6 Popular Henna Designs You Can DIY At Home

We know it as Henna, but it also goes by the name Maruthani in Tamil and Mehendi in Hindi. An ancient art form that uses plant-based dyes to create patterns, Henna is traditionally applied on hands and feet during weddings and major celebrations. The level of detail may look intimidating, but it’s actually about repeating lines and shapes so all you really need is patience and practice. If you’re wondering how to get your henna done this Deepavali, why not take the opportunity to try your hand at doing up your own unique designs right from the comfort of home!

1. Mandala Madness

Seen on carpets, wall decorations, and yoga towels, the circular mandala is everywhere these days. In Hindu and Buddhist symbolism, the mandala represents the universe. Its significance in religion and visually appealing shape has made it one of the most popular henna design elements. Mandala designs can be used anywhere, but are usually seen on the palms or back of hands. They look complicated at first, but the concentric circles and symmetry make them easy and versatile for even beginners to try!

2. The Paisley / Mango

Paisley designs essentially look like impregnated droplets, so it’s no surprise that they are symbols of fertility. These little droplets are also seen to represent luck. Also known as the mango because of its shape, the paisley is a great central motif upon which to build the rest of your henna design. Just like the mandala, they are extremely popular and used in a large variety of henna artwork.

3. Evergreen Florals

Ah flowers, the perennial symbol of beauty. Flowers are thought to represent joy, and they’re especially popular in bridal henna designs as a wish for happiness in the marriage. Of all the flowers, the lotus flower stands out for its links to grace and purity. Flower buds are also popular as they represent new beginnings. Leaves and vines show strength, longevity, and tenacity, and are commonly drawn over the fingers in slim and elegant designs.

Floral designs never go out of style, and can be used anywhere although they are commonly seen on the hands and back. Create your own floral masterpieces with the help of henna hacks like using cotton buds to achieve shading and toothpicks to define petals!

4. Geometric Linework

Floral patterns are pretty commonplace, so if you’re going for a more edgy vibe, geometric designs might just be your thing. Borrowing from the Moroccan style, these designs can be more tribal, with a mix of triangles, diamonds, chevrons and other sharper shapes. Geometric patterns also lend themselves extremely well to the minimalist look, with simple lines forming contemporary and often more spaced out designs. Pair geometric linework with any indo-western styled outfit and you are going to be bang on trend – not to mention they’re easy to create as well.

5. Faux Jewellery

Who needs loads of bangles when you can literally draw your own with jewellery-inspired henna? Whether it’s a bangle, ring, anklet, or even armband, faux jewellery designs are elegant and appropriate for any occasion. “Less is more” is everybody‘s mantra these days, and a simple bracelet and ring design while leaving the palm plain is a classy  move away from the heavy look that traditional henna is known for. The best part is that you can try it at home yourself, so hey, if you like it then go put a ring on it!

6. The Animal Kingdom

Last but not least, motifs from the animal kingdom are great for both adults and children. Drawn as intricately or as adorably as you like, animal designs pair well with paisley, geometric, as well as leaf patterns. The most commonly seen animal in henna art is the peacock, which represents beauty and love. Its feathers are said to bring prosperity. Birds in generally also represent the link between heaven and earth; they are seen as messengers carrying wishes to heaven. Butterflies and dragons are sometimes used too, with the butterfly symbolising transformation or new beginnings.

Game to try your hand at DIY henna this Deepavali? Head down to Little India to get your henna kit ready and look out for our free online Maruthani (Henna) Workshop coming soon!

Do remember to observe social distancing and health safety measures if you intend to make a trip to Little India!