How to do a mandala stencil at home
Stenciling is such a fun activity! You can easily apply amazing patterns with stencils on fabric, wood, walls, tiles, etc. Tons of mandala stencils are available in craft stores. However, sometimes they just don’t quite fit your needs? Either the design or the size is not what you’re are looking for.
Creating a mandala stencil is super simple, inexpensive, and so much fun to make! To create a stencil, you have to transfer a mandala design to a plastic sheet, then cut the pieces out using a craft knife or a cutting machine.
In this post, you’ll learn how to create your own mandala stencils at home. I’ll walk you through how to design, cut, and use your homemade mandala stencil effectively.
I love mandalas! I wish I could put them on everything!
If you’ve already been to my blog, you may know that. I have a pretty popular craft, a mandala wall art, created with toilet paper rolls. You can check it out here.
Also, mandala designs are trending in home decor and fashion. There are lots of mandala stencils available online and in craft stores from small to large sizes. You can buy them on Amazon or Etsy.
But if you’re looking for a more personal design, you’ve come to the right place! I will show you how to make your own unique mandala stencils. You can apply this super simple technique to any design and turn your doodles into stencils. Use them to decorate notebooks, walls, T-shirts, and more.
Let’s get started!
Table of content:
- What is the best material to make a stencil out of?
- How to design a mandala stencil
- How to create your own mandala stencils
- Free printable mandala stencils
- How to cut the mandala painting stencils
- How to make a large mandala stencil
- How to use mandala stencils
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What is the best material to make a stencil out of?
The best material for a homemade stencil is plastic sheets like mylar. It’s flexible, durable, and reusable. It’s inexpensive and easy to cut with a craft knife. You can wash it between uses and store it flat for a long time.
You could also use paper or cardboard, but I don’t recommend it. Paper absorbs moisture from the paint. The paint will seep through and ruin your design. Also, you can use it only once.
How to design mandala stencils
Designing mandalas for stencils is a bit different than drawing mandalas. You have to keep in mind a few ‘rules’ and best practices while creating the pattern.
My best tips for creating stencils:
1. Create grids
To draw a beautiful mandala, you need to create it symmetrically. Lightly draw a wheel and some concentric circles.
I usually sketch a wheel divided into six or eight pieces (you can do more, 12 or 16). I also add at least 3 circles for reference. This will help you position the elements perfectly.
Make sure the lines are as light as possible. So, they won’t confuse you, and you’ll be able to erase it when you’ve finished your mandala.
2. Use small templates
Small templates are my best friends when drawing mandalas. This way, I can make the identical elements have the same shape and size.
Choose a couple of shapes for building up your mandala, for example, teardrops, circles, leaves, diamonds, etc. Then trace them on a piece of cardboard and cut them out.
3. Leave enough space
Don’t put the elements too close! You will have a hard time cutting them out. Also, it’s more likely that the thin parts will tear with use.
4. Change your mindset
Design a mandala for stenciling is different from drawing mandalas. Remember, you’ll cut out the dark parts, those are going to be painted.
Always keep in mind that.
Never connect the dark parts. For example, you can cut out a bigger, thin circle in the middle (lots of mandalas have a similar element). Break them up. See the example in the image below.
How to create your own mandala stencil
For creating the design you can:
- Hand draw the stencil,
- Use computer software (Photoshop, Indesign, Canva, Picmonkey, etc.)
I like both methods. When I’m looking for a more organic look, I hand-draw the mandala. Also, drawing mandalas is so relaxing.
If I aim for a more polished look, I create the design in Canva. It’s super easy to use and free!
Free printable mandala stencils
I’ve made four mandalas for this post, three in Canva and one hand-drawn. They will help you get started. You can either print and turn them into stencils or use them for inspiration.
They are for personal use. You’re not allowed to sell the designs. However, you can use them to create products.
I uploaded the files to the Free Resource Library. To get access, you have to sign up for my newsletter. You will receive the password right away. (You can also grab any other printable like.)
For more free printable mandala stencils, type into Google ‘mandala stencil vector’. Lots of amazing files will pop up. Click the image, download, and print it out. It’s perfectly fine for personal use.
How to cut mandala painting stencils
There are two ways to cut mandala stencils: using a craft knife or a machine. In this post, I will cover the ‘manual’ method more extensively. I don’t own a stencil maker or a Cricut machine, so I can’t give you advice on those, but I’ll provide some info to get started.
How to manually cut stencils
For cutting your mandala stencil manually you will need:
- the design,
- a plastic sheet (these mylar sheets work fabulously, and they are affordable),
- a craft knife,
- a self-healing cutting mat (you can also use a wood cutting board or a piece of cardboard).
You can follow two paths when cutting:
Method 1: Transfer the mandala to the plastic sheet. Put the plastic sheet on top of the pattern, and trace it with a marker. Slowly cut out the traced parts.
TIP! I like to leave the design next to me while cutting. Sometimes, the lines are confusing. The mandala template will guide you.
Method 2: Secure the printed/drawn mandala to the cutting mat (with tape). Then tape the plastic sheet on top of it. This method will save you time, but you need to make sure that the sheets are not moving. Cut out the dark elements using your craft knife.
I usually make stencils with the second method, mostly because I’m lazy to transfer the pattern.
Tips for cutting:
- Take your time, do it slowly. You don’t want to make longer cuts and ruin the design. Precision is key!
- Start from the center and work your way out.
- Press down the plastic sheet during cutting. This will give you more control and keep the sheet in place.
- Try to make long continuous cuts for clean lines.
- Use a hole puncher for small circles/dots.
How to cut stencils with a machine
For cutting your mandala stencil with a machine you will need:
- a stencil maker (the ones mentioned above),
- stencil sheets,
- a digital mandala cut file (SVG).
Add the design to the machine’s software and let it make the cutting for you. Then, pop out the cut elements.
This video will walk you through how to make a stencil with a Cricut.
How to make a large mandala stencil
If you want to stencil a beautiful huge mandala on your wall or a big round table, you’ll need a different stencil. If you’ve already searched for mandala stencils, you may have noticed that for wall stenciling, stores sell a mandala in a quarter.
Then you rotate it and puzzle it together to form a nice round and complete mandala.
You can do the same for a large stencil. Just make sure that the joints are perfectly aligned.
TIP! For a fast and perfect look: design your whole mandala, then cut it into four. Grab one quarter. Scan it if you draw it by hand and enlarge it on your computer.
If you want to decorate your walls, I have a helpful guide for beginners on how to stencil walls.
How to use mandala stencils
The most common mistakes that happen while painting with mandala painting are paint bleeds. With a few simple hacks and tips, you can achieve a perfect look.
Here are a couple of things to pay attention to:
- Use a stencil paste or a paint with thicker consistency (acrylic paint also works like a charm for stenciling). Add a thin coat of paint. Wait for it to dry. Apply a second layer if it hasn’t covered the surface sufficiently.
- Apply the paint with a stencil brush or sponge brush. Load the brush with paint, but make sure it’s not dripping. Test it on a piece of paper. The marks should be almost dry after applying them.
- A repositionable adhesive spray will prevent paint bleeds (your best friend for stenciling). Lightly spray the surface of your mandala painting stencil and stick it to the surface. Apply the paint, leave it for a couple of minutes, then remove the stencil.
Conclusion about how to make mandala painting stencils
As you could see, creating stencils it’s not complicated. Making mandalas is relaxing and fun to make, that you can experience twice while drawing and during cutting.
With a homemade plastic mandala stencil you can create hundreds of amazing projects.
I will use my stencil to decorate a T-shirt. Stay tuned! I will show it in an upcoming post.
Did you like this article? Have you ever tried stenciling? Or creating a stencil? Leave a comment!
Related articles with mandalas and stenciling:
- Stunning Toilet Paper Roll Mandala Craft,
- How to Make a Layered Paper Leaf Mandala,
- How to Stencil on Walls.