What are Zentangles? 20+ Gorgeous Ideas and Examples for Decorating your Journal

Zentangles are a meditative art form that invites individuals to find peace and creativity in the strokes of a pen. Zentangles, a term coined by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, are intricate, repetitive patterns drawn within a small, structured space. This blog post unfolds the creative world of Zentangles, exploring the origins, ideas and examples, benefits, and how this simple yet profound practice can become a pathway to mindfulness and artistic expression.

  • What are Zentangles
  • What are Zentangles
  • What are zentangles
  • What are Zentangles
  • What are Zentangles
  • What are Zentangles
  • What are Zentangles
  • What are Zentangles

The Artful Origins

  1. A Mindful Beginning: The origins of Zentangles trace back to the meditative doodling practices of Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. The name itself is a fusion of “zen,” representing a state of meditation, and “tangle,” reflecting the intricate patterns that characterize this art form.
  2. Structured Yet Freeform: Zentangles typically consist of abstract, repetitive patterns organized within a small square, known as a “tile.” The beauty of Zentangles lies in their simplicity—artists start with a blank tile and let the patterns unfold organically, creating a mesmerizing tapestry of lines and shapes.

The Zen in Zentangles

  1. Mindful Meditation: At its core, Zentangling is a meditative practice that encourages mindfulness and a focused state of being. As individuals engage in the deliberate, repetitive strokes, they enter a serene flow state, allowing the mind to quiet and the stresses of daily life to dissipate.
  2. Accessible to All: Zentangles require no prior artistic skill, making them accessible to people of all ages and artistic backgrounds. The emphasis is not on the end result but on the process of creating, providing a non-judgmental space for self-expression.

Unlocking Benefits

  1. Stress Relief and Relaxation: Engaging in Zentangles has been associated with stress reduction and relaxation. The deliberate and rhythmic nature of the patterns allows individuals to enter a calm and centered state, offering respite from the demands of a hectic world.
  2. Enhancing Focus and Creativity: Zentangles serve as a powerful tool for enhancing focus and unlocking creative potential. The structured yet open-ended nature of the practice encourages individuals to explore new patterns and combinations, fostering a sense of artistic discovery.

How to Begin Your Zentangle Journey

  1. Gather Your Supplies: All you need to start Zentangling is a pen and paper. Consider investing in specialized Zentangle tiles and pens, but know that the beauty of this practice lies in its simplicity.
  2. Explore Patterns: Begin with basic patterns, known as “tangles,” and gradually experiment with more complex designs. The Zentangle method encourages both beginners and experienced artists to embrace the joy of discovery.
  3. Use it in your Journal: Zentangles are a great way to decorate your bullet journal, junk journal or any other journal that you often use.

Zentangle Bases

Zentangles consist of a base and the zentangle designs. The zentangle designs, the actual line work, is filled into the base shapes. Those base shapes can take on many different forms, some of them we collected here.

1. Straight Geometric Lines

Use straigt lines to construct geometric shapes which you can fill with zentangles.


2. Organic Forms

If you want a more flowy design, use more rounded shapes to construct the base.


3. Concentric Rings

A beautiful base design for zentangles are concentric rings which give the impression of a tree and it’s age lines.


4. Individual Islands

A more simple approach is to draw individual islands as single bases for every zentangle designs. You can arrange those islands however you want to fit any page!



Zentangles are more than just drawings; they are a gateway to mindfulness, creativity, and inner peace. As you embark on your Zentangle journey, allow the patterns to unfold organically, relishing in the therapeutic embrace of each stroke. Whether you’re seeking a meditative escape or a creative outlet, the artful meditation of Zentangles invites you to find tranquility in the simple act of drawing. Embrace the zen of Zentangles, and let the strokes guide you into a world of mindful creation.

Editorial Note: Morella&Ulalume Editors may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.
Furthermore the content of this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Prior to making any health-related decisions, including the use of supplements or dealing with decisions that can affect your mental health, it is advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare provider.

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