Making Mandalas

Get creative on Tuesday, January 18 at 7pm at Schimelpfenig Library – we’re making mandalas! During this adults-only event, we will use geometric and organic shapes to create an abstract circular design. This event has limited space, and tickets will be available beginning at 6:30pm that day.

So what’s a mandala?
Lamayouro, Leh district, India. July 2017. Tibetian monks constructing mandala from colored sand in Tibetan Buddhist monastery.
Sand mandalas transmit positive energies to the people who view them.

With a quick search in our databases, there is plenty of information on the history of mandalas. From EBSCO: A mandala is a sacred religious symbol in a number of faith traditions. The word comes from ancient Sanskrit and means “sacred circle.” Traditional mandalas are part of a meditative religious practice in Buddhist and Native American cultures and are often rendered in sand or colored dirt. In their original form, mandalas are most closely associated with Tibetan monks, whose religious training includes instruction in the ritual creation of intricate designs full of religious symbolism. The term mandala has been adopted to apply to circular art rendered in a variety of mediums as part of other religious traditions. In the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, mandalas have been used as tools for aiding relaxation, with or without any religious connotation. (Mandala. By: Ungvarsky, Janine, Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2020)

At the library, we focus on the latter part of this definition: circular art.

Resources to Explore

If you want to learn more about mandalas or ways you can make them, check out these resources from the library catalog:

Mandalas to embroider: kaleidoscope stitching in a hoop by Carina Envoldsen-Harris Print
The book offers 12 large and 12 smaller mandalas to embroider, which Carina explains how to make through simple, beautiful stitch diagrams and keys. Only 10 stitches have been used to create all the mandalas, and each one is explained and accompanied by clear, step-by-step diagrams at the beginning of the book. Be sure to check out the Embroidery STEAM Kit for basic supplies!

Modern crochet mandalas: 50+ colorful motifs to crochet Print
Mandalas are the perfect crocheted pieces. Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced crocheter, they offer a unique canvas for experimentation with color, texture, and many types of stitches, all within a relatively small space. Inside, you’ll find a detailed set of directions accompany each piece. Be sure to check out the Crochet STEAM Kit for basic supplies.

Mandalas to crochet: 30 great patterns by Haafner Linssen Print
Included are complete written and charted directions for a variety of types of circular designs, plus a range of creative techniques and ideas to make yours stand out from the crowd.

Adolescents’ School Anxiety Correction by Means of Mandala Art Therapy by Kostyunina, Nadezhda Yu.; Drozdikova-Zaripova, Albina R.
International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, v11 n6 p1105-1116 2016 EBSCO
The article reveals the essence, the reasons, factors, features of school anxiety displays in adolescence. It also analyzes the methods and forms of school anxiety correction in teenagers by means of mandala art therapy in extracurricular activities.

Japanese Mandalas: Representations of Sacred Geography by Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis EBSCO
The first broad study of Japanese mandalas to appear in a Western language, this volume interprets mandalas as sanctified realms where identification between the human and the sacred occurs. The author investigates eighth- to seventeenth-century paintings from three traditions: Esoteric Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, and the kami-worshipping (Shinto) tradition.


If you’re interested in learning more about mandalas and making your own, come to Schimelpfenig Library on Tuesday, January 18 at 7pm. Be sure to check out all other Arts & Culture classes on our website for more creative opportunities.

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