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Henna Hands Bible Craft

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In A Nutshell

The Biblical story of Queen Esther is celebrated by Jews today during the holiday of Purim. As part of this celebrations, young women create elaborate designs on their hands and feet using Henna dye. Children create their own hand designs on paper first, then on their own hands with washable markers with our Henna Hands Bible craft.

Henna Hands Bible Craft
Henna Hands Bible Craft
Henna Hands Bible Craft

Ages

Elementary, Tweens, Teens

Estimated Time

15 - 30 minutes

What You Will Need

  • Hand Outline Printable
  • Henna Hand Samples Printable
  • White copy paper
  • Pencils
  • Washable markers (the traditional color of henna is brown, but you can let children use any colored markers)

Preparation

  • Print one Hand Outline Printable per child.
  • Print one set of Henna Hand Samples Printables.

Instructions

  • Give some background about Henna:
    Henna is a plant that is ground up to make a dye. It has been used to make temporary tattoos since the Bronze Age. It was widely used in Northern Africa, Italy, Spain and the Middle East. It is still very popular in India.

The henna paste is applied to the skin with a cone-shaped funnel. To set the design, the ink must remain on the skin for several hours. It is then washed off. The remaining design will remain on the skin for a few weeks.

Henna is used to capture the essence of a person through patterns and designs. The most common design elements include flowers, swirls, leaves, tendrils, water drops, vines and stars. Typical henna dye is brown.

The book of Esther takes place in Persia, an area which practices henna tattooing. Queen Esther was most likely decorated with henna for her wedding to the king and other celebrations.

  • To begin your design, look at your hand as three parts, the fingers, palm and wrist. Figure designs for each area. Using a pencil, draw your design on the paper hand. Many henna designs for the palm include an abstract design that is in the center of the palm. To do this, start with a dot in the center and work from the center out.
  • Once you are happy with your design, use a marker to trace over the lines.
  • The paper drawings can complete your craft, or you can give the children washable markers and let them draw the designs on each other’s hands. (Crayola washable markers are safe for the skin and can easily be removed with soap and water. If you are using another brand, be sure to check the label and do a test on your own skin before using it with children).
  • If you are using this craft for a group of younger children you may want to include a note that goes home to parents explaining that the ink used was safe for skin and how it can be removed.

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