Every pregnant belly is beautiful and applying henna art not only celebrates and emphasises this but has it's roots in beautiful Eastern traditions. Some Mums-to-be may not be comfortable having their bellies decorated and can instead decorate hands/feet, which is more traditional, or anywhere else on their body.
WHAT IS HENNA?
Henna is a natural dye that is made from a flowering plant. It's used as a dye for skin, hair, nails and fabric, goes back many centuries but it is still frequently used now. It's temporary colouring on the skin can last for up to 2 weeks, sometimes more.
Henna has long been used to decorate and adorn women in various celebration ceremonies in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, many of which are still practised today.
Traditionally, henna is applied to the hands and feet of a woman before her wedding and also during pregnancy and after childbirth. It is thought to ward off evil spirits and it is said that, while the henna stains are visible, a woman shouldn't do any housework.
This is part of the reason we included henna in our Beautiful Blessingway box, apart from making the Mum-to-be's belly or hands even more beautiful, it can act as a reminder for her to take it easy at the end of her pregnancy.
IN THE BOX
In your Beautiful Blessingways box you will receive your very own pregnancy henna kit. Fresh and pure is best when it comes to henna which is why we have supplied you with the ingredients you will need to mix up a pregnancy safe henna paste. Many pre-made henna cones contain ingredients that aren't advisable when pregnant. In your kit you will find pre-measured organic henna powder and 100% pure essential lavender oil, which not only smells wonderful, it is also the safest option for pregnancy henna.
MIXING YOUR PASTE
Mixing the Henna paste is very simple but it must be done at least 5 hours before you intend to use it.
You will need:
30 grams of Henna powder (this is the amount in your sachet in your kit)
10ml of Lavender oil (This is the amount in your bottle in your kit)
10 grams of sugar
large piping bag
empty Henna cone
Empty Henna powder and Lavender oil into bowl.
Add sugar and carefully add in a tiny bit of water, mixing all ingredients with a spatular until you have a thick paste.
Cover the henna with cling wrap and set aside for 5 - 12 hours in a warm place (not the fridge). Keep out of reach of children at all times.
You will know the henna is ready once it had changed colour. If you scrape the top layer you will see it is a different colour to what is underneath. This is what you want.
Mix the paste again adding a little more water if you wish until you have a smooth toothpaste like consistency. Transfer paste into large piping bag. You will find a great tutorial of how to make your own piping bag with baking paper here.
Pipe paste into henna cone. Leave enough space at the top of the cone to be able to fold and tape ends down. Use as much tape as you need to feel that it is secure.
Snip the end off your cone so that the paste will squeeze through but please be aware that if you cut too much off the henna will be hard to control and you won't be able to achieve such fine lines.
Pipe a small dot onto your hand and leave for 5 minutes. When you wipe the henna off you should have a bright orange dot. If any irritation occurs stop use.
DECORATING WITH HENNA PASTE
You can create a design of your own or you can use the designs in our free PDF downloadable file found here. Simply download and then print so you have a visual reference.
If you would like to have a stencil to trace you can use the designs in the file provided. Depending on how big you would like it you may need to enlarge it and then print it out.
Trace over your chosen design with a ballpoint pen (it must be a ballpoint).
Apply clear roll on deodorant to the place you would like your design, then gently press the paper, ink side down, onto the skin.
Carefully pull paper away and you should be left with an outline of the design on your skin, ready to trace with henna.
Applying even pressure as you you gently squeeze, use your henna cone to draw your design. When creating the henna design you may also want to have a small paint brush handy to help create smooth lines and finer ends to the lines.
Once your design is finished allow the henna to dry completely. It will eventually flake and fall off leave the tattoo stain underneath. At first the stain will appear quite a light orange but with in 12 hours it will darken.
For best results keep water away from the decorated area for around 12 hours.
If you have any henna paste left you can actually freeze it and thaw to use at a later date.
How long your henna stain will last will vary depending on various factors, including, how often the designed area is washed, skin type and weather. Most will last 1 - 2 weeks and will gradually fade.
Henna is a fun and creative thing to do with friends. Have you tried it before?