Make mandala magic

Hi fabulous messians, this is Clare and I am here to show you two ways to make a mandala.  Both are meditative and lovely to draw and create. Let’s practice some self kindness and relax as we make beautiful mandalas. Light a candle, grab your beverage of choice, play some music and get settled in.

Mandala is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning ‘circle’ and most mandalas have a concentric structure which is why I think they are so peaceful and effective to draw and/or colour in.  They can be found in cultural symbols from all over the world and ages as well as in the natural world all around us.

We will make a freeform mandala and one which uses a penciled template to work on top of.  They will both work as part of a journal page or you can photocopy them to hand out to friends and family as a lovely coloring sheet.



  • compass
  • protractor (360 degree or 180 degree)
  • pencil
  • water soluble markers
  • water resistant black fine pen
  • spray bottle with water


Of course mandalas can be draw and colored  with any supplies you have on hand, so once you have got the hang of it, get creative and make mandalas with painted brush strokes, markers, stickers, stamps, collage, nib pen, words. Make it your own and make it gorgeous!

The freeform mandala can be drawn directly onto a page or some paper which will be glued onto a spread.  This is a very versatile method and can be drawn almost anywhere.

Think about the shapes you want to include, are they organic or geometric?  Do you want to combine both styles? How about all circles? All flower shapes? Go for it.

Another way of creating a mandala is to use a template to draw on and within, the template is then erased when you are done.  This is a more precise way of drawing your mandala and in my opinion even more meditative than the freeform technique.  The template creates magic as you make your repetitive shapes within your penciled in base. Shapes merge together and form new shapes which you never planned but you will love as they become part of your mandala.

Don’t forget to keep turning your paper as you work, this makes the shapes and symbols you use more even in size and style.

Action Steps

  1. Once you have drawn a beautiful mandala or a collection of them, photocopy them and give them out to friends and family as colouring sheets.
  2. Draw some freeform mandalas on some found paper – junk mail, book pages, photographs, library catalogue cards or maybe a sheet of see through paper like vellum.  Use this in your art journal, tear it out or tear it up and stick it down.
  3. Cover a page in your journal with freeform mandalas like a mandala garden!


Clare is originally from the north of England and has lived in the mid-west of America since 2003. Her workplace is the local library where she is a part time librarian, which is good because she loves books. Her favourite part of art journaling is the opportunity to create with no pressure and usually no finished idea in mind and the chance to create a sketchbook and fill it up however she wants!


  1. Divyam Bernstein

    Clare this is the most wonderful process. So relaxing and meditative. Just what I needed today! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Xxx

    • Clare Etheridge

      Relaxing is what I am after!

  2. Patricia Shimozo-Allen

    What a fun tutorial. Thanks for sharing your process!

    • Clare Etheridge

      I am so happy to hear that!

  3. Christina Cloud

    Clare this is an amazing help to me! I’ve always wanted to do a Mandalay but whenever I tried for some reason it would turn out terribly! Both of these tutorials make me feel that I can do it this make it easy to follow. Thank you so much!

    • Clare Etheridge

      I am positive that you can do it! Even simple shapes turn out really effectively in a mandala. Enjoy!

  4. Tanyalee Kahler

    I’m so lazy that I never want to set up the grid, but I can see just how easy it makes it to make the perfect mandala. I think I need to go and steal my husbands compass and protractors. Hehehe.

    • Michelle Crawford

      So I’m not the only one who feels too lazy to set up a grid, yay! This does make it look fun 🙂

    • Clare Etheridge

      Ha ha! Yes get that compass and protractor, I would try a measured one just to get the wonderful effects you can achieve with simple shapes and lines inside the template.

  5. Sasha Zinevych

    I have never drawn mandalas before! This is so meditative and relaxing. Thank you for sharing, Clare!

    • Clare Etheridge

      Be careful, once you start, you can’t stop!

  6. Ashley Rodgers

    Great tutorial! I love drawing mandalas because it’s so relaxing and meditative. Thanks for sharing your process, Clare!

    • Clare Etheridge

      Thanks Ashley, mandalas are super fun and I like the repetition!

  7. Deb Baker

    I’ve always been a big fan of drawing mandalas. It’s quite a therapeutic process. Haven’t done it for ages though. This tutorial has totally inspired me. Guess what I’m doing tomorrow? 😉

    • Clare Etheridge

      Yay, I love to see your mandalas Deb!