arm. Key and lock tattoos can be vibrant, unique, and colorful. The key may be designed to match the lock or they can be different. One popular key and lock tattoo is the key and heart lock. With this design, the key may be made with a heart or the lock may be designed as a heart. Most of us have heard the saying, "You own the key to my heart." The key and heart lock tattoo can represent the same meaning. It can symbolize love for one special person. However, it can also represent betrayal and heartache.


The key tattoo does hold a variety of symbolic meanings to those who wear these beautiful tattoos. Due to the different variations in design, some meanings are positive while some may be more negative. But remember, in the end, your key tattoo symbolizes what you want it too. With saying that, below are the meanings that may be applied to the key tattoo.

  • Freedom
  • Opportunity
  • Imagination
  • Mystery
  • Unknown
  • Possibility
  • Responsibility
  • Imprisonment
  • Purpose
  • Fantasy
  • Capability
  • Security
  • Secretive
  • Ownership

Since key tattoos come in a variety of different variations and designs, they can be designed in various sizes. Some key tattoos can be large while others may be very small. Since the key tattoo can be designed either way, they can nearly be tattooed anywhere on the body. But once again, it depends on what type of key tattoo design your getting. If your only getting a single key tattoo, it can be tattooed anywhere. But if your looking for the key and lock tattoo, you will need a much larger canvas. Some men and women prefer to hide their key tattoo. Some may view the key as a "trophy" in this case. It may be symbolic to their partner or for their partner's eyes only.

The skeleton key tattoo is also a common choice for key tattoos. The skeleton key tattoo usually portrays a skull on the key or something associated to the skeleton. For those who don't know, the skeleton key is a type of key that works on all the locks. The skeleton key tattoo can also have symbolic value. The skeleton key tattoo symbolizes opportunity as one is able to get through anything that is locked. Others may interpret the skeleton key as a symbol of life or death.

As you have learned, you can really do a lot with the key tattoo. Make sure that you take the time to view all the different key tattoo designs in this article. This can be very beneficial to you. For starters, this will give you a general idea of everything that is on the market. Secondly, when you view other tattoo designs, you can pick up your own ideas and inspiration. This can help you with your key tattoo design, just in case your creating your own.

There are some important things that you need to remember before you choose to get your key tattoo or any tattoo. Make sure you take the time to research your tattoo. Make sure that you completely understand what your tattoo represents and stands for. You don't want to get a tattoo and find out later that it represents something different. Don't rush to get inked! Men and women that rush to get tattooed usually regret their choice later on down the road. You don't want to make this mistake. If you are not sure about a tattoo, give it more time. Make sure you are completely sure. So, do your research, view several tattoo designs, and then make a decision. If you feel that the key tattoo is not for you or you want to view more tattoos, please feel free to follow the links below. As always, thanks for your visit.

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    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia



      Thanks for dropping by. and for your comments. Spy, glad you enjoyed it and the pics. Interesting collection Max. Are any of them worth money? Just in case you come by. Seems like some may be.

    • BeyondMax profile image

      BeyondMax 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Keys, so many meanings! Fascinating stuff. I have a small collection of antique keys and they never cease to amaze me, no wonder people get tattoos like that =)

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wow..i never thought keys as tattoos.. the photos are amazing!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      I will have to check my email. Truth be told, I haven't been to it in months. I have so many different sites, blogs, ect, I just haven't found the time to go there. I just try to visit everyone day to day. Between writing, two jobs, and two kids, it has been hectic the last month or two. Any extra income is very benefical at this point and I have been told to write a book by a few friends now.

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 5 years ago from Florida

      origianally it was, but I noticed HP made changes recently...and I don't see it now...

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Where can I find your email KJ? Would it be on your page?

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 5 years ago from Florida

      thelyricwriter....e-mail me perhaps I can help...

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia






      Thanks again for your support, time, comments, votes, and everything in between. Carly, I find it interesting that the key can be used in many ways, artistically speaking. Bill, thanks again. Alocsin, I agree. I would have to go in between if I were to choose. Small keys are great for a secret tattoo, which the key is popular for. KJ, I would like to do that. Just don't know where to start? Would appreciate any help:) Gyspy, thanks again for everything.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      These are awesome.

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 5 years ago from Florida

      thelyricwriter....You are right on " KEY " with this hub....some great pics....seriously think about a book...perhaps even a table coffee book...have a great day...

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      All though the larger keys are beautiful, my favorite is the small one on a chain around the article. It's a bit of an illusion and more subtle. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Reading these, I'm always amazed by the wide variety that is available....then again, it is art, so why would that amaze me?

      Great job my tattooed friend!

    • CarlySullens profile image

      CarlySullens 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Another great job on another fascinating symbolism for a tattoo. I like keys a lot and use them in my personal art work.

      Some of the images you show of the key tattoo's are amazing work. Thank you for bring us another insightful hub with lots of detail and images.