A mandala is an intricate, abstract design, usually in circular form. In this project, you will use your background of patterns, circles, measurement, and positive and negative space to create a fun mandala illustration.
If you prefer a shorter, printable version of this challenge be sure to check out the linked PDF in the Materials tab.
These steps guide you through creating your mandala illustration.
Using your pen, make a small dot in the middle of your paper. This doesn’t have to be perfectly in the center but will serve as the anchor point for your compass.
Next, take your compass, and place the needle on the dot. Make several circles of different sizes by adjusting the hinge of your compass. All of your marks should be light, you’ll erase them later. The size of the circles is the designer’s choice.
Using your ruler, draw a line straight through your circles, using the dot you made as a guide.
Bring out your protractor! Align your tool on the horizontal line.
Determine how wide you want your sections to be. For example, for every 30 degrees, mark 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180.
Using your ruler and pencil, draw lines to connect the marks to the center and extend to the other half of the circle.
Using your pen or makers, begin marking in your Mandala map. You can start in any circle. The trick to keeping it balanced is that you count how many elements are in each divided section. Repeat that pattern all the way around!
There are no rules! You don’t have to be an artist, any pattern works. Youth enjoy making cat, money, and car-themed mandalas.
Erase your pencil lines and share your mandala!
Here are discussion questions connected to this project. Try to research or figure out the answer yourself first. Click the arrow to reveal the answer!
Measure a line through the mandala’s center that meets the sides of the outer circle – this is your diameter.
A pattern is a sequence in which the elements repeat in a predictable manner.
Two lines that form a right angle, such as the corner of a square.
There are 360 degrees in a circle.
A straight line measures 180 degrees.
Once you’re done, you can share a picture of your project! This is completely optional. We’ll be using these photos to create a project gallery. If you’re interested, please fill out the following form and upload a photo of your completed project.
To share your project, head to https://dhf.io/shareproject and fill out the form!
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Here is a downloadable version of the activity. Please feel free to download and print this PDF!