• Mixed Media Mel

Musical Mandalas


I have combined two of my loves in this project. I have always been fond of mandalas. A #mandala at its base is a geometric figure; typically round, typically symmetrical. The beauty is in the application of decoration. Historically mandalas are represented in many cultures and religions as calendars, objects of worship, meditation support and more. They are commonly used today in art therapy which is where I fell in love. I inherited a book of mandalas from a loved one that had passed away and coloring them in filled the empty spot that needed filling. Both coloring them and creating them can be quite therapeutic. I wanted to make a dotted mandala to hang in my kitchen and wanted to repurpose something round for the canvas. Ultimately I decided on using records, and now all I want to do is paint records. (I have now decided to cover a WHOLE wall with them, but that is a post for later...)



Music of course is medicine, but records in particular are my favorite. No other music format quite captures the sound of the needle cutting into a record. Also, without being weird, that vinyl smell is where it’s at. And while I am essentially desecrating a record with this project, I feel like it’s worth it. I chose a crappy one so it’s more of an upcycle anyway (wink-wink). It’s mandala-murder folks!! The record will fit right in with the eclectic décor of my kitchen. When I use the word eclectic I of course mean totally (wonderfully) random.


Dot mandalas are actually pretty easy because they are just that- DOTS! Just strategically placed dots. Basically, you want to start in the center and work your way out symmetrically. You can use many different things for creating different sized dots, anything from toothpicks, to the backs of brush handles, to pencil tops. The trick is to find a good variance of sizes. I actually have some handy dandy EZ DOTZ tools to give me variegated dots but you can really use anything with a rounded or pointed tip. I found that I like wooden dowels or partially sharpened pencils best for a perfect circle dot. (Below the instructions is a short video of a mandala I recently created to show the ease of the dots creating a larger pattern)



You can definitely just wing it and dot as you go, or you can use tools. A protractor, ruler or spiral tool would definitely help if you wanted to create a “perfect” mandala (but winging it is always more fun!). You can make them as simple or elaborate as you like. It’s fun because you really can’t over-do it, just keep dotting!! Dots inside of other dots, dots around dots, big dots, small dots- it’s MADNESS!! Glorious madness. If you come to a point where you think you don't like it, just keep going! I hated mine at least twice before I was finished, the more you dot the better it gets. Once you are finished, depending on where you are going to display it you probably want to spray a clear varnish over it to seal it (and make it shine!). You can then display them on the wall with a nail/screw through the hole or using command strips. You could also use a plate stand on a shelf or counter top. Wherever you display your #musicalmandalas they are sure to make you smile!


What you need:

· An old record or other canvas

· Acrylic paint

· Toothpicks and brushes with various sized handles

· EZ DOTZ tools (optional)

· Clear varnish spray (or similar, optional)


What to do:

· Start at the centermost point with a large dot, flower, emoji etc.

· Choosing corresponding (cohesive) colors, build your mandala out with various sized dots

· Try to stay as symmetrical as possible but don’t stress about it

· Once finished, spray with clear varnish spray and display





Mixed Media Mel 2019

Get your craft on!!

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