by Tori Jones
Sternum Tattoo

Now, sternum tattoos – they’re not just your garden-variety body art. They’re an elegant, bold declaration of individuality, an intimate canvas hidden just beneath the surface. Think of it as the secret heart of tattoo locations, nestled right there in the center of your being. Oh, and they’ve got a rich history and symbolic significance that would make even the most hard-boiled art historians nod in appreciation.

In this article, you’re going to learn all the ins and outs of sternum tattoos: what to expect when you’re expecting… a needle to your chest. We’re talking design inspiration, pain levels, healing times, and yes, even some spicy insider tips to ensure that your tattoo experience is as smooth as a fresh ink job.

Sternum Tattoo
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The Heart of the Matter: Your Sternum

Let’s talk sternum, that majestic bone residing right in the center of your chest. It’s the sturdy bridge between your pecs, the unsung hero providing structure to your torso. You know, that hard bit you can feel if you press down in the middle of your chest? That’s the one.

Sternum Tattoo
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The Art of the Sternum Tattoo

Now, imagine transforming that unsung hero into a canvas of self-expression. This is where the sternum tattoo steps into the spotlight. It’s like painting a masterpiece on a bone canvas, right across that central part of your chest. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? However, as any seasoned tattoo enthusiast would tell you, the journey from conception to creation is seldom a straight line.

I remember my first sternum tattoo like it was yesterday. A petite but intricate mandala, right where my heart beats beneath. It was like wearing my soul on my skin, a little secret whispered only to those I chose to reveal it to.

Sternum Tattoo
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A Walk on the Wild Side: The Pain Factor

No sugarcoating here, folks: a sternum tattoo can pack quite a punch in the pain department. The skin covering your sternum is thin, with scant cushioning to soften the needle’s dance. This is where your tattoo artist’s skill truly comes into play, navigating this delicate area with precision and care.

That first sternum tattoo of mine? Let’s just say it wasn’t a walk in the park. But the end result was worth every second under the needle, a testament to artistry and resilience etched on my skin.

The Aesthetic Spectrum of Sternum Tattoos

Sternum tattoos offer a vast playground of creativity. They can be delicate wisps of design tracing around and under your chest, like the whisper of a lover’s touch. Or they can be bold declarations covering the entire chest, proclaiming your narrative to the world.

Celebrities like Rihanna and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have embraced the allure of sternum and chest tattoos, each piece uniquely embodying their personal journeys. So whether you prefer the delicacy of a single rose or the grandeur of a tribal design, your sternum is a prime real estate for your artistic vision.

Meaningful Markings: The Symbolism of Sternum Tattoos

When it comes to significance, sternum tattoos often hold a special place in the heart of the bearer—quite literally. Given their proximity to the heart, these tattoos frequently carry a deeper meaning, an intimate message worn close to one’s heartbeat.

Think about it: a sternum tattoo is not just a decoration, but a statement—your statement. And what could be more powerful than wearing your heart on your skin? So, whether you’re planning to get your first sternum tattoo or adding to your existing ink family, remember that each mark is a piece of your story, forever imprinted on you. So make it count!

What Should I Expect Pain-Wise With A Sternum Tattoo?

Sternum Tattoo
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Let’s dive right into the question that’s probably on your mind: “How much will a sternum tattoo hurt?” I won’t beat around the bush – sternum tattoos can deliver quite the sting. The lack of substantial fat or thick tissue between your skin and that central chest bone means that the needle’s journey can be a bit more, shall we say, intense.

Ever been kicked in the shin? Imagine that sensation, but positioned in the middle of your chest. Now, don’t get me wrong, we’re not talking about a roundhouse kick from a martial arts expert, but it’s definitely a sensation you’ll remember.

A Symphony of Sensations: Understanding the Vibrations

Now, the art of tattooing is not just about the needle – it’s also about the vibrations. That buzzing tattoo machine will send reverberations into your sternum, amplifying the sensations you feel. It’s a peculiar feeling, one that can almost trick you into thinking you’re hearing the pain. Sounds strange, right? But trust me, as someone who’s been there, done that, and got the tattoo to prove it, it’s an experience that’s both unusual and unforgettable.

Sternum Tattoo
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Sensitivity Check: Is Your Skin Ready?

Remember, sternum tissue is often more sensitive than other parts of your body. If you’re someone who can’t handle a rigorous chest workout or finds chest massages a bit too ticklish, then consider this a heads up. Even without the close proximity of bone, the skin over your sternum can make the tattooing process more prickly.

Back when I got my first sternum piece, I remember the surprise I felt at the sensitivity of the area. It was like my skin was throwing a surprise party, and every needle prick was a confetti popper. But as with any tattoo, it’s all about embracing the experience and coming out the other side with a masterpiece that’s worth the journey.

So, there you have it – a sternum tattoo is a unique ride on the rollercoaster of pain and sensation. But let’s be real, we’re not in the tattoo game because it’s a walk in the park. We’re here for the thrill, the art, and the stories that our skin tells. And trust me, the sternum is one heck of a storyteller.

What To Bring

Bring along something comfortable to wear during the session – remember, the area needs to breathe. If you’re planning a longer session, come equipped with entertainment to keep you occupied.

Sternum Tattoo
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Should My First Tattoo Be On My Sternum?

Sternum Tattoo
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For those of you considering a sternum tattoo as your first ink experience, let me share a piece of wisdom. The sternum is not a beginner-friendly area. You might want to start with a less sensitive spot like the upper arm, forearm, or calf. This will help you become acquainted with the sensation of the tattoo needle.

Entering the world of sternum tattoos is a brave step, one that leads to a unique bond between you, your artist, and your personal story. It’s a challenging journey, but for many, the beautiful artwork it yields makes every moment worth it.

What Kind Of Tattoo Designs Work Well On The Sternum?

ternum tattoos offer a broad canvas that can accommodate a variety of designs, depending on your personal style, preferences, and the story you wish to tell. Here are a few design concepts that work particularly well in this area:

  1. Floral Designs: Due to the natural curve of the sternum, floral designs can beautifully complement the area. Roses, lotus flowers, or any other blossoms can create a delicate, feminine look.
  2. Mandalas and Geometric Patterns: The symmetry of mandalas and geometric patterns can fit nicely on the sternum, creating a balanced look. These designs can be as intricate or simple as you like.
  3. Animals and Birds: If you’re an animal lover, designs featuring creatures like birds, butterflies, or even mythical beasts like dragons can be a great choice. The flow of the wings or body can follow the natural lines of your body.
  4. Script or Text: Quotes, phrases, or important dates can make meaningful sternum tattoos. Just make sure the font and size are suitable for the area and can be easily read.
  5. Sacred Symbols: If you’re drawn to spiritual or symbolic designs, the sternum is a powerful location for these. Symbols like the unalome, cross, or crescent moon can create a personal spiritual touchstone.
  6. Ornamental Designs: Ornamental designs like lacework or jewelry-inspired pieces such as chokers or pendants can look gorgeous and elegant on the sternum.

Remember, the best design for your sternum tattoo is the one that speaks to you and reflects your personal style and story. Always work closely with your tattoo artist to create a design that you’ll love for years to come.


So, you’ve taken the deep dive into the world of sternum tattoos and you’re ready to make a statement that is both personal and profound. As your friendly neighborhood tattoo expert, I’ll share with you one last nugget of wisdom: choose your artist and design with care. The placement of a sternum tattoo requires precision, creativity, and an understanding of how to work with the unique canvas your body provides. Consider a design that complements the natural curves and contours of your body.

As for cost, remember that quality workmanship has its price. You’re investing in a piece of art that will be with you forever. The cost of a sternum tattoo can range from $150 to over $1000, depending on the complexity and size of the design.

As with any tattoo, there are risks involved. The sternum area is sensitive, and the process can be more painful than other locations. Possible side effects include swelling, bruising, or a higher risk of infection due to the area’s close proximity to the lungs and heart.

Yet despite these challenges, the reward is a stunning piece of body art that is truly unique. Each time you look down at your sternum tattoo, you’ll be reminded of your resilience, your courage, and your journey. You’re not just wearing a piece of art; you’re wearing a piece of your story. So, take the leap, embrace the challenge, and welcome to the world of sternum tattoos.

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