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The Art of Mehndi

Part 2: Henna Paste Recipe for Mehndi


henna design on leg
After using the pre-mixed henna paste in the tubes, I just wasn't happy with the results I was getting. I started reading up on henna paste recipes, and found out that they are about as abundant as chicken soup recipes! So, I started experimenting, and after a few failed attempts and some that came out OK but not wonderful, I tried one more time and came up with one that I was extremely happy with. I will share my recipe with you here if you'd like to give it a try, but feel free to be creative. There are a lot of different ingredients you can use to create nice, vibrant color results.

My Henna Paste Recipe

  1. Sift out enough henna to make about 1-1 and 1/4 cups dry, sifted henna powder.
  2. Take 2 packets of instant coffee singles (the ones that look like tea bags) and boil hard in about 1 and 1/2 cups of water until it boils down to about 3/4 of a cup of dark liquid.
  3. Mix just enough coffee into the powder to create a thick paste. The hot liquid will make the powder ball up a little, so be sure to mix it until it is well blended and smooth.
  4. Add about 2 tablespoons lemon juice; fresh is best.
  5. Add about 5 drops of Eucalyptus Oil.
  6. Add about 5 drops of Clove Oil.
This should make a thin paste, but you don't want it runny. If it is too runny, add a little more sifted henna powder. If its too thick, add a little more coffee, or plain water.

Allow to settle and cool for about 2 hours.

That's it! It's a great, simple recipe, and above is a picture of the results I got with it. This one was already five days old when I took the picture.

Note: I got an email from a reader who said this recipe was too large and wanted to know if it could be reduced. The above mix will make quite a large batch of henna, which is great if you plan on doing a lot. But, if you're just looking to make a little to try it or only do something small, the recipe can be halved or even quartered. The nice thing about henna paste is that it's not an exact science - thus the wide variations. Use these ingredients as a guide, but don't be afraid to experiment. You never know what you might come up with!

Storage: Left-over henna paste can stay fresh for about two weeks in the refrigerator, if it is tightly sealed. It can last two months or more in the freezer. Just warm it up a bit before you are ready to use it.

OK! So, now you've got the recipe. What next? The next article will discuss making cones for applying the henna paste.

Next page > Part 3: Making Your Own Henna Cones

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