Creating Your Design Books

Quick Tips

  • Make several identical books! One for the artist and some for the guests to look at
  • 3 Ring Binders and page/sheet protector sleeves from the office supply are your best friends
  • Organize clearly for quick shopping - make it easy for your clients!
  • We divide by price, $5, $10, $15, $20, $25. $30, $40. Increments of 5 are easy for making change at festivals. Each section has a variety of styles. Hopefully there is something for everyone at each price point.
  • Try to create life sized designs. You'll be asked frequently how large a design is, it's easy to say 'what you see is what you get'. 

Organization is Key!



  • 3 ring binders
  • plastic sleeve protectors
  • divider tabs, tape


    • Design books should include only your own original drawings And/OR designs from books which allow fair use under their copyright. 
    • Henna design ebooks are okay to use in your design books! That's what they are designed for. The artists created and published them just for other artists to use in their businesses. Pretty cool, huh?!
    • Never use another artist's photos without permission to promote your work. It is illegal and a copyright violation to take another artists photos, even if you found the pics on Google to promote your business.

    Ebooks are designed for you to use, pictures and designs printed from the internet are not okay or legal for you to use in your design books/boards.


    Organize your book!

    • Have a variety of themes and styles in a variety of price points
    • My smallest designs are $5 and take 1- 3 minutes to apply
    • Medium designs take about 3-10 minutes to apply
    • Large designs take 15-30 minutes to apply
    Come up with a plan of attack and divide into sections. How do you want your sections organized? Style, size, body part? There are many ways to create a unique design book! I try to keep it simple and clear so it's easy to set up a self service line at festivals.


      Divide by price

      • Use tabs to clearly label your price sections
      • Each section is like a chapter, and all designs in that section are that price. 
      • You can even color-code the tabs with your payment tokens to help stay organized.


      Create gorgeous henna!

      Even with a design book, feel free to make adjustments to the design as you work. This creates a more personal experience for your client and helps you exercise your creative side.

      I will usually ask the client if they'd like it just like the drawing or can I make it unique for them. It's fun adding little flourishes or extra dots here and there - it makes people feel special.



        Show designs placed on the body and on their own 

        • Your designs should be "life sized", which makes it easier for clients to visualize what the design will look like on their own skin. 
        • Not every design has to be on a template. You can encourage clients to mix it up- just because its shown on a hand doesn't mean it can't go on a foot or arm!


        Make copies. A bunch

        • For our smallest events, I have 3 design books. That's 1 for the artist, and 2 for the guests. 
        • Make identical copies of your books for the guests and artists. 1 each per artist, plus copies for the display table. 
        • Very large festivals could use 9+ books for clients to review.


        Your gorgeous books are ready to go!

        • Fill empty sleeves or extra pages with promotional and informational flyers.
        • Include a promotion for Henna Cones or Henna Kits
        • Promote your private Events
        • Warn against toxic synthetic chemical "henna"


        There are many ways to create your design selections. This is what I've tested and found works best for my business, system and client type. Some people prefer posters, banners, or small drawings with real henna.

        I like dividing the book by price points

        •  Allows clients to shop within their budget.
        • Clients don't have to discuss their budget with me so there's no embarrassing conversation about how much they can spend 
        • Children can be directed to choose from certain sections which limits parental frustration
        • I use tokens to help streamline the payment and design choice process. My tokens are color coded and match the sections of the notebooks. Example: $5 tokens are red, the $5 section of the book has a red tab.

        I love organizing the book by sections that are similar in complexity and time

        • Helps the artist manage time. The designs in each section take about the same amount of time.
        • Speeds up the selection process
        • For parties with lots of guests and limited time or budget, I remove the larger design sections and keep the smaller ones. That helps me to work quickly and the guests have no idea the fancy designs are missing.