How Do I Choose the Best Henna Stencils?

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  • Written By: Kay Paddock
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2019
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Henna stencils are sometimes used to help people create henna designs. These designs are typically brown, reddish-brown or orange when finished, thanks to henna's ability to dye the skin. Stencils are typically henna patterns that are cut into a piece of plastic or rubber that can be temporarily glued to the skin. Henna stencils can be designed for one-time use or they can be reusable. The type of stencil you choose will probably depend on whether you want to be able to use the stencil more than once and where you want to place the design.

Mehndi is the Hindi word for creating body art with henna. It has been practiced since ancient times in such places as the Middle East, parts of Africa, and India. Henna art has traditionally been used for events such as weddings, birthdays and other special occasions, but is growing in popularity around the world for any occasion, or even just for fun. Some businesses specialize in henna body art, but henna stencils allow people to apply their own designs at home.


Most stencils come on slick paper of some sort and must be peeled off and stuck to the skin. Henna paste is usually spread over the stencil so that it can stain the exposed skin. After the paste has dried, the stencil can be peeled off and cleaned. Stencils that are designed to be used one time are typically inexpensive and may come in packs of several designs. Henna stencils that can be reused will allow you to create the design many times, but will usually need to have adhesive reapplied before each use.

Some henna stencils are small designs that can be placed anywhere. Special hand-shaped stencils are generally available for decorating the entire palm of the hand and fingers, for instance. These may be difficult to use if the stencils are not the same size as your hand. Stencil bands may be a good choice if you want to create a design that wraps around your arm, wrist, leg or ankle. Many henna stencils feature traditional Mehndi patterns, such as wedding henna designs and knotwork, but thanks to henna's popularity today, you can usually find almost any kind of design you want.

Henna stencils will usually work much better if they are thin rather than thick. Thick stencils might not want to stick, especially if they need to be wrapped around an area rather than stuck to a flat part of the body. They may also require a much thicker layer of henna paste that will take far longer to dry and leave more room for error in the design. For more difficult or awkwardly placed designs, you may want to try using tattoo transfer paper to create a design on the skin that you can simply trace over when applying henna.


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Post 3

Although thin stencils are easier to use, unfortunately, they don't usually last longer than a single use. So for people who want a reusable henna stencil, the thin ones are not a good idea.

Although the thicker plastic ones may require more effort to use, they are reusable. They can be washed off and reused the next time. So I prefer those. I'd rather save money.

Post 2

A true henna artist does not use stencils to draw henna art. Henna artists work freehand and know the designs by heart or simply experiment. They have a knack for maintaining the same size along the entire hand and for both hands and arms. In fact, some artists draw a design that starts on one hand and continues on the next. So when the hands are held together, they match one another.

Stencils are okay to use in the beginning while one is learning to do henna. But anyone who is serious about this and hopes to be a professional henna artist one day must move beyond the stencils.

Post 1

I use henna stencils and they work great. I love making henna designs on my hands and feet. It looks very pretty and it's a great decoration to complement a traditional outfit. I like to do henna for Indian holidays and celebrations like Diwali.

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