Mushrooms can either have a deep meaning or be an homage to your favorite cartoon. This versatile tattoo has lots of different meanings, making them a unique tattoo to have inked into your skin.
No matter whether mushrooms remind you of nature, your favorite childhood storybook or a videogame, they make excellent imagery for tattoos. They suit many different styles from realistic black and gray, to bold cartoon-like designs. Read on to learn more about the meaning of mushroom tattoos and the different designs they can be inked in.
Mushroom Tattoo Ideas (12 Design Styles)
Need some inspiration for your mushroom tattoo? We countdown our favorite 12 design styles, their history, their symbology, and why they suit mushroom tattoos so much.
1. Color Mushroom Tattoo Design
Mushrooms come in a range of wonderful colors. In real life, mushrooms can be found in wonderfully bold shades and stunning jewel tones. The brighter the mushroom, the more poisonous it tends to be. Colorful mushroom tattoos can either be realistic, cartoonish or illustrative.
It’s not just the mushroom that can be colored. The whole background can be bold, whether it’s a psychedelic galaxy, mythical realm or a galaxy of tones.
2. Black and Grey Mushroom Tattoos
Because mushrooms are so distinctive in shape, they look amazing in black and gray. A good tattoo artist can great a multi-dimensional mushroom tattoo, with shaded gills and a darker shaded cap.
Choose a fine line, delicate mushroom tattoo, a monochrome grayscale design, or a heavier black dramatic piece. Mushrooms suit different styles, each of them looking stunning in black and grey.
3. Fine Line Mushroom Tattoo Design
In recent years, small and simple fine line mushroom tattoos have become very popular. Minimalist and delicate, these cute mushroom tattoos can be elegant and subtle. This is a great option if you want to get a delicate tattoo that won’t make too much of an impact.
Because mushrooms are recognizable designs with lots of natural straight lines, it lends itself to this minimalist tattoo which contains no shading at all.
4. Cartoon Mushroom Tattoo Design
Many of us associate mushrooms with the cartoons we grew up with. Mushrooms, with their fun shape and unique colors, look great in a cartoon style. Many people add faces to the stem, so the cap looks like a hat.
It’s not just the mushroom design that can be a cartoon, you can get a large piece with cartoon animals, cartoon plants and whole cartoon forests. You can let your imagination run wild, using bold colors, making the mushroom seem like a real-life little creature.
5. Fairy Tale Mushroom Tattoo Designs
Many cultures associate mushrooms with fairies. They appear in many European fairy tales where they are often homes for mythical creatures. Fairies are commonly tattooed sitting, standing, or sleeping on the cap of the mushroom.
A crying fairy sat on a mushroom symbolizes sadness over a broken connection. This is because mushrooms are connected to nature and have a natural bond with everything around it. This tattoo style looks equally pretty in color or in black and gray.
6. Psychedelic Mushroom Tattoo Design
Mushrooms are connected to psychedelic mushroom, so celebrate the trip with a psychedelic-mushroom tattoo. As depicted in Alice in Wonderland, some types of mushroom have perspective shifting properties that take people on a mind-altering psychedelic trip.
People choose bright colors like blues, reds and purple when getting psychedelic mushroom tattooed onto them. Nothing is off-limits with this mushroom tattoo design, so mix colors, add a bold print to the mushroom or incorporate a galaxy-like background.
7. Animals and Mushroom Tattoo Design
Animals and mushrooms are commonly found together in nature. Mushrooms and animals can be tattooed as part of a forest or garden scene or separated. Animals can sit in front or on top of the mushroom quite naturally.
These designs can suit all types of tattoo style, it can be realistic, psychedelic, or cartoony. Slugs, snails and frogs are commonly tattooed alongside mushrooms, but you can get any animal you like, even if they aren’t commonly found together in nature.
8. Mushroom Skull Tattoo Design
Skull tattoos are very popular, especially in black and gray. Mushrooms and skulls are often tattooed together, symbolizing decay. The empty spaces of a skull design are the ideal place for a mushroom to blossom out of.
Asides from being a fantastic symbol for the decay of life and the afterlife, mixing skulls and mushrooms can look cool. Many cultures connect mushrooms with the circle of life.
9. Mushroom Gill Tattoo Design
A recognizable aspect of mushrooms is the underbelly of the gills (the lines on the underneath). Many mushrooms have bold and attractively colored gills, giving you a chance to add detail. Gilled mushroom tattoos can be executed with greyscale shading or deep jewel colors.
Since mushroom gills are seen from underneath, it gives your tattoo artist a chance to play with perspective and dimension. Also, adding gills will help make mushrooms distinctive and not look like an umbrella or parasol.
10. Mario Mushroom Tattoo Design
Many gamers and fans of the Super Mario series of videogames associate mushrooms with the game. The iconic power up tool is a red and white head, with a cute little face. It can be an ideal little nod to gaming or as part of a larger themed piece.
Although the iconic and most recognizable version of this tattoo design is red, it is also commonly inked in green, blue, or rainbow shaded. Some people even get it, so it looks like classic pixilated games many of us remember playing as children.
11. Allman Brothers Mushroom Tattoo Design
One of the lesser known mushroom tattoo traditions is that of fans of the American rock band the Allman Brothers. Many of the band’s members are marked with the tattoo, and it’s a popular way for fans to pay tribute to their favorite band.
There is no one specific design to celebrate the band. Fans choose their mushroom tattoo in a range of designs, colors, and themes. Some get it with lyrics from the band, their logo, or as part of a whole tribute to their music.
12. Mushrooms with Legs Tattoo Design
Because of the way mushrooms are shaped, they lend themselves to this quirky design. With legs peering out from the mushroom cap, it looks the person has a lampshade on their head. Sometimes the tattoo will even show the whole body, usually of a pin up or a nude woman.
There is no real reason or symbology behind this mushroom tattoo design, it just looks really fun and is a unique talking point to get tattooed on your body. Because this is such a creative design, it can be colored in any way and can be inked in any tattoo style.
Mushroom Tattoo Meaning
Mushrooms have much more meaning and history than many of us may know of. They are not just a cute and versatile tattoo design; they hold significant symbolism.
In many cultures, mushrooms are a symbol of power, tattoos of mushrooms are often used as a way to represent this. Mushroom tattoos can represent people who are power or help inspire you to be more powerful in life.
Magic mushrooms are a common term for psychedelic mushrooms that offer a mind-altering experience to those who take it. Mushrooms are used to represent psychedelic trips as well as magic or magical trips. Mushrooms are often magical in films, videogames, and literature. Others use mushrooms to represent their love of the 1960s and psychedelic influenced music (for example Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix and The Grateful Dead).
Some cultures see the mushroom as a symbol of good luck. Mushrooms can be tattooed to help bring good luck to the wearer, usually in visible places like the wrist. Because mushrooms are so connected with trees and plants, they symbolize the circle of life. In Europe, seeing a mushroom is a cause for rejoice.
Many different cultures around the world also believe that mushrooms represent enlightenment. Another popular belief is that mushrooms represent masculinity and are a symbol of virility and fertility. Other cultures see the fungus as a symbol of immortality.
In Great Britain, if a ring of mushrooms appears, it is known as a fairy ring where the fae come to dance and frolic. In other European countries, humans who dare to enter the mushroom ring may find themselves asleep for hundreds of years.
In Holland, mushroom circles are believed to be where the Devil sets down his milk churn. When he picks up the milk churn, he leaves behind a ring of mushrooms. In France and Austria, mushrooms are associated with sorcery and evil magic. People are advised to steer clear of mushrooms as they are evil. This could be because some mushrooms are poisonous and very dangerous to humans.
One of the most common mushrooms in tattoo design is the red and white Fly Agaric. It’s famous for appearing in films, fairy tales, and video games. Although depicted as homes of fairies and gnomes, it is actually hallucinogenic and was popularly used by European shamans. This type of mushroom contains two toxins that reduce the body’s response to fear, means it is popularly ingested by warriors. Getting this little red mushroom tattoo can signify strength and fearlessness.
In central Europe, the Fly Agaric mushroom type is associated with Christmas, and there is a theory that Santa Claus’ red and white suit originated in the colors of this magical mushroom. In Lithuania, mushrooms are considered the fingers of the God of the dead. He reaches out from the world of the dead to feed the impoverished.
Ancient Egypt and Asia
Mushrooms were considered an ancient Egyptian delicacy, associated with immortality. For this reason, only royalty could consume mushrooms. Some people believe that the Egyptian Ankh, which symbolized life, could be a representation of mushrooms. Although there is no definitive evidence, there are images which depict the Ankh being fed to the god Osiris (the God of spiritual rebirth).
Egyptian hieroglyphs show a parasol shaped, which looks a lot like hallucinogenic mushrooms. In Pyramid Texts, these mushrooms are referred to as magical, golden plants with magical properties that are only used during sacred celebrations.
In Chinese and Japanese tradition, mushrooms are associated with strength, spiritual healing and longevity. Many of the mushrooms found in these countries were known for stimulating the immune system and are often used for herbal remedies. The Chinese also believed that the mushroom symbolized happiness, rebirth and transformation, and will only grow in times of peace.
Mushroom Tattoo: More FAQs
What do mushrooms look like?
When you think of fungus, you most likely think of a white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. This is the mushroom we commonly eat with a stem, a cap and darker gills on the underside of the cap. They are usually white and brown in color, with a rounded cap.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms are more reddish-brown in color, with white dimples which are often depicted as white polka dots in tattoo designs. Some of these mushroom designs are elongated in shape.
Mushrooms aren’t just brown or red in color. Some mushrooms are green, blue or turquoise. Some species are bold orange or yellow colors. Although more uncommon, some mushrooms are pink tone, ranging from light pastels to bright magenta colors.
Which celebrities have mushroom tattoos?
Mushroom tattoos are pretty rare for celebrities, meaning you will be super unique when you get this inking. American actress and model, Kyra Santoro, has a small black and white mushroom tattooed on her arm. The daughter of the late Riverdale actor, Luke Perry, had a mushroom tattooed on to her, in memory of her famous father.
The most famous mushroom tattoo belongs to Eminem. He has a massive tattoo inked on his left shoulder. It pays tribute to his late uncle and includes roses, an evil eye, and a mushroom.
Is mushroom tattoo slang for anything?
Yes, a mushroom tattoo has a sexual meaning. It’s an adult term where the male genitals hit another person’s body party, often on the face, with force. The bruise it leaves behind has a mushroom-like appearance, giving it the title of a mushroom tattoo.
How long does a mushroom tattoo take?
Getting a mushroom tattoo is not something that should be rushed. If you want an attractive and long-lasting mushroom tattoo, you should let your tattooist take their time to get it right.
A complex yet small piece can take several hours to execute. If your tattoo takes over five hours, your artist may recommend getting tattooed across several days. Some small tattoos may take longer than you think due to the amount of detail required.
How long does it take for a mushroom tattoo to heal?
After getting your mushroom tattoo, it may take 2 or 3 weeks for the outer layer of skin to heal. Although it may look healed after a few weeks to the eye, it may take as long as 6 months for the area to be fully tattooed.
Some factors will prolong the time it takes your mushroom tattoo to heal. Avoid picking at the tattoo, even when it scabs, always use SPF and try to use an alcohol-free lotion.
When should I get my mushroom tattoo?
You can get tattooed any time of year. We recommend getting tattooed during the fall and winter months. Skin gets exposed to more harmful elements in the summer. After getting tattooed we recommend not swimming, tanning, or exposing the skin to the sun.
Where should I get tattooed?
You can get tattooed anywhere on the body, it all depends on what look you want, how big you want the tattoo and how much pain you can withstand. Smaller tattoos can be hidden away on the ribcage, ankle, or upper leg. They can also be played in more prominent places like the arm, the wrist, or the shoulder.
Bigger tattoos tend to be on the back, leg, arm, or side. This is because there is more surface to play around with and has a flat surface that suits most designs. Recently finger and foot tattoos have become very popular.
Are mushroom tattoos for men or for women?
Mushrooms tattoos are not gender-specific at all. Mushroom tattoos suit a wide range of tattoo styles that range from contemporary fine lines to cute fairies, dark skulls, or retro Mario Kart-inspired designs.