Using Stencils
Many new henna artists feel they can't draw, and feel the opportunity to make money with henna is highly attractive, so they ask about using stencils.  To aid this, I got out a henna stencil and started to do a "how to".  I looked through stencils I'd accumulated.  There are many stencils available, both ethnic and contemporary. There are beautiful hand cut stencils from Yemen and Morocco, which work well with unsifted henna.  Every time I go to my local Middle Eastern market, the shopkeeper tries to hustle stencils to me, pointing out that stencils would be so much more efficient than my meticulous hand drawn henna work.

I pulled out a likely looking one and it was sticky on one side, and I put it on my wrist.

At this point I was planning to put henna over it, to squish down and stain into the open areas, but the stencil wasn't staying stuck worth a damn,  glue was going everywhere, and the thing just smelled nasty. So, though I should have put henna on, wrapped it, and left it there until it was dry and the skin was stained, I decided to bail out of an impending disaster. Honestly, I've never seen a stencil job that looked good, and there are far better ways to get henna on, even if you feel you can't draw. 

In short, I gave up, and spent the next half hour trying every solvent in the house to get the glue off my arm.  I have heard that these stencils are wonderful for stenciling wall patterns when you're repainting a room!  That's probably a much better use for them.

All text and images on this page
copyright 2003
all rights reserved
Catherine Cartwright-Jones
The Henna Page

If you want to do henna and don't feel you can draw whatsoever, use the transfer technique!

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