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How to Make a Mandala

Used in Hindu and Buddhist meditation, a mandala is a geometric sand painting whose patterns represent the universe, life, and eternity. Here's how to make a basic one.


  • Step 1: Create the outer design Draw a large square on the board or directly on the table's surface. Draw another square inside the first, slightly smaller than the first.
  • Step 2: Build the inner design Draw a circle inside the inner square and then, working from the center of the first circle, draw a second, concentric circle, slightly smaller than the first.
  • Step 3: Work the design inward Use the basic shapes of squares and circles to continue building the pattern inward toward the middle of the table. Each new shape should be slightly smaller than the previous shape.
  • TIP: Embellish your design, making it as simple or intricate as you want.
  • Step 4: Draw the outer circle Draw a circle around the entire design.
  • Step 5: Glue sand to the table Drip glue onto the table and pour sand onto the glue to fix it to the table.
  • TIP: Use different colors of sand to distinguish the design sections and just enough glue to make the sand stick to the table.
  • Step 6: Continue decorating Repeat the process of laying colored sand over glue until the entire pattern is covered. This process can take several days.
  • Step 7: Set the sand Apply hair spray to permanently preserve the mandala – spray generously and let dry.
  • FACT: Tibetan mandalas dating from the 13th century survive today.

You Will Need

  • A design
  • A large wooden board or table
  • A pencil
  • Craft glue
  • Colored sand
  • Hair spray

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