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DIY Craft Tutorial: How to Make a Boho Mandala Wall Hanging

As an artist and homeowner, Donna enjoys creating unique decorative items and holiday ornaments to welcome all to her artistic abode.

How to Make a DIY Boho Mandala Wall Hanging

How to Make a DIY Boho Mandala Wall Hanging

A mandala is a geometric design that appears in both Western and Eastern cultures and is now used in many decorative items for your home. This wall hanging is a fun project that can be made in many sizes for display in any room. The basic form is created with sticks or dowels and can be enhanced with wrapped yarn or twine. Although this project has many steps, it can be created with little cost by using items you have on hand.

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Materials

  • A number of straight sticks - choose sticks that have the same thickness and are from the same type of tree so they have the same coloring and texture. If you don't want to use sticks, you can also use wood dowels.
  • Clippers, utility knife, or a small saw to cut your sticks
  • Cutting tool to notch your sticks (this might not be necessary depending on the size of your design)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • (Optional) Scrap yarn in the colors of your choice
  • (Optional) A piece of cardboard larger than the overall size of your mandala
  • Pencil, marker, and ruler or measuring tape

Directions

1. Collect your sticks and remove any small branches, leaves, or other growths.

2. Decide the overall size of your mandala and choose three long sticks of similar width for your central form. Your mandala can be any size. I chose to make my mandala 24 inches in diameter.

3. Cut your three central sticks to the length of the diameter of your mandala shape.

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4. (Optional, but helpful) Take a scrap piece of cardboard and trace a circle on it. You can trace a item from your kitchen or around your home. Draw a straight line down the center of your circle. Then draw two equidistant lines that cross your middle line and create six equal parts to your circle. I used a protractor to draw these lines. Your finished circle should look like a pizza with six slices.

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5. Mark the center point of each of your three sticks using a pencil or marker.

6. Place your sticks along the lines on your circle so that your sticks cross at their middle points. You may have to move and rotate your sticks to find the best arrangement for them to fit together (see photo above).

Keep in mind that your sticks are organic items and may not be perfectly straight. Some uniqueness to each stick should be expected. If you would prefer a more precise design, you should probably use wood dowels.

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7. Carefully take apart your arrangement of sticks, keeping them in order. Using a utility knife or jack knife, create a notch on the front at the center point on your bottom stick that is wide enough to accept the width of the stick above it (see photo above). I also marked a small "B" in this notch so I knew where this stick should be placed.

8. Make a similar notch at the mid point on both the front and the bottom surface of your middle stick so that it will rest on your bottom stick and accept your top stick. I marked a "M" in the front notch so I would know this was my middle stick and which side should face up in my arrangement.

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9. Make another notch at the mid point of the bottom side of your top stick so that it rests on top of your middle stick. I marked this stick with a "T".

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10. Put your bottom stick down on your line drawing with its notch facing up. Put a generous dot of hot glue in the notch and position your middle stick on top, facing up and following the lines of your drawing. Apply a little bit of pressure to make sure your sticks have firm contact.

11. Apply hot glue to the notch in your middle stick and position your top stick in your arrangement (see photo above). Be sure to apply pressure to make sure your sticks have firm contact.

You may have to use some books to support your upper sticks while gluing them so that they lie flat in place.

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12. Cut 12 more sticks that are 1/4 the length of your three larger sticks (these sticks can be slightly thinner in width if need be). Since my larger sticks were 24 inches long, I cut my smaller sticks to be six inches long.

13. Separate your smaller sticks in to two piles of six sticks each. With one pile, notch the front sides of both ends of your sticks.

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14. For your second pile of six sticks, notch the top front of each stick and the bottom back so that you have notches on the opposite sides at opposite ends of each stick.

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15. These shorter sticks will be used to create a smaller star within the center of your mandala. Measure 1/4 of the way up each arm of your central design and make a small mark. Each of the arms of my design was 12 inches long so I made a mark three inches from the center of my mandala.

16. I also made a mark on my cardboard circle that divided each of my six sections (see photo above).

17. Using your pile of sticks with the front and back notches, place a stick on each arm at the place where you marked. Position this smaller stick so that it hits the midpoint mark on your cardboard circle (see photo above). You might have to move your sticks around to find how they fit together the best.

18. When you settle on an arrangement, glue these sticks in place.

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19. Take your second pile of smaller sticks and position them to complete your star (see photo above). Their ends should overlap with your previous sticks. Arrange them before gluing to get the best fit with your sticks.

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20. Cut 12 more sticks that are about an inch longer than your previous sticks. I cut my sticks to be seven inches long.

21. Make a notch at the top and bottom end of each stick on the same side, as in Step 13.

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22. Take six of these sticks and position each one to span from the top of your inner star to the long arm on the right. Each of these smaller sticks might need to be trimmed a little to be the correct length. When these sticks are in position, glue them in place.

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23. Take your remaining six sticks and position each to span from the top of your inner star to the long arm on the left. The ends of these sticks should overlap your previous sticks and form an outer star. Trim as needed and glue in place.

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Adding Color to Your Mandala

Your bare stick mandala will be a beautiful addition to your home when completed. However, if you'd like to add more color to your design, you can wrap each stick with yarn.

I used a variety of scrap yarn to decorate my mandala, but you can use just one color if you choose.

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1. Work from the back side of your form to attach your yarn and use small balls of yarn that you can pass through your mandala.

2. Put a dot of hot glue on the back of the stick you want to wrap. Lay the end of your yarn in the glue. You might need a stick to hold your yarn end in the glue until it dries.

3. Wrap each stick with yarn as you choose. You can use as many color as your want.

4. Use another dot of hot glue to attach each end of your yarn and start another color.

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5. I wrapped each stick in my inner star with multiple colors.

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6. I also wrapped my outer star with yarn but left the supporting arms of my mandala as bare wood.

© 2021 Donna Herron

Comments

Donna Herron (author) from USA on June 08, 2021:

Hi Heidi! This mandala can be made in any size. I started out playing with smaller sticks, but once I created the design I knew I wanted to make a larger wall hanging so I could add multiple colors. So glad you like it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it!

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on June 07, 2021:

Initially when I just saw the photo in the feed, I thought it was an ornament sized piece. But then when I saw the instructions and finished project, it's even better. That is such a nice wall hanging! Hope you're have a great summer so far. Cheers!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on June 07, 2021:

Thanks so much! I've wanted to make this wall hanging for a while, but had to wait until I could gather enough sticks for it. So glad you like it. Thanks again!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 07, 2021:

Well presented, interesting and creative wall hanging!

Thanks for sharing the detailed instructions and helpful pictures!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on June 07, 2021:

Thanks, Sally! This project takes a bit of measuring and cutting, so I wouldn't suggest it for children under 13. Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you are doing well!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on June 07, 2021:

Thanks, Rebecca! This is an easy project once you assemble all the supplies. I hope you enjoy your finished wall hanging.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on June 06, 2021:

Love this, what a great thing to make with children. Thanks for sharing Donna.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on June 06, 2021:

Nice! Thanks for sharing. Dying to try it!