CD Mandala

CD MandalaA mandala is an abstract design that is usually circular in form. It is a Sanskrit word that means “circle”. Mandalas generally have one center point from which radiate an assortment of shapes and designs.

1. I wanted to start with a bright background on my old CD, so I spray painted it white. After it was dry, I brushed it with some watery glue to make a more slippery surface. I learned that would help keep my markers from plugging up later on.
2. After the glue was dry, I used a ruler and pencil to estimate lines that would divide the CD into 8 equal sections. Younger students could use a template to do this.
3. Starting with just one section, I drew simple diamonds, circles, leaves and curves to fill it up. When complete, I repeated the shapes in the same manner until all 8 sections matched each other. After the pencil lines were done, they were all traced with a fine tip black Sharpie marker. Lastly, the shapes were all colored in with Sharpie markers, taking care to keep the colors all symmetrical.

9 Responses

  1. Nathan Toft

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m a 5/6 teacher in Ottawa, Canada always on the hunt for engaging art activities. My students really enjoyed. We ended up leaving the CD aspect of it out, but I thought the results were pretty good.

    You can see a video of them at:

  2. Kathy Barbro

    That’s a good question, and my answer is “I’m not sure”. My guess is that it might be fine as I think regular markers work on other painted surfaces. All I can say is that it is probably worth a test. I’d love to know what you find out, if I could. Thanks!

  3. bbb

    I am an 8th grade math teacher and trying to find lots of “end of the year” math/art projects. I have gotten a ton of great ideas from your site…thanks! My question – would it work with crayola/rose art type markers as I cannot afford to supply 90 plus students with sharpies?

  4. Kathy Barbro

    Actually, my first go around was the most successful. I used a couple of layers of cheap white acrylic paint, and then coated everything with watery Elmers glue to make a more slippery surface. My 2nd try with white spray paint and a clear glossy spray finish was less successful as the Sharpies kept getting plugged up. Live and learn, hope that helps.

  5. TeachKidsArt

    I love mandalas and can’t wait to try this! Did you use primer or just regular spray paint? I wouldn’t have thought to paint it with glue…. did you use Elmer’s for that??

  6. galakoala

    i love your ideas! i’m sure you’re really good teacher:)
    greetings from Poland!

  7. Kathy Barbro

    No template for this one Sarah. Once they draw the ‘pie’ they’re on their own.

  8. This is so beautiful. These would be pretty hung up with fishing line if decorated on both sides. Do you have a pdf of the template by any chance?

  9. Debra

    Great! this was just what I was looking for…thanks for all your great ideas:)

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