This polka dot mandala project is super fun and easy to make with this found object printmaking invitation!

Supplies to make your own polka dot mandala….

The supply list for printing these mandalas is pretty simple. Here’s what you’ll need…

  • paper, any color
  • acrylic or tempera paint
  • scissors
  • a variety of round objects to print with- corks, bottles, lids, caps, pencil erasers
  • plate or tray to dispense paint on

Getting started on your polka dot mandala….

Trace a large circle onto your base paper and cut it out. We started with a variety of sizes and used rolls of tape and plastic plates as our “circle guides.” Use what you have.

I suggest cutting out more than circle of paper for each artist. This found object printmaking process is quick and your kids will have fun experimenting with different shape and color combinations.

Polka dot mandalas made with a found object printmaking process for kids

Creating a structure for your mandala….

A mandala is a circular design, usually symmetrical. While the mandala has it’s roots in the Buddhist and Hindu religion we’re going to be looking at the mandala purely from a design point of view.

The type of symmetry found in these mandalas is called radial symmetry. Radial symmetry is a condition in which similar parts are regularly arranged around a central axis.

Determining the central axis of your circles is important and super easy to determine.

Fold your paper in half, and then in half again. Folding each circle into quarters is perfect for younger artists. For older kids or adults you can fold the circle in half again. This creates more sections within the circle and more opportunities for complex designs.

Polka dot mandalas made with a found object printmaking process for kids

Preparing to paint your mandala…

Set up is simple for this found object printmaking process. Dispense small amounts of paint onto plates or trays. I like to limit the paint selection to three or four colors just to provide some unity.

Provide a variety of printmaking objects for kids to stamp into the paint and then into the paper circle. Hunting for these objects can be a bit of a treasure hunt. Look in the recycling bin, the junk drawer, anywhere you might find some interesting random objects!

Creating a mandala with radial symmetry…..

Radial symmetry means that everything “radiates” out from a center point. Folding the circle into quarters or eighths makes for a simple way to reference the center as well as organize all other design components. Check out this post for a free download that explains radial symmetry in a more complete way!

Encourage your student to start their stamping in the middle of the circle. Then choose another shape and or color to stamp in the next area, working from the center outwards. Use the fold lines on the circle as a guide to place stamps evenly.

Consider layering multiple printed shapes, on on top of another for added interest.

Polka dot mandalas made with a found object printmaking process for kids

Did you enjoy these polka dot mandalas?

Please share this post with someone else that might enjoy it! Every share helps me to bring you even more fun projects and free downloadable resources!