by Lydia Fiedler

Learn this relaxing form of advanced doodling to jazz up stamps, stencils and die cuts. The Zentangle® Method was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas.


  • Cardstock

  • Pens (Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens used here)

  • Stamped image (Stampin' Up!® Blended Bloom used here)

  • Ruler, masking tape, stencil, die cut (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Choose an area to work in. This can be a blank page, a stamped image, a shape that has been stenciled, a die cut, a masked area on a card, a Project Life card or graph paper.

  2. Step 2

    Subdivide the area into sections the size you would like to fill with patterns. In this case, the stamp image already has subdivisions perfect for tangles - look for outline images in your collection. Start with small subdivisions until you are comfortable with the technique.

  3. Use rulers, stencils or other marking tools to help create interesting shapes. Here's a sample using a Dreamweaver stencil - the stencil is already divided into sections, which makes tangles easy.

  4. Step 3

    Begin filling the subdivisions with patterns. Start with something simple, like stripes. There are many online resources for tangle patterns, including http://www.tanglepatterns.net to inspire you. The Zentangle Method can be found at http://www.zentangle.com.

  5. In larger areas, such as this masked off area of the card front, experiment with larger patterns.

  6. Step 4

    Move to an adjacent section, and fill that with a pattern.

  7. Try to alternate elements of your patterns in adjacent areas. For example, if pattern 1 was mostly white space, make pattern 2 mostly black. If pattern 1 was an organic pattern, make pattern 2 geometric. This will make the finished project more visually interesting.

  8. Step 5

    Continue working in this manner until the image is completely filled.

  9. Step 6

    Add a small shadow around your design to make it pop off the page.

    Color your tangles, or draw them on colored paper for additional interest.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Zentangling. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Wow this is just fab, thank you x
Alex Turner  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 3:04 AM
Love it! I need to spend more time doing this.
Libby Hickson  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 3:05 AM
Great tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing! xxx
Delphinesplace  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 3:16 AM
When I first saw the picture, I thought that it was made of fabric. It looks so 3D. It's very beautiful, and your tutorial makes it look easy to make such an intricate work of art. Thank you for sharing.
Angelus  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 4:44 AM
My local stamp store offers classes for this. I just didn't get it. Now, after seeing how your pen meanders into random but specific patterns, I get it. It's like the patterns in the sand after heavy winds or ocean waves. Thanks for sharing and the enlightenment.
Nina Williams  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 5:19 AM
Wow Lydia this looks amazing. Thanks for making it so clear. Can't wait to give it a go.
Susie Williams  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 5:31 AM
This is so stunning. Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the tutorial.
Dayanna  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 5:39 AM
I didn't know this was an actual art form with a name! I just do this kind of thing for fun. Thanks so much for doing this tutorial. Fabulous!!
Laurie  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 5:47 AM
Lydia, this is gorgeous!!!!! I discovered Zentangle about a year ago by just browsing on Pinterest, I was so blown away by it that I immediately bought a book, the one for beginners and proceeded to practice. My first project was fabulous, if I say so myself, I was amazed that by just doodling, I had created a wonderfully artistic image. I also tried this with stamps that have large open areas and I was hooked.
There is no right or wrong and this is the beauty of Zentangle, even mistakes look great!!!!!
Thank you for this tutorial Lydia, I'm sure a lot of people are going to give this fun doodling technique a try now that they've seen it, and you, in action.
Maria A. Rodriguez  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 6:02 AM
Love the idea of starting with a stamped image having divisions. This seems do-able, even for people like me with no drawing ability!
Nance  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 6:25 AM
I've done Zentangling doodling forever - never knew it had a name. But - I was so glad to see you use Pitt Artist Pens, they are my all time favorite.
Elizabeth N Anderson  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 6:37 AM
I've never thought to used a stamp or stencils...great idea...thank you for sharing..absoulety love it...
Gloria Westerman  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 6:54 AM
This is really great! I never heard the word Zentangle before. Now I know what it is and might give it a shot. Thanks for the beautiful, and informative tutorial on this art. I love it!
Sharon Vrenna  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 7:56 AM
Thank you for this great idea! Wanting a faster way, I used die cut petals and stamped details on them from large intricate stamps, it gives the same effect.
Kay Oxford  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 8:10 AM
Very nice. This may become very popular in the cardmaking community, and I can see people creating zetangle stamps too, because the outcome is very elegant, artsy and overall creative and interesting. Thanks so much for sharing.
Graciellie CH  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 8:23 AM
Love zentangle! My daughters and I do it whenever we are waiting somewhere and at church!
mamacydds  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 8:32 AM
I have been doing Zentangle for two years! I love it and use it exclusively on my cards. It is so relaxing and there are so many designs. It's fun to share. I'm sure there will be more interest now that you have finally shared this wonderful art.
Sandi Standley  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 9:08 AM
I am in awe! Thank you for sharing your talent and ideas.
Ebctr  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 9:17 AM
I love this form of art. I never thought about using an open stamp image! Great idea. Your video is very relaxing to watch!
Hermy Acosta  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 10:17 AM
I love zentangling. I have quite a few of mine in my gallery here on SCS. I love doing them with Sharpies on cheap Dollar Tree white plates and baking in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. They turn out fabulously.
Liz Williams  |  Wed Jun 4, 2014 at 10:27 AM

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