DIY Henna tattoo ideas are appealing to all women who appreciate the exotic beauty of this body decoration and the intricate motifs. Henna tattoos are particularly popular because they do not stay forever and their design can be changed according to the personal wishes. The design of such a tattoo usually consists of many different patterns and motifs, which are combined together to form an elegant picture. A tattoo template is often used, which makes the painting of the numerous symbols easier. We shall explain the most popular motifs and their meaning and will give you useful tips how to apply a henna tattoo at home.
DIY Henna tattoo ideas – where to place the design?
Originally henna body art was mainly applied to the hands and feet of future brides. The painting of feet has not lost its importance and is still common today. It is a wonderful idea for the summer when you want to show your legs. From a purely practical point of view, the reason for painting hands and legs is that these body parts have large pores and therefore absorb the dye particularly well. Of course, the tattoo can be painted on other body parts but it is possible that the image will go off or become extremely paler in much shorter time. When you are planning your first henna tattoo, it is a good idea to test the henna color on a covered spot of the body, because every skin reacts differently. Depending on the type of skin and other health issues, the result may vary in its color intensity, just as in a real tattoo.
There are many DIY Henna tattoo ideas and it depends whether you draw an image on your own body or on the body of a friend. Obviously, you will not be able to make a drawing on your back but you can decorate your hands, wrists, thighs, ankle or foot. Those who prefer to go to a salon or a henna artist, can choose to apply the image on the the upper arm, forearm, sleeve, back, shoulder or wrist. Expecting moms often choose to apply a temporary tatttattoo on the baby belly.
DIY Henna tattoo ideas – easy henna paste recipe and step by step instructions
Henna as a natural product is red and can vary in color from a bright red tone to a strong red brown. Any other color shades are not natural products. Black henna is quite popular because it is very similar to the tattoo ink but you should be aware that it contains chemicals which may cause skin irritation and massive allergic reactions, so you should test it on a small spot on the skin, wait 24 hours and then start painting. If you are suffering from skin allergies, you should use only natural color and avoid henna which contains any chemical components. The color of fresh henna powder is greenish. If the powder looks too brown, it may be old. You will need an essential oil which will help the henna get darker – Tea Tree, Lavender, Cardamom, Cajeput are some of the best choices.
How to make henna paste at home? Making henna paste is very easy and does not require any special skills. Here is an easy henna paste recipe:
- 100 g. fresh henna powder
- 30ml pure essential oil
- Distilled/purified water, room temperature
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar or other sweetener which helps the henna paste stick better to the skin
Step 1 – Mix the dry ingredients together in a non metal bowl
Step 2 – Add a little water, stir and mix until a very thick paste is formed. It will appear lumpy but do not worry.
Step 3 – Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let the mixture absorb the liquid. Let it sit for about 15 -20 minutes.
Step 4 – Add a little water to thin the henna paste a bit and add your essential oils. Stir well cover again and let it sit for an hour.
Step 5 – Mix the paste until there are no lumps and the mixture looks sticky.
Step 6 – Prepare cones and put the henna paste in a pointy baggy such as a cake decorating bag or carrot bag
Step 7 – Fill the cones about 1/2 – 2/3 full and tape shut them.
Before applying it to the body, henna paste should not be cold. Usually it is stored in the refrigerator but if you use it straight from the fridge, the person will have a very unpleasant sensation, and secondly, the pores of the skin will contract and the paint will not absorb well. Make sure you take the henna out from the refrigerator in advance and put it in a warm place. However, do not overheat it as it will become very liquid. The best temperature is the one close to the temperature of the human body. If you need to warm your henna paste quickly, put it in a bowl of warm water (provided that the cone or tube is tightly sealed). Do not warm the henna in a microwave oven as it may burst.
You need to choose the right place to work. The room should be comfortably warm so that the skin pores are open, but not too warm to make the skin sweat as this will prevent the absorption of henna and can even spoil the whole design. Humidity in the room is also important – too dry air will make henna paste dry quickly and once this happens the process of absorbing the paint will end.
Make sure that the skin of the body part where the tattoo will be placed is completely smooth and without hair. Before applying the paste, wash the skin very carefully with soap. It is advisable to repeat this procedure 2 times to remove both the dust and fat that secretes the skin.
Drawing henna tattoos is a meditative process and first of all it should bring pleasure and relaxation! Remember this and you are ready to apply the henna paste on the skin.
Create your design and start applying it on the skin by pressing gently the cone. Let it dry completely. The henna paste will start cracking and peeling once the paste begins to dry. Wait for at least eight hours before removing the dry henna flakes. The tattoo will change its color from light orange to a reddish/brown shade.
DIY Henna tattoo ideas – choosing the motifs, style and design
When we discuss DIY Henna tattoo ideas we have to explain the meaning of the most important symbols as well as the different styles of designs. Initially, mehndi images were used as talismans with magical properties. Each element of the picture or the whole ornament had its own special meaning. Usually drawing are made in the form of fine lines, arches, leaves, lotuses, peacocks, mangoes and various favorable and religious symbols. Patterns cover all the hands, sometimes reaching the forearm.
Bridal mehndi exist since ancient times. On the eve of the wedding the bride is decorated with intricate henna patterns which may be so complex that it may take several days. A leftover henna powder or paste is buried in the ground in order to avoid infidelity of the future husband. The color of the mehndi means the power of love in marriage: the darker, the stronger the love. Mehndi protects from evil spirits, misfortunes, diseases and even death. Indian women believe that the more elegantly decorated her arms and legs, the more her husband and all his relatives admire her.
Henna tattoo ideas come in four styles:
Arabic style includes floral motifs of the Middle East, reminiscent of Arabian embroidery and without a specific scheme.
African (Moroccan) style features geometric figures and floral motifs. The figure is clear, stylized and strictly corresponds to the shape of the hands or feet.
Indian style (India and Pakistan) includes complex and large drawings of lines, ornaments and teardrop patterns intertwined in a lacy pattern which is applied from the palms to the forearms and from the feet to the knees, creating the illusion of gloves or stockings.
Asian style, typical for Indonesia and South Asia combines elements from Arabic and Indian style. The drawings differ only in color spots on the tips of the fingers and toes. Sometimes they cover the pads of the fingers, the side parts of the palms and the feet completely.
All these styles are very popular on their own and are often mixed nowadays. It is believed that the right henna tattoo design brings peace, well-being and health.
DIY Henna tattoo designs – motifs and meaning
Among all the fascinating henna tattoo designs there are some images that are more popular and more appreciated by women.
Flowers are one of the most common motifs for henna tattoos, because they represent a new beginning. That is why they have a great symbolic meaning, especially for the traditional wedding tattoos. Furthermore, the flower symbolizes love, happiness and life. Leaves and tendrils stand for the dedication to the relationship and are thus perfect for the newly married bride.
Lotus flowers are considered to be the most popular type of flower for a tattoo with henna. They stand for purity, femininity and sensuality and look very elegant on the skin. The lotus is also a symbol of fertility, health, spirituality and eternal life. Other popular flower types for the temporary tattoo are water lilies, sunflowers and, of course, roses.
Paisley pattern is exceptionally popular as it looks very attractive and is not difficult to make. This is a drop-shaped ornament and was originally a symbol of fertility. In India, they believe that the paisley shape is one of the symbols of movement, development, energy and that is why the ornament often decorates the bride’s wedding clothes and in addition, this is one of the most popular elements of wedding mehndi designs. In Iran, the paisley is considered a wish for happiness and prosperity to the home while in Egypt is a sign of immortality.
Elephant symbolizes strength, intelligence, dignity and power. Shri Ganesha is the God of wisdom and prosperity and, probably, one of the most beloved gods in India. He is worshiped as the destroyer of evil and the eliminator of obstacles. The very image of Ganesha has a deep symbolism – the elephant head of Ganesha is a symbol of the true self and a symbol of innocence; the trunk represents “Om” – the symbol of the cosmic entity. Young women, expecting a child, usually choose the image of Ganesha, as the God protects innocent souls.
Birds are another popular henna tattoo design. The most popular bird species for body painting are peacocks, phoenix, swallows, hummingbirds and swans. Generally, birds symbolize freedom but each bird has a meaning of its own. For example – the peacock stands for impressive beauty and is often painted with extended feathers along the hands and arms while the swan symbolizes success.
Sun, moon, stars and planets are an interesting variation for a henna tattoo. A full moon or a crescent moon combined with some stars looks particularly beautiful and elegant. With a few dots and swirls the design can be perfectly rounded off in the typical style of henna tattoos.