Introduction: How to Make Henna Paste and Apply to Skin

Picture of How to Make Henna Paste and Apply to Skin

Henna is a great way to create designs on your skin without the permanent effects of a tattoo.  Through this tutorial I will teach you how to make your own henna paste in a fun, easy way.  After the henna is made, you can use your own creativity to create absolutely any design you can think of! 

Step 1: What You Will Need

What You Will Need

• Fresh henna powder (I found this at a local Indian grocery store)
• Lemon juice
• Sugar
• Essential oils (I used tea tree)
• Non-metal mixing bowl and spoon
• Plastic wrap
• ZipLock bag
• Decorating tip
• Rubbing alcohol
• Olive oil
• Mild soap
• Gloves for handling henna
• Tape
• Scissors

Step 2: Measure Out 1/4 Cup of Sifted Henna Powder Into a Bowl

Picture of Measure Out 1/4 Cup of Sifted Henna Powder Into a Bowl

• Buy henna with a greenish-brown tint
           o Too brown=old henna and won’t leave a good stain
           o Too green=may have added dye to make it look fresh when it really isn’t
• Store leftover powder in the freezer to stay fresh
• Vary the amount of henna you make to the size of your design
• Sift henna to get rid of chunks that could clog the applicator tip

Step 3: Add ¼ Cup of Lemon Juice While Stirring

Picture of Add ¼ Cup of Lemon Juice While Stirring

If needed add additional lemon juice until the consistency is between toothpaste and pudding
• If substance appears too thick after adding lemon juice, Slowly add additional lemon juice to avoid getting too runny
• Smash all lumps beginning to form while stirring

Step 4: Stir in 1 ½ Tsp. of Sugar and 1 ½ Tsp. of Essential Oil

Picture of Stir in 1 ½ Tsp. of Sugar and 1 ½ Tsp. of Essential Oil

• Use oils that contain terpinols (I used tea tree)
• After adding in oil and sugar the texture should be silky

Step 5: Cover Henna With Plastic Wrap

Picture of Cover Henna With Plastic Wrap

Rest for 24 hours at room temperature to draw the dye out of the henna
-The henna should appear similar to the last step
-Possibly will appear a little thicker

Step 6: Once the Henna Has Set, Scoop Out the Dye Into Your Applicator

Picture of Once the Henna Has Set, Scoop Out the Dye Into Your Applicator

a. I washed out a tip from an old decorating gel tube,
b. cut the corner of a Ziploc bag,
c. and placed the tube into the bag
d. Tape the bag around the tube to secure
e. Spoon out henna into the applicator
Either use henna immediately, or freeze until use

Step 7: Wash Skin With Soap and Water

Picture of Wash Skin With Soap and Water

• If skin is oily, apply additional rubbing alcohol

Step 8: Position Your Tip Over Skin

Picture of Position Your Tip Over Skin

• Use proper protection when using henna: it will stain skin and clothes

Step 9: 3. Create Your Design!

Picture of 3.	Create Your Design!

Hands and feet stain darker
a. Websites to view design options
b. Apply pressure gently until you get a feel of how fast the henna will come out
c. Clip the tip back if it does not come out well enough
d. I would recommend staying away from central body parts that don’t stain as easily

Step 10: Let Design Dry

Picture of Let Design Dry

• Cracking of the henna is a good thing

Step 11: Wrap Your Design With Plastic Wrap

Picture of Wrap Your Design With Plastic Wrap

Keep covered for at least 10 hours

Step 12: Add Olive Oil to Design After Unwrapping

Step 13: Remove Excess Flakes With a Mild Soap and Water

Picture of Remove Excess Flakes With a Mild Soap and Water

• Gently blot design when removing the excess flakes after it has dried so you don’t shorten the life of the design
• The design will turn from a lighter orange shade into a reddish/brown shade within 12 hours of removing flakes



IsaacB72 (author)2017-07-06

Mine was on only 2.5 hours, this is two days after it was done. My wife did more lemon juice after 1 hour.

IsaacB72 (author)2017-07-06

You don't have to leave it on super long. You put it on and let it dry (an hour) and then dab more lemon juice on. You can maybe get it darker with a second dab, but it should be fine. Once it is dry, nothing more is happening and you can flake/wash it by any means.

Fingers and toes get darkest, don't know why.

maryambello123 (author)2016-05-26

thanks for that

maryambello123 (author)2016-05-26

thanks for that

I don't use cup measurments where I live...
So does anyone know how much it is in grams?

20 grams

1cup is 227 grams

ArselaV (author)2016-04-14

Why do we use essential oil and if we don't what happens? Anyone?

Meagan Meg (author)2015-11-27 is a site where you will find answers to every question related to henna and mehndi and not only that here you can learn henna they provide practice sheets for free.

AngelaW5 (author)2015-06-14

Hello everyone! I am new to this group. You can see some of my work at I am reaching out because the past couple days, I have had clients of mine tell me that their henna is not showing up. I have been doing henna for over a year now, I do about 3 events per month and have NEVER had this problem before. I buy Raj henna powder from, and I have used the same way to mix ingredients this entire time - lemon juice, henna powder, eucalyptus oil and a small amount of Dextrose/corn sugar. Again I have used this same way of mixing this entire time, and NEVER have I been told the henna does not show up, until this weekend. I had a client come by Friday and I worked a young lady's high school graduation party yesterday and got texts from the single client and an email from the mother of the graduate last night about it. I have seen photos of the work, and I can tell you they are very light indeed, barely visible. I am really stressing out right now about it and was hoping someone might be able to tell me why this may be happening. I'm so confused and sad, because I have only gotten great reviews about my work in the past, I would hate for this to effect my business. But also it saddens me that these clients are not happy. Please please I am asking for all of your help in assisting to figure out what is going on. I would really appreciate it! Thank you!

MelissN (author)AngelaW52015-09-03

your henna probably went bad, yo.

SharaB (author)2015-06-25

Great recipe. I used lavender oil and let it sit 24 hrs b4 using and it resulted in a silky smooth paste with a dark orange almost brown tattoo.
I did let it dry and sit on my skin overnight and it never flaked off. I used henna from Silk & Stone off of amazon. Very happy with results. Thanks & Mahalo from Oahu

GiselaB (author)2015-05-22

Is it necessary to use essential oil?What is it for?

NN4 (author)GiselaB2015-06-09

Essential oils are for getting darker stains on the skin. Common essential oils that are used are lavender, cajeput, and eucalyptus.

danda nyowek (author)2015-05-14

I bought a small pack of henna. It's brown. I use it on my nails. I used once then sealed it with rubber band. Second time, i used it again and sealed it again but after the 3rd time (maybe 2 months later) the color not the same as the 1st n 2nd time. I usually aply henna 2 times on my nail but after the 3rd time i open it i should apply it 4 times. Why it can be happpen? N why do my nails are hurt if i apply it more than once? But it's only for few minutes then gone.

After the 24 hours and you have made your design, how long should you then let it set on your skin befor washing of??

about 1 hour, it's better if you put medical tape over the spot where you did your design.

erika.chau.14 (author)MayaC2015-04-14

Really?? Only 1 hour

I've used henna before after its dry you don't have to wait an hour just until it's completely dry

Dont wash it off, let it dry completely and it'll being to flake by itself.

SapheraR (author)2015-04-12

Is this like Henna paste so after a little while i can scrape the paste off and it will have stained my skin?

erika.chau.14 (author)SapheraR2015-04-14

It will dry, but you have to leave it for a looonnngg time and then when it drys it will get crakly then clean it

Yeah it dries on your skin and flakes off ans stains orange at first then lightens

aileed1 (author)2015-04-13

Why is my henna paste so light?

Elisabeth14 (author)2015-02-26

chocolatechip (author)2013-05-11

How long does this last?

behrp (author)chocolatechip2015-01-15

Depends on various factors like your skin, oils, quality/type of henna and your mixing ratio but usually about a week. A few days minimum, a couple weeks maximum.

kishank2 (author)2013-05-04

nice & great design :)

MetaImage (author)2012-10-23

Great project! Thanks for also suggesting that the excess can be frozen.

antioch (author)2012-10-04

Thanks for this ingredient list!

scoochmaroo (author)2012-10-03

Stunning! Really nicely detailed. I can't wait to see more!

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