In the Craft Room 1st March 2014 – An Introduction to the Art of Zentangle

Although “doodling” has been around since we learnt to use writing implements, Zentangle® was developed by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas (

“Traditional Zentangle®  includes a ritual to help get in touch with life while creating beautiful art” Suzanne McNeill CZT

This month in the craft room we are delving into the art of Zentangle® which is said to help reduce stress and help develop dexterity. It is becoming increasingly popular as an art form  and once you know the basics I can be incorporated into  most  crafts, be it card-making, art journalling, even jewellery making.

As this is not something I have really done before (doodling  doesn’t count), we needed someone with a bit more knowledge on the subject so this month we have a bit of role reversal going on. My daughter Jenna is taking the group this month and I am sitting back as a pupil. Jenna is self taught  starting about 6 months a go now when I bought the book (from Amazon) Zentangle Basics 1 by Suzanne McNeill CZT (with the intention of having a go, but never got the chance

As the only way to become a CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) is to go on a course in  America there are only a handful (if that) of CZTs in this country so it is difficult to get find classes locally. Jenna taught herself with the help of web sites and to start with and then by following CZT blogs like  Tickled to Tangle and I am the Diva which as well as tips and advice etc have challenges.

We think Jenna must have a natural flair for it as since she started entering the challenges her artwork has been singled out for a mention quite a few times in blog posts and also been selected for honours twice now. With these credentials although not officially qualified we think, having seen her artwork, she is more than able to show us the basics of Zentangle®


This is a a recent sample of Jenna’s artwork, beautiful isn’t it? To see more of her art work you can visit her blog Pro-Am Crafts.

Back to class, we each had a starter pack which included an A4 artist sketch pad, 3 black micron pens (0.1, .03, and 0.8) and 12 3.5″ x3.5″ squares of thin white card – tiles (can be 80-120gsm we used 160gsm as that was what I had in my stash) A pencil (B2-B6/B8) and blending stubs(optional as can use finger) were also required.

Lesson 1, Jenna showed us how to do “step outs” (the breaking down of the pattern into steps to rebuild) for 4 patterns – Hollybaugh, Crescent Moon, Florz and Tipple (details of all the patterns can be found on These were drawn in our sketch books  (This is to be our personal zentangle journal so we can add notes on variations, shading etc )


We then took a tile and were shown how to draw our square and string in pencil (basically its the outline guide for our patterns to go in) We were all given the same string Tanglepattern 022

IMAG0602And were told to fill it with the 4 patterns we had just learnt.  – I have never known our group to be so quiet – amazing such concentration

And even more amazing were our end results, Jenna also did the same tile and when we had all finished they were all put together to form a mosaic (good job we had all initialled our tiles) and how different we had all interpreted the same string and patterns – this is the art of Zentangle


Can you tell which one Jenna did?

A well earned break I think and as I am not in charge Jenna made the tea and coffee too. I still made the cupcakes (not got out of that one) though, apple and cinnamon ones his week, recipe is on my recipe page if you would like to try. They were rather nice.


Lesson 2, Jenna showed us the step outs for 4 more patterns Betweed, Sugarcane, Printemps and Cadent. Again these are all official patterns and can be found on

We have now run out of time on our first Zentangle® session so we were given our second TanglePattern String 019 to complete as homework


As it is my craft room, I stayed behind to complete my “homework” and can’t wait till next week to see how the rest of the group have done.


Some of you may have seen previous posts that Jenna and I have already had played with incorporating zentangle inspired artwork into card making with my gelli play and Jenna’s artwork

gelli zentangle 3 IMAG0399

Finally I just wanted to show you how it all came about. My Neice was starting her new job (after leaving uni) and wanting to wish her good luck I thought I would send her a simple “good luck” card. Please bear in mind that this was last summer, before I new what Zentangle® was really about, this was just doodling, but it was because of this that I then sent off for the books and the rest, you already know.

IMAG0606 IMAG0607

The stamps by the way are from the French company Katzelkraft

Thank you for finding the time to read

I hope I have given the correct credit and respect where due and have not intentionally tried to offend anyone mentioned. If this is the case please let me know so that I can correct the offence. Thank you.


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