My Holly Tattoo Re-Worked

While I was at Death’s Door getting my potion bottle tattoo last year, I was showing Lou the rest of my tattoos and told her how much I disliked the tribal holly tattoo on my lower back.

Storytime …. I got it done on the Isle of Wight when I was 24. I knew I wanted a holly tattoo (because it’s my name, duh) but I didn’t know back then that you could get tattooists to design you custom pieces. So I basically found a couple of designs on the internet I liked, traced them off the computer screen and merged them together. For reals.

I took it to the tattooist up the road from my work and asked her if she could “make it look better” She took it off me and booked me in to get it tattooed a couple of hours later. When I got there, all she’d done was neaten the lines a little bit and joined up some of the gaps at the bottom of the leaves. Thanks hun.

Obviously I was too scared to say that’s not what I meant, so about half an hour later, I walked out ยฃ35 lighter with a new tattoo ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ (we’ll just ignore the tribal tattoos on either side for now!)

Anyway, at my initial appointment with Lou last year, we discussed my holly tattoo.

I said I’d love to keep the holly leaves but make them look better and maybe add some pretty flowers to the design.

I really wanted to get it sorted before I turned 35, so I decided to book in to get it done! I booked my appointment back in December but had to wait until February this year for my appointment date. I was told it would probably take an entire day, so I book two half-day sessions because I knew I couldn’t handle more than 4 hours at a time!

On the day we chatted further about my tattoo design.

Lou said that because I wanted to keep the tribal tattoos on either side, adding flowers or anything else might make it look too “busy”. She said she could rework the tattoo in colour and make it more symmetrical, feminine and a lot prettier ๐Ÿ™‚ but not change it too much from the original shape and size.

She drew a rough design on my back in Sharpie so I could see what it would look like!

I was happy to let her do what she thought would look best, so I chose some muted greens for the leaves and deep reds for the berries. Lou said she could use flesh coloured ink over some of the thicker lines to hide them (although at the moment, they’re still pretty visible).

I’d forgotten how painful a tattoo over the spine could be but, once the outline was done, Lou sprayed some magic numbing spray on me so we could get the colour added! As I was lying on my front the whole time and drinking lots of water to keep hydrated, I had to take a few bathroom breaks, which was the perfect excuse to top up the numbing spray ๐Ÿ˜€

Because we’d changed the specifications dramatically, the tattoo only took about 3 hours in total although, because Lou is the super sweetest and we have a very similar sense of humour, the time went really quickly!! I love the colours and the addition of the berries were a brilliant idea. The tattoo is a lot more symmetrical now so it doesn’t look quite as weird ๐Ÿ˜€ I kind of feel like it’s not quite complete yet but I’m not sure what else it needs to make it feel finished!

The next thing Lou is doing is sorting out the two tribal tattoos either side of the holly tattoo. They were both done really badly with really thick needles for the outlines, so Lou is going to make them look as good as new ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you ever had a tattoo re-worked? Have you got any new tattoos lined up? Let me know in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚ x

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10 Comments

  1. Iโ€™ve not had a tattoo reworked but I am getting a new one hopefully at the end of the month. I love what youโ€™ve had done here, it looks amazing!!

  2. SUCH a stunning piece! Canโ€™t wait to see how the tribal works out! What was the pain like for your back? I love back pieces so much, and love how real yours looks xx

        1. You can buy numbing cream from the US but it’s pretty pricey! Once the outline is done, if your tattooist has numbing cream, you won’t be able to feel the colour/shading being done ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜ xx

  3. Wow Holly, your holly tattoo looks stunning. Such a difference between the before and after photos. Iโ€™m interested to see what youโ€™ll be doing with the two tribal tattoos.

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