Your step by step guide on how to Zentangle.
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Zentangle: A Step By Step How To Guide For Beginners

Have you ever heard of Zentangle? I discovered it a few months ago & lets just say that I’m a touch hooked.

Zentangle drawing, or Zendoodle, is basically a structured way of drawing your doodle patterns.

Just like with other forms of art therapy, Zentangle is a great way to express yourself & let your mind relax. You don’t have to worry about if you’re messing something up or if it looks right or if you’re spilling paint. You can sit, breathe, & doodle. I like to think of it as another form of meditation.

Out of all of the creative coping ideas that I’ve tried this one makes the top of the list.


Because it’s easy to learn, you literally can’t mess it up, & it’s fun!

Plus, it’s great for everyone. Including children!

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How To Design Your Own Zentangle 

Discover how to easily start your own zendoodle drawing.

It looks intimidating when you see a finished Zentangle but it’s easier to grasp than it seems. In fact you can make your own Zentangle artwork in just a few steps.

Before you begin you will need just a few supplies. Don’t worry, you don’t need anything extravagant to get started on your Zentangle journey. You can simply use a piece of paper (or index card), a pencil, & a fine tip pen.

Step 1

Using your pencil, lightly draw dividing lines on your sheet of paper. The sections will end up looking like blank squares.

Tip: Use a smaller piece of paper or an index card. Especially when first beginning. That way you don’t get overwhelmed with trying to fill an entire sheet of paper.

Step 2

Doodle within each block.

Step 3

Keep going until your entire page is filled. You can keep turning your paper around so that you can rotate your design.

Step 4

Once you’re satisfied with your design & know that you won’t be adding anymore, gently erase your penciled grid lines.

Zentangle Tips & Tricks

Now, because I’ve grown addicted to Zentangles I’ve learned some tips.

  • It’s best to use a sketchbook or a notebook if you have multiple designs. That way you can keep them all together.
  • Use a sketchbook with mixed media paper or use cardstock to avoid your ink bleeding.
  • Fine tip pens work best. If you want to add color to your art, then you can use fine tip sharpie pens & extra fine tip sharpie pens.

  • The book One Zentangle A Day is amazing! It teaches you step by step on how to draw 70 Zentangles. It took me more than 1 a day as the title states but it’s still an awesome & informative book.
  • Instead of making grids with lines, you can outline a cup to make circle grids. Make sure to overlap the circles.
  • If you want to create a design on a full sheet of paper, start your design in the center of the page. That way you can leave the outside white as a border if it becomes to much to finish.
  • Don’t worry about making sure that your grid lines are straight. They’ll be lost in your pattern designs.
  • Vary your pattern designs by thin, thick, dark & light. That way you’ll have some depth & balance to your art.
  • It’s ok to repeat patterns. Not every section has to be filled with a different one.
  • Don’t worry about leaving too much white space. If you notice when  you’re done that some areas have “holes” then you can go back in & fill them in.

Zentangle Pattern Ideas

It can be hard sometimes to just shut your mind down enough to doodle & doodle. And other times it’s just hard to find some inspiration.

You can find inspiration all around you. Look at:

  • Patterns in nature
  • The decor on pillows
  • Art or designs that pop up on tv
  • Clothing

Here are some pattern ideas that you can use to keep you going.

  • Zentangle Animals 
  • Zentangle Letters
  • Zentangle Circles
  • Zentangle Flowers

You can also do a variety of basic shapes & patterns.

Learn how to easily do zentangle art.

  • Lines (in all directions & forms)
  • Circles
  • Semi-circle
  • Hearts
  • Diamonds
  • Squares
  • Hexagons
  • Rectangles
  • Dots
  • Swirls
  • Arrows
  • Leaves

What To Do With Finished Zentangles

After you’ve done one, you’ll probably think “what the heck do I do with this thing?”

I have a sketchbook filled with mine. However, I’ve also started to use them as thank you cards.

Here are some other ideas that you can do with your finished Zentangle.

  • Frame it as art work.
  • Use it as a greeting card (If you’ve used cardstock or strong paper).
  • Mod Podge them onto coasters or wood to be decor in your home or office.
  • Cut them up & use them for an art journal prompt.

Looking for more ways to cope? Grab the Artist Within E-book filled with over 100 art therapy activities that you can do at home or check out the new art course! Inner Surface!

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Learn how to Zentangle in just a few easy steps.