Nowadays, cones and jacquard bottles are the most popular method to apply henna paste or Mehndi. But the most favorite tool among the users is a cone made of rolled plastic, similar to a cake decorating tube, with a tiny hole at the end. With the help of cone one can make incredibly fine lines and detailed designs. Mehndi also comes ready-made in tubes; these containers provide an easy method method of mehndi application, but often henna in these forms will lack a smooth consistency, and most professional artists avoid ready-made pastes because it is impossible to discern ingredients added.
A third simpler but more wasteful method of applying mehndi is to put a stencil that is hand-shaped over the hand and spreading the henna paste over the entire stencil. The extra tools in mehndi application include fine needles and toothpicks, which can be essential in fixing lines or lifting and moving a line, or picking up stray mehndi, and thin sewing pins that are useful to unclog the hole in the mehndi cone.
- Make a smooth henna paste by sifting the dry henna powder to remove any debris and adding to it a hot mixture of tea or coffee and mustard oil until it has a mud-like firmness.
- After the paste is ready take a plastic cone with a very fine key-hole at the end. Pour the paste into the cone and tie the broader end with a rubber band.
- Hold the cone in the right hand and gently squeeze the paste on the palm and start making patterns.
- Keep the palm horizontal and let the patterned-paste rest on it till dry.
- Warm it near the fire and leave it on for as long as it takes to get the stains deeper.
- When it is almost dry, dab a piece of cotton in sugar and lemon solution and apply lightly on the designs so it further darkens to a reddish-brown hue that can last for weeks.
- After 2-4 hours wash off the hands with plain water.