Ever since we were little, we have adored henna tattoos. We attended our first Indian wedding at a very young age because our older cousins made their special day a traditional celebration to introduce new family members to the bride’s culture and heritage and we came out of that wedding covered in stunning henna designs ranging from simple to intricate. We spent the next week telling our friends all about the event and showing off the beautifully stained patterns on our skin. When the henna faded, we begged our new cousins to teach us how to make some of our own so we could practice making all kinds of designs throughout the summer and we’ve been doing it ever since! There are plenty of ways to make natural DIY henna and plenty of places to buy safe, authentic mixtures from stores, but getting your hands on the henna itself is the easy part. Next, you have to think of what kind of pattern to create and where to put it! This summer, we plan to teach our own kids about the stunning art of henna tattoos with the help of the very cousins who taught us when we were young. Together, we’ve been looking at all kinds of inspiration designs and ideas and saving our favourites.
Just in case you love henna tattoos as well and feel like you could also use some design inspiration, here are 15 of the prettiest patterns and most helpful tutorials we’ve come across so far!
1. Back of the hand and up the forearm
The more you learn about henna tattoos, designs, and art, the more you’ll see that there are certain spots on the body that are very common to do. Possibly our favourite place to create the stained tattoos is across the backs of our hands! These patterns are particularly pretty if you extend them down your forearm and up your fingers towards your nails. Taylor Lence shows you precisely what we mean and walks you through the process of creating a floral inspired design with detailed leaves, as is common in a lot of henna design.
2. Delicate finger ring tattoos
Was the part of what we outlined above that caught your eye the most definitely the way they extended their art up the length of their fingers, but you actually loved the look so much that you can’t help wishing the design concentrated on the fingers even more? Then we have a feeling you’re the perfect person to give this stunningly delicate henna rings design featured on Henna Art by Aroosa a try. They suggest all kinds of shapes and details to pattern your fingers with, creating a sort of dainty layered ring effect that’s wildly pretty.
3. Simple finger dots and arrows
Perhaps you’re actually still practicing with henna art for the very first time this week and, even though you adore the finger patterns we showed you above, you’re worried that those detailed designs are a little too challenging for you until you’ve refined your skills a little bit? Then maybe you’d have a better time starting out with very simple shapes and working your way up to what you saw before! By following a tutorial like this one featured on Ella Wayfarer, you still get the decorative fingers you admired so much but the pattern becomes a little more manageable.
4. Pretty finger hearts
Are you definitely still thinking about how much you love finger henna art designs but you’d prefer something a little different in shape, perhaps only on a couple fingers because you’re not sure your job will appreciate it much if you cover your entire hand? In that case, maybe just your thumb and pointer finger would do the trick! Check out how Boat People Boutique created a lacy looking pattern in just a few simple strokes, concentrating on hearts rather than more traditional flowers for a slightly more modern effect that goes well with the unique shape of the finished piece.
5. Geometric V’s on the fingers and hand
Are you still thinking about how stunning the henna art on the back of the hand and up the fingers looks but you’ve always been more a fan of geometric designs rather than swooping, rounded ones that look like lace? In that case, we think you might get along better following this more arrowhead inspired shape and design featured on Ella Wayfarer! They give you some tips and tricks for creating clean, straight lines that give your geometric shapes good definition.
6. Intricate wrist cuffs and palm decor
Are you actually quite confident in your henna art skills so you’re looking for a design that’s a little more challenging, but you’ve done a lot of art on the backs of hands recently and you’re looking to switch things up in that regard too? In that case, we think you sound like the perfect person to give this stunningly intricate lace inspired idea a try… but on the palms of your hands this time! We love the way this tutorial from Instructables walks you through some tips and tricks for adding differently shaped details in layers down your inner forearms and up the insides of your fingers, rather than the backs.
7. Lace inspired designs along the side of your foot
Just like the backs of your hands aren’t the only things you can create lovely henna patterns on, your hands, period, aren’t actually the only spot that you can make your art on either! In fact, while you’re learning, it’s actually much simpler to create designs on your feet. Besides getting a better angle for practicing your details and techniques, your feet are a much more discreet place to try new things, just in case you don’t like the outcome. Either way, we actually love the delicate appearance we get when we decorate the inner sides of our feet! Get the full details for precisely what we mean on Zenjoy.
8. Inner wrist and palm flowers
Just because you want to decorate the inner sides of your hands, wrist, and fingers doesn’t mean that you have to create a design that’s quite as expansive as the ones we’ve shown you above. Instead of working on a very wide surface area, why not create a lovely look that’s thin and long instead? We love the way Boat People Boutique made this lace and floral pattern that concentrates in the centre of their palm and up their middle finger, rather than spreading all across from thumb to pinky.
9. Lace inspired wristband henna tattoo
Are you the kind of henna admirer who has always thought that the finish designs look a little bit like jewelry, particularly if they’re lace inspired? Then we have a feeling you’ll get along very well with this lovely lacy wristband idea featured on Event Guide News. They show you how to make a detailed shape around the circumference of your wrist that looks like a decorative cuff, but we like the idea of playing with the shapes that appear in the centre in order to change things up however you please.
10. Sunburst inspired inner heel tattoo
Were you a pretty big fan of the idea of practicing your henna art on the insides of your feet, but you’d like to work on shapes rather than simply longer patterned lines, like the ones we showed you traveling all down the length of your foot? Then maybe you’d have a better time making a more concentrated design on the inside of your heel! We’re pretty big fans of the way Rich Taste made a shape that looks like a small sunburst, but you could practice your hand at making just about anything here. It’s a great space for working on small images and pieces!
11. Mandala upper back henna tattoo
We’ve already talked a little bit about how many traditional henna patterns and designs are floral or lace inspired, but those aren’t the only shapes and waves you’ll come across the more you dabble in the art! Possibly our very favourite henna designs are those inspired by Mandala art, featuring many layered looking swirls and points, all extending out from a central place to create an intricate shape. This upper back henna tattoo outlined on Ella Wayfarer is the perfect example of what we mean.
12. Finger to wrist mandala wrap
Are you feeling very confident in your henna art skills indeed and looking for something that combines a number of different shape, placement, and design elements you’ve seen so far, all in one beautiful piece? In that case, perhaps you’re up to the challenge of creating this wrapping mandala inspired tattoo design featured on Boat People Boutique! They show you how to repeat lovely small details consistently but with lots of visual interest across the back of your hand from one side to the other, as well as how to mirror it at the tip of each finger, right under the nail.
13. Laced edged heart henna
We’ve shown you some simple designs so far and we’ve also shown you some very intricate ones, but what if you’ve actually been scrolling through our list hoping to find a pattern that actually aims for somewhere right in the middle when it comes to skill level and difficulty? Then maybe these lace edged hearts that are intermingled with shaded flowers are a good design for you to tackle! We love the way Event Guide News kept the central shapes big and simple but added finer details around the edges, striking a good visual balance.
14. Finger “chain” bracelet tattoo
Just in case you’re still looking for simple cuff and finger henna designs that will help you practice and look stylish without being too hard, here’s an awesome dotted chain concept outlined on Tattooism! They used lines, dots, and circles to create a series of linked details around the wrist and up each finger in a way that looks beautifully impressive without actually being as hard as onlookers might think when you’re done.
15. Wing inspired abdominal henna
If you’re going to create a henna design that lasts for any period of time on your skin, would you rather strike a balance between traditional and modern skin based arts and create a henna design that’s placed or shaped a little more like a contemporary permanent ink tattoo? Honestly, these are actually some of our very favourite pieces to create and we’ve had friends use this technique as a way to “test drive” tattoo designs before committing to the real thing when they’re considering permanent tattoos in prominent places. The design that got us inspired to try this kind of thing out was actually this stunning mandala filled abdominal wing design featured and outlined on More.
Have you created and design other stunning henna tattoos on yourself or your friends in summers past and you were very proud of your work but you don’t see anything quite similar to what you designed here? Tell us all about the pattern you made or link us to photos of your finished henna tattoos in the comments section!