Begin by making four dots in the corners of the paper and connecting them to make a square. Don’t use a ruler. Zentangle is not about being perfect. The Zentangle folks say to use a pencil for this part, but I was taught to use a pen, and I still prefer it that way. But a pencil might make you feel more comfortable with the process.
Then start filling in the sections with designs or patterns. You can get ideas for patterns from books and from the web. This site has a ton of patterns with step-by-step instructions for drawing each one. Or you can just make up your own or do a combination of both.
Here is the same one with all of the spaces filled.
When you have filled in all of your spaces, you will want to use a pencil to shade parts of your design to create some depth.
Simple, fun, and kind of addicting. Give it a try, either for your own sanity or with your students! Looking for a place to start? This book will tell you everything you need to know.
*Please note that I am not a licensed Zentangle instructor (yes, they exist) and in fact am only a beginner. There is a whole 11-step process that the creators of Zentangle advocate. This is just a little starter course for those who might be interested. It is all you really need to create Zentangles, but if you want to go deeper, get a book or take a class.