I need help with making Henna

I got a henna kit the other day and last night my friend and I drew on each other
I didn"t turn out. I came out really light.
I know there is a way to make it I have seen the recipies online before.
What I was wondering is if anyone here has played with henna before or made their own and could give me some hints.
I love the design that I have but it’s horribly light and don’t want to lose it so we can trace over it.

How long did you let it sit on your skin once you drew on each other? My husband and I had a Hindu and Christian ceremony for our wedding in April, and it took 8-10 hours for the henna to set enough that I could scrape it off, and afterwards, I wasn’t allowed to wash my hands for 24 hours after that. So maybe you didn’t let it “soak in” enough. I know 8 hours is a loooong time to let that stuff set (especially if you have to pee as often as I do), but, depending upon what sort of results you’re looking for, you might have to do it. Also, when letting the stuff set, if it starts crumbling off, a lot of people recommend dabbing a mixture of lemon juice and sugar on to it - the stickiness holds the drying henna on better (although it’s really gross if you have to go 24 hours without washing your hands after applying it - trust me).

Another suggestion - some henna kits come with henna oil. If yours does, next time rub a very, very light amount on your skin, and it should help the color deepen.

Kricket I’ve found that the Every Day Mehndi site is incredibly straightforward and helpful. They’re the “straight dope” on henna, if you will. They also have many excellent products for sale - aaaahhhhh, nothing like the smell of fresh henna powder!

lol, I cheat and buy it premade in a tube, and ise a tiny squeeze bottle to apply the stuff, the opening on the bottle is maybe 2 mm at most. Once the pattern is on, use a spray bottle to spray a water made up of a dab of rosewater, water made by soaking dried limes [2 limes to about a cup of water] and a drop of henna oil [it isnt oil containing henna, it is an oil used to ‘set’ henna] and then carefully wrap tissue around the hands and slide on a pair of poly gloves [the cheap non elastic kind that you use to protect your hands while you dye hair] or wrap the area in cling plastic and sit watching the telly for about 8 hours…

So the pre-made stuff can work just as well as mixing it myself?
We just guessed that as soon as it dried and started cracking that it was done.
This is going to be a project for when the heathens go back to school so that way I can sit still and let it soak in right. (a good excuse to be lazy and watch movies all day! :wink: )
Thank you all for your help.
It’s a whole back piece and took alot of henna so I am really thankfull for your advice.

I always tend to use the pre-made stuff personally, it works far better. And like others have already said, daubing a mixture of sugar water and lemon juice will help the henna stick, and so give a deeper colour. Also, some (cold) strong black tea daubed onto your hand may help. Its best to leave the henna on overnight. In the morning, rub off the dried henna, apply a bit of oil (any kind actually) to your hand, and simply heat your hand gently over an open flame (like from a gas stove), but don’t let it burn! That should give you a really dark colour. Generally, anything you can do to increase heat to your hand will give you a rich deep colour. Mine tends to turn to a very very dark brown, almost black, and only gets to the orangey henna colour after about a week or so.

grrr. I just posted a big long reply, then the system goofed and erased the whole thing.
To sum up-
I’ve been a professional henna artist since 1993.
Premixed toothpaste-tube type henna is shipped very slowly and with no care for its safety, so it arrives damaged and old and is generally useless. Plus it frequently contains such “traditional” ingredients such as gasoline, turpentine, and citronella oil, all of which are NOT supposed to be applied to skin.
All you really need is an acidic liquid like lemon juice. Tea and coffee do nothing. You can add a sugar or honey to help keep the paste moist. A simple lemon paste used with fresh henna will give you great results if sealed with a lemon-sugar mix and left on for several hours or oevrnight.
If you add certain essential oils high in monoterpene alcohols, you’ll get a paste that can be left on for as little as half an hour and gives the same excellent results, although you’ll get better color if you leave it on for to or so hours.
There are lots of artists importing henna right now. It’s more expensive than what you’ll find at your local import store, but it will actually WORK.
There is lots more information, including a more detailed recipe, on my website, www.hennadancer.com. I also import and sell henna, oils, and applicators. I am happy to help with advice or troubleshooting even if you’re not buying from me.