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21 Beautiful Mehndi Designs for 2021, from Weddings to Festivals (updated June 2021)

21 Beautiful Mehndi Designs for 2021, from Weddings to Festivals (updated June 2021)

mehndi designs

The art of mehndi is a traditional South Asian body art. In Pakistan and India, mehndi designs are always in the trend. Whether it’s bridal mehndi or celebrating a festival, it’s how we express our happiness, It’s alsoa way of getting dressed for the occasion.

According to a 2013 study on henna and mehndi in the journal Contact Dermatitis, henna has been used as a dye for the skin (as well as the hair and nails) for more than 4,000 years. It is most prevalent in Hindu and Islamic cultures in the Indian, Arab, and African parts of the world.

Traditionally, a bridal service is held at the bride’s home, sometimes day or two before the actual wedding. During this preparation ritual, both turmeric paste and mehndi are placed on the bride’s skin by a mehndiwali, i.e. a female relative.

There are many different ways to create beautiful patterns on skin with the ancient “mehndi” technique. Mehndi design can be applied as temporary tattoos by using dyes that come from natural ingredients. Examples include henna leaves and flowers like indigo or turmeric mixed with other ingredients like lemon juice etc.

What is Mehndi design?

stunning close-up of mehndi one-color design on wrist

Mehndi is a temporary form of skin decoration commonly used by women on the Indian subcontinent, during festive occasions such as weddings and festivals. The Mehndi paste is prepared from the leaves of a plant called Lawsonia inermis (aka henna leaves).

It contains a pigment known as lawsone which is absorbed in the outer layers of the skin, creating a stain. Mehndi is usually applied on lighter skin surfaces, such as the palm or sole.

After 15 to 20 minutes, the paste will dry, and when the mehndi is removed, the design remains, usually in a pale to dark orange colour. It gradually darkens over a period of 1 to 3 days. The final reddish brown colour will last for 1 to 3 weeks.

The designs are applied as an intricate henna-like painting. They are hand painted in various motifs by skilled artisans using only natural ingredients. Popular ingredients include eucalyptus oil and sugar, and sometimes even unusual ingredients such as lemon, milk or garlic.

Mehndi designs often use complex geometric and symmetrical figures, depicting flowers, plants, or animals.

Mehndi Designs that are easy and simple for beginners

minimal mehndi back hand and finger pattern

Popular henna designs are becoming popular in western countries as henna tattoo designs. Popular and talented henna artists are skilled at making stunning and beautiful designs on customer’s hands and feet.

There are many popular mehndi ideas, art and designs like polka dots, four-leaf clovers, swirls, pistachios or swirls. Some common ideas include: mandalas, paisleys, peacock feathers and leaves.

A glove-like design

A lacy glove-like mehndi design looks like a nice edgy hand accessory. A sharp paisley motif amid a fancy leaf pattern and other interesting details combine together to form one gorgeous pattern. 

amazing glove-like mehndi design for whole palm

Which Mehandi is best for the hand?

An intricate mehandi design with a floral motif and abstract paisley pattern is best for those who are looking to go bold.

Examples of popular mehndi designs for the hand include peacock, hearts, paisley patterns, polka dots, four-leaf clovers, swirls, mandalas, and leaves.  A glove-like design looks like a nice and “edgy” touch. The only limit is your imagination!

Is henna Indian or Arabic?

The question of whether henna is Indian or Arabic is a good one. In fact,  henna is more commonly used in South Asia, and it originated from the Arabic word for henna “hena”.

Henna was traditionally not applied to hands. It’s only been recently that mehndi has found its way into Western culture – with people getting it done on their hands as well as toes!

How do beginners learn mehndi or henna?

cute minimal mehndi bracelet tattoo design for bride

If you are a mehndi or henna beginner, the easiest way to learn is by reading mehndi tutorial books.

Experienced artists also teach classes and workshops on how to do henna. But the most common way is through YouTube tutorials and demonstrations.

How should I make my mehndi design?

When drawing a mehandi design, first take into account what your hands look like. Are they light or dark, big or small?

Then, think about the occasion you are getting mehndi for – a wedding? A festival day? An Eid party or any other celebration.

Next, consider your mood at the time and what message do you want to convey with this design. Is it playful or elegant? Or maybe something in between! There’s no wrong when it comes to beautiful Mehndi designs – if you think it’s beautiful, then it is!

What about dark Mehndi designs?

The dark Mehndi designs below are true stunners:

stunning very dark mehndi designs for the hands and fingers
mehndi henna designs - intricate couple on arm and palm

What is the difference between Mehndi and Henna?

Mehndi and henna are very similar. Henna is the name of a plant, a vine that produces reddish-brown dye. Mehndi is the name of those leaves. They are then ground into powder or paste form, and then used as a dye. Mehndi is made from an oily paste derived from ground leaves and flowers; henna comes in a wide range of colors. Mehndi is a Sanskrit word and Henna is an Arabic word.

elegant minimal mehndi-henna thin lines design

What is Karwa Chauth, and what does it have to do with Mehndi designs?

Karwa Chauth is a Hindu festival that celebrates the love between Kartik and Gauri. The husband goes without food or water from sunrise to sunset for his wife’s well-being, which may result in dehydration. Women wear mehndi (henna) designs on their hands and feet during this day as an expression of the marriage. And also of the good times that the couple has ahead.

How long does henna take to dry?

mehndi designs for a wedding - hand with flowers

A typical henna or mehndi tattoo will dry within 15 to 30 minutes. It depends a bit on the ingredients used, and how long it’s been applied to your skin. The longer it is left, the deeper and darker its final appearance might be. Typically after one hour, you can easily what a mehndi design will look like in the long term.

How long will a mehndi or henna tattoo last?

A mehndi or henna tattoo on the hands or wrists will usually last between one and two weeks before fading away. Of course, everyone’s body composition is different, so you mileage may vary. Tattoos on the feet or ankles will generally last much longer, often from four to five weeks.

The history of Mehndi design

beautiful mehndi designs - back hand circles

Mehndi design has a very long history. It traces back to ancient Egypt, when Cleopatra used henna to paint her nails and decorate her hands. Mehndi design is a very popular tradition in South Asia too, where it has been practiced for centuries. But the mehndi designs have also spread beyond India and Pakistan into other countries with large Muslim populations such as Indonesia, Malaysia or Bangladesh.

Bridal mehendi designs

amazing full-on mehndi design in dark black - two arms and two hands

Bridal designs using mehndi or henna are extremely popular these days.

How many colors are in a mehndi design?

There are many easy and simple mehndi design for beginners. A lot of them use only one color, so it’s very quick to create without a lot of effort. But you can also add colors if you want more complicated look. And it’s not as complicated as you might think. It’s really easy to add more colors on top of the base color.

stunning multi-color floral mehndi design

Black henna vs traditional henna

Traditional Mehndi usually involves black Henna paste that comes from the plant Lawsonia inermis . The dark color symbolizes happiness, love and joyfulness as well as beauty enhancement

But over the last few years there has been an emergence of new products which provide all kinds of colors and shades of mehndi. These are not traditional henna but they provide the same benefits as a Henna without using any chemicals.

Dark mehndi designs are also appropriate for funerals, where the designs are almost a form of sending condolences.

cute minimal mehndi design - floral mendala

Easy and fun Mehendi designs

Easy mehndi designs for beginners

If you are a beginner and want to try your hand at this traditional art, here are some simple mehendi design ideas for you:

Mehndi Design with One Color

cute simple mehndi design of interlocking circles on wrist

This is perfect if you have no patience or time because it only takes less than 30 minutes to complete! All you need is black ink and henna powder in any shade that suits your skin tone best. You can also use brown or dark green as they’re not too heavy on darker skins tones. This one doesn’t require many materials so it’ll be easier for beginners who don’t have a lot of supplies.

Mehendi Designs for beginners

minimal mehendi designs for the index finger

One-color mehndi designs are perfect for beginners as well! It’s not too difficult to do and you won’t need a lot of materials: just black ink, henna powder in any shade that suits your skin tone best, water and an applicator brush or toothbrush.

Get rid of the excess mehndi by wetting it using either a cotton ball soaked in lemon juice or plain yogurt then apply some good old pressure on the area where you want to put mehndi.

elegant minimal mehndi-henna thin lines design

Now start drawing the shape desired – this can be simple shapes such as stars, triangles, zigzag lines or even dots inside each other. Whatever your skill level may be!

Amazing Mehndi designs for the feet

Check out the amazing three Mehndi designs for the feet below:

amazing dark mehndi design for foot or feet
bold and gold mehndi foot design

Beautiful bridal mehndi designs

A bride needs to look stylish and exquisite on her special day, as she is beginning her new life. And mehndi art is a source of infinite inspiration, with many amazing yet simple designs.

As the photos of trends in recent weddings indicate, a collection of hand-based mehndi designs that are at once cute, simple, inspired and amazing are not hard to find these days.

For a modern and stylish touch, see what is trending in Pinterest or Instagram: you will get millions of ideas, and it only takes on photo to find the perfect henna art of the beautiful mehndi designs that you have been looking for.

amazing red-orange mehndi design on the palm

From simple Arabic letters to amazing floral patterns, or from simple mehndi designs for brides to individual finger patterns or beautiful patterns or the hands, there is no shortage of bridal henna designs.

Hand mehndi is always stylish, and back hand mehandi designs using either Arabic mehndi designs or the Indian variants are a stunning source of inspiration for the beginning tattoo artist.

amazing gold mehandi design for palm and wrist

From minimal and elegant mehndi designs for weddings, to beautiful festival designs for either the modern or traditional bride, the mehndi designs are perfect for any occasion.

Lucky brides who get to have henna cones on their hands will find some hand mehndi designs based on flowers, simple motifs, beautiful and stunning body art, and Arabic mehendi designs trending on social media.

Ideas to design henna tattoos that are always stylish

bridal mehndi henna hand tattoo - flowers and tears

Trending simple mehndi designs can brighten up beautiful wedding celebrations around the world, and bridal mehndi will always be popular.

super intricate mehndi hand design for bride - back of hand and all fingers

Simple Arabic henna mehendi designs are a source of ideas for Indian floral and bride planners as well.

Mehndi flowers for bridal designs

Flowers in particular are a popular tattoo idea for many a wedding, and an amazing photo of your simple mehndi designs can go a long way in making beautiful festival into something memorable.

Of course, you probably want your henna mehndi designs to be at once elegant, intricate, and cute, perhaps even a source of inspiration for beautiful mehndi art designs of tomorrow.

mehndi designs - beautiful circles on hand and wrist and fingers

Amazing and beautiful floral designs made by a seasoned festival artist are a source of inspiration for brides around the world.

A simple and beautiful mehandi design for a modern Indian wedding can wrap around the index finger of the bride, in an inspired nod to the stunning and intricate style patterns and motifs that brides will want to cherish in their photos.

Recent mehndi trends

Both women and men now embrace the bridal henna art style, and ideas for henna art can come from a wide variety of sources.

bold and very dark mehndi fingers design

At the wedding party, recent trends show that the modern henna style is a source of increasing inspiration, with finger motifs that focus on the minimal use of the bride’s hand or hands.

These photos of bridal mehndi design will show he aspiring artist what the most inspired and simple floral and hand patterns for 2021 are.

lovely mehndi fingernail design

Simple motifs for the hand or hands range from beautiful modern mehandi designs to amazing floral patterns for the budding eid artist.

Simple mehndi designs are sometimes the best ones

Life is richer with beautiful hand mehndi designs, and when it comes to ideas for winning bridal henna, sometimes simple mehndi designs lead to amazing results.

super minimal mehndi design of crescent moon

Regardless of whether your mehndi design ideas get inspired by a seasoned henna wedding artist, or by a simple yet beautiful wedding, there is no shortage of designs for the hands (or just a single hand) that will be the life of any party.

If your mehndi design motif is based on the hands, there’s no shortage of beautiful ideas that will bring to life any wedding.

Both back hand henna designs and simple mehndi designs have been a source of beautiful hand ideas for centuries.

beautiful and stunning index finger mehndi design

Beautiful bridal mehendi designs for the hands are perfect for any collection of “mehndi henna” ideas.

Beautiful mehndi designs for hands, feet, or more are the perfect way to test out a new henna tattoo.

amazing mehndi design drops for the thumb - elegant henna tattoo designs

Ideas for beautiful Arabic mehndi designs form part of many a collection of bridal mehndi photos.

Arabic mehndi designs are also perfect for something a bit more daring like henna tattoos.

elegant and stylish mehndi designs - dark wispy back of hand

If you’re in the mood to try your hand (or hands) at bridal mehndi, then a simple henna tattoo is the ideal way to practice your own beautiful mehndi designs for hands.

These beautiful henna designs will take your mehndi designs for hands to the next level.

Henna designs for bridal mehndi: where to I start?

The most popular bridal mehndi designs are geometric shapes, floral motifs and patterns.

You can even get a bit creative with your henna design! Try to add some colors or different textures in the mix of black mehendi designs for hands.

elegant mehndi henna bracelet design - simple and minimal for the beginner

It’s also not uncommon for people to embellish their hands more than usual during weddings – which is an excellent opportunity to experiment with other types of mehndi designs, like traditional Arabic Mehndi designs.

These look great on both the face and neck as well – if you want another option that’s slightly less common but just as beautiful, these beauties will make sure all eyes are right here where they belong!

Henna design and mehndi design for kids

An increasingly popular area of mehndi designs is for kids: this is a wonderful way to get kids into art and self-expression.

Kids love mehndi tattoos because they are so easy to make. These mehndi designs for children can be as simple or complex as you want. That makes mehndi an excellent way of getting your child involved in arts and crafts. You could also introduce this traditional art form by decorating a goodie bag with these gorgeous patterns – after all, who doesn’t love receiving presents?

amazing white mehndi design for fingers - henna tattoo

All mehendi design ideas will take some time because they need to dry before applying any other color on top of that. But with patience, creativity and practice at home, it’s a great way for kids to learn about color, design, and good old-fashioned patience! Good things come to those who wait, and mehndi designs are no exception.

Mehndi designs for the legs

Modern mehndi designs look great on the legs as well. If you want something that’s going to stand out then try colors like black or turquoise for your henna design.

These will also work wonderfully if you’re looking for some unique ideas for wedding day beauty: pair them with a long dress and heels, and no one will ever forget about your gorgeous skin!

The best part? You’ll never have trouble finding the perfect outfit when all of your clothes coordinate perfectly with each other thanks to these little details in the background!

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