Things You'll Need
- 2-qt. saucepan
- Black tea bag
- Eucalyptus oil
- 1 cup henna powder
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. ground cloves
- Hand soap
- Plastic resealable bag
Henna tattoos are a traditional method of temporarily tattooing the skin using a natural ink. Henna ink is produced by the henna plant, which is mashed into powder and mixed with an acidic liquid, such as lemon juice, to activate its staining properties. The dye is darker when it is left on the skin for an extended period of time. With a little practice, you can easily create your own henna tattoo at home.
Fill a small saucepan with 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, then remove from heat and add the teabag. Allow the teabag to soak in the water for two to three hours. Add 1 to 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and let the mixture sit overnight.
Reheat the mixture. Slowly pour the warm fluid into 1 cup of henna powder. Add lemon juice and cloves. Mix the powder and tea thoroughly until it is the consistency of toothpaste.
Scrape the paste into a plastic resealable bag, pushing all of the mixture to one corner. Set the bag aside while you prepare your skin for the tattoo.
Wash the area where you will be applying the henna tattoo thoroughly. Use soap to remove all dirt, lotion or oils from the skin. Dry the area thoroughly. Apply 1 to 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to the skin and rub it in. This will help the tattoo to absorb and stain better.
Use the scissors to snip off a small portion of the corner of the bag containing the henna paste. The smaller bit of corner that you clip, the thinner the line will be. You want the line to be especially thin because you can draw your henna tattoo with more detail.
Gently squeeze the bag, forming a pattern on your skin. There are a variety of traditional henna tattoo patterns you can use for various events. For instance, if you are getting married, you can use the traditional bridal symbol. Go to hennapage.com for more help on choosing your henna pattern.
Allow the henna paste to dry completely. After about 30 minutes, the paste will begin to dry partially and some may crumble off. Resist touching the henna, because it is still not completely dry. After about four hours, you can brush the remaining paste off.
To extend the time that your henna tattoo stays in place, be careful when you wash the area, avoiding excessive scrubbing. Apply lotion over the area before you get wet if you don’t want it to come in contact with water at all.
Melissa McKean is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee, Wis. McKean has an expertise in web and SEO copywriting and has worked on both B2C and B2B lead generation and e-commerce websites to improve search engine rankings and usability. McKean has a bachelor's degree in advertising from Kent State University.