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Sure, tiny tattoos, watercolor work, and micro portraits might be transforming traditional tattooing, with celebrities continuously being covered in delicate and completely delightful ink, but there is something to this new tattoo trend. Instagram’s newest “arts and crafts” ink is being cross-stitched into the mainstream, by tattoo artists like Eva Krbdk, Rogelio Vazquez, Bau Oliver, Russell Van Schaick, and Ksu Arrow.

Embroidery tattoos create the hyper-real illusion of a three dimensional image, and when done right, look like a craft patch sewn straight onto your skin. For some inkspiration, and to get the ins-and-out of the embroidery and cross-stitch tattoo trend, you can soon be on your way to becoming the customized denim jacket of your dreams.

While many clients bring in fabric or a photo of real embroidered patchwork for your artist to replicate and recreate, the right tattoo artist can also help you dream up your embroidery tattoo design.

While always searching for the right artist for your desired tattoo style is 100% important, especially with this technique, don’t rush the research process. For the embroidery tattoo style, the most important component isn't the color scheme, but the contrast of the black ink and outlines. That's what creates the life-like embroidered illusion, to get the effect from each thread.

Also, be ready to sit for a while. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the devil is certainly in the details for this tattoo trend. While these designs might be delicate, your pain tolerance should be applauded, and the final result of this grandma-approved work will be celebrated for generations to come. 

Take a peek at these incredible embroidery tattoo designs: