Want a free year on Tuts+ (worth $180)? Start an InMotion Hosting plan for $3.49/mo.
A mandala is typically a circle with inspiring colors and patterns. Mandala is the Sanskrit word for 'circle', and has spiritual significance in Hinduism and Buddhism. Crochet mandalas can be used as coasters, hot pads, wall decorations or simply as colour therapy. In this tutorial we'll be making a grey and white mandala with cheery sunshine-y yellow and mustard highlights. The pattern uses US terms and stitches include single crochet (sc); double crochet (dc); chain (ch); and double crochet four together (dc4tog).
- Yarn (I used Drops Paris cotton yarn by Garnstudio).
- A crochet hook in a size suitable for the yarn you're using (I used a 4mm hook here).
- A darning needle for sewing in the ends.
- A pair of scissors.
Step 1: Make a Magic Ring
Using the light grey yarn, make a magic ring and secure with a stitch.
Step 2: Crochet Round One
Chain 3 (counting as 1 dc), and work 11 double crochet in the ring, and pull it to close, creating a circle. Your stitch count is now 12.
Cut the yarn and pull the end through the loop on your hook. Thread the end through the needle, and close the circle by putting the needle through the top of your first double crochet (ie. not the starting three chains)...
...and back again through the back loop of the last stitch. This creates an extra 'faux' stitch, and we're going to end all rounds in this way from now on.
Step 3: Crochet Round Two
Using light grey yarn, start the round with a standing stitch, meaning you start with a slipknot on your hook and just start the round by doing the first stitch. We're going to start all rounds like this.
Work 2 double crochet in each stitch around, ending up with 24 stitches. End the round the 'faux' way with your needle again.
Step 4: Crochet Round Three
Using the dark grey yarn, starting with a slipknot on your hook, work one double crochet, chain 4, skip 2 stitches and work another double crochet. Go around in the same fashion, so: *dc, ch 4, sk 2 st* around. End the round with your needle.
Step 5: Crochet Round Four
Using the dark grey yarn, starting with a standing stitch, work 8 single crochet in each chain 4 space. So: 8sc in ea ch 4 sp around. End the round with your needle.
Step 6: Crochet Round Five
With the white yarn, in the third stitch of one of the 8 sc sequences, work 2 double crochet, chain 2, and work another 2 double crochet. Skip 2 stitches, work 2 double crochet, chain 2, and work another 2 double crochet. Skip 4 stitches and repeat. So: *2dc, ch2, 2dc, sk 2 st, 2dc, ch2, 2dc, sk 4 st* around.
Step 7: Crochet Round Six
With the mustard yarn, starting in the ch2 space from the first 'V'-shape of the previous round, work a 'double crochet 4 together'. This is how you do it: *yarn over, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over and pull up loop, yarn over and draw through 2 loops* 4 times, yarn over, draw through all loops on hook. Chain 2, work one single crochet, chain 2, work another dc4tog in the 'V'-shape, chain 2, work one double crochet, chain 2. So: *dc4tog, ch2, sc, ch2, dc4tog, ch2, dc, ch2* around.
Step 8: Crochet Round Seven
This round will be worked in the back loops from round five (the white 'V'-shapes), using white yarn. To get to the back loops, flip the mustard round to the front.
Work one double crochet in each of the back loops of round five, so: *dc in bl* around. Your stitch count should now be 64.
Step 9: Crochet Round Eight
This round will be worked with white yarn in the stitches of the previous round. Start in the first stitch that lies directly behind one of the dc4togs of round six. Work 2 single crochet. Work another single crochet but this time put your hook from front to back through the ch2 space from round 6 and the double crochet behind it from round 7. Chain 1, make another single crochet through both rounds 6 and 7, and repeat. So: *sc 2, sc 1 through both rounds, ch1, sc 1 through both rounds* around. Your count should be 80 stitches.
The back of your mandala should look like this:
Step 10: Crochet Round Nine
With white yarn, work 7 double crochet and make one increase by working 2 double crochet in one stitch. So: *dc 7, 2dc* around. Your count should be 90 stitches.
Step 11: Crochet Round 10
With yellow yarn, work one single crochet in each stitch around, in the back loops only. This creates a slight ridge. So: sc around. Count: 90 stitches.
Step 12: Crochet Round 11
With white yarn, work 8 double crochet and make one increase by working 2 double crochet in one stitch. So: *dc 8, 2dc* around. Your count should be 100 stitches.
Step 13: Crochet Round 12
With yellow yarn, work 2 double crochet, chain 5, skip 2 stitches, and repeat. So: *dc 2, ch 5, sk 2 st* around.
Step 14: Crochet Round 13
With yellow yarn, work 4 single crochet in the chain 5 space from round 12, chain 3, and work another 4 single crochet. So: *sc 4, ch 3, sc 4* around.
Step 15: Finish the Mandala
If you have been using your needle to finish each round you hardly have any ends left to sew in. Flip your mandala and using your needle, sew in those last ends. And that's it, you're done!
You can use your mandalas to decorate your home. Hang them on your walls in your living room, decorate your kitchen walls with them or simply use them to brighten up your window sill!
Crochet fans! Have you made a mandala before? What other crochet tutorials would you like to see on Crafttuts+? Let us know in the comments section below.