How to Make ☀ Henna for Temporary Tattoos

by Natalie Sorenson

Here is my recipe for great henna paste, or mud, for the most long lasting and successful temporary tattoos.


  • 5 Teaspoons Dried henna powder, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
  • ½ Teaspoons Eucalyptus oil/mehndi oil
  • ½ Teaspoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Tea, coffee, red wine.
  • 1 Spray bottle
  • 1 Carrot bag
  • 1 Sifter
  • 1 Plastic gloves
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Beautiful, exotic, and temporary.

    Step 2

    Savor the physical connection, the beauty of form and pattern.

    Step 3

    Make your henna mud at least four hours before you plan to use it, but once mixed it will gradually lose potency.

    Step 4

    Protect your hands. Everything you touch with Henna powder and mud will stain.

    Step 5

    Brew up some super strong tea, or coffee, or use red wine… you can be creative. Set aside.

    Step 6

    Everything that will pass through the drawing tip needs to be sifted or strained so that particles won't clog when you are applying the henna mixture.

    Step 7

    Sift through a nylon, netting, or tulle onto a folded piece of paper.

    Step 8

    Any clumps will come back to haunt you!

    Step 9

    Measure each ingredient according to this recipe but be prepared to fudge and adapt.

    Step 10

    Put a "carrot" bag in a jar so it will stand up. This could be any plastic bag. After mixing we will cut out the corner, so filling the application bottle will be very easy.

    Step 11

    5 teaspoons sifted henna powder. (1T, 2t)j

    Step 12

    1 tablespoon strained lemon juice.

    Step 13

    1 tablespoon strong coffee, tea, or red wine.

    Step 14

    One half teaspoon Mehndi oil.

    Step 15

    One half teaspoon sugar.

    Step 16

    Pull it out…

    Step 17

    Squish mix.

    Step 18

    Get used to the right consistency by seeing if it holds together. Wet, but not drippy, is ideal. The mud needs to hold a "bead" when you draw a line, but not so firm that it is difficult to squeeze.

    Step 19

    Squish it to the point.

    Step 20

    Roll down the top of the bag.

    Step 21

    Cut off the tip. Cut less than you think, you can always cut more. Squeeze a little out to test the consistency.

    Step 22

    Fudge as necessary, by adding more henna if it's too runny, or more lemon to wet it. The oil and sugar each do their part to adjust the consistency and texture...experiment!

    Step 23

    Fill your bottle. You can also fill multiple bottles and freeze the rest!

    Step 24

    Your henna will be ready and most potent in 4 hours. Think about where to apply your design...

    Step 25

    Palms and soles are best. The skin is thicker, so the henna is able to stain deeply.

    Step 26

    Wrists work well, but "take" less as you move up the arm. Henna goes on brown-green. Thicker equals darker, so plan your design with bold strokes.

    Step 27

    Same story for ankles. Also, warmth is important for a dark henna stain. So, hot summer days are a plus.

    Step 28

    Touch is part of the art, making Mehndi safe, beautiful, and bonding for the artist and the one being pampered.

    Step 29

    Spray lightly with a lemon juice and sugar solution to keep the mud moist, but not so wet that it drips. This will prolong the contact of moist henna to skin.

    Step 30

    After several hours remove any remaining mud. Your design will be yellowish-orange. Keep your skin from drying out with a little olive oil, rather than your usual lotion.

    Step 31

    Over the next 48 hours your design will darken considerably and reach its peak color, a medium to dark rusty brown.

    Step 32

    No pool. Chlorine is a bad idea. Be more careful washing in the first 2 days, it could lighten your final design. You can expect your henna design to last two weeks to a month.

    Step 33

    Thanks for viewing my how-to! There is always more at