Bootcamp Basics

Henna Caravan's Bootcamp Basics was conceptualized as a way for Carissa to "get back into the swing of things" after taking an extended absence from henna while studying for her Master's degree. She had mixed up some henna for fun and realized she had lost a lot of her muscle memory. She and Jessica designed these worksheets to help build up your foundational skills. Whether you're a beginning artist or a seasoned professional, Bootcamp Basics provides you a framework to perfect your henna art.




Henna is a skill and skills can be learned and refined with practice. Anyone can master the art of henna/mehndi, you've just got to put in the time!

Just like an athlete that trains and runs drills, artists must train too. Thankfully we don't have to get sweaty and there's no need for special uniforms and gear. We just need some henna, something to draw on and some time.

Building 'muscle memory' is key to mastering henna and the family of shapes we use in the designs. 'Muscle memory' is key for an athlete but it can also unlock the door for a henna artist. The more we practice and train our hands and brains, the easier and more natural the skills become. These basic skills will become second nature and as we master them it becomes easier and easier to build complex patterns with graceful fluid elements.

So - get to it! Practice makes progress!

step-1a.pngGather your Supplies
  • Filled Henna Cones
  • Lotion cones will work too, but there's nothing like practicing with the real deal to perfect your skills
  • Print out copies of the Bootcamp Basic practice pages
  • Acrylic Practice Boards/Hands are fun to practice on if you have one, go grab it.




  • Set aside 10 minutes to 1 hour to practice Bootcamp Drills
  • Daily practice will help you to grow the fastest but even practicing a few times a week will yield results! Bottom line, just do it, do what you can, whatever that may be.
  • Begin at the beginning. Practice those dots, hundreds of times, until they are perfect. The goal is to practice these basic elements until your hand/brain can do them perfectly (or nearly) without effort or thought.
  • Once you can create these tiny elements perfectly, it will open up your brain to create more complicated designs. You'll be shocked at how easy the next steps are when you have the foundation basics perfected.
  • You'll struggle to create fluid, graceful complex designs if you can't create fluid and graceful simple elements.
  • Don't rush your practice! You are building your muscle memory now and what you practice is what you'll do.