How to Design Mehndi

by Jessica Ring

Mehndi is characterized by thin lines and ornate patterns.

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Mehndi is the process of applying henna to the body. It is a popular tradition for women in the Indian subcontinent and parts of the Middle East. In the West, Mehndi decoration often is referred to simply as "henna tattoos." Traditional henna designs are characterized by thin, complex lines and paisley-style patterns and symbols. To create your own Mendhi designs, you need a steady hand and a lot of practice.

Items you will need

  • Tracing paper
  • Henna ink
Step 1

Choose the placement of the Mehndi design. Hands, arms and feet are the most common.

Step 2

Draw a rough outline of the place to be designed on sketchpad or drawing paper. For a hand or foot, you can trace it directly onto the paper. The outline provides a foundation for your design.

Step 3

Decide what you want your design to represent. The use of symbols is prevalent in Mehdni design. The symbols vary depending on the occasion. Mehndi is used for weddings, pregnancy and other ceremonies.

Step 4

Use a sharpened pencil to practice drawing thin, fluid lines. Mendhi is characterized by its fluidity and rounded edges. Many Mendhi symbols are comprised of simple abstract lines.

Step 5

Incorporate your fluid lines into easy patterns. Flowers and leaves are a good starting point.

Step 6

Tie your design together with background swirls or patterns. As your skill improves, increase the density and complexity of your pattern. Animals can be incorporated.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

About the Author

Jessica Ring began writing and editing professionally in 2006 for "The Voice," her university's collegiate newspaper. She is a certified English teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and English literature. She is currently in the process of obtaining her master's degree in education.